COVID-19 Recommendations 

Help protect the RPI community by following these steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If you are sick or experience symptoms, contact your physician or the Student Health Center and follow these recommendations:

  • Wash hands frequently, especially before and after eating or touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth when sneezing/coughing with a tissue or with the inside of your elbow if no tissues are available.
  • Avoid close contact with others (being within six feet  for 15 minutes or more) if you are symptomatic or ill (individuals should stay home if ill).
  • If you must be in close contact with others while ill, wear a well-fitting face mask (KN-95 preferred).
  • Don’t share utensils or drinking cups.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 and flu vaccines (see
  • Consider consistently wearing a mask when around others if you are at high risk for complications of COVID-19.
  • Have several COVID-19 rapid tests on hand so that you can test if you start experiencing symptoms.
  • Have N-95 or KN-95 masks with you on campus in case you test positive. Also have several surgical masks available if you anticipate you may feel uncomfortable in large group settings due to disease risk.
  • All supplies (rapid tests and masks) are available at local pharmacies, most grocery stores, and online retailers.

  • If you feel ill, consider testing with your own COVID-19 rapid test at home (dorm/off campus apartment).
  • PCR testing (best for early detection) is available at local walk-in urgent care clinics.
  • Students who are experiencing symptoms and are unable to test at home or via PCR should schedule testing at RPI Student Health Services via the student health portal or phone call (518-276-6287).
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, isolate at home for at least five days.
  • On day six, if your symptoms are improving and you are fever-free for 24 hours without medication, return to activities but continue to wear a high-quality mask for five more days. On day 11, you can discontinue masking.
  • If you are at high risk for complications of COVID-19, please contact Student Health Services or your own physician.
  • If you test positive for flu, stay home for at least five days or until you are fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms are improving.
  • If you test negative for COVID-19 but remain symptomatic, consider testing again in 48 hours using your at-home rapid COVID test. 
  • All resident students should discuss a plan with their roommates in case isolating in place is necessary. This may include both roommates masking at all times when in the room together, moving beds so that heads are as far apart as possible, utilizing the library and other out-of-dorm locations for study, opening windows as long as the weather allows, or going elsewhere for the duration of your roommate’s isolation period.
  • Notify each of your professors that you need to isolate for at least five days and ask for access to any missed work or a plan to take a quiz/exam at a later date.
  • Students who are isolating in place should ask friends and roommates to pick up to-go meals for them at one of our dining services halls. If you do not have someone who can pick up your meals for you, you can wear an N-95 mask and go to your dining hall, get your meal in a to-go box or to-go tray, and take it back to your room with you before you take off your mask and eat.
  • Notify any close contacts of your positive result. Close contacts should wear a high-quality facemask for 10 days after their contact with the infected person. If at any point the close contact develops symptoms, they can test with one of their own test kits or schedule an appointment for testing at the Student Health Center. Close contacts without symptoms can test via PCR on day five at one of the local walk-in urgent care clinics.
  • If faculty, staff, or their child or dependent test positive for COVID-19, they must complete and submit the New York State Department of Health self-attestation form to Louis Padula, Acting Vice President of Human Resources, at for additional guidance.

  • The Student Health Center is located in Academy Hall Suite 3200 and is available M-F 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • We can help students with symptom management or worsening COVID-19 or flu symptoms. 
  • When to seek care: Most people who have been vaccinated and/or boosted will not need any professional medical care when they are infected with COVID-19 or flu. However, if you have any of the following symptoms, please seek care at Student Health Services or with your personal physician:

    • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
    • Confusion
    • Pain or pressure in your chest or abdomen (stomach)
    • Persistent vomiting (more than 24 hours)
    • Fever that persists longer than 36 hours or does not respond with the use of ibuprofen or Tylenol. 

    If you have any of these symptoms, call the Student Health Center at (518) 276-6287 to make an appointment.

  • If someone needs care after-hours they can go to one of the local walk-in urgent care clinics, or if symptoms seem life-threatening, then to an emergency room (ER).
  • Mental health services are available for students who needs extra support at Rensselaer’s Counseling Services at (518) 276-6479. Employees may seek assistance from Rensselaer’s EAP program.

  • Anyone who is high risk or feels uncomfortable may choose to wear a mask at any time. Our community should continue to be supportive of those who need to mask.
  • Faculty may choose to require masks in their classrooms or instructional spaces. Please respect the masking preferences of others and treat all with empathy and compassion. 
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