Updates, Frequently Asked Questions, Guidelines and Resources for Russell Sage College regarding COVID-19

COVID-related questions? Contact us: covid@sage.edu or 518-244-3129

COVID-19 Vaccine Status

Register your vaccine status and provide proof of vaccination.

August 8, 2022

Update To COVID-19 Policy


To protect our campus community and to support our desire to continue to offer a robust on-campus experience in the fall semester, all students are required to be up to date (vaccinated and boosted) on their COVID-19 vaccinations and provide proof of a negative COVID test upon arrival to campus. To submit proof of your COVID-19 vaccination, please email troywellnesscenter@sage.edu (if you previously submitted proof of your COVID-19 vaccination and booster, you do not need to submit proof again this year).


Please see below for testing information specific to residential and commuter students.


RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

New students arrive on the day prior to the start of our orientation to allow them time to unpack and become familiar with their new living arrangements. This year, our new first-year and transfer students will move in on the afternoon of August 21, 2022, 1 - 4 p.m.

Returning students will move in on Monday, August 22, 2022, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

All residential students must have provided proof of up to date vaccination status and a negative COVID test to pick up their keys and move into their room. Students who test positive for COVID should plan to isolate at home and come to campus once their isolation is complete.

If you test at home (strongly recommended):


  • You must arrive on campus with a picture of your negative test taken the same day as arrival in order to pick up your keys and move into your room.


If test upon arrival:


  • All first-year and transfer student testing will occur on Sunday, August 21 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the Albany Campus (including University Heights) and the Troy Campus.

  • All returning student testing will occur on Monday, August 22 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on the Albany Campus (including University Heights) and the Troy Campus.

  • A negative COVID test will allow you to pick up your keys.



Please plan your arrival accordingly. If you arrive after 4 p.m., you may not be able to get your keys. More detailed key pickup information will be provided in a future email from The Office of Residence Life.


COMMUTER STUDENTS

Classes begin for all students on Tuesday, August 23.


Commuter Students should test for COVID-19 prior to attending their first class. Students can pick up free rapid COVID-19 tests at the Wellness Center on the Troy or Albany Campus during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.).


If you have any questions please contact covid@sage.edu.



March 3, 2022

Update To Campus Mask Policies

Both New York State and the CDC have dropped the indoor mask mandate in businesses, colleges, and schools. Based on their guidance and our monitoring of cases — and the fact that we are a vaccinated and boosted campus — Russell Sage College will be moving to optional masking for vaccinated persons starting five days after the return from Spring Break, March 18. That will allow us to ensure there is no spike in campus cases following spring break travels.

Masking will still be required in Wellness Centers and Athletic Training Rooms.

Some faculty may request that students in their particular class wear masks, and we hope that students will choose to honor those requests.

Persons who have exemptions from vaccination are still required to be masked. And please remember that optional masking means that some vaccinated persons will choose to be masked for their own safety considerations. I am confident that people will respect that choice.

We will continue to monitor area cases and hospitalizations against CDC standards and track cases on campus. If those metrics suggest a need to return to masking we will do so.

February 10, 2022

Update To Campus Mask Policies

Russell Sage College will be relaxing the mask mandate somewhat by returning to the flexibility we had prior to the Omicron wave, which allowed vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) individuals in offices and other small work environments on campus to choose to be unmasked if they wish.

The indoor mask mandate will continue for all persons in classrooms, auditorium-style public events, spectators at indoor athletic events, and all persons in wellness centers, training rooms, shuttles and vans. Masks are now optional for vaccinated and boosted employees and students in all other spaces.

Over the next few weeks, we will monitor cases in the state, region, and on campus, as well as considering the advice of the CDC, New York State, and the American College Health Association. When it becomes prudent to relax our masking requirements further, we will do so.

January 13, 2022

Spring Semester 2022 Opening Update For Students

Classes will begin as scheduled on January 18, 2022, but due to an unexpected shortage of COVID tests, the first week of classes will be fully remote from January 18-21. The positive part of this shift is that people testing positive next week will have time to isolate and cause less disruption to our on-campus community during our remote first week. Classes will resume in person on Monday, January 24, 2022. Please note that some clinicals and clinical preparation classes will be held as scheduled during the week of January 18-21. Students will be notified by their programs if this is the case.

Residence halls and dining halls will open as scheduled. Residential students can move in January 16 or 17 as long as they can comply with the booster and testing mandates. If you prefer to take remote instruction from home, you can return the following weekend: again, with booster and vaccine mandates met.

