UAlbany PAUSE Procedures

UAlbany's Procedures for Pausing


However, in keeping with guidance provided by Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Health, all colleges and universities in NYS may be required to move to a Pause for one of the following reasons:

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

A Pause means moving all classes and campus activities online for a set amount of time — typically 14 days — in order to stem the upward trend. 

Precautionary pauses allow public health officials to control community spread through testing, contact tracing and, as needed, quarantine and isolation.  

Students will be expected to remain in campus housing; however, athletic and other extracurricular activities will be suspended, and all campus dining facilities will move to take-out only. 

Please review this page so you know what to expect, and what may be expected of you, if the situation arises. You should continue to monitor your UAlbany email and this website for important updates. 


  • All classes will be converted immediately to remote modality.

  • Campus housing will remain open and operational. Students will be expected to remain on campus and in their rooms to the extent possible.

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

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

  • Student Health Services will remain open, including to support for surveillance and point-of-care COVID-19 testing.

  • Pooled surveillance testing will continue during Pause.

  • All on-campus buildings will be secured, and only accessible with swipe access.

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

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

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

  • CDTA will continue to operate normal routes. University-operated bus services will operate only on the Uptown Campus and on demand.

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

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


Health & Safety

Student Health Services (SHS) will remain open during Pause.  Telemedicine appointments will be utilized to the extent possible. On-campus COVID-19 testing functions and quarantine and isolation support will continue to operate.

Pooled surveillance testing will continue as normal during Pause, supplemented by additional pooled surge testing, as needed.   

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

If a student decides to return home rather than enter into University quarantine or isolation housing, they must remain home for the remainder of the fall 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) will continue to operate during Pause via remote sessions and services. 

All Student Health Services staff necessary to operate the pooled surveillance testing program will be considered essential employees during Pause


Campus Life

Building access would be limited and campus would be closed to the public.

All on-campus buildings will be secured and will require swipe access for entry. Swipe access will be limited to individuals on a need-to-enter basis (employment, maintenance, University Police) and will not include general access for students to any building outside of their own Residence Hall and Campus Center for meal pick-up. Off-campus students will have all swipe access removed during Pause

All events and campus recreation would become virtual during a Pause, to the extent possible. Additional virtual programming will be provided for students during Pause.   

No in-person events, activities or gatherings of any size will be permitted during Pause.   

Student Affairs staff who need to be present on campus to conduct student programming and other activities during Pause will be considered essential employees during Pause

On-Campus Housing

Campus housing and dining will remain open and operational during Pause. Students living in campus housing will be expected to remain in residence during Pause in preparation for returning to in-person classes as applicable at the end of Pause. The following guidelines will be required for students who remain in on-campus housing:

  • Remain in their rooms as much as possible.

  • Stay on campus.

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

  • No non-UAlbany community members allow in any residential building, including outside guests, parents or family members of students.

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

Residential Life staff will be designated as essential employees during Pause and the unit will be staffed as normal. 

Leaving On-Campus Housing During a Pause 

Students who leave campus housing during a Pause will be required to remain home for the remainder of the Fall semester and take classes remotely; they may return to their campus residence for the Spring 2021 semester. There will be no refunds for room and board for these students.

In addition, in the event that the University does not return to in-person instruction for the remainder of the semester, or if a student plans to remain at home at the end of Pause, students will be responsible for cleaning out refrigerators and disposing of other perishable items from rooms.

Off-Campus Housing

All students residing off campus in the areas adjacent to or near any UAlbany campus will be encouraged to stay in their residence to the extent possible during Pause

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

These students will not be allowed at any UAlbany campus or residential location during the Pause period unless specifically invited by a UAlbany faculty or staff member.

On-Campus Dining

Dining will convert to an entirely pick-up operation with no seating options. Dining will utilize its current pre-order systems to minimize wait times for students picking up meals and will ensure properly distanced queuing areas for students waiting for meal pick up.   

University Auxiliary Services (UAS), contracted dining staff and vending staff will be considered essential employees during a Pause period for campus access and reporting purposes.

Public Transportation

CDTA will continue to operate their normal routes during Pause

The University-operated routes to the Downtown and Health Sciences Campuses will not operate during Pause

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

University-operated bus services will operate 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 will operate 10:15 am to 6:15 p.m.

In general, student use of all mass transit to leave campus will be discouraged.   

University Mass Transit staff will be considered essential employees during Pause

University Bookstore

The bookstore will be physically closed during Pause. Students, faculty and staff will be able to order items online and have them shipped to their location.  

University Libraries

All library buildings will be physically closed. Library Services will continue, including:  

  • Reference assistance will continue to be available 24/7.

  • Research consultations will continue online by appointment.

  • Information literacy instruction will continue online by appointment.

  • Curbside pickup of physical materials will be offered at the Main Library on the Uptown Campus, as well as the Dewey Graduate Library on the Downtown Campus, and will be 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 will be suspended.

  • Interlibrary loan will continue 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 will continue to report to work with modified schedules determined by supervisors.

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

Academics & Research

All classes will be converted immediately to remote modality. 

Information for Students

Students will be expected to continue to fully participate in classes after a move to an all remote/online format.   

Tutoring and academic support will remain available virtually without interruption. 

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

The Office of the Dean of Students will assist in addressing any lack of technology and software for students to move to remote instruction. 

Only faculty and staff who need to be physically on campus to complete the academic delivery work outlined in this section or essential research as per the research section of this plan will be considered essential employees during Pause for purposes of physically reporting to the campus for work. 

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

Information for Instructors

Faculty and instructors should periodically review their individual conversion plans and remote course materials during the semester in the event there is a need to convert to remote learning. 

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

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

All faculty, staff and students 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 prepared to assist faculty and instructors to convert to remote learning. ITLAL has a one-page checklist available for faculty and instructor preparation for Pause.

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

Information for Researchers

During Pause, research project leaders will be 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, the following steps will be taken:  

  • 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 will be considered essential employees 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 will be 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 will reside with the employee’s supervisor.  

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