COVID Protocol Spring 2023
Paul Smith’s College Spring 2023 Covid-19 Management Plan (Students)
This document outlines the COVID-19 protocols in place for students for the Spring 2023 semester.
Start Date: Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 End Date: Friday, May 26, 2023
- COVID-19 TESTING
Students experiencing COVID symptoms should take a rapid (antigen) COVID-19 test as soon as possible. These tests are widely available at pharmacies and are available (if in stock) at Student Health Services for $10 per test, which will be charged to the student’s account as an “infirmary charge”. Students are also encouraged to register for the free antigen tests provided by the US government and bring these to campus for easy access when needed. Rapid tests are most accurate when a person’s viral load is high (which typically results in symptoms). It’s possible to test negative initially but positive a day or two later. Therefore, even if you test negative, you should continue to monitor yourself, take COVID-19 precautions and re-test daily until symptoms abate or a positive result appears.
PCR (Molecular) Tests
Student Health Services no longer offers PCR testing. You may be able to obtain one via:
- Adirondack Medical Center (AMC). Appointments for both symptomatic and non-symptomatic testing at AMC may be made online here. Cost depends on an individual’s insurance coverage.
- Mountain Medical urgent care locations in Saranac Lake or Malone. Mountain Medical also performs rapid antigen and rapid PCR tests. Cost depends on an individual’s insurance coverage.
PSC recommends that students who test positive for COVID follow the COVID-19 isolation guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control.
Important note: starting in Spring ‘23: PSC will move to an “isolate-in-place” model. The college will no longer offer an isolation-specific residence hall. COVID-positive students should plan on completing their isolation period in their rooms or going home/off-campus to complete isolation. The link above contains a calculator to help determine isolation end dates.
In addition to following the CDC recommendations above, COVID-positive students should:
- Stay in their residence hall room and separate as much as possible from others. Those who live with roommates should be masked indoors when in rooms with other people (preferably a high-quality N95 mask). Roommates who are not positive for COVID are also encouraged to wear a mask to help prevent transmission.
- Use a separate bathroom If possible; if using a shared bathroom space, wipe down the area thoroughly after each use. Same for kitchen space in suite-style living.
- Avoid anyone who is immunocompromised or at high risk for developing severe disease.
Dining: With regard to Dining Services, COVID-positive students should not dine in-person in the dining hall during their isolation period. Instead:
- Ask friends to bring you to-go meals from the Dining Hall or off-campus.
- Ask friends to do grocery shopping if you have your own kitchen (not a communal kitchen).
- If you must visit the Dining Hall, please come wearing a high-quality mask (preferably an N95 mask) and take your food back to your room in a to-go container.
- If you have trouble obtaining food using these methods, please contact your RA (resident advisor).
Academics: If you test positive for COVID, you should not attend class in person. You should:
- Use the CDC’s isolation calculator to determine when you can leave isolation. (Once your isolation period ends, you should wear a high-quality mask through Day 10).
- Email your Faculty and advise them you will not be able to attend class in person until your isolation period ends and ask them for alternative methods to stay current with coursework, take tests etc.
- If you have any difficulties arranging alternative methods, please contact staff in the Center for Academic and Career Success (CACS) at 518-327-6046 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to reach out to anyone who may have been exposed and advise those individuals to monitor for symptoms.
3. CONTACT TRACING AND QUARANTINE
Following recommendations issued in August 2022 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), PSC no longer conducts contact tracing of COVID-19 cases and does not provide quarantine space on campus.
Beginning in Fall 2022, Paul Smith’s College requires all new/incoming students (including graduate students) to have received the primary COVID-19 vaccine (I.e. the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine) unless they have been granted a medical or religious exemption.
An FAQ on the PSC vaccine mandate is located here. Students wishing to request a medical or religious exemption to the COVID vaccine may access request forms here.
To be considered fully vaccinated, a student must be at least two weeks (14 days) past either the second dose of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines OR the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A booster shot is recommended by the CDC for most adults at least five months after the 2nd shot of the mRNA vaccines and at least two months after the J&J vaccine. The College recommends students get a booster shot when eligible, but the booster is not required by the College for attendance.
Students with questions regarding the vaccine itself and where to get booster shots should visit www.vaccines.gov or the NYS Covid-19 updates page to learn more. Additionally, staff at the College’s Student Health Services are available to answer medical or health-related questions.
Regardless of vaccination status, all campus community members are expected to use good judgment and:
- stay home when sick.
- keep hands and space clean.
- provide complete and truthful information and notify the appropriate personnel (program director, Human Resources, Student Health Services/Residence Life) if you test positive.
Of course, anyone concerned about transmission of COVID-19 – or any respiratory virus – is encouraged to wear a mask in any setting.
This policy is subject to change with no notice based on a variety of factors including campus case rate, community transmission rate and government recommendations, among others.
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Christine Brennan, RN, BSN
Student Wellness Coordinator