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COVID-19: Community Updates

Updated June 11, 2021

Albany Law School's leadership team is actively monitoring developments related to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The law school is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the New York State Department of Health, the Albany County Department of Health, and New York State government, as well as its internal Pandemic Response Plan.

Fall 2021 classes will begin on August 23. 

We anticipate a return to a fully on-campus working, teaching, and learning environment. All details are still being worked out and changes will be made as state and federal guidelines evolve over the coming months. 

See below for details.

COVID-19 Dashboard

Latest Reporting Period (June 7-11)

  • Number of tests conducted at ACPHS* for Albany Law community members: 0
  • Number of positives: 0
  • Positivity rate: 0.00%

Total Since August 24 (First Day of Classes)

  • Number of tests conducted at ACPHS* for Albany Law community members: 1,733
  • Number of positives: 31
  • Positivity rate: 1.79%

*Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Fall 2021

We are excited for a fall return to the in-person campus life that is a hallmark of our tightly knit Albany Law community.  Here is what you need to know now so that you plan and prepare for the coming months.

J.D. students will be expected to attend classes in person.

J.D. students will be expected to attend classes in person in the fall in almost all cases.  Students may, of course, remotely attend classes that were designed as online classes, including semester in practice.  In addition, students with documented disabilities and those experiencing COVID-related hardships may request accommodations, including the ability to attend classes remotely.  

All decisions regarding accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis and are based on the individual student's documented disability or emergency situation. It is the policy of Albany Law School to preserve, to the extent possible, the privacy of all persons seeking or receiving an accommodation or adjustment because of a disability or COVID-related hardship.

Students seeking disability-based accommodations should complete the Accommodations Request Form on the law school portal and submit it to Katie Palmieri in the Office of Academic Affairs (kpalm@albanylaw.edu).

Students seeking accommodations for COVID-related hardships should send requests for accommodations to Katie Palmieri in the Office of Academic Affairs (kpalm@albanylaw.edu).  The request should detail the nature and duration of the hardship necessitating the accommodation, as well as the specific accommodation requested.    

Required Vaccinations and Health Protocols

To help ensure the health and safety of all our community members as we bring hundreds of people together in our two law school buildings, all faculty, staff, and students, except those eligible for religious or medical exceptions, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus in August. For this reason, we will be adding COVID-19 to the list of already required immunizations that includes Measles, Mumps, and Rubella.  All students will have to present proof of vaccination before returning to campus.

Based on conditions as of today, when you return to campus this fall, you should expect continued masking and adherence to other safety policies, at least initially.  Protocols may change as the pandemic abates and government guidance for vaccinated individuals changes.

Medical and Religious Exemptions

Students seeking medical exemptions from vaccination requirements will need to submit the following documentation:

  • Proof of a medical condition that is a contraindication to the vaccination.
  • Date qualifying medical condition exemption ends.
  • Signature of a licensed physician, nurse practitioner or physician's assistant attesting to the condition and its contraindication to the vaccine.

To request a religious exemption, students should submit a statement affirming a sincerely held religious belief that precludes getting the COVID-19 vaccine.  The statement should briefly explain the religious principles that guide the objection to immunization.  

All requests for exemption should be submitted to Katie Palmieri in the Office of Academic Affairs (kpalm@albanylaw.edu).

Albany Law School will provide reasonable accommodations to students with approved medical or religious exemptions provided they do not create an undue hardship for the School and do not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others on campus.  Students with approved medical or religious exemptions to immunization requirements may be required to submit weekly negative COVID tests and to wear masks at all times on campus.

Student Wellness

We are here for each other. Albany Law School encourages students who are experiencing heightened anxiety or worry about COVID-19 to schedule an appointment with wellness counselor Dr. Peter Cornish.

More resources are available at Albany Law School's Wellness Blog.

Zoom Backgrounds

Show your Albany Law spirit during remote classes or meetings.

Ask a Question 

If you have a question that is not addressed in the FAQs below, you can submit it here.

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FAQs

  1. Q: Is Albany Law School returning to fully in-person instruction and student life?
    A: We anticipate a return to a fully on-campus working, teaching, and learning environment. All details are still being worked out and changes will be made as state and federal guidelines evolve over the coming months.
     
