COVID-19 Updates and Information

Resilience is in Our Nature

We know that at Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. Our community is full of resourceful, enterprising, supportive and adventurous individuals who want to continue to see us provide hands-on education. Much like this past academic year, we are planning for another successful return to in-person learning for fall 2021.

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Return to Campus - Fall 2021

Currently, the college is not mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. Masking while indoors will be mandatory for everyone as we start the semester. In order for you to return to campus or move into your housing assignment, you will be required to show proof either of vaccinated status OR proof of a negative COVID test prior to arrival on campus for the Fall semester.

If you are already fully vaccinated, or are planning to be fully vaccinated prior to arrival, please upload your vaccine card to the Student Health Portal as soon as possible. The sooner we know how many students are fully vaccinated, the sooner we will be able to finalize the rest of our COVID-19 policies for the Fall semester.

If you are vaccinated or planning to be vaccinated this summer:

  • Upload your vaccine card as soon as possible via the link above.
  • To be considered fully vaccinated, you must be at least two weeks past the one-dose (J&J) vaccine or at least two weeks past the second dose of the two-dose vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer). If you are getting vaccinated but will not be two weeks past either your J&J shot or the second shot of Moderna or Pfizer, you will not be considered fully vaccinated (see next section).
  • If fully vaccinated, you will not be required to wear masks on campus, but always have the personal choice to mask.

If you are not fully vaccinated or are not getting the vaccine:

  • You must upload to the Student Health Portal evidence of a negative PCR test that results in the 72 hours prior to your arrival to campus. (Please note: “rapid” or antigen tests will not be accepted as testing proof. The test must be a PCR test which can take 24-48 hours to result. Please confirm with whomever is doing your test when the results will be available.)
  • Masking will be required in campus academic or public buildings, in campus vehicles and in residence halls, other than in your assigned room with your roommate.

Vaccine cards and negative test results can be uploaded by taking a photo and uploading that photo to the portal. If you have forgotten your password or have trouble logging in to the Student Health Portal, please contact IT Support at 518.327.6465

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Health Center at 518.327.6319.

Masking Policy

Masking while indoors will be mandatory for everyone as we start the semester.

To continue to provide a safe place to live and learn, as an extra precaution, Paul Smith’s College is mandating that all members of our community, whether fully vaccinated or not, wear masks while indoors beginning Sunday, August 15. This includes all public buildings and classrooms. Staff and Faculty do not need to wear a mask when in their personal office. Students should review current Residence Hall policies and note that masks will be required while in the dining hall except when seated.

We are implementing this extra precaution, which stems from a CDC recommendation, for the first few weeks to ensure a safe start to our semester while we evaluate the size of our unvaccinated population. Over the past few weeks, we have been receiving proof of vaccination from members of our community and we are confidently expecting to reach a 70% campus-wide vaccination rate. Following the lead of New York State, we believe a 70% vaccination rate within our community would support our plans to return most operations to business as usual. At that point, we will use the vaccination information, as well as CDC and NYS guidelines, to recommend further updates and adjustments to our Covid-19 policies and procedures.

To be clear, even if the campus-wide mask mandate is lifted after two weeks, all unvaccinated individuals will still be required to wear a mask indoors regardless of the vaccination rate on campus.

Acceptable face coverings 

Face masks must cover the nose and mouth, and fit snugly, but comfortably, against the face. The face covering itself must not create a hazard, e.g. have features could get caught in machinery or cause severe fogging of eyewear. The face coverings must be kept clean and sanitary and changed when soiled, contaminated, or damaged. For more information on appropriate face coverings, please reference the current CDC guidelines.

Testing

The college will administer mandatory weekly cohort testing. This will be done at random and will include both students and employees. Participation in this testing is required, even if fully vaccinated.

The college is once again working with Adirondack Health, a full-service medical health center whose medical professionals will supplement PSC’s testing operations. The facility has agreed to process test results and support bulk testing on campus when required.

The procedure is a self-administered nasal swab. Individuals will place a swab in either nostril and gently twist. This must be done in front of a health care professional. You will be notified via email at random, and at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled test. The tests will then be processed by Adirondack Health. Results will be returned as quickly as possible.

Contact tracing

If a student tests positive for Covid-19, Student Health Services will work with Adirondack Health and begin contact tracing immediately.

Per CDC recommendations, if you are deemed a close contact but are fully vaccinated, you will not be required to quarantine. You should however, continue to monitor for symptoms. It is also recommended by the CDC to test within 3-5 days of known exposure.

If you are deemed a close contact and are not fully vaccinated, you will be asked to move to the designated quarantine space on campus.

Support services will be available to those in both isolation and quarantine.

Isolation & Quarantine

We will have isolation and quarantine buildings available during the fall semester.

Confirmed positive cases

Any confirmed positive Covid-19 cases – vaccinated or unvaccinated – will be asked to move into isolation for ten (10) days.

Per CDC guidelines, any individual who is unvaccinated and identified as a close contact will be asked to move into quarantine. Students who are vaccinated and deemed close contacts are encouraged to monitor their health and report any symptoms to Student Health Services immediately. 

Students in isolation or quarantine will have remote access to classes, as available. Support services include contact- free delivery with food, medications and any other necessary items placed at the student’s door for pickup. In addition, there will be a daily health and welfare check. Students in quarantine or isolation may not leave their assigned rooms for any reason

For students who feel they may have COVID symptoms, please contact Student Health Services at 518.327.6319 as soon as possible.

Vaccine Mandate

Paul Smith’s College does not plan to mandate the vaccine unless required to do so by the state. Our current policy states that students intending to live on campus for Fall 2021 will be required to present a negative PCR test prior to arrival OR proof of completed vaccination. We continue to strongly encourage all students and employees to get vaccinated as part of a continued commitment to your own personal health and safety, to that of your fellow Smitties and to the larger community in which we reside. For more information on where to schedule a vaccine appointment, please visit www.vaccines.gov.

Student Guest Policy

This policy is written to support students who will be on campus for the Fall 2021 academic semester and guest privileges in their residence hall rooms. Students should abide by the following guidelines, otherwise they risk the loss of guest privileges for the entire fall semester and may also face student code of conduct violation charges.

  • There will be a pause placed on allowing our resident students to host anyone who does not live on campus in their residence hall assignments on campus. This includes Paul Smith’s College students who are commuters for the fall semester.
  • Paul Smith’s College is committed to keeping our students, staff, and faculty safe this Fall semester. We will be monitoring the number of students who are vaccinated on campus prior to allowing students to host outside guests.
  • Once Paul Smith’s College has determined the number of students who have been vaccinated we will update this plan and notify students when/if they may begin allowing outside visitors to their residence hall rooms.
  • Students who live on campus are allowed to visit one another so long as unvaccinated individuals continue to wear a mask and follow the health and safety guidelines as recommended by the CDC.
  • If there is an upturn in cases in the local region or on campus guest privileges may be suspended for a longer duration of time.

Residence Life & Housing and Paul Smith’s College has the ability to amend this plan as the COVID health crisis shifts or if cases increase.

Campus Visitors

All visitors to campus must wear masks while inside any campus buildings. 

 

Key Contacts

Dean of Students & Interim COVID Coordinator
Courtney Bringley
cbringley@paulsmiths.edu
(518) 327-6059

Student Health Services
Christine Brennan, RN, BSN, Director
(518) 327-6349
cbrennan@paulsmiths.edu

Housing & Residence Life
Lou Kaminski, Director
residencelifeandhousing@paulsmiths.edu
(518) 327-6488

Campus Safety
Holly Parker, Director
hparker@paulsmiths.edu
(518) 327-6300