COVID-19 Updates and Information

Resilience is in Our Nature

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Return to Campus - Fall 2021 Updates

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.

Some things to note while official guidelines and protocols are being solidified:

  • Negative PCR tests will be required prior to return to campus OR proof of full vaccination. Tests must be taken within 72 hours of arrival. This applies to both residential and commuter students.
  • We expect that all classes and labs will be in person. Expect limited remote options. An updated attendance policy will be shared in August.
  • Housing, student activities, athletics and dining services will closely match the current Covid environment on campus.
  • We will closely monitor new guidance as it comes, and will share specific health and testing requirements as they are developed.

As we look forward to a new academic year, we must keep in mind that the current health and safety guidelines that we as a community have followed will not go away entirely, and we will continue to work closely with and monitor updates from the CDC, New York State and our local public health department.

Currently, the college is not mandating COVID-19 vaccine. However, 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.

Thank you for continuing to protect yourself and your fellow Smitties.

Summer Update

As of June 24, 2021, New York State has let the state of emergency, originally declared in March of 2020, expire. Most New York State Covid restrictions have been lifted as 70% of New Yorkers 18 and older have received at least the first dose of the vaccine. Federal CDC guidelines remain in effect and while most (not all) restrictions have been lifted, the following serves as updated guidance for our campus community:

  • Campus is considered now open.
  • Masks are still required for unvaccinated individuals while inside buildings or college vehicles. We will operate under the “honor system” as most of the state is doing so.
  • Health screenings are no longer required for anyone on campus, including guests or visitors of the college. However, everyone should continue to monitor their health for Covid symptoms.
  • Offices and classrooms will return to full capacity.
  • Dining facilities can resume normal density and hours of operation. Please note: the dining hall is still under renovation. Check for hours and current offerings.
  • The on-campus fitness center can operate without restrictions. Please be sure to check with the Fitness Center for hours of operation.
  • The Joan Weill Public Library will be open to the public beginning July 6.
  • Campus transportation will return to full capacity. Masks are required by unvaccinated individuals.
  • Social distancing signage will be removed throughout campus by the start of the Fall semester.
  • Additional signage outlining mask restrictions will be implemented throughout campus by the start of the Fall semester.
Health & Safety Protocol

In accordance with guidance issued by New York State on May 17, 2021, fully vaccinated, asymptomatic individuals:

  • are no longer required to wear a mask on campus, indoors or outdoors, unless in a crowded College-sponsored event at which a masking requirement will be announced (they may, of course, choose to wear a facial mask as a matter of personal preference);
  • are no longer required to engage in social distancing.

Unvaccinated, asymptomatic individuals:

  • are still required to wear facial masks while inside public buildings, hallways, and any indoor gathering space; and are no longer required to engage in social distancing.

We should also note that these guidelines do not supersede any restrictions or requirements placed on individuals by their employers or conference organizers.

New! July 27, 2021 – CDC updates for fully vaccinated individuals. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear a mask if in areas of high rates of COVID-19 infection. Currently, our surrounding counties are not considered to be high-transmission areas.

  • Fully vaccinated individuals may also choose to wear a mask regardless of levels of transmission.
    Recommendations also include getting tested if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Anyone who has known exposure to someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should get tested within 3-5 days and wear a mask in public indoor settings for at least 14 days after exposure (or produce a negative test result).
  • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 should isolate for 10 days.

 

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.

Isolation & Quarantine

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

We will have isolation and quarantine buildings during the summer and you will be asked to move into isolation until a negative test result or cleared by Health Services. 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. Kitchens and lounges in isolation/quarantine buildings will be closed. Students in quarantine or isolation may not leave their assigned rooms for any reason.

If you are a guest on campus for a conference or event and develop symptoms, you may be asked to leave campus immediately.

Student Guest Policy

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

  • Each student in summer residency may have 1 outside guest in their residence hall room with them.
  • No more than 4 people should be in a residence hall room at one time.
  • All guests must always remain with the host resident. If the host resident leaves the residence hall, the guest must also leave.
  • All guests must comply with COVID health and safety policies.
  • Guests may not stay on campus in your residence hall room for a period of time longer than 3 days in a one-week period.
  • If the roommate of a host student is not comfortable having guests over, both roommates must agree to a compromise or no guests will be permitted for the duration of the summer. Resident students will complete roommate contacts to avoid confusion of what is acceptable or not.
  • All resident students must register their guest with the office of Residence Life & Housing
  • All guests must complete the Health Assessment, Campus Guest form available on the Paul Smith’s College website.
  • If the guest is not feeling well, please advise them to not visit you, stay home and/or visit their local health care provider.

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.

Honor System

What does the “honor system” mean?

Q. Can a faculty or staff member require a student to wear a mask, including in class, when meeting with them in-person, participating in an event, class activity, or any other course activities?

A. No.  However, everyone should feel comfortable continuing to wear a mask if they choose to do so.

Q. Can a faculty or staff member ask a student about their COVID-19 vaccination status?

A. No.  Faculty and staff should not ask students if they are vaccinated or if they plan to be vaccinated.  Asking about their vaccination status may prompt disclosure of disability-related information or information regarding existing health conditions relevant to the vaccination.  Faculty and staff should also avoid discussing vaccination status during class, in emails, or in other communication to the class.

Q. Can a faculty or staff member require a student be vaccinated for COVID-19 before they will meet with them in-person or to participate in an event, class activity, or any other activities?

A. No.  The college encourages students to be vaccinated, but vaccinations are voluntary.  Faculty and staff should avoid any communication that may be perceived to pressure, force, or coerce any student to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination.  If you are uncomfortable, please continue to wear your mask.

Q. Are students permitted to discuss their COVID-19 vaccine status among themselves?

A. Conversations among students would be difficult to restrict. Employees should refrain from participating in conversations about COVID-19 vaccination status and should also be alert to any coercive or pressuring behavior among students.  If this behavior is observed, you are encouraged to remind everyone that the college is committed to a voluntary approach to vaccination, and that no one should feel pressured or coerced by anyone.

Key Contacts

Director of Compliance, Title IX and COVID Coordinator
Teresa Grosskopf
tgrosskopf@paulsmiths.edu
(518) 327-6451

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