COVID-19 Updates and Information

Campus policies and procedures as it relates to Covid-19 will be updated here. Students, faculty and staff should regularly check their email for direct updates.

 
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Updated January 7, 2022. 

Return to Campus - Spring 2022

A return to campus information session will be held via Zoom by Dean of Students Courtney Bringley on Tuesday, January 11 at 4:30pm. Further details have been provided via email to all PSC students, faculty, and staff. 

In order for students to return to campus or move into your housing assignment, you will be required to show proof of a negative PCR COVID test prior to arrival on campus for the Spring semester. Masking while indoors will be mandatory for everyone as we start the semester.

All students – regardless of vaccination status — will need to present a negative PCR test result upon return to campus in January*. This will apply to both on-campus students as well as commuters. This is the same requirement that was in place for return in the 2021 Spring semester.  

Upon your return, you will need to:  

·  Bring proof of a negative PCR test result, either in paper form or via a screenshot/photo of the result. You do not need to upload your test result via the Student Health Portal.  

·  Present a PCR test that has resulted as negative in the 72 hours prior to your arrival on campus. For example, if you are due to return on Jan. 15, your test result needs to come back between Jan. 12-15. So, you should go for your test 1-2 days prior to that window.  

·  Present a PCR test result that clearly shows your name and birthdate. 

·  Please ensure that you are getting a PCR test. Rapid/antigen tests will not be accepted.   

If you live on campus, you will need to show the negative PCR test result to pick up your room key. If you are a commuter, you will need to show the negative PCR test result to attend your first class. Commuter students should plan on coming to the Student Center between 9:00am – 4:00pm on Monday, January 17, to show their negative PCR/other required COVID documentation.

We strongly encourage you to identify your testing facility early and determine how long it typically takes for that facility’s PCR test results to come back. Please do not wait until the last minute. PCR tests may be in high demand this winter for return-to-work, return-to-school and travel purposes.  If you run into a problem obtaining a PCR test in the week prior to return, please reach out to Health Services as soon as possible so we can discuss your options. 

If you are local, you can obtain your PCR test by going to the COVID drive-through testing line at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake. More information, including hours of operations, can be found here.

*Special Considerations:

Students infected with Covid-19 in the 90 days prior to arrival on campus do not need to produce a negative PCR test result. Instead, they must bring documentation showing the date of their infection and/or evidence of clearance to return, e.g. a dated positive PCR test result; medical provider clearance to return following a COVID infection including date of infection; or dated county or state isolation entry or release orders.

  • Important note: documentation must include the student’s name, date of birth and date of infection/positive PCR test result. Students who test positive on an at-home or antigen test without such information must bring a note from a medical provider indicating the student is cleared to return to campus following a COVID infection; alternatively, students who live in counties that permit online self-reporting and downloading of isolation entry/release forms may use those forms in lieu of medical provider clearance. 

Students who are residing on campus over the Winter Break will need to show proof of a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of when they would have returned had they gone home for the break. Unless students would have returned earlier to meet College obligations, this would be the 72 hours prior to the official return dates for Spring 2022 of Jan 16-17, 2022.

Masking Policy

To continue to provide a safe place to live and learn, Paul Smith’s College has mandated that all members of our community, whether fully vaccinated or not, wear masks while indoors. 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 implemented this extra precaution, which stems from a CDC recommendation, last August. We will continue to monitor CDC and New York State guidelines and recommendations for further updates and adjustments to our Covid-19 policies. 

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 Franklin County Public Health to identify close contacts and determine whether they need to enter quarantine.

Isolation & Quarantine

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

Confirmed positive cases

Any student who tests positive for Covid-19, regardless of vaccination status, will be asked to either move into our designated isolation space OR leave campus to complete the required isolation period, which is now five (5) days based on updated CDC and Franklin County Public Health guidance. For a detailed explanation, please visit the CDC website.

Close contacts

Per CDC recommendations, if you are deemed a close contact but are fully vaccinated, you will not be required to quarantine unless you are exhibiting or develop possible Covid-19 symptoms. You should monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the last day you were with the positive person.

