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Skidmore College

FAQs

FAQs will be continuously updated as new questions are asked and new information is available. We strongly encourage students, families, staff, and faculty to view the latest messages from Skidmore for additional information.

Additional FAQs for faculty and staff regarding return to work, various policies, employee vaccination, and employee testing can be found here.

MASK WEARING

The COVID-19 transmission rate in Saratoga County is currently "substantial" to "high," as classified by the Centers for Disease Control, and the College is currently requiring indoor masking for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.  

  • All unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing at all times in indoor public spaces. In outdoor settings, unvaccinated individuals may unmask unless social distancing is not possible. 
  • All vaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask indoors. Masking is not required when alone in a private office or partitioned cubicle/workspace or in a private residence. In outdoor settings, vaccinated individuals may unmask. 
  • Masks are not required when eating or drinking in a campus dining area while seated, but they are required for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals at all other times in a public indoor setting such as the dining hall. 

Mask wearing is dependent on an individual's vaccination status, activity, and the current transmission rate in our area. Please see the fall 2021 masking guidelines for a full breakdown. 

Mask wearing is dependent on an individual's vaccination status, activity, and the current transmission rate in our area. Please see the fall 2021 masking guidelines for a full breakdown. 

We ask all members of our community to be respectful in their communication with others regarding mask wearing and vaccination status. While individuals may voluntarily disclose their vaccination status, the College expects all community members to exercise sensitivity to individuals’ unique circumstances. This includes refraining from asking an individual why they have not been vaccinated.

FALL 2021 PLANNING and Student Arrival

All students who are not fully vaccinated (14 days after final dose) and who are arriving from international locations will need to meet CDC quarantine recommendations prior to moving into their student housing assignment and/or coming to campus.
 
Skidmore will support travel-related quarantines for students who are in on-campus housing starting on Aug. 23. We are not able to support student quarantine housing prior to that date. You must notify Jamin Totino in Student Academic Services at jtotino@skidmore.edu to arrange for Skidmore-supported quarantine. Students in off-campus housing must quarantine independently.

It is required for some groups and strongly recommended for others. 

  • Pre-arrival testing is strongly recommended for all students. Pre-arrival testing will help ensure that students do not arrive on campus with pre-existing infections and need to isolate for 10 days. Free COVID-19 testing is widely available, and at-home antigen COVID tests are also a good option for pre-arrival testing. Students who are doing recommended, but not required, pre-arrival testing do not need to submit their test results to Skidmore.
  • Pre-arrival testing, with either a PCR or antigen test, is required for the following specific groups of students. Students in these categories must submit proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival to campus.
  1. Students who will not be vaccinated or fully vaccinated (14 days after final dose of vaccine) upon their arrival to campus. Students in this category will be contacted by Health Services about how to meet this requirement.
  2. Students who will participate in a Pre-Orientation program that involves being off campus overnight must send proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus (Sept. 2). Students in this category will be contacted by the Office of Campus Life and Engagement about how to meet this requirement.
  3. Early-arrival fall student-athletes must have a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of their first practice. Students in this category will be contacted by Athletics about how to meet this requirement.
  4. Resident assistants (RAs) and community assistants (CAs) will be required to submit a negative pre-arrival test prior to coming to campus. The Office of Residential Life will be in touch about how to meet this requirement.

Yes. 

All students, including students who must submit pre-arrival testing, must get tested within 24 hours of their arrival to campus. Off-campus students should test within 24 hours of returning to campus for classes. Students participating in a Pre-Orientation program off campus will test within 24 hours of their return to campus on Sunday, Sept. 5.

All students must get a second COVID-19 test five to seven days after their first on-arrival test date and do daily symptom monitoring in CoVerified until their second COVID test result has been returned. 

Out of an abundance of caution, and in addition to our pre-arrival and arrival testing protocols, Skidmore will also require that all students, regardless of vaccination status, test every seven days for the first five weeks of classes, through Oct. 8.  

Students who are not fully vaccinated and who have an approved exemption or extension to Skidmore’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement will need to test weekly for COVID-19. 

Testing will be done in Falstaff’s.

