Winter Recess 2021 Departure and Spring 2022 Return Testing and Residential Information

December 10, 2021

Dear Students,

The fall academic semester has gone very well. As winter recess draws near, all students are required to take the following steps before departing. In addition, we have outlined the important testing and residential information necessary for your return to campus in January.
End of Semester Closing Details
The residential facilities (residence halls and apartments) will close promptly at 12 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, December 22, 2021. All card access will be deactivated at this time. Those who do not vacate on time will be subject to a fine of $150. Each resident must also complete the form attached to your door notifying your Resident Assistant and Student Living and Learning staff of your date and time of departure. For additional details, visit the Residential Commons web page. Any student who wishes to remain on campus over the winter recess must have prior approval.
Campus Housing During Winter Recess
Students with on-campus residential assignments for the spring semester who are planning to remain on campus during winter recess must complete the Winter Recess Housing Application by 8 a.m. on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. Please note, there is a housing charge for students who wish to remain on campus for reasons other than those previously approved by the Institute (e.g., Athletics). All students approved to remain on campus in residential housing during winter recess will be required to continue weekly COVID-19 testing.
COVID 19 Instructions and Schedules
We must continue to prioritize the health and safety of the extended Rensselaer community, including the families of our students. Toward this end, we require that all students take a COVID-19 test 24-72 hours prior to leaving the Capital Region. You must schedule your required COVID-19 test online through DIAL.
COVID-19 Testing Schedule for End of Semester
December 13-16 and 20-21
9 a.m.–3:45 p.m.
COVID-19 Testing Schedule During Winter Recess

Wednesday, December 22
9 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Tuesday, December 28
9 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Monday, January 3
9 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Thursday, January 6
9 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Isolation and Quarantine
In order for all to have the opportunity to enjoy winter recess, everyone needs to continue to stay safe and follow the established health and safety protocols during the remainder of the academic semester.
Per our protocols, if you test positive for COVID-19, you will be directed on the number of days to isolate, which may be up to 10 days. For the safety of others, your information will be reported to the Rensselaer Department of Health. You must also remain in the local area, per New York State guidelines.
Through the tracking and tracing process, if it is determined that you are associated with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, per our protocol, you may need to quarantine. In this situation, you will be advised about the necessary precautions you must take.
We are here to help if you are directed to isolate or quarantine. Student Health Services and your Class Dean will check on you to ensure you are getting the support and resources needed.
Winter Recess Health and Safety Measures
While on break, please continue to do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Our success in keeping such a low number of positive cases within our community is the direct result of our collective commitment to following our health and safety measures, including:

  • Vaccinations (and boosters when eligible)
  • Social distancing practices
  • Keeping gatherings small, and avoiding crowded bars, restaurants, and large indoor gatherings
  • Diligence in wearing masks properly while indoors
  • Regular COVID-19 testing
  • Logging daily symptoms in DIAL
  • Cleaning hands regularly
  • Looking out for one another

Spring 2022 Semester Return
Classes resume on Monday, January 10, 2022
Mandatory vaccination requirements will continue to apply in the Spring 2022 semester. Visit for more information.  
Residential Housing and Dining Information
Card access will be activated when the Rensselaer residence halls reopen on Sunday, January 9, 2022, at 9 a.m. Returning students may move directly into their room at that time.
Dining halls will open with dinner service on Sunday, January 9, 2022.
Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Testing
Every student is required to receive a pre-arrival COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving on campus or as close to that timeframe as possible. Documentation of a negative laboratory result must be provided on-site during your first on-campus COVID-19 test, the week of January 10, 2022. If you test positive during your pre-arrival COVID-19 test or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to campus. Instead, contact your Class Dean to develop a plan to integrate into campus at a later date, after you have been cleared to travel. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and have proof of infection in the last two months, please provide documentation to the Student Health Center during your first on-campus COVID-19 test.
Spring Semester Return Testing Information
January 10-13, 2022
COVID-19 testing will take place Monday, January 10 through Thursday, January 13, from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Every member of the Rensselaer community will be required to test during this timeframe, or campus access will be denied.
We have developed the following schedule to ensure every student has access to testing immediately upon their return:
Monday, January 10 - First-Year Students and Sophomores
Tuesday, January 11 - Juniors and Seniors
Wednesday, January 12 - Graduate Students
If you cannot attend your assigned time slot, you must come at your earliest convenience, but no later than Wednesday, January 12.
For more information regarding COVID-19, visit
Good luck with your exams. Please stay safe and have a wonderful winter recess and holiday season. We look forward to seeing you again in January.

Travis T. Apgar,
Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

Tracy Boswell
Assistant Vice President for Student Support and Resource Centers


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