If you are deemed a close contact and are not fully vaccinated (fully vaccinated now means having also received the booster shot), you will be asked to move to the designated quarantine space on campus or move off campus to complete your quarantine period, which has now been updated to five (5) days. Per CDC recommendations and College policy, both vaccinated and unvaccinated close contacts will need to get a PCR test 5-7 days following known exposure.

Support services will be available to those in both isolation and quarantine. Students will have remote access to classes, as available. Other support services include contact-free delivery with food, medications, and any other necessary items placed at the student’s door for pickup. Students who have tested positive for COVID infections will be asked to complete a daily symptom log. 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

A vaccine mandate has been instated for all PSC employees which includes both full-time and part-time employees, Sodexo employees, and students who work directly for the College. The first vaccination must be completed by January 10, with the second vaccination completed by February 10. Currently, there are no additional plans to require the booster, however the College reserves the right to implement if deemed necessary.

At this time, the College is not mandating the vaccine for students. However, our current policy (see Return to Campus – Spring 2022) states that all students attending in Spring 2022 will be required to present a negative PCR test prior to arrival (unless infected with Covid-19 in the 90 days prior to arrival, in which case proof of infection/positive test result and/or physician documentation of recovery is required for entry). We continue to strongly encourage all students and employees to get vaccinated, including the additional booster dose, as part of a continued commitment to their own personal health and safety, to that of their 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 Spring 2022 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 Spring semester and may also face student code of conduct violation charges.

  • There continues to be a pause 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 Spring semester.
  • Paul Smith’s College is committed to keeping our students, staff, and faculty safe during the Spring semester. We will continue to monitor both local transmission rates as well as 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 all students follow the College’s masking policy 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

Only PSC employees, preferred vendors and emergency personnel (police and medical personnel) will be permitted on campus until further notice.

  • No outside guests will be permitted to use College-managed facilities at the Saunders Athletic Complex (Fitness Center), the Joan Weill Adirondack Library, and the Packbasket bookstore. 
  • No outside guests will be permitted to attend athletic competitions in the Saunders Sports Complex, educational lectures, and student-sponsored social events.
  • Parents are only permitted to pick up and drop off their college-aged young adult during the opening of the spring semester.

All visitors who are permitted to enter campus must wear masks while inside any campus buildings.

The PSC Taskforce will continue to closely monitor local case counts, both CDC and local public health official considerations, and review these guidelines and update as needed.

 

Upcoming Vaccine Clinics in our Area

Paul Smith’s College continues to urge everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to stay up to date regarding boosters. To find a site for COVID-19 vaccines or boosters, search www.vaccines.gov, text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you.

Locally, there are a number of options for both first-time vaccines as well as booster shots. They include:

  • Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 from 3.30–6pm at the Annex Building, Adirondack Medical Center, 2233 State Road 86, Saranac Lake. This clinic will offer Pfizer and Moderna first-, second- and booster doses. First come, first served; no pre-registration necessary.
  • Franklin County is hosting a series of regional vaccination/booster clinics every Thursday through February. The next clinic is Jan. 13, 2022 from 3-7p at the St. Andre Outreach Center in Malone, NY. Another is scheduled in Saranac Lake on Jan. 26, 2022 from 11a-3p at the Saranac Lake Free Library. You can see which brand of vaccine is offered and pre-register for these clinics here on the county website. Drop-ins are welcome, but doses are limited and cannot be guaranteed if not pre-registered.
  • Vaccination clinics are being held on Jan. 13 and Jan. 20, 2022 at the Clinton Community College Gymnasium, 158 Clinton Point Drive, Plattsburgh. Please click here for information on brands available and to pre-register. We have confirmed that these clinics are open to people from outside the county.
  • In Essex county, first-time and booster vaccine clinics are being held throughout January. To get more information on brands available and to pre-register, please click here.
  • You can also schedule first-time vaccine and booster shots online at both Kinney’s and Walgreen’s.

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