The College will continue to closely monitor the situation within and outside of our community, as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state, and local health guidance, and will adjust the testing program as necessary to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus.

Yes, Skidmore looks forward to returning to a fully in-person, residential learning experience on campus this fall while continuing to prioritize students' health and safety.

Though some COVID health and safety measures remain, Skidmore is returning to normal on-campus operations this summer and into the fall, and a fully in-person Skidmore experience is planned for the fall semester.

Without question, the situation for our international students is especially fraught right now. We are exploring every possible solution to either help them get to campus or to arrange for off-campus study until they can arrive here.

Skidmore's fall semester classes will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 8, and end on Friday, Dec. 10, with the semester officially coming to a close on Dec. 18. A typical Thanksgiving break of Nov. 24-28 is built into the academic calendar. Additional information is available in the academic calendar.

Students should discuss academic plans with their advisors as needed. The Office of Academic Advising is also a resource and can be contacted at advising@skidmore.edu

Families and friends are welcome to join students to help move in, but we ask that only two people join them in their residence hall or apartment at one time and that everyone wear a mask indoors. 

We are not currently asking for the vaccination status of visitors. However, everyone on campus must wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status. 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

As of Saturday, Aug. 7, the COVID-19 transmission rate in Saratoga County has moved from "substantial" to "high," as classified by the Centers for Disease Control. In the wake of this development, the College is now requiring a return to indoor masking for everyone, regardless of vaccination status.  

  • All unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing at all times in indoor public spaces. In outdoor settings, unvaccinated individuals may unmask unless social distancing is not possible. 
  • All vaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask indoors. Masking is not required when alone in a private office or partitioned cubicle/workspace or in a private residence. In outdoor settings, vaccinated individuals may unmask. 
  • Masks are not required when eating or drinking in a campus dining area while seated, but they are required for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals at all other times in a public indoor setting such as the dining hall. 

Please see the Fall 2021 masking guidelines for more details. 

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to practice physical distancing in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to practice physical distancing.

Please see the fall 2021 distancing guidelines for more details. 

It depends. We all need to eat and drink, but depending on transmission levels and vaccination status, it's important that we do so in safe ways. Please review our food and drink guidelines to understand the varying circumstance.

Any student who is experiencing symptoms should not attend class and should reach out to Health Services to schedule a testing appointment as soon as possible. 

Any employee who is experiencing symptoms should stay home. If you still feel well enough to work, please make arrangements with your supervisor. The College will support you in taking care of your health and your work and providing flexibility in that situation.

Employees and students are no longer required to complete the Daily Health Certification before or upon arriving to campus.

Students: Skidmore will be conducting surveillance PCR testing for all Skidmore students at the start of the semester.

Out of an abundance of caution, and in addition to our pre-arrival and arrival testing protocols, Skidmore will also require that all students, regardless of vaccination status, test every seven days for the first five weeks of classes, through Oct. 8. Details are outlined in this message to students

Employees:

Skidmore is requiring that all employees, regardless of vaccination status, conduct re-entry surveillance testing between Thursday, Sept. 2, and Wednesday, Sept. 8. Details regarding this new requirement and information on further surveillance testing, contract tracing, and protocols for employee illness, positive cases, and exposures to positive cases are outlined in this fall testing policy for employees

All students and employees who were approved for an exemption from Skidmore's vaccination requirement will be tested weekly during the fall semester.

Skidmore Health Services staff will call all students who have positive COVID-19 test results to share the test results, provide support and instructions about next steps.

By New York state law, all positive COVID-19 test results must be reported to the relevant public health authorities.

Additionally, any positive test results on Skidmore's campus will be shared with relevant campus administrators in order to facilitate needed next steps, like isolating and facilitating support. Information will be shared parsimoniously and only on a "need to know" basis.

We are confident in both the sensitivity and specificity of the COVID-19 tests, which are successfully processed by the Broad Institute. The Institute has several quality control protocols in place to ensure accuracy over time and across laboratory batches.

Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination or symptom status.

