Positive COVID-19 Test Result: Protocols for Students

If you are a Rensselaer student and you test positive for COVID-19, please follow the below protocols:

1. Isolate— Isolate in your residence hall room or apartment for a full 5 days. Day 1 is the first full day after the day of your positive test. If you are asymptomatic after Day 5, you may emerge from isolation as long as you wear a high-quality (N95 or KN95) mask indoors. If you remain symptomatic, you may emerge from isolation after Day 10 if your symptoms have improved and you have not had a fever for 24 hours.

Meals: If you are living on campus, you may emerge from isolation, while wearing a high-quality (N95 or KN95) mask, go directly to the dining hall to pick up a meal to go, and immediately return to your residence hall room to eat. You may not remain in the dining hall to eat and must always wear your mask securely. If you live in an apartment, you should dine in your apartment separated from your non-infected apartment mates. If you are running short on food, please have your apartment mates purchase food for you or order food using a service such as Instacart.

2. Notify Your Professors — The Office of Student Success will be notified of your positive result, and an excused absence will automatically be processed for you for 5 days. You must also notify each of your professors that you will be required to isolate for at least 5 days and possibly as long as 10 days (if you are not asymptomatic on Day 6). You should ask each professor for access to their recorded lectures or lecture notes. You should also request that presentations or tests be rescheduled or that you be allowed to complete these remotely. If you need assistance, please contact your class dean (for information on how to contact your class dean, visit the Student Success website).

If you are still symptomatic on Day 6 and cannot return to class with a N95 or KN95 mask, please submit an excused absence request for Days 6-10 at bit.ly/rpiabsence. If you feel better before Day 11, please resume normal activities while wearing an N95 or KN95 mask until Day 11.

3. Notify Close Contacts — Please notify all of your close contacts as soon as you can to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Student Living & Learning will notify the roommate(s) of students who have tested positive. If you live in an apartment, you should notify your apartment mates.

4. Recover — For most young people who have been vaccinated and boosted, the Student Health Center will recommend ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen for fevers, aches, and/or a sore throat, and cold remedies (Dayquil, Nyquil, Mucinex , Afrin, or your preferred cold remedy) for congestion, sinus pressure, and a cough. In instances where a student is high risk or vulnerable (they have one or more major medical illnesses or are immunocompromised or unvaccinated), the Student Health Center may recommend Paxlovid (an antiviral that can lessen the severity of COVID-19 infection).

Important Contact Information:

  • In the event of an immediate health emergency, call emergency services by phone at 911 or call Public Safety at (518) 276-6611.
  • If you need urgent care for non-life-threatening symptoms, please contact the Student Health Center at (518) 276-6287 during office hours, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • After-hours Resources:
    • Nurse Hotline: (866) 315-8756
    • WellNow Urgent Care (222 9th Street, Troy): (518) 238-6005 (Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
    • Mental Health Counselor On-call Service: (518) 276-8888
    • Public Safety: (518) 276-6656
  1. Return to Activities and Classes — You do not need to retest to leave isolation. You may return to activities and classes on Day 6 after your diagnosis if you are symptom free and agree to wear a N95 or KN95 mask while out of your room. You should continue to avoid eating or socializing with non-infected individuals without wearing a mask until Day 11.
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