Coronavirus Health and Travel Update

From:
Leslie Lawrence, M.D., Executive Director for Health and Wellness

Rensselaer continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. While there have been no confirmed cases on campus, we want to reassure you that we have infectious disease protocols in place, are taking steps to minimize the spread of viruses throughout campus, and are prepared for a broad range of contingencies should the outbreak reach pandemic proportions. 


Rensselaer continues to follow the guidance of the U.S. Department of State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health, and the World Health Organization (WHO). Out of an abundance of caution, we want to share with you important information regarding Spring Break and university travel. 


Rensselaer travel restrictions have been updated as follows effective immediately:



  1. All university-affiliated travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea is suspended.

  2. The university strongly recommends that all students, staff, and faculty members avoid all personal travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea.

  3. Any member of the university community who travels to or from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea is required to self-identify prior to returning to campus and will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Students returning from these countries must contact the Student Health Center at (518) 276-6287 or by email; staff, faculty members, or visiting scholars returning from these regions must inform Human Resources by contacting Louis Padula, Director of Benefits, Retirement, and HRIS, at (518) 276-6164 or by email.


In addition to these travel restrictions, Rensselaer coronavirus protocols are still in effect:



  1. All students who are currently in China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea should immediately contact the Rensselaer Health Center by calling (518) 276-6287 or by email if you have not already done so. We will contact your Class Dean so that all of your professors and advisers will be informed that you may be unable to return until after the travel ban is lifted. We will arrange a schedule to help you make up missed work/research. 

  2. All faculty and staff who are currently in China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea should immediately inform Human Resources by contacting Louis Padula, Director of Benefits, Retirement, and HRIS, by telephone at (518) 276-6164 or by email. You should also contact the nearest American consulate as the U.S. is currently planning further evacuations of American citizens.

  3. There will be no university-sanctioned travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea until further notice, including using airports in those locations as transit points. Since individuals on university business travel are required to use Concur, Rensselaer will flag all travel to or through China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea.

  4. Travel to China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or South Korea for personal reasons should be canceled for the reasons stated above.

  5. Rensselaer does NOT recommend travel outside of North America for the coming Spring Break. 

  6. Rensselaer also does NOT recommend travel on cruise ships for Spring Break. 

  7. The university has suspended study abroad programs in China, Italy, Japan, and South Korea. This includes programs scheduled to begin later this semester. All students currently in any of those countries are to return to their home locations in the United States or respective country as soon as possible.

  8. The university is communicating directly with students in the impacted study abroad programs and is working with those students to ensure their safe return to the U.S. and to minimize disruption to their academic studies.

  9. All members of the campus community traveling abroad to countries not restricted above as part of academic programs or university business must receive approval in advance and must register their travel information with the International SOS website (enter the Rensselaer membership number 11BSGC000023 in the Member Login section).

  10. Rensselaer has a Pandemic Illness Plan that is regularly updated and would be employed if necessary. 


The coronavirus situation remains fluid, and public health advisories and health precautions can change with little notice. Anyone planning any international travel should frequently check travel advisories for their destination including layovers, and continue to do so until their return to the U.S.


Students who have questions about their return from countries affected by COVID-19 should contact the Student Health Center at (518) 276-6287 or by email; staff and faculty should inform Human Resources by contacting Louis Padula, Director of Benefits, Retirement, and HRIS, at (518) 276-6164 or by email.


Official communications from the university regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and additional information can be found at the COVID-19 Outbreak Communications website.  

Back to top