Coronavirus Update

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

I am writing to provide you with a coronavirus update. Since our last communication, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus on our campus or in New York state. The U.S. continues to restrict entry to foreign nationals who have been to China in the past two weeks, with exceptions being made for immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. People entering the United States from mainland China may be subject to quarantine or other movement restrictions. 


In light of the guidance from the federal government, Rensselaer will not sanction any travel to or from China for any reason. Please note: If you had a trip planned to China in the near future, you should cancel it as you may not be able to re-enter the U.S. This includes any planned travel you may have for the upcoming Spring Break, March 9-13. Even if you are able to re-enter the country, you may be subject to movement restrictions.


Due to U.S. policies and our travel restrictions, the following Rensselaer protocols are still in place: 



  1. All students who have returned from China within the last 14 days must inform the Rensselaer Health Center by calling (518) 276-6287 or by email

  2. All faculty and staff who have returned from China within the last 14 days must inform Human Resources by contacting Louis Padula, Director of Benefits, Retirement and HRIS, by telephone at (518) 276-6164 or by email.

  3. All faculty, staff, and students who have returned from China within the last 14 days and have symptoms, or came into contact with someone displaying symptoms, should immediately contact their primary care physician (faculty or staff), or call or make an appointment with Student Health Services (students). 

  4. All students who are currently in China should immediately contact the Rensselaer Health Center by calling (518) 276-6287 or by email. 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.

  5. All faculty and staff who are currently in China 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.

  6. There will be no university-sanctioned travel to China until further notice, including using airports in China as transit points. Since individuals on university business travel are required to use Concur, Rensselaer will flag all travel to or through China.

  7. Travel to China for personal reasons should be canceled for the reasons stated above. 

  8. Proposed visits to Rensselaer, in Troy or Hartford, from China, or from those who have traveled to or through China, should be canceled until after the outbreak has subsided. 


The Rensselaer community has been cooperative and no cases of the coronavirus have been identified on campus or anywhere in New York state. Health Services is actively monitoring the information, protocols, and recommendations being communicated by the CDC and the New York State Department of Health. These guidelines may change, and we will review and implement recommendations as we receive them. Take all recommended precautionary measures, and use your best judgment, as the situation progresses. It is important that we act responsibly, individually and collectively, in order to protect the Rensselaer community. 


Please refer to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Communications website for more details. As more information becomes available, we will keep the campus community updated.

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