Important updates to campus COVID-19 policies
As announced by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, June 15, the state has reached the critical threshold of having 70% of
adults vaccinated against COVID-19 and, as a result, most COVID-19 restrictions in
the state have been lifted, effective immediately. This is a momentous announcement
that paves the way for Skidmore to return to normal on-campus operations this summer
and into the fall.
The level of transmission in Saratoga County is currently rated as low, and the county is currently reporting a 72.3% vaccination rate for individuals 18 and older. Consistent with state and local data, and based on the responses received to date, the current employee vaccination rate is 72.4%. This demonstrated commitment by employees to the health and welfare of their colleagues, together with the College's requirement that all students receive the vaccination, will bring our combined vaccination rate of all community members on campus to well over 70%. The College continues to strongly encourage employees to get vaccinated. We will continue to monitor transmission and vaccination rates to determine any potential vaccination requirements for employees.
In response to the governor’s announcement and the campus vaccination rate, the following changes will go into effect at Skidmore College immediately:
- Masks. Masks are no longer required on campus for fully vaccinated individuals, indoors or outdoors. Consistent with CDC guidance, individuals who are not fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks when outdoors, except when in crowded outdoor settings. Also consistent with CDC guidance, individuals who are not fully vaccinated are expected to continue to wear masks indoors when in public spaces or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated. Although people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks, the College is supportive of vaccinated individuals who choose to wear a mask.
- Physical distancing. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to practice physical distancing (keeping space of at least 6 feet — about two arms’ length — between people who are not from your household) in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to practice physical distancing.
- Offices, laboratories, studios and classroom spaces. Offices, laboratories, studios and classroom spaces can operate at full capacity, with the only limitation being adequate space for physical distancing by individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
- Daily Health Certification. Employees and students are no longer required to complete the Daily Health Certification before or upon arriving to campus. Students and employees are encouraged to continue to self-monitor for symptoms of infectious disease, including COVID-19 symptoms. As was the case prior to the pandemic, employees who are sick should stay home. Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 must report the diagnosis to Human Resources, who will advise the employee on current isolation requirements. Any individual who is not fully vaccinated and is exposed to a positive COVID-19 case must report this to Human Resources, who will advise the employee on current quarantine requirements. Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to quarantine following exposure to a positive COVID-19 case.
- Contract-tracing logs. Employees are no longer required to maintain a log of individuals they come into close contact with over the course of their workday.
- Buildings. Most buildings will be open effective immediately, with established business hours. However, individual offices may remain closed until Aug. 2, 2021, when remote staff begin returning to work and all campus offices will be open during regular business hours.
- Gatherings and meetings. There are no longer any restrictions on the size of indoor or outdoor gatherings or meetings. For indoor meetings that will include a mix of vaccinated and not fully vaccinated individuals, the organizer must make arrangements to allow physical distancing for individuals not fully vaccinated. Meeting/gathering organizers should work with Conferences and Events to provide those arrangements.
- Dining. Murray-Aikins Dining Hall and The Spa will return to normal capacities. Summer operation hours are currently in effect, and normal hours of operation will resume in the fall.
- Athletics. Williamson Sports Center will be open to all students, faculty and staff without restrictions beginning immediately. 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. The pool will reopen in the fall. The restrictions on college athletics have been lifted.
- Surveillance testing. Employees and students who are fully vaccinated are exempt from the College's surveillance testing program. We will continue to offer COVID-19 surveillance testing to individuals who are not fully vaccinated through Summer Session II. Students who are not fully vaccinated and who have an on-campus presence must test weekly. Weekly testing is also required for all employees who are not fully vaccinated and who will be working on campus with regular proximate contact (working in the same workspace) with co-workers or students. Non-fully vaccinated employees who will only come into incidental contact with others but who otherwise work alone (either in their own private office or in a shared office space but who work alone due to staggered staffing arrangements) are also exempt from the College's testing program over the summer. Based on the robust levels of vaccination rates in our community and current low community transmission rates, the College anticipates discontinuing COVID surveillance testing after Summer Session II ends.