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COVID-19: Community Updates

Updated September 17, 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 began August 23. 

We are in a return to a fully on-campus working, teaching, and learning environment.

Changes will be made as state and federal guidelines evolve. 

Report of COVID-Related Student Absence Form

 

COVID-19 Dashboard

Reporting Period (September 11-17, 2021)

  • Number of tests reported for Albany Law community members: 63
  • Number of positives: 0
  • Positivity rate: 0.00%

Total Since August 23, 2021 (First Day of Classes)

  • Number of tests reported for Albany Law community members: 286
  • Number of positives: 4
  • Positivity rate: 1.40%

 

Fall 2021 Campus COVID Policies

  1. Vaccinated Individuals
    1. Daily Screener
      1. Vaccinated individuals will not be required to complete the Daily Health Questions. Vaccinated individuals who believe they have COVID symptoms or may have come in contact with a COVID positive individual should report that to hr@albanylaw.edu.
    2. Mask wearing
      1. Following current CDC guidelines all individuals on campus whether vaccinated or unvaccinated are required to wear masks while in indoor public spaces. This policy is in response to the current increase in cases and the Delta variant transmissibility but will be re-evaluated if and when case rates are lower in our area, and as guided by local health officials and/or the Albany County Department of Health. If an individual is alone in their personal office or work space, and can maintain appropriate social distance, they can refrain from usage.
    3. COVID testing
      1. Surveillance – We will continue with weekly surveillance COVID testing of campus. Students or employees will be randomly selected for testing and receive a notification by email, stating testing is required; a link to schedule testing will be provided.  If testing is not completed as requested, ID card access to campus buildings may be denied.
      2. Symptomatic – If a vaccinated individual has any COVID-related symptoms (such as coughing, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, fever, shortness of breath) they will be required to have a COVID test AND have a negative COVID test result before they can return to daily campus activities.  Vaccinated members of the Albany Law community must report this to hr@albanylaw.edu.
      3. If a vaccinated individual has been exposed to a COVID-positive person, they will be required wear a mask at all times upon notification of exposure, to test within 3 days of exposure and then must monitor daily for symptoms for a full 14-days while they continue to wear their mask. At the end of the 14-days, exposed individuals will test again. If the exposed individual does not develop symptoms, they do NOT need to quarantine. If symptomatic, an immediate COVID test is required, a negative test result is required to return to campus activities.
      4. If a vaccinated individual tests COVID positive, they will be required to complete a 10-day isolation and contact tracing will occur to track campus movement.
  1. Unvaccinated Individuals
    1. Daily Screener
      1. All individuals will be required to complete the Daily Health Questions.
    2. Mask wearing
      1. Following current CDC guidelines for areas of substantial or high COVID transmission in Albany County, all individuals on campus whether vaccinated or unvaccinated are required to wear masks while indoors. This policy is in response to the current increase in cases and the Delta variant transmissibility but will be re-evaluated if and when case rates are lower in our area. 
    3. COVID testing
      1. In order to obtain clearance to come to campus, unvaccinated individuals must have a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours prior to the first day on campus; 8/16 for employees, 8/18 for first-year students and 8/23 for returning students. Proof of negative test should be sent to HR@Albanylaw.edu
      2. Surveillance – COVID testing will be mandated for all unvaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated individuals are required to schedule and complete a weekly, COVID test each Monday. Testing can be scheduled using: https://acphscovidtesting.timetap.com/#/ It is the responsibility of the unvaccinated individual to adhere to these testing protocols.
      3. Symptomatic – If an unvaccinated individual has any COVID-related symptoms (such as coughing, stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, fever, shortness of breath) they will be required to have a COVID test AND have a negative COVID test result before they can return to daily campus activities.
      4. If an unvaccinated individual has been exposed to a COVID-positive person, they must quarantine and monitor daily for symptoms for a full 14-days. The person should schedule a test ASAP. A negative test result performed on day-14 will be required to return to campus.
      5. If an unvaccinated individual tests COVID positive, they will be required to complete a 10-day isolation and contact tracing will occur to track campus movement.

