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August 29, 2020
Dear Graduate Students,

As the initial COVID-19 testing comes to a close, I want to remind you of several safety tips that will help to keep our community safe.
  • Wear a face mask at all times in public spaces and avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes to stop the spread of germs.
  • Be sure to maintain 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.
  • 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.
  • When it is safe to gather in groups, do not gather in groups over 10.
PPE Requirements for Laboratory Research
  • The expected PPE (personal protective equipment) to be worn at all times in the laboratory when there is multiple occupancy, and in transit between laboratories, requires use of gloves, lab coat or gown, mask and face shields (gloves should be discarded after leaving each lab).  Outside of buildings a mask must be worn. The Institute will provide face shields and masks - secure these through your faculty advisor.  Procurement of gloves and gowns will be individual laboratories’ responsibilities.  In parallel, all other existing safety procedures must be followed. All PPE must be individualized.
DIAL (Daily Interactions and Activities Log) App
Click to access DIAL 
All Rensselaer students must submit their information daily.
The DIAL web app is an important part of how Rensselaer can help to stop the spread of COVID-19 through a process called contact tracing, which is a term many of you might have heard of by now. Contact tracing is a process designed to locate people who may have been exposed to illness and to provide guidance that should prevent them from spreading it. Please be assured that the information you provide will ONLY be used for contact tracing.

How to Log Daily Health Symptoms - Submit Daily
  • 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 condition
  • Submit
Please note that this tool does not take the place of a consultation with your health care provider.

Maintaining Daily Interactions and Activities Log - Submit Daily
  • 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

This site is an important tool in protecting you, your health, and that of others during this COVID-19 pandemic. The implementation of this tool is consistent with the ethical principles of Public Health Contact Tracing procedures that balance the rights of individual privacy and confidentiality with public health and safety. To help guide you through the process, please review the DIAL User Guide or watch the video tutorial

Future COVID-19 Testing Schedule
This applies to all graduate students who will have physical access to campus.
If you have not scheduled your initial COVID-19 testing appointment, please schedule here:

Starting the week of August 31, we will be moving to a more consistent COVID-19 testing schedule. All graduate students with physical access to campus will be tested depending on their risk stratification level. Levels include being tested two times per week, one time per week, two times per month, or one time per month. If you are unsure about your level, please contact Colleen Smith at

Testing two times per week:
Graduate students in this category include co--terminal graduate attending classes in-person, master’s students and PhD students attending classes in-person, and essential Teaching Assistants who will have in-person duties and responsibilities. These graduate students will need to select a pair of days that work with their schedule. They include:

  • Monday (9am – 4:45pm) and Thursday (9am – 4:45 pm) or
  • Tuesday (9am – 4:45pm)  and Friday  (9am – 2:45 pm)

Testing one time per week:
Graduate students in this category include master’s and PhD students who have either essential or intermittent work status as either an Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant AND are attending all of their classes in-person. These graduate students should select Wednesdays between 11am - 4:45pm for their weekly testing appointment.   

Testing two times per month:
Graduate students in this category include master’s and PhD students who have either essential or intermittent work status and limited interaction with others while on-campus and off-campus. These graduate students should select every other Wednesday between 11am - 4:45pm for their bi-weekly testing appointment. 

Testing one time per month:
Graduate students in this category include master’s and PhD students who have intermittent work status and intend to have limited need to access physical campus. These graduate students should select one Wednesday between 11am - 4:45pm each month for their monthly testing appointment. 

Graduate students should schedule tests for the week of August 31. You will receive reminders about future appointments throughout the fall semester, which will take place on the same day and time that you selected for the first week of testing. Click to schedule your tests.

We believe this approach will significantly reduce the risk of the virus spreading among our community and we appreciate everyone doing their part to keep the Rensselaer community safe. I look forward to connecting with you virtually until it is safe to see you in person. Please stay connected through our virtual events and feel free to reach out to me personally on Instagram or Twitter.  And remember, #LetsStaySafeRPI!

Dr. Peter Konwerski
Vice President for Student Life

Student Life
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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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(518) 276-6201

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