Any on-campus student who needs to isolate or quarantine based on COVID testing and/or exposure to COVID-19 will be strongly encouraged to return home to quarantine or isolate. Off-campus students will isolate or quarantine in their off-campus housing.

Fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 will need to follow CDC guidelines which, as of Aug. 13, are to mask indoors and self-monitor for seven days following exposure and test three to five days after exposure. If the test is negative, and individuals are not symptomatic, individuals may stop masking after seven days, unless there is a general Skidmore requirement to continue indoor masking for all.

Individuals who are unvaccinated and who are exposed to COVID-19 will need to quarantine for 10 days, based on current New York State Department of Health and CDC guidelines. Students who need to quarantine or isolate can anticipate they will miss significant class time and will need to work with faculty members around meeting course requirements.

Any employee, regardless of vaccination status, who tests positive for COVID-19 must not come on campus to work and should stay home until it is safe for them to be around others. You may return to work after:

  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.

Unvaccinated employees who are exposed to a positive COVID-19 case and who are required to quarantine by order of the Department of Health should provide a copy of their quarantine order to their supervisor.

Employees who can work remotely should do so during their isolation or quarantine period. Employees who cannot work remotely may be eligible for paid time off during their isolation or quarantine period and should contact Human Resources for additional information.

Vaccinated employees who are exposed to a positive COVID-19 case and who show no symptoms of COVID-19 are not required to quarantine. The CDC recommends fully vaccinated employees should get tested three to five days after their exposure, even if they do not have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public spaces for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Health Services will work with students on a case-by-case basis to determine the best course of treatment. This could include services delivered by on-campus providers, or referrals to Saratoga Hospital/local urgent care centers based on the nature and severity of the illness.

Health Services is currently available for clinical appointments from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, and students who are living, working or taking classes on campus are eligible for clinical services. Request an appointment through the website, by calling 518-580-5550 or emailing health@skidmore.edu.

Counseling Center resources and counselors are available to all students. Please visit the Counseling Center webpage for information about clinical services, hours, access, and policies.

Students should speak with their faculty members to let them know they have an approved exemption. Faculty members will work with students to address classroom spaces and group work activities.

Human Resources will work with employees and their supervisors to address any physical space concerns.

  • Donna Ng (Chair), Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer
  • Gail Cummings-Danson (Co-Chair), Assistant VP for Student Affairs and Director of Athletics
  • Sarah Delaney Vero, Interim Human Resources Director/Assistant Director of Employment & Workforce Diversity
  • Pat Fehling, Associate Dean of the Faculty and Professor for Health and Human Physiological Sciences Department
  • Sara Miga, Director of External Relations and Strategic Communications, and Angela Valden, Strategic Communications Editor
  • Tim Munro, Director of Campus Safety
  • Bruce Murray, Assistant Director of Facilities
  • Kelly Patton-Ostrander, Assistant Vice President for Financial Planning & Auxiliary Services
  • Ann Marie Przywara, Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Residential Life
  • Julia Routbort, Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Health and Wellness

Vaccination policies

Yes. Skidmore College is requiring that all students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before arriving on campus for the fall. 

Please review the full policy. 

Yes. All new and current faculty and staff (union and non-union) are required to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 3, 2021, unless exempted from this requirement as a reasonable accommodation of a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief.

Please review the full policy. 

Currently accepted COVID-19 vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) and an evolving list of international vaccines accepted by the World Health Organization. Vaccines must be approved by either the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization to be acceptable. Only individuals who have received all recommended doses of an FDA-authorized or WHO-listed COVID-19 vaccine are considered fully vaccinated for the purpose of public health guidance.

The College will work closely with any international students who may have difficulty accessing one of these vaccines or have access to a vaccine not listed, and those instances will be examined on a case-by-case basis.

All returning students must submit proof of COVID vaccination through this form by Aug. 1, 2021
 
If you have already submitted proof of vaccination to Health Services, you do not need to complete this form. You can verify this documentation by checking your Health Portal account.

By Aug. 13, employees must:

  • Provide proof of full vaccination; OR
  • Provide proof of first shot and appointment for second shot**; OR
  • Apply for a medical or religious exemption to Human Resources; OR, For staff: Apply for an unpaid leave of absence until vaccinated, and in any event no later than Jan. 3, 2022. For faculty: Apply for an unpaid leave of absence in accordance with Faculty Handbook provisions (Part I, IX, C).