  2. Eating and Drinking Policy 

    1. Members of the campus community can remove masks while eating and drinking in public indoor areas except classrooms. It is required that individuals return to mask usage immediately after eating and drinking and it is strongly recommended that appropriate social distancing be practiced. 

    2. Members of the campus community should take advantage of outdoor areas for eating and drinking whenever possible especially when gathering with large groups and where social distancing is not possible.  Eating is prohibited in all classrooms. Faculty may allow the consumption of water or other drinks at their discretion.

    3. Unvaccinated members of the campus community must maintain at least 6 feet distance from others while eating or drinking in public indoor areas.

    4. Event guidance with food and drink - all events with food and drink should maximize social distancing and must use the cafeteria or outdoor space.

Masking

 

ACPHS COVID Testing Site

Room B209
84 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208

Parking - Visitors for the ACPHS COVID Testing Site may park in the half circle in front of the 84 Holland Avenue Building.

Testing Site - Enter through the front of the building. Take a left to access the stairs or elevator on the right side. Go up to the 2nd Floor. Exit the stairs or elevator and take a left, then another left to access a long hall. Follow the hall until you reach room B209 on the left.

Click to enlarge.

 

 

Student Attendance COVID-19 Policies

Updated Sept. 17, 2021

Report of COVID-Related Student Absence Form

Students who are Fully Vaccinated

If You Experience ANY COVID-19 Symptoms 

  1. Leave (or don’t come to) Campus 
  2. Schedule a COVID test within 24 hours 
  3. Seek medical care If necessary 
  4. Self-isolate until you have your test results 
  5. Notify the school by emailing Kpalm@albanylaw.edu and hr@albanylaw.edu
  6. Attend your classes via Zoom if you are able. Otherwise watch class recordings when able. Students attending via Zoom should not check themselves in through Quickly. Your attendance record will be adjusted by the Office of Academic Affairs. Once you are back in-person, fill out the COVID-Related Absence form detailing dates you attended remotely and Academic Affairs will adjust your attendance record. The Absence Form is also posted on the Academic Affairs Portal Page. 
  7. Once you receive your test results follow the instructions below. 

If Your Test Result is Negative 

  1. Submit proof of a negative test through Share My health or by emailing hr@albanylaw.edu
  2. You are expected to return to class the day after you receive your negative test result unless your medical provider instructs you to continue isolating. 
  3. If your medical provider instructs you to continue isolating, contact Kpalm@albanylaw.edu
  4. Once you are back in-person, fill out the COVID-Related Absence form detailing dates you attended remotely or by viewing class recordings and Academic Affairs will adjust your attendance record. The Absence form is also posted on the Academic Affairs portal page. 

If Your Test Result is Positive 

  1. Notify HR at hr@albanylaw.edu 
  2. Remain in self-isolation for 10 days after the date you of your positive test 
  3. Seek medical care if necessary 
  4. Attend your classes via Zoom if you are able. Otherwise watch class recordings when able. 
  5. Once you are back in-person, fill out the COVID-related Absence form detailing dates you attended remotely and Academic Affairs will adjust your attendance record. The Absence Form is also posted on the Academic Affairs Portal Page. 

If You Have Been Exposed to COVID-19 

Exposure means being within 6 feet of someone with a confirmed case for at least 15 minutes. 

  1. Notify HR at hr@albanylaw.edu 
  2. Although the CDC is not requiring vaccinated individuals to self- quarantine based on exposure unless experiencing a COVID-19 symptom, Albany Law reserves the right to require exposed vaccinated individuals deemed close contacts to remain off campus until they can produce a negative COVID test taken at least 3 days after exposure. 
  3. Vaccinated individuals should monitor symptoms closely for 14 days following exposure. 
  4. Schedule a COVID test within 3-5 days after exposure and again at the end of 10 days. Submit results through Share My Health or by email to hr@albanylaw.edu
  5. Follow directions given by school officials or medical personnel regarding attendance. If you are instructed to attend remotely you will be given COVID accommodations and counted as present if in attendance by Zoom. Students attending via Zoom should not check themselves in through Quickly. Your attendance record will be adjusted by the Office of Academic Affairs. Once you are back in-person, fill out the COVID-related Absence form detailing dates you attended remotely and Academic Affairs will adjust your attendance record. The Absence Form is also posted on the Academic Affairs Portal Page. 

