Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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COVID-19 Trigger Level One Protocol

From the President's Desk

To: The Rensselaer Community
Re: COVID-19 Trigger Level One Protocol

I am writing to inform you that we now have had more than 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases (faculty, staff, or students), within a rolling two-week period, among those with campus access. This has resulted in our need to implement Trigger Level One protocols, as defined in our Pandemic Protocols.  

In an effort to protect the health and safety of all members in our community, Trigger Level One protocols will begin on Thursday, March 4 through at least Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Thus, the Institute is suspending all in-person instruction, pivoting to online instruction, and suspending access to campus facilities - except for student housing and the Alumni Sports and Recreation Center (AS&RC) for COVID-19 testing. 

All undergraduate students residing on campus will be required to quarantine in place, and those who are residing off campus are expected to do so as well. There will be no travel or visitors to the campus permitted during the quarantine. 
Beginning on Thursday, March 4, all registered and Arch students who live in the area (within a 25-mile radius of the campus) will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a twice per week basis, even if they are remote learners and currently do not have campus access. This is in addition to the continued testing of students who currently do have campus access. 

If a student misses their appointment, without a prior exemption, the student will be subject to student judicial action, up to, and including, academic suspension. Mandatory testing will continue throughout the semester.

Additional information on daily completion of DIAL, required student testing hours, and scheduling will be distributed under separate cover.

All instruction will be online during this period. Following directives from the Office of the Provost, students will hear from their respective faculty regarding specific course guidance. 

During the quarantine period, campus residential facilities will continue to operate, and meals will be delivered to the residence halls for students living in Rensselaer housing. This is not a qualifying event that will allow termination of housing or dining contracts.

Effective immediately, and until further notice, we are continuing to suspend all in-person university-sponsored events, including events sponsored by student organizations.

There will continue to be no university-sponsored travel. 

While we understand that there may be extenuating circumstances that arise, travel should only be for exigent circumstances (e.g., funerals, medical treatment).

If you are a residential student who must travel, please contact Student Living and Learning at (518) 276-6284 to establish a plan to be reincorporated into our return-to-campus protocol.

If you live off campus, and have campus access, and must travel, please contact your Class Dean to establish a plan to be reincorporated into our return-to-campus protocol.

For these reasons, we strongly encourage you not to travel:

  • You may be exposed during your travels and become infected with COVID-19.
  • If infected, you may spread the disease to your own family, and to the Rensselaer community when you return.
  • It may be necessary for you to quarantine when you return to the area, depending on your destination.

Graduate students with currently approved research plans and campus access will continue to have access to campus. All other graduate students will not have access to campus.

All faculty/staff will continue their normal duties and responsibilities as currently assigned.
Should you have any questions, please contact your immediate supervisor and/or portfolio leader.

Now, more than ever, campus safety is everyone’s responsibility, and as members of this community, let us pull together collectively and do what Rensselaer does best – collaborate, find solutions, and move forward. I know we will improve our testing numbers, and that we will emerge stronger than ever as a community. We all play a critical role in protecting the health and safety of all members within our community, and we ask for your continued collaboration during this pandemic. 

Thank you in advance for your support.