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August 6, 2020
Dear Students,

As we make the final preparations to start the fall semester this month, we are fully committed to providing you an exceptional in-person, student experience, as long as it is safe to do so. I write today to provide an important update to our plan for campus-based operations.

We have closely monitored the status of the COVID-19 virus in the United States, and throughout the world, to inform our implementation of the plan for campus-based operations. As of today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly 4,650,000 positive cases in the United States, with widespread distribution across all regions of the country. As a result, the State of New York has imposed strict quarantine requirements for persons coming into New York from most other states. This list of states continues to increase, and currently includes 34 states and one territory. As such, New York State requires a 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling from those areas upon arrival, and several proclamations from the President of the United States have established similar requirements for travelers coming from outside of the U.S.

We have developed our plan for campus-based operations after considering the available guidance from local, state, and federal agencies and existing research. After extensive consideration of the unique needs of our community we have made the decision to exceed minimum requirements, as the benefits of protecting our community members far outweigh the inconveniences and challenges of doing so.
14-Day Self-Quarantine
To ensure compliance and to reduce the risk to the Rensselaer community, all Rensselaer students who will have physical access to campus are required to self-quarantine for 14 days in their residence prior to the start of in-person instruction. This applies to all students living on and off-campus, regardless of the state or country from which the student is arriving. We believe this approach will significantly reduce the risk of the virus spreading among our community.

The period of quarantine will begin Saturday, August 22, when our residential commons opens, and will run through Tuesday, September 8, when in-person courses begin. Classes during the initial one-week period which begins Monday, August 31, will be conducted fully online, and there will be no on-campus or in-person activities during this period.

COVID-19 Testing
In addition to the quarantine, we will continue to require regular COVID-19 testing for all students who will have physical access to campus. For students residing on-campus this will begin August 22, 23, or 24. For students residing off-campus, testing will begin on August 24. Specific testing times will be communicated and scheduled individually with each student via their Rensselaer email.

Should students arrive after the start of the off-campus quarantine on August 22, they must still quarantine, and they will not be permitted on campus until they complete a 14-day quarantine and COVID-19 testing.

For information on the plan for campus-based operations, support resources, or to review other frequently asked questions, please visit our COVID-19 information page.

We look forward to having you on campus in just a few short weeks. Please stay safe and be well as you plan for the start of the semester.

Travis Apgar
Assistant Vice President for Student Life
and Dean of Students

Dean of Students
Academy Hall, 4th Floor
Suite 4600

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street | Troy, NY | 12180-3590
(518) 276-6266

Hours of Operation: M-F: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
In case of an emergency, contact Public Safety at (518) 276-6611
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