Fall 2022 University Health and Safety Protocols

Effective August 22, 2022, COVID-19 protocols are as follows. They will be reviewed and updated as circumstances change.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Full Vaccination is currently defined as the initial vaccination series plus a booster.

  • Students are required to be fully vaccinated, unless granted exception by the Rensselaer Health Center for valid medical reasons. 
  • Faculty and Staff are required to be fully vaccinated, unless granted exemption by HR for legally required accommodations.


Rensselaer will be guided (but not bound) by CDC community-level county indicators for Capital Region counties.

Testing protocols for the return to campus are as follows:

  • Students must test externally before arriving on campus for the academic term, whether for move-in, classes, or participation in activities before classes begin.
  • Faculty and Staff who were not on campus in summer 2022 must test externally before arriving on campus for the academic term.
  • External tests should be taken within 24 hours of arrival if an EUA-approved antigen test is used, or within 72 hours of arrival if a PCR test is used.
  • All students must test once at the Rensselaer testing site during their first week on campus.

Testing protocols during the fall semester will follow the CDC community level:

  • Green Tier (Low Community Transmission): Testing only individuals who are symptomatic or who desire a test for any reason.
  • Yellow Tier (Intermediate Community Transmission): In addition to symptomatic individuals, Rensselaer will perform random testing of 10% of the entire community (student, faculty, and staff) each week. In this Tier, the campus community will be divided into six cohorts based on birth month and individuals will be notified if they need to report for testing.
  • Red Tier (High Community Transmission): Weekly testing of the entire Rensselaer community.

The DIAL application and the COVID-19 Dashboard will identify the current Tier. 

Rensselaer senior leadership, consulting with the professional health care staff, may decide to implement testing protocols that vary from those associated with the described tiers. This may occur, for example, when the positivity rate on the Rensselaer campus differs from that of Capital Region counties.

Isolation and Quarantine

Rensselaer will follow CDC recommendations: Infected individuals will isolate for a full 5 days. Individuals who are asymptomatic after Day 5 may emerge from isolation as long as they wear a high quality (N95 or KN95) mask indoors. Individuals who remain symptomatic may emerge from isolation after Day 10 if their symptoms have improved, and they have had no fever for 24 hours, or upon testing negative.

  • Students will isolate in place (dorms, apartments, Greek Life) upon confirmed infection.
  • Roommates of individuals who test positive must wear a high-quality mask anytime they are out of their room and then take an antigen test on day 5, any day they are symptomatic, and on day 10.  If they are negative on day 10, they may stop testing and wearing their mask to their activities if we are at a green or yellow level.
  • Students who have had contact with infected students but have not tested positive will no longer be required to quarantine.
  • A limited set of rooms will be available for isolation of individuals on a case-by-case basis.
  • Faculty and Staff will isolate off campus. CDC guidelines will be followed for emerging from isolation. Any faculty and/or staff member who tests positive outside of Rensselaer will be required to go into isolation off-campus and notify Lou Padula in Human Resources at (518) 276-6164 or padull@rpi.edu.

Masking Requirements

Rensselaer will link masking protocols to the CDC’s recommendations, with the same reservation of flexibility as with testing. Any individual who prefers to wear a mask, indoors or outdoors, may wear a mask even in Green and Yellow Tiers. 

  • Green/Yellow Tier (Low and Intermediate Community Transmission): No outdoor or indoor masking required.
  • Red Tier (High Community Transmission): Indoor masking required, but outdoor masking not required.

Individuals in a classroom or office setting may request that classmates or co-workers wear a mask out of concern for their personal health. We encourage members of the community to consider these requests seriously as a show of support for our colleagues. 

While at the testing site, masks are strictly required.

Travel & Events

  • Green/Yellow Tier (Low and Intermediate Community Transmission): No restriction on event attendance. Institute-sponsored travel no longer requires formal approval from your Portfolio Vice President. Institute policies as documented in the Rensselaer Travel and Entertainment Policy should be followed. 
  • Red Tier (High Community Transmission): Attendance restrictions based on the nature and size of the event and the venue will be communicated. Travel restrictions may be implemented. 


  • All visitors on campus for a full day or longer are required to prove that they are fully vaccinated or have had a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 48 hours.  
  •      Short-term visitors (i.e., UPS drivers, delivery persons, etc.) are not required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. If evidence of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is not provided, the visitor must wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask (such as a KN95) during their short visit to campus.

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