Students who are Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated

If You Experience ANY COVID-19 Symptoms 

  1. Leave (or don’t come to) Campus 
  2. Schedule a COVID test within 24 hours 
  3. Seek medical care If necessary 
  4. Self-Isolate until you have your test results 
  5. Notify the school by emailing Kpalm@albanylaw.edu and hr@albanylaw.edu
  6. Attend your classes via Zoom if you are able. Otherwise watch class recordings when able. Students attending via Zoom should not check themselves in through Quickly. Your attendance record will be adjusted by the Office of Academic Affairs. Once you are back in-person, fill out the COVID-Related Absence form detailing dates you attended remotely and Academic Affairs will adjust your attendance record. The Absence Form is also posted on the Academic Affairs Portal Page. 
  7. Once you receive your test results follow the instructions below. 

If Your Test Result is Negative 

  1. Submit proof of a negative test through Share My health or by emailing hr@albanylaw.edu
  2. You are expected to return to class the day after you receive your negative test result unless your medical provider instructs you to continue isolating. 
  3. If your medical provider instructs you to continue isolating, contact Kpalm@albanylaw.edu
  4. Once you are back in-person, fill out the COVID-Related Absence form detailing dates you attended remotely or by viewing class recordings and Academic Affairs will adjust your attendance record. The Absence form is also posted on the Academic Affairs portal page. 

If Your Test Result is Positive 

  1. Notify HR at hr@albanylaw.edu 
  2. Remain in self-isolation for 10 days after the date you of your positive test. 
  3. Seek medical care if necessary 
  4. Attend your classes via Zoom if you are able. Otherwise watch class recordings when able. 
  5. Once you are back in-person, fill out the COVID-related Absence form detailing dates you attended remotely and Academic Affairs will adjust your attendance record. The Absence Form is also posted on the Academic Affairs Portal Page. 

If You Have Been Exposed to COVID-19 

Exposure means being within 6 feet of someone with a confirmed case for at least 15 minutes. 

  1. Leave (or don’t come to) Campus 
  2. Report your exposure to the school by emailing hr@albanylaw.edu
  3. Self-Quarantine for 10 days 
  4. Monitor your symptoms closely 
  5. Schedule a COVID test to be administered 3-5 days after the date of your confirmed exposure, and again after 10 days. 
  6. Submit results of your test via Share My Health or by emailing hr@albanylaw.edu
  7. Attend your classes via Zoom if you are able. Otherwise watch class recordings when able. 
  8. If your COVID test is negative, follow the instructions above for Negative Tests 
  9. If your COVID test is positive, follow the instructions above for Positive Tests 
  10. Once you are back in-person, fill out the COVID-related Absence form detailing dates you attended remotely and Academic Affairs will adjust your attendance record. The Absence Form is also posted on the Academic Affairs Portal Page. 

 

Fall 2021 - General Information

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.

 

Opt-In to COVID-related emails

Sign up for email updates related to COVID-19 and campus operations.

 

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: Following current CDC guidelines all individuals on campus whether vaccinated or unvaccinated are required to wear masks while in indoor public spaces. This policy is in response to the current increase in cases and the Delta variant transmissibility but will be re-evaluated if and when case rates are lower in our area, and as guided by local health officials and/or the Albany County Department of Health. If a vaccinated individual is alone in their personal office or work space, and can maintain appropriate social distance, they can refrain from usage.
  7. Q: Will guests be allowed on campus in the fall?
    A:  The Law School is currently allowing invited guests onto campus. Guests are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.  
     
  8. Q: Will there be daily health screening questions?
    A: At this point, only unvaccinated people will receive daily health screenings, 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