By: Emma Moynihan and Lauren Johnson | September 1, 2021
Many questions have risen as students and staff returned to campus as to what they can to do on campus if they are or are not vaccinated.
As of August 23, all UAlbany students are required to be vaccinated, due to the SUNY vaccination mandate following the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine. They must receive either the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by August 31.
Students who cannot get the vaccine due to certain circumstances have until August 30 to submit a request for an exemption, according to an announcement from Carol H. Kim the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Michael N. Christakis, Vice President for Student Affairs.
University communications specialist Kelsey Butz said that 90% of students are currently fully vaccinated or have received the first dose.
In order to live on campus, all students must be vaccine compliant. This means that students must submit proof of their vaccination or have been approved of an exemption through the school prior to their arrival to campus.
Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated students were required to submit a negative COVID test result five days before arriving on campus.
In the event of a positive COVID test result for a student living on campus, quarantine and isolation protocols are in place that follow the guidelines of the Albany County Department of Health. Students who are fully vaccinated are offered on-campus quarantine or isolation housing on Alumni Quad, or they can choose to go home or quarantine off-campus. If they choose to quarantine in the on-campus option, transportation will be provided to the school in order to get there and back as well as to get to any appointments.
Partially vaccinated students or those who were exempt that live on-campus must go home or purchase their own hotel room if they test positive.
Residents living on-campus are allowed two guests per person. For instance, a suite consisting of six people is allowed a maximum of 12 guests at one time. The hours for visitors are until 9p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight Friday through Saturday. These guests must be current on-campus residents and no overnight guests are allowed.
Everyone (students, staff, visitors, etc) must wear a mask while in UAlbany buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals must wear a mask outside on campus. Fully vaccinated individuals must wear a mask in settings with crowds; this includes all sports events.
Students and employees who are not fully vaccinated but are coming to campus must partake in the university’s weekly surveillance testing.
SEFCU Fitness Center will be open this semester starting on Aug. 30 and group exercise classes will be offered in person. Students must be vaccine compliant to be able to have access to both the SEFCU and quad gyms. Screenings and appointments are no longer required as they were last semester.
“They have to have submitted their COVID vaccination card to the university or have submitted their exception request and have that request approved”, says Sarah Wolanin; the Assistant Director of Member Services and Staff Development for Campus Recreation. “If they have not done those things, their card will get denied when they swipe in [to the on campus gyms].”
Club sports are also vaccine compliant. They have been cleared to begin Aug. 30, according to an email sent out by the Assistant Director for Competitive Sports Jon Louie.
The campus center is open for everyone, vaccinated or unvaccinated. However, the dining halls are only available to those who are fully or partially vaccinated and those who have been exempt. Everyone is required to wear a mask unless they are eating food.
If you are experiencing symptoms, you can schedule an appointment with Student Health Services. Testing fees will be billed to the student’s insurance.
Students who do not comply with the new guidelines will be disenrolled from the school.