UAlbany is on Pause 

The University at Albany entered pause on November 10, 2020. 

Read the President’s message explaining the University’s reasons for going on pause.

Please visit our Campus COVID-19 Dashboard for UAlbany's latest case and testing numbers.  


What is a Pause? 

A pause means moving all classes and campus activities online for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester. 

This pause allows public health officials to control community spread through testing, contact tracing and, as needed, quarantine and isolation.   

During the pause, students are expected to remain in campus housing. However, athletic and other extracurricular activities are suspended, and all campus dining facilities have moved to take-out only. 

Any residential student who wants to finish the semester at home is strongly encouraged not to leave until at least 48 hours after their scheduled date of pooled surveillance testing that week to ensure we have full compliance in our end of semester testing, which is designed to prevent further community spread. 

Please review this page so you know what to expect and what is expected of you. You should continue to monitor your UAlbany email and this website for important updates.  


Essential Pause Elements 

  • All classes are being delivered remotely.

  • Campus housing remains open and operational. Students are expected to remain on campus and in their rooms to the extent possible. Students may leave campus for employment on and off campus.

  • If residential students choose to leave campus housing to go home during the pause, they must remain home and take classes remotely for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester and there will be no refunds for room and board charges.

  • Dining and retail services, including the University Bookstore, have converted to an entirely pick-up operation with no seating options.

  • Student Health Services remains open, including to support our surveillance and point-of-care COVID-19 testing. 

  • Pooled surveillance testing continues during the pause. If a student does not comply with surveillance testing, they may lose ID access.

  • All on-campus buildings are locked and only accessible by ID swipe. Campus Center remains unlocked, with normal hours. No seating is allowed in Campus Center.

  • No in-person events, activities or gatherings of any size are permitted. All on-campus events, programs and services are being delivered virtually.   

  • All intercollegiate athletics sports activities, including practices and individual workouts, are suspended. 

  • All in-person campus recreation and intramural activities are suspended. 

  • CDTA continues to operate normal routes. University-operated bus services are operating only on the Uptown Campus and on demand.  

  • In-person library services are suspended, and all library buildings are physically closed. 

  • Critical research functions may continue, as approved by the Division for Research. 

  • Students are not permitted to visit Dippikill while the University is on pause.


Health & Safety 

Student Health Services (SHS) remains open. Telemedicine appointments are being utilized to the extent possible. On-campus COVID-19 testing functions and quarantine and isolation support continue to operate. 

Pooled surveillance testing is continuing as normal, supplemented by additional pooled surge testing as needed. 

Students placed into quarantine or isolation are strongly encouraged to remain in appropriate campus housing or their off-campus residence rather than traveling home.  

If a student decides to return home, instead of entering University quarantine or isolation housing, they must remain home for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester and take classes remotely. They may return to their University residence for the Spring 2021 semester with proper county health authority clearance. 

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) continues to operate, via remote sessions and services.  

All Student Health Services staff necessary to operate the pooled surveillance testing program are considered essential employees during the pause.  


Campus Life 

Building access is limited and campus buildings are closed to the public. 

Campus Center remains unlocked, with normal hours. No seating is allowed in Campus Center.

All other on-campus buildings are locked and only accessible by ID swipe. Swipe access is limited to individuals on a need-to-enter basis (employment, maintenance, University Police) and does not include general access for students to any building outside of Campus Center (for meal pick-up) and their own Residence Hall. Off-campus students do not have swipe access to any campus buildings.  

All events and campus recreation are being delivered virtually, to the extent possible. Additional virtual programming is being provided for students.    

No in-person events, activities or gatherings of any size are permitted during the pause. 

Student Affairs staff who need to be present on campus to conduct student programming and other activities are considered essential employees during the pause. 

On-Campus Housing

Campus housing and dining remains open and operational. Students living in on-campus housing are expected to remain in residence during the pause. 

Please visit our Departing Campus: Fall 2020 Procedures page for additional information.

The following guidelines are required for students who remain in on-campus housing: 

  • Remain in their rooms as much as possible, except to pick up meals and drop off surveillance testing saliva samples.  

  • If a student does not comply with surveillance testing, they may lose ID access. As long as a student is in residence, students must continue to participate in the pooled surveillance testing schedule.

  • It is mandatory for all students to wear masks at all times outside their room, suite or apartment.

  • Stay on campus. 

  • No visitors in their rooms, including other students who do not reside in their room, suite or apartment. 

  • No non-UAlbany community members are allowed in any residential building, including outside guests, parents or family members of students — except to actively assist a student in moving out. Residential students may only have 2 guests assist them in moving out. 

  • Students are not permitted to enter other residential buildings except their own. 

  • There are no changes to mail services at this time. Any future changes would be posted on the Mail Services website.

Residential Life staff are essential employees during the pause and the unit will be staffed as normal. 

Off-Campus Housing

All students residing off campus in the areas adjacent to or near any UAlbany campus are encouraged to stay in their residence to the extent possible during the pause.  

In addition, off-campus students must avoid any gatherings or contact with anyone who does not currently reside in their off-campus residence. 

Students who live off campus are not allowed at any UAlbany campus or residential location during the pause —  except to drop off their saliva sample as part of their participation in the pooled surveillance testing program or if they are specifically invited onto campus by a UAlbany faculty or staff member.

Off-campus students are strongly encouraged not to leave the Albany area until at least 48 hours after their scheduled date of pooled surveillance testing for that week to ensure we have full compliance in our end of semester testing, which is designed to prevent further community spread.