*** On campus isolation spaces are limited. Students who test positive at our on-campus testing clinics may have to return home to isolate.

If you made a testing appointment at one of our on campus clinics, you can still come and test as scheduled. Anyone who has access to a home test or who can get tested at a testing site in the community is encouraged to do so. Please submit those results here.

We hope that having more time for everyone to comply with safety mandates will allow us to operate in person for the rest of the semester.

On Campus Testing:

Albany Armory Gym 1/16/2022 12pm-5pm

Troy Robison Gym 1/17/2022 12pm-5pm

Albany KCC 224 1/18/2022 7:30am-5:30pm

Troy Wellness Center Fishbowl 1/18/2022 7:30am-5:30pm

Albany KCC 224 1/20/2022 7:30am-5:30pm

Troy Wellness Center Fishbowl 1/20/2022 7:30am-5:30pm

Submit a test taken off campus here :off campus test submission

On Campus Booster Vaccine Clinic

COVID-19 BOOSTER OR FLU VACCINE SIGN-UP- TROY ROBISON-1-19-22

January 13, 2022

Spring Semester 2022 Opening Update For Faculty and Staff

Due to an unexpected shortage of COVID tests, the first week of classes will be fully remote from January 18-21. Our top priority remains for a healthy and safe return to on-campus learning. Note that this is only for faculty and students, as we have already tested other employees and some faculty. Offices will remain open on campus next week. Please note that some clinicals and clinical preparation classes will be held as scheduled during the week of January 18-21. Students will be notified by their programs if this is the case.

The positive part of this shift is that people testing positive next week will have time to isolate and cause less disruption to our on-campus community during our remote first week. Residential students are still moving in this weekend on schedule as we have enough tests for them. We plan to resume on-campus classes on Monday, January 24.

For the faculty and staff who need a testing appointment prior to resuming work on campus, please see the information below for obtaining a rapid test. Our current inventory of tests is limited. If you have an ability to seek a test at an off-campus testing location or via an at-home test, you are encouraged to use those options. Testing prior to using your office or teaching in the classroom is required.

A couple of things to note regarding the testing requirement:

  • If you work in an entirely remote capacity, a test is not required.

  • If you have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the last 90 days, you will not be required to test before returning to campus.

    • If that is the case and you have not already informed the Human Resources office, please contact Laura D'Agostino, dagosl1@sage.edu to provide the date of your positive test and any status update.

The results of a home test or test from an off-campus testing location taken within 72 hours of the date you will be returning to campus will be accepted to fulfill this requirement. You do not need to submit your test result if you are tested on campus. But if you get tested at home or elsewhere, please submit the result here.


*If you test positive, please contact Laura D’Agostino at dagosl1@sage.edu to receive information about the required isolation period and the date you may return to campus. Effective 1/7/22 RSC has adopted the reduced timeframe for isolation consistent with the CDC guidance and updates from the Albany and Rensselaer county departments of health.


On-campus testing options:

Tuesday, 1/18/22

Location: Albany campus, KCC 224

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


Tuesday, 1/18/22

Location: Troy campus, Wellness Center Fishbowl

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


Thursday, 1/20/22

Location: Albany campus, KCC 224

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


Thursday, 1/20/22

Location: Troy campus, Wellness Center Fishbowl

7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.


On Campus Booster Vaccine Clinic

COVID-19 BOOSTER OR FLU VACCINE SIGN-UP- TROY ROBISON-1-19-22

January 5, 2022

Spring Semester 2022 Updates For Students

Booster Shots

Residential Students: Must show proof of vaccination booster prior to return to on-campus housing or within 30 days of becoming eligible for a booster.*

Commuter students and Russell Sage employees: Must show proof of a vaccination booster by January 30 or within 30 days of becoming eligible for a booster.*

Students who study wholly online and do not visit campus are not required to be vaccinated.

Please upload your updated vaccination card the same way you uploaded your initial vaccination by accessing. https://www.sage.edu/student-life/wellness-center/immunization-forms/

Russell Sage College will be holding a booster clinic on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 from 9 am - 12 pm in Robison Gym on the Troy campus. You can sign up here: booster vaccine clinic

To find a COVID vaccine site in New York visit https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/. If you are an out-of-state student you can search for a similar link in your state.

