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Skidmore College

Return to Campus: Important COVID-19 Quarantine, Testing and Travel Information

January 5, 2021

January 5, 2021

Dear Skidmore Community,
I hope this finds you well, and I wish you a very happy new year as we begin 2021 with great hope but also careful attention to the ongoing challenges. I write to let everyone know we are constantly studying and monitoring the pandemic and its bearing on Skidmore. The caseload levels in the county and the state, the spread of the new variant (not least its appearance right here in Saratoga Springs), the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacities in local hospitals, the positivity rates around us, and of course the slow but steady arrival of the vaccines, are all issues we are watching closely. We are also in regular communication with public health officials and other institutions of higher education as we continue to work toward the practices that will lead to the greatest level of health and safety for our entire community. 
All information, as well as announcements about any changes to our plans, will be posted on the 2020-2021 Campus Planning website and sent out via email. We will continue our clear, transparent and robust communications.
Earlier today, every student received a detailed letter with information about their travel, testing, quarantine and arrival plans and requirements. The following is a summary of how we are managing their return to campus.

Return to Campus

Precautionary quarantine requirements are determined by a student’s location prior to arriving on campus, specifically their state and/or country. Skidmore will be providing accommodations and support to all on-campus students who are required to quarantine. 
All students returning for the spring 2021 semester have been asked to:

  • Carefully monitor the New York State Travel Advisory for up-to-date information about precautionary travel requirements for anyone coming into New York, as travel requirements can change.
  • Minimize exposure and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to the beginning of Spring Term 2021. If they experience symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or are under quarantine or isolation orders, they must be cleared by their health care provider and/or local public health department prior to coming to campus.

Students Required to Quarantine

Current travel-related quarantine requirements apply to every person coming to New York from a non-contiguous state or from an international location that the Centers for Disease Control has identified as Level 2 or above.

  • Students residing on campus who are in need of precautionary quarantine will arrive on campus on Jan. 22. We have chosen this date to ensure they can be tested and start in-person classes on Feb. 2.
  • These students must obtain a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their entry into New York state. Within 72 hours prior to their arrival, they must share verification of pre-arrival COVID-19 testing with the College and fill out a Traveler Health Form.
  • Upon arrival into New York, they will quarantine for three days.  
  • On day four of their quarantine, they will take a COVID-19 test as part of Skidmore’s testing partnership with the Broad Institute. Upon receipt of the second negative test result (the pre-arrival test being the first result), they will be released from travel-related quarantine.
  • Based on current New York state regulations, if a student requiring quarantine is unable to get tested within three days prior to arriving in New York state, they will need to quarantine for a mandatory 10 days.

Students Not Required to Quarantine

Currently, on-campus and off-campus students who are not required to quarantine before traveling to New York state are those coming from Level 1 international locations and from New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont.

  • Students residing on campus who are not in need of precautionary quarantine will arrive on campus between Jan. 28 and Jan. 31. Move-in times will be assigned and staggered to accommodate social distancing.
  • These students must be tested, receive a negative test result and have a CoVerified status of “Cleared” prior to the beginning of classes and/or entering campus buildings. Until then, they must restrict contact with others and are required to stay in their on-campus living quarters except to enter Murray-Aikins Dining Hall for grab-and-go food options.
  • Skidmore will offer pre-semester testing for on-campus students from Monday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Falstaff’s.

Students Residing Off Campus

Students residing off campus during the spring semester are responsible for understanding and meeting New York state’s travel-related precautionary requirements as they apply to their specific circumstances. Student Affairs is available to assist any off-campus student with questions regarding quarantine requirements and how to safely quarantine off campus.

  • These students must be tested, receive a negative test result and have a CoVerified status of “Cleared” prior to the beginning of classes and/or entering campus buildings.
  • Skidmore will offer pre-semester testing for off-campus students from Monday, Jan. 25, through Sunday, Jan. 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Falstaff’s.

Each student must meet all relevant state and Skidmore requirements with regard to quarantine and testing prior to the start of in-person classes. Failure to meet relevant precautionary travel requirements is a violation of both the Skidmore College COVID-19 Pledge and the Student Code of Social Conduct.  
Our ability as a campus to meet these requirements will help ensure the spring semester starts off as safely as possible. The challenges of the pandemic certainly continue, and we will send out more updates as appropriate. I certainly recognize the anxiety and uncertainty of this situation, and I greatly appreciate everyone’s continued patience during this challenging time. 
Marc Conner