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RPI hits Trigger Level 1, Institute to quarantine

Rensselaer begins quarantine on Thursday, March 4, having surpassed the 30-case threshold outlined in the University Pandemic Protocols. “The Institute is suspending all in-person instruction, pivoting to online instruction, and suspending access to campus facilities” wrote President Shirley Ann Jackson in a campus-wide email. All in-person instruction and campus access will be suspended until at least March 17. Along with Trigger Level 1 quarantine procedures, RPI will begin testing all students who live in the area within a 25-mile radius as all students “will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a twice per week basis, even if they are remote learners and currently do not have campus access.”

According to the University Pandemic Protocols, once there are “more than 30 confirmed COVID-19 cases, within a rolling two-week period, among those with campus access,” Trigger Level 1 will be activated. Besides the campus quarantine and isolation of individuals who test positive for COVID-19, Trigger Level 1 activation also means that on-campus events and gatherings will be prohibited and all in-person aspects of classes will switch to a remote format.

COVID-19 cases have steadily increased since Executive Director of the Health Center Dr. Leslie Lawrence sent an email to the Rensselaer community on February 24, reporting that the Institute has had “15 cases in the past seven days,” warning that “At this pace, we will soon reach Trigger Level 1, unless something changes dramatically.”