On Campus Booster Vaccine Clinic

COVID-19 BOOSTER OR FLU VACCINE SIGN-UP- TROY ROBISON-1-19-22

January 5, 2022

Spring Semester 2022 Updates For Faculty & Staff

Russell Sage College requires a negative COVID test from all employees prior to returning for the Spring semester. We will also return to masking at all times on campus through Jan. 31, unless you are alone in a private office. If you have been tested off campus within 72 hours of your return to work, please upload your test result here.

Faculty who wish to work on campus prior to the start of classes should be tested before their return. Faculty who do not have a need to be on campus before the start of the semester should plan to test with residential students on Jan 16-18 (Sunday through Tuesday) in the Armory. Sign-up links for these days will be distributed. Please test before teaching or visiting your office.

We are following the guidance of the CDC and the State of New York, and that includes our intent to operate in person with our COVID safety protocols in place. A key part of those protocols is the requirement that all eligible students and employees get the booster COVID vaccination and upload documentation to the COVID-19 Vaccination / Booster Submission Form.

Get the booster shot as soon as you can. It offers additional protection very rapidly, and you should not wait until our January 30 deadline to get boosted. Having the booster not only provides greater protection against serious illness, it also reduces quarantine requirements for individuals exposed to a positive case.

We will have a booster clinic on campus on January 19 from 9-12, and an appointment sign-up link will be circulated. However, booster shots are available at local pharmacies, county pop-up clinics and vans and the state site at Crossgates Mall.

Operating during the surge will require cooperation and vigilance. The following protocols will help us maintain our operations and protect our community:

  • Boosters mandated for all students and employees.

  • Negative tests required before return to campus this January.

  • Contact tracing for all positive cases with isolation and quarantine as appropriate.

  • Return of full indoor masking through January 31.

  • Continued enhanced cleaning and hygiene.

With regard to indoor masking, we had relaxed requirements somewhat for groups of vaccinated Sage community individuals, but as cases have climbed, we need to return to masking whenever you are indoors, unless you are working alone in a private office space. Like the State of New York, we are extending full indoor masking to January 30 and will evaluate conditions at that time.

The COVID Response Team is carefully monitoring regional conditions and cases among the Sage community, as well as following the guidelines of the CDC, the State of New York, our county health departments, and the CICU. We know we are dealing with greater prevalence of cases and higher transmission. There is significant evidence that most cases are milder than in the previous surges and that the steep surge will likely be followed by a steep decline in cases. I encourage all of you to follow the public health regulations, be cautious, and be especially kind to one another and our students.

December 15, 2021

Boosters Required for Members of the Sage Community

In response to the current surge and spread of a new variant and in accordance with CDC recommendations, Russell Sage College will be requiring all students and employees to have a vaccine booster shot for spring semester.

  • Residential Students: Must show proof of vaccination booster prior to return to on-campus housing or within thirty days of becoming eligible for a booster. *

  • Commuter students and Russell Sage employees: Must show proof of a vaccination booster by January 30 or within thirty days of becoming eligible for a booster. *

  • Students who study wholly online and do not visit campus are not required to be vaccinated.

Please upload your updated vaccination card the same way you updated your initial vaccination.

The evidence is clear that the booster shot significantly increases immune response and decreases chances of infection and serious illness. The CDC advises: “Booster shots have demonstrated the ability to safely increase people’s protection against infection and severe outcomes and are an important public health tool to strengthen our defenses against the virus as we enter the winter holidays.” Just as a vaccinated campus allowed us to have a safe fall semester and close-to-normal operations, a campus with a vaccine boosted community should allow us the best chance to continue full operations and have a safe workplace.


August 17, 2021


Vaccines and Masks Required as In-Person Academic Year Begins at Russell Sage College

98% of students and 99% of faculty and staff are in compliance with Sage’s vaccination policy.

TROY, N.Y. — Russell Sage College students will begin moving into campus housing on Aug. 22, with a campus-wide vaccine policy being enforced and a temporary requirement for all students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear masks indoors during the region’s heightened COVID-19 infection rate.

Additionally, all resident students will be required to complete a COVID-19 rapid test on site before receiving room keys.

Sage was one of the first schools in the area to require students and employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fall semester. Currently, 98% of students and 99% of faculty and staff are in compliance with Sage’s vaccination policy.

“We went out on a limb by mandating the vaccine for students when only 300 colleges had done so,” said Sage President Christopher Ames. “Now there are over 700 such colleges and increasing calls for employer mandates. As a college, we train the healthcare workers and scientists of the next generation and advocate science-based policies that protect community health and support a full return to in-person campus operations.”

