Health and Safety Protocol

Fall 2021 Semester

You will receive clearance in DIAL. Until you receive clearance, do not attend any in-person classes, beginning Monday, August 30; work on campus; enter campus buildings; or participate in any events.

During quarantine or isolation, we recommend that you participate in a local grocery delivery service and stock your food and medication supply with everything you will need. We also suggest that any meals you order are through contactless delivery services.

Pre-Arrival Checklist:
The deadline to complete items 1-4 is Friday, August 20.

  1. COVID-19 Testing Consent Form
    Review and sign the document via the Student Health Center.
  2. Health and Safety Agreement
    Review and sign the document via the Student Health Center.
  3. Online Health and Safety Protocol Training Module
    Click to access the online training module in Percipio.
  4. Personal Contact Update
    Update your personal contact information in SIS.
  5. DIAL (Daily Interactions and Activities Log) App
    Log your information into DIAL beginning the day you arrive on campus.

The enhanced requirements for the limited number of unvaccinated students who have been granted an exemption include the following, but additional requirements may be imposed as the status of the epidemic changes or Rensselaer experiences a significant increase in infection rates:

Unvaccinated students will:
1. Be required to submit to on-campus COVID-19 testing twice per week.
2. Not be able to participate in organized athletics (both NCAA as well as club/intramural) or student organizations which participate in similar travel and interactions, such as conferences or competitions.
3. Continue to wear a mask in class and all other indoor facilities. This is currently a requirement of all students. Bandanas and gators are not permitted.
4. Wear a mask at outdoor events and gatherings where more than [30] persons are in attendance.
5. Not be able to attend any campus events (indoor or outdoor), other than classes, where more than 100 persons in attendance.
6. Follow special dining hours, if so imposed, to limit clusters of unvaccinated students.

Spring 2021 Semester

Consistent with federal and New York State public health guidelines, the semester will begin with a two-week in-place quarantine for all students, with online instruction beginning on Jan. 25, 2021. In-person instructional activities will begin on Feb. 8, 2021.

All elements of the Testing, Tracing, Tracking, Surveillance, and Quarantine/Isolation (T3SQ/I) program, and our on-campus health and safety protocols, will continue to be implemented in the spring semester.

All students must follow these on-campus safety protocols at all times:

  • Wear a face mask at all times when you are outside of your personal living space and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes to stop the spread of germs.
  • Be sure to maintain at least a six-foot distance between you and others at all times.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • When it is safe to gather in groups, do not gather in groups over 10.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
  • If you feel sick, stay home. Contact your doctor or the Student Health Center if you think you have COVID-19.
  • Follow any additional communicated safety requirements, which may change or be added by Rensselaer.

Yes. We expect every student to follow the health and safety policies and procedures Rensselaer has put into place. In alignment with the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, it is the responsibility of each Rensselaer student to understand and comply with the rules and regulations set forth in the Handbook, and requirements set forth in other Institute policies. Failure to comply with any Rensselaer policy may lead to judicial action.

No. At this time, no visitors, including families, are allowed on campus. Additionally, non-residential students are prohibited from entering any residence hall.

If you are a residential student, please contact Student Living and Learning at (518) 276-6284 to develop a plan to integrate you into campus at a later date, once you are cleared to travel. If you are an off-campus student, please contact your class dean.

Rensselaer students with campus access must complete the following:

Logging your interactions, activities, and symptoms begins the day you take your pre-arrival COVID-19 test. To help guide you through this process, please review the DIAL User Guide or watch the video tutorial.

Students cannot pick up mail at the Student Mail Center or receive deliveries during quarantine.  Mail can be picked up at the Student Mail Center during move-in and then again beginning Feb. 8. Emergency medications and other exceptions are handled on a case-by-case basis through Student Mail Services.

No. Those who have opted for remote learning for the spring 2021 semester do not have access to campus or campus facilities. Only students that are Institute-approved and in compliance with all health and safety policies and protocols are allowed to access campus and campus facilities. 

