Health and Safety Protocol

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.”

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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