Please submit your final pooled surveillance saliva sample at least two days, but no more than four days, before your planned departure date.  

On-Campus Dining

Dining has converted to an entirely pick-up operation with no seating options.  

Dining is using its current pre-order systems to minimize wait times for students picking up meals and ensure properly distanced queuing areas for students waiting for meal pick up.    

University Auxiliary Services (UAS), contracted dining staff and vending staff are considered essential employees during the pause, for campus access and reporting purposes. 

Public Transportation

CDTA is continuing to operate their normal routes. The University-operated routes to the Downtown and Health Sciences Campuses are not running. 

All three UAlbany campuses, as well as Alumni Quad, Albany Law School and Albany Medical Center, are accessible via CDTA.  

University-operated bus services are operating only on demand on the Uptown Campus, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. On weekends, the UAlbany Uptown Campus route are operating 10:15 am to 6:15 p.m. 

In general, students are discouraged from using any mass transit to leave campus. 

University Mass Transit staff are considered essential employees during the pause.  

University Bookstore

The bookstore is physically closed.  

Students, faculty and staff can order items online and have them shipped to their location.   

University Libraries

All library buildings are physically closed. Library Services are continuing, including:   

  • Reference assistance continues to be available 24/7. 

  • Research consultations is continuing online by appointment. 

  • Information literacy instruction is continuing online by appointment.

  • Curbside pickup of physical materials is available at the Main Library on the Uptown Campus, as well as the Dewey Graduate Library on the Downtown Campus. It is available for faculty, staff and students. (Note: All faculty, staff and students must complete a health screening within one hour of coming to campus.)  

  • Circulation services for courtesy borrowers is suspended. 

  • Interlibrary loan continues to be available online and through curbside pickup for physical items. (Note: All faculty, staff, and students must complete a health screening within one hour of coming to campus.)  

  • Staff continue to report to work with modified schedules, as determined by supervisors. 

Only library staff required to be physically present on campus to provide the services outlined in this plan are considered essential employees during the pause. 

Academics & Research

All classes are being delivered remotely.  

Only faculty and staff who need to be physically on campus to complete the academic delivery or essential research work outlined in this section are considered essential employees during the pause, for purposes of physically reporting to the campus for work. 

Information for Students

Students are expected to continue to fully participate in classes after the move to an all remote/online format.  

Tutoring and academic support remain available virtually without interruption.  

All on-campus student computer labs are closed. ITS is available to assist students virtually if they experience technology issues.  

The Office of the Dean of Students is available to help address any lack of technology and software for students to move to remote instruction.  

All students must complete a health screening within one hour of coming to campus. 

Information for Instructors

Faculty and instructors should use their individual conversion plans and remote course materials to convert to remote learning.  

Teaching and graduate assistants who are not the primary instructor should consult with their faculty member for guidance regarding how course duties are being handled during the pause.   

Faculty and instructors who require building access to conduct their remote courses must contact their department chair to ensure they are identified as an essential employee during the pause.  

All faculty and staff must complete a health screening within one hour of coming to campus.  

Final examinations are already planned to be conducted remotely.   

Instructional Support 

ITLAL is available to help instructors convert to remote learning. 

ITS is available virtually to assist instructors with any technology issues that arise.  

Information for Researchers

During the pause, research project leaders are responsible for recommending to the Vice President for Research how to continue scholarly activities under more restrictive safety requirements.  

The primary factor to consider in making this decision is whether a project requires access to on-campus facilities.  

Any project that does not absolutely require access to campus facilities, or can be paused, should be conducted remotely or paused.  

If a project requires access to on campus facilities, project leaders must:   

  • Inform all members of the project, the department chair and the building manager of the plans and confirm that emergency contact information for the lab is accurate and posted.   

  • Continue the required health monitoring of individuals coming to the lab or facility.   

  • Reduce room occupancy, if applicable, to not more than 25 percent and observe 12 feet of physical distancing, whenever possible.   

  • Use masks, other PPE and hand sanitizer at all times, and wipe down surfaces after each use.    

  • Continue to follow all Research Continuity Task Force recommendations.   

If access to on-campus facilities is not essential, project leaders must:   

  • Inform all members of the project, the department chair and the building manager of all plans.  

  • Conduct all work remotely. Put all non-essential on-campus tasks on hold.   

  • Close on-campus lab and research spaces in a documented and stepwise manner to ensure safety, including working with the Office of Environmental Health and Safety as needed.   

  • Prepare a list of all equipment that requires periodic inspection and/or maintenance. The project leader, or their designee, will be responsible for inspections and/or maintenance. Share the list with the project team, the department chair and the building manager and post the list near the entrance for emergency responders.     

  • Post the names, phone numbers and email addresses of the primary contact and a secondary contact near the entrance, in case of emergency.  

Research project faculty and staff who are required to be on campus to support essential projects that need access to University facilities are considered essential employees during the pause, as designated by their supervisors.  

All faculty, staff and students must complete a health screening within one hour of coming to campus. 

HR & Employee Relations

Employees designated as essential during Pause have been notified of their status. All other employees are deemed non-essential for this purpose and will work remotely.    

An essential employee may not be required to work on campus in person every day depending on their work duties. This designation resides with the employee’s supervisor.   

All employees should regularly monitor the UAlbany COVID-19 website for updates and direction throughout the pause.