Fall 2020 Semester

The DIAL web app is an important part of how Rensselaer can help stop the spread of COVID-19 through a process called contact tracing. Contact tracing is a process designed to locate people who may have been exposed to illness and provide guidance that should prevent them from spreading it.

How to log daily health symptoms:

  • Click health status
  • The daily health check pop-up will appear and you will click the box next to any new symptoms you have experienced in the past 24 hours that are not attributable to another non-COVID-19 condition
  • Submit

How to log daily interactions and activities:

  • Enter the time, name, location, and duration of the activity/interaction
  • Use the comments box to add any relevant details
  • Select your mask status
  • Enter the names of individuals who you interacted with for five minutes or more, who were less than six feet apart
  • Select their mask status
  • You can save your daily activity/interaction if it is a recurring event

Watch a video tutorial.

The information you provide will only be used for contact tracing and will not be retained for more than 28 days. 

Yes, students living within 25 miles of campus must submit their information daily via the Dial app. The information you provide will only be used for contact tracing.

In order to be granted access to campus facilities, you must complete the following items:

  1. Attend recurring bi-weekly COVID-19 testing
  2. Sign the COVID-19 Testing Consent Form
  3. Sign the Community Health and Safety Agreement
  4. Complete the online Health and Safety Training Module
  5. Update your personal contact information in SIS
  6. Complete your Daily Health Check and Daily Interactions and Activities Log

To view your status, click here to check your compliance for return-to-campus. 

Once you have completed all requirements above, our system takes 24 hours to generate a compliance letter. You will not be granted physical access to campus (except for your residence hall and dining hall if you are a residential student) without receiving a confirmatory compliance email. Do not visit any campus venue or attend any in-person classes unless you have received written authorization stating that you are approved to return.

You must log into the Daily Interactions and Activities Log (DIAL) app and complete your daily health check and log your daily interactions and activities.

If you are an undergraduate student, you are required to attend recurring bi-weekly COVID-19 testing.

We discourage students from traveling and would like them to stay on campus throughout the fall semester, but it is not prohibited. We understand that there may be extenuating circumstances that arise where students may have to travel. Contact the Student Health Center to establish a plan to be reincorporated into the return-to-campus protocol.

No visitors are allowed on campus. Students are discouraged to leave campus, although it is not prohibited. Food delivery services are an exception, as it is an essential service.

There are multiple ways to report concerns. Reports to Public Safety can be made through the Everbridge Safety app or by calling (518) 276-6611. Anonymous reports can be made by using the Silent Watch form on the Department of Public Safety website or by dialing (518) 276-8477. Reports can also be submitted through the Dean of Students website by clicking “Report a Concern.”

In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to help ensure the safety and well-being of our campus community, visitors will not be permitted on campus for the fall 2020 semester.


Return-to-Campus 2020

The Institute considered a number of options to reduce density in an effort to keep our community safe. This decision was made to help ensure that sophomores have a seamless transition for two semesters in 2021, spring and summer, when they will participate in The Arch. At that point, the Class of 2023 will have a choice to go away during either the fall or spring semester.

Failure to fully comply with the Rensselaer health and safety standards could result in a student’s immediate removal from campus and transition to remote learning, or possible judicial consequences, including suspension or expulsion.

These situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the Student Health Center and Rensselaer County Department of Health.

If a student lives locally with their family, Rensselaer asks that they follow the quarantine guidelines provided to all off-campus students who will access campus in the fall. Students are encouraged to stay home and, to the extent possible, practice social distancing from household members who go out frequently. It is expected that all students will maintain their testing appointments, traveling straight to the testing location and straight home following the appointment. 

No. Students are allowed out of quarantine to make physicians appointments and to get COVID tests. However, we encourage you to explore the opportunity to utilize telehealth.


Anyone coming to campus for any period of time must work with the appropriate office to receive approval. Students should work with their department and the Student Health Center in advance of their arrival. If you have questions, contact Colleen Smith, class dean of the Graduate Experience, at (518) 276-8022.

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