**This provision only applies to vaccines requiring two shots (Pfizer & Moderna); One single dose of Johnson & Johnson is considered fully vaccinated.

Evidence of full vaccination, unless granted an exemption or leave of absence, must be submitted by Sept. 3, 2021.

Human Resources sent details on how to submit your information directly to employees via email during the week of July 26. Please contact HR for questions. 

Vaccination records will be maintained confidentially by Human Resources for employees and Health Services for students and will only be shared with those with a need to know and in accordance with federal and state laws protecting health information.

Employees in need of an exemption from this policy due to a medical reason, or because of a sincerely held religious belief, should contact Human Resources to request an accommodation in accordance with the College's Reasonable Accommodations for Employees and Applicants policy. 

Students can begin the process of applying for an exemption based on medical or religious grounds, or for an extension of the Aug. 1 deadline due to difficulties accessing an approved vaccine, by completing this form by Aug. 1

For staff members who have not received all doses by Sept. 3, 2021, and do not request an accommodation or leave of absence, the following will be implemented:

Non-union staff:

  • Staff may voluntarily resign.
  • In accordance with the College's Unpaid Leave policy, staff may apply for an unpaid leave of absence until vaccinated, or until Jan. 3, 2022, whichever is sooner. Failure to return to work by the end of an approved leave of absence will be considered job abandonment and the College will terminate the employee.
  • Otherwise, the College will issue an involuntary termination notice.

Union staff: Those who choose not to comply with the College’s vaccination requirement will be subject to further action in accordance with the contract and other agreements reached with the applicable union.

Faculty:

  • Faculty may apply for an unpaid leave of absence in accordance with Faculty Handbook provisions (Part I, IX, C); OR
  • The College will initiate disciplinary action, up to and including suspension and/or dismissal, in accordance with Faculty Handbook procedures (Part I, XI). Violation of College policy is considered professional misconduct.

Current federal guidance supports employers mandating approved COVID-19 vaccines for employees, and employers are within their legal authority to do so.

Students and employees are encouraged to review Centers for Disease Control and New York State Department of Health information regarding the safety of available COVID-19 vaccines. 

COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available at state-run vaccination clinics as well as local grocery stores and pharmacies. To locate a convenient and free vaccine location, please visit this New York state website.

Yes. The CDC recommends individuals get vaccinated regardless of whether they have already had COVID-19, based on studies that show that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

VISITORS POLICY

A visitor is defined as any individual on the Skidmore campus who is not a Skidmore College student, faculty, or staff member. Visitors include guest speakers, vendors, contractors, family and friends of students or employees, admissions tour participants, members of the local community.

Yes. However, participation in certain events and activities (i.e. meetings, indoor gatherings) may be limited based on vaccination status or the current level of transmission in our area. 

Please see our fall 2021 visitor policy for details. 

There is currently no vaccination requirement for visitors. However, vaccination status may impact your ability to participate in certain events during periods of high transmission levels.

Please see our fall 2021 visitor policy for details. 

All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask indoors. Vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask outdoors. Unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained, and it's recommended when transmission levels are high. 

Please see our fall 2021 visitor policy for details. 

Doors are locked at all times and no visitor can enter campus housing on their own, or be left alone in a hall or apartment.

Visitors can enter campus housing if they are wearing a mask, have been invited by a student, and that student has gotten the permission of their roommate(s). At this time, we ask that students bring no more than two non-Skidmore students into a residence building at one time and be exceptionally considerate of those whom they share a space with and their comfort level with guests. 

Whether to invite a visitor to the classroom will be up to the discretion of faculty members. 

All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask indoors. Please see the fall 2021 visitor policy for more information.

Whether visitors may attend events will be up to discretion of event organizers, in conjunction with the appropriate Cabinet member.

All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask indoors. Vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask outdoors. Unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained, and it's recommended when transmission levels are high. Please see the fall 2021 visitor policy for more information.