  2. Q: Will Albany Law School require vaccination for COVID-19?
    A: To help ensure the health and safety of all our community members as we bring hundreds of people together in our two law school buildings, all faculty, staff, and students, except those eligible for religious or medical exceptions, must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before returning to campus in August. We will be adding COVID-19 to the list of already required immunizations for students that includes Measles, Mumps, and Rubella.  All faculty, staff, and students will have to present proof of vaccination before returning to campus in August.

    Students, faculty, and staff with approved medical or religious exemptions to immunization requirements may be required to submit weekly negative COVID tests. 
     
  3. Q: Can I get an exemption to the vaccination requirement?
    A: Students seeking medical exemptions from vaccination requirements will need to submit the following documentation to Katie Palmieri in the Office of Academic Affairs (kpalm@albanylaw.edu): 
    • Proof of a medical condition that is a contraindication to the vaccination.
    • Date qualifying medical condition exemption ends.
    • Signature of a licensed physician, nurse practitioner, or physician's assistant attesting to the condition and its contraindication to the vaccine.

      To request a religious exemption, students should submit a statement affirming a sincerely held religious belief that precludes getting the COVID-19 vaccine Katie Palmieri in the Office of Academic Affairs (kpalm@albanylaw.edu).  The statement should briefly explain the religious principles that guide the objection to immunization.

      Albany Law School will provide reasonable accommodations to students with approved medical or religious exemptions provided they do not create an undue hardship for the School and do not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others on campus.  Students with approved medical or religious exemptions to immunization requirements may be required to submit weekly negative COVID tests and to wear masks at all times on campus.
       
  4. Q: I had COVID-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?
    A: Yes. The CDC recommends that those who have recovered from COVID-19 get vaccinated because it is unclear how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovery. For this reason, Albany Law is requiring vaccinations for those that have recovered from COVID-19.
     
  5. Q: Can I choose to take classes remotely?
    A: J.D. students will be expected to attend classes in person in the fall in almost all cases.  

    Students may, of course, remotely attend classes that were designed as online classes, including semester in practice.  In addition, students with documented disabilities and those experiencing COVID-related hardships may request accommodations, including the ability to attend classes remotely.   

    All decisions regarding accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis and are based on the individual student's documented disability or emergency situation. It is the policy of Albany Law School to preserve, to the extent possible, the privacy of all persons seeking or receiving an accommodation or adjustment because of a disability or COVID-related hardship. 


    Students seeking disability-based accommodations should complete the Accommodations Request Form on the law school portal and submit it to Katie Palmieri in the Office of Academic Affairs (kpalm@albanylaw.edu).  
    Students seeking accommodations for COVID-related hardships should send requests for accommodations to Katie Palmieri in the Office of Academic Affairs (kpalm@albanylaw.edu).  The request should detail the nature and duration of the hardship necessitating the accommodation, as well as the specific accommodation requested.    

     
  6. Q: Will masks and social distancing still be required in the fall?
    A: Based on conditions as of today, when you return to campus this fall, you should expect continued masking and adherence to other safety policies, at least initially.  Protocols may change as the pandemic abates and government guidance for vaccinated individuals changes
     
  7. Q: Will guests be allowed on campus in the fall?
    A:  The Law School is currently allowing invited guests onto campus for educational purposes and admissions tours.   Guests are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.  As we get closer to the fall semester, the Public Health and Safety Committee will reassess this policy.
     
  8. Q: Will there be daily health screening questions?
    A: At this point, we anticipate that daily health screenings will continue, but this could change depending on public health guidance.
     

CARES Act: Emergency Financial Aid Disclosures

  1. Albany Law School signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  2. Albany Law school has received $58,887 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of June 30, 2021 is $ 77,813.
  4. The estimated total number of students at Albany Law School eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 460.
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of June 30, 2021 is 60.
  6. The method used by Albany law school to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is through an online application located at: https://albanylaw.edu/emergencyfundapp. Applications are reviewed weekly by a committee.
  7. The above link has been e-mailed weekly to students by the Student Affairs Office in their regular weekly update communication. Students are asked to provide documentation, as best they can.  Direction is given that the funds do not cover lost income, so they must request and document expenses instead. 

Reporting