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COVID-19: Community Updates

Updated September 23, 2022

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Albany Law School has worked to safeguard the health of our community while simultaneously providing the rich in-person learning and professional opportunities that are at the hallmarks of our residential programs.  With the cooperation of our students, faculty, and staff, we have been reasonably successful in achieving both goals.

As we move into our fourth academic year navigating the pandemic, we are facing the reality that COVID-19 is going to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future.  We are also facing significant changes in guidance and procedures by local health departments and partner institutions that have caused us to rethink law school protocols.

While the Law School will continue to refer to CDC guidance and the advice of other public health authorities in making decisions regarding COVID-19 protocols, we will begin to shift our approach from heavy regulation to individual responsibility, relying more directly on the good faith, professionalism, and care of individuals in taking precautions than we have in early days of the pandemic.  

Fall 2022 classes began on August 22. 

Weekly Dashboard

Current cases in Albany Law School community for week ending Sept. 30: 7

Vaccinations 

All students, faculty, staff, and law school visitors are required to be vaccinated and to have had an initial booster when eligible, unless granted an exception on religious or medical grounds. 

Masking

Albany Law School is a mask friendly community.  Masks are generally not required for vaccinated individuals. However, individual faculty members, and individual law school departments, have the right to require masks in their classrooms or offices.  

Individuals who received religious or medical exemptions to the vaccine requirement must wear masks when inside law school buildings. 

As always, we support the choice of individuals to wear masks and expect members of our community to respect local masking rules.

In addition, the Law School reserves the right to reinstate a mask mandate should public health conditions change within the law school or in the Albany region.

Testing

The Law School will no longer conduct testing. Free rapid tests are available through the U.S. government:  https://www.covid.gov/tests and from your health insurance company: https://www.cms.gov/how-to-get-your-at-home-OTC-COVID-19-test-for-free

Students and employees with symptoms should take a rapid test at home or go to their medical provider. 

Pre-Arrival Testing

All community members are asked to self-test the day before returning to campus from summer break. If you test negative, it is not necessary to upload results to share my health. Testing will be on an honor system.

Please do not come to campus if you test positive.  If you do test positive, please upload your results to ShareMyHealth and await instructions from HR.

Isolation

Albany Law will continue to require more protective measures than that required by the CDC for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.  Positive individuals must remain off campus and isolate for 10 days, or until they can produce a negative antigen test taken after five or more days from the onset of symptoms or the date of a positive test. The isolation period runs from the onset of symptoms or the date of a positive test result, whichever is earlier.  

Employees and students who test positive should upload results to ShareMyHealth and notify hr@albanylaw.edu.  Students in isolation will be provided with recordings of missed classes.

COVID-19 Student Absences

Students unable to attend class due to COVID will have access to class recordings.

If a student is unable to attend class due to COVID-19:

For All Faculty, Staff, and Students

If you feel sick, have symptoms, or have tested positive:

  • Leave (or don’t come to) campus.
  • Take a rapid test at home or get tested at a testing facility.
  • Seek medical care, if necessary.
  • Self-isolate until you have test results.
  • If you feel ill but new test results are negative, stay home until you feel better.
  • If your test results remain positive:
    • upload your results on Share My Health and contact Human Resources at hr@albanylaw.edu
    • seek medical care, if necessary
    • Students - see the “COVID-19 Student Absences” section
    • Faculty/Staff - contact your supervisor, team members, and/or students directly about your absence and give/receive further instructions.

Contact tracing

The Law School will no longer conduct contact tracing.  Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are asked to notify any individual with whom they had close contact about possible exposure.  Individuals who need help identifying or reaching out to contacts should reach out to HR at hr@albanylaw.edu.

Individuals notified of close contact with a person who tests positive should monitor for symptoms and self-test 3-5 days after exposure.  Those with positive household members or significant exposure may choose to isolate and work remotely or access recordings of classes. 

Visitors

Invited guests and alumni are welcome to visit campus if they provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result from a test taken during the 24-hour period prior to arrival.  Students planning events should consult with the Office of Student Affairs for current policy.  Employees planning events should consult the events information on the school’s COVID-19 webpage.

Staff & Faculty Events With Guests

Invited off-campus guests are welcome on campus for events, classes, and programs. All invited guests to campus must adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines at Albany Law School. At this time, all invited guests must be fully vaccinated and have at least one eligible booster shot or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival. It is the responsibility of the organizer of the event to inform invited guests of this policy. Questions regarding current COVID-19 policies can be directed to the Public Health and Safety Team, however there is no advance event approval needed.

Further changes

Please know that we continue to monitor the pandemic closely and consult with outside public health advisors. Should circumstances around the pandemic change in any significant way, we are prepared to adjust our protocols accordingly. 

CARES Act: Emergency Financial Aid Disclosures

  1. Albany Law School has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and has  used the applicable amount of funds designated under CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) programs to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.
  2. Albany Law school has been awarded $280,229 from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) programs.
  3. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) programs as of September 30, 2021 is $280,229.
  4. As of September 30, 2021 the estimated number of students at the institution that were eligible to receive Emergency Aid Grants to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) programs is 591.  
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to Students under the CRRSAA and ARP (a)(1) programs as of September 30, 2021 is 591.
  6. The method used by Albany Law School to determine which students received Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the CRRSAA program (a)(1) and how much they received  was through an online application located at: https://albanylaw.edu/emergencyfundapp.  Applications were reviewed weekly by a committee. Albany Law School awarded Emergency Financial Aid Grants under the ARP (a)(1) program to all students who were enrolled in the 2020-2021 academic year to help offset additional costs incurred by them as a result of the COVID pandemic. Students received the same award based on their academic program.  
  7. The application in 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 to support their need, as best they can.  Direction is given that the Emergency Financial Aid Grants do not cover lost income. 

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