Classes at Sage begin Aug. 26. All classes will take place in-person, unless they are part of a designated online program.

During the 2020 academic year, Sage's COVID infection rate was very low, with no significant outbreaks. Campus housing remained open, with students in residence and the college did not have to suspend in-person instruction.

The college’s COVID-19 Response Team will continue to monitor conditions and adjust campus policies accordingly.

RSC COVID-19 Vaccine Policy 2021-2022

Overview

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission among our community, Russell Sage College (RSC) is requiring all students and employees to be fully vaccinated with an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester, unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption.

Ensuring widespread vaccination on our campuses is the best way to protect everyone’s health and to be able to resume normal collegiate activities without masking and distancing: classrooms with normal capacity, cultural and social events, residence life, athletics and recreation, in-person meetings, etc

Must Prove Fully Vaccinated with Authorized COVID-19 Vaccine

All non-exempt students and employees must provide documentation that they are fully vaccinated with an authorized COVID-19 vaccine prior to coming onto campus for the Fall 2021 semester for any reason, including but not limited to moving into a residence hall, attending classes, employment, participating in RSC related activities, and/or entering any campus building. An authorized COVID-19 vaccine is an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

Students and employees are considered fully vaccinated:

    • Two weeks after second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or

    • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Documentation that proves students and employees are fully vaccinated must be uploaded by August 1, 2021.

This policy is subject to change to remain consistent with relevant state and federal guidance. All changes will be promptly communicated to the RSC community.

Medical and Religious Exemptions

To be exempt from this COVID-19 vaccine policy, students and employees must submit a written request for a medical or religious exemption, which must be approved by RSC. The Director of the Wellness Center will coordinate the medical and religious exemption review and approval process for students and the Director of Human Resources will coordinate the exemption process for employees.

To request a medical exemption, students and employees must submit a written statement from a medical doctor or nurse practitioner:

  • certifying that immunization may be detrimental to the student’s or employee’s health or is otherwise medically contraindicated; and

  • including the date the qualifying medical condition exemption ends if the contraindication is temporary.

To request a religious exemption, students and employees must submit a written statement demonstrating that the student or employee holds a genuine and sincere religious belief which is contrary to immunization. RSC reserves the right to request supporting documentation.

The written request for either a medical exemption or religious exemption must be dated within one calendar year of the date when it is received by RSC, and must be addressed specifically to RSC.

Personal opposition to vaccination is not valid grounds for an exemption.

Accommodations for Those with Approved Medical and Religious Exemptions

RSC shall provide reasonable accommodations to students and employees with approved medical or religious exemptions provided they do not create an undue hardship for the College and/or do not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others on campus. As discussed below, remote work or learning opportunities will not necessarily be available as an accommodation.

Additional Health and Safety Precautions for Approved Exemptions

Students and employees who receive an approved medical or religious exemption may participate fully in campus activities (i.e., classes, events, athletics, residence life), but must abide by the following additional health and safety precautions:

    • submit a negative COVID-19 test result before arrival to campus for Fall 2021 semester;

    • participate in surveillance testing throughout the semester;

    • complete the daily health screener;

    • wear masks both indoors and outdoors;

    • quarantine if they test positive or become exposed to COVID-19; and

    • leave campus in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, as defined by local Department of Health.

Additional Considerations for Students and Employees with Approved Exemptions

Students and employees with an approved medical or religious exemption need to be aware that:

  • Our intent is to return to full in-person mode, without routinely scheduled online options, for classes normally taught in person.

  • Many courses and degree requirements CANNOT be fulfilled via remote learning options. Examples of these include, but are not limited to, experiential rotations and laboratory coursework.

  • inability to take these classes in-person might result in a graduation delay.

  • Depending on employment responsibilities, the ability to work remotely may not be applicable.

  • RSC reserves the right to deny remote work or learning as an accommodation, if other accommodations are available and effective.

Denied Exemptions and Refusal to Comply

Students and employees whose requests for medical or religious exemptions were denied, or who refuse to comply with this COVID-19 policy may be subject to disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Conduct (for students), or any applicable union contract, individual employment contract, or the Employee Handbook (for employees).

Additional Resources

For additional information and resources, please refer to our COVID Vaccination FAQ page.

COVID-19 Dashboard

All numbers are total cases in a 5-day look back.

Case number reporting will resume in late August 2022 when the fall semester begins.

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On-Campus Students

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Off-Campus Students

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Employees

RSC-Spring-2021-Reopening-Plan.pdf