CAMPUS LIFE

The Dining Services team will continue to provide the high-quality food that our students appreciate while maintaining a safe environment.

When the College is operating at a “yellow” level (“substantial” to “high” Saratoga County transmission rate), the Dining Hall will be prioritized for students only during the fall semester.

The Spa will be open to everyone, regardless of the campus status level. 

Outdoor dining is encouraged when possible. 

Yes. Competition schedules will be posted on team webpages on the Skidmore Athletics website as they become available.

Student employment will continue to be available on campus.

The College’s top priority in all our planning continues to be the health and safety of our entire campus community. With that in mind, the following guiding principles were developed to establish categories of events and activities we should seek to prioritize to best fulfill Skidmore’s academic mission. The guidelines help faculty, staff, and students to decide the appropriate format for College events and meetings, (indoors, outdoors, virtual). Whether to hold certain events will be an ongoing dialogue.
 
Academics and academic events: Will be prioritized above all other activities and events as the College seeks to — first and foremost — facilitate a safe, in-person environment for instruction and research throughout the year.  
 
Athletics and co-curricular events: Co-curricular events — chief among them athletics — should be prioritized and held as it is safe to do so, recognizing that students need to have a "full college experience" to the greatest extent possible. 
 
Key College events: Large, in-person events that fall outside a specific academic or co-curricular context may still have importance to the overall Skidmore experience and may be held if current health and safety conditions allow. Such events should not be held if they could seriously jeopardize the College’s ability to provide in-person academic or co-curricular experiences.  
 
Student social experiences: Events that facilitate engagement, entertainment, socialization, and community-building among students are crucial to their Skidmore experience as well as to their health and wellness. Such events and activities should be prioritized accordingly.

Yes. Administrators are working closely with the Student Government Association, and student leaders continue to provide opportunities for engagement within health and safety guidelines.

Yes. Field trips are permitted, and all College health and safety guidelines still apply.

Yes. When students leave campus, they must follow state and local guidelines. We encourage families to have conversations with students about expectations for behavior within the surrounding community. The College will be sharing guidelines and expectations with all students as well.

Building hours and additional information can be viewed on the Lucy Scribner Library webpage.

For the latest on the Tang Teaching Museum's hours, visit the museum's website

Celebration Weekend 2021 is scheduled for Oct. 15-17. You can learn more on the Celebration Weekend website. 

HOUSING

The College is planning residential spaces for students that will maintain standards of health and safety and prevent too much social density. 

If students are interested in living off campus, they are responsible for finding housing.

The College encourages students to consider the items listed on our packing list.

We would advise that parents ask their students to share emails with them. If you have specific questions upon review, please reach out to the Office of Residential Life at reslife@skidmore.edu

Yes, you may have friends visit you but they must wear a mask at all times regardless of vaccination status

ATHLETICS

At this time, Athletics is planning for a full competition schedule for all teams. The intercollegiate governing body, the NCAA, recommends the following:

  1. No masking during training (practices) and competitions
  2. Masking during travel for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals
  3. For unvaccinated individuals: once-weekly PCR testing or three-times-a-week antigen testing during the competition season
  4. For fully vaccinated individuals: no testing unless symptomatic or based on risk assessment of being a close contact
  5. There are no longer sport risk classifications (high, moderate, low risk).

Additionally, all spectators will be masked, regardless of their vaccination status, while we are in yellow ("high to substantial" transmission rates). 

Williamson Sports Center is now open to all students, faculty and staff without restrictions. Faculty and staff may bring guests, who are expected to sign in at the front desk. Sign-ups will still be required for all users of the cardio and weight rooms. Everyone must swipe in at the front desk with their Skidmore ID. The pool will reopen in the fall. For more information, contact Keelin Hollowood.

Competition schedules are posted on team webpages at skidmoreathletics.com.

All fall athletes are submitting pre-arrival test results, and all students will need to complete PCR surveillance testing at the start of the semester. All unvaccinated students will be tested weekly throughout the fall semester.

The College will continue to monitor and assess the need for additional testing throughout the semester, as it does with all COVID protocols.