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Skidmore College

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs will be continuously updated as new questions are asked and information is available. Employees are also encouraged to view general FAQs, which provide additional information here.

In-person work

The College has begun a phased return to campus of all staff who have been working remotely, in accordance with division and unit plans created as part of the College’s Return to Campus Policy. A full return to on-campus work is expected by Sept. 2, 2021.

The College looks forward to welcoming remote employees back to campus in the coming months. The College also acknowledges that this will be a transition that involves mixed emotions for many employees. The College reminds employees that Human Resources is available to provide support, answers to your questions, and resources during this transition period. Employees may also speak confidentially to a support professional from the College's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by calling 518-793-9768 or 1-800-734-6072. 

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. 

Please see the fall 2021 distancing guidelines for a full breakdown of guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Yes. Effective Sept. 6, 2021, New York state has designated COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under the NYS HERO Act. As a result, Skidmore College has activated its Airborne Infectious Disease Prevention Plan. All employees must now complete the Daily Health Certification form at the beginning of each work day. Any employee with symptoms of COVID-19 must contact their healthcare provider and follow their instructions, including referral for a COVID-19 test. Clearance by a healthcare provider or proof of a negative COVID-19 test must be submitted to Human Resources at hr@skidmore.edu before returning to work on campus. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 must notify Human Resources for further instructions. 

The College has also developed a training video that includes a review of the College’s plan, the New York Department of Labor’s Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, how the disease can be spread, and the exposure controls the College has put in place to prevent transmission of COVID-19 on campus.

Out of an abundance of caution, 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.

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. In accordance with CDC guidance, the College expects fully vaccinated employees to 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.

No, 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.

If you are experiencing symptoms of any kind, please stay home. If you still feel well enough to work, please talk it out with your supervisor. The College will support you in taking care of your health and your work and providing flexibility in that situation.

Offices, laboratories, studios and classroom spaces can operate at full capacity.

Most buildings are open with established business hours.

For masking, social distancing, food and drink, and visitor guidelines as they apply to meetings and events, please review these fall 2021 guidelines.

A meeting is defined as a gathering held to conduct the day-to-day work of the College. Examples include departmental meetings, faculty meetings, staff meetings, team meetings, and meetings with vendors to discuss business/College matters.

Key points regarding meetings include:

  • Meetings with 60 or fewer participants are permitted under both status levels, as long as the appropriate masking, distancing , and food guidelines are followed. During “substantial to high” transmission, all participants would be required to be masked at all times, and food would not be permitted.
  • Large meetings, with more than 60 participants, must be held virtually during “substantial to high” transmission. Meeting/event organizers should not take unnecessary risks by holding a large in-person meeting if a virtual meeting would suffice.

Faculty are notified if a student in their class is impacted. Department chairs are notified if a member of their department is impacted.

Employees who are in high-risk groups or have underlying health conditions that place them at a higher risk should take great care in avoiding exposure. While on campus, that means always wearing a mask, avoiding common areas entirely and maintaining social distance.  

Employees who do not feel safe coming back to work at this time may be able to plan to continue working from home. We are sensitive to protecting information about anyone’s personal health situation. Anyone who feels they need an accommodation should contact Laura Goodwin in HR at lgoodwin@skidmore.edu. We will do everything we can to work with individuals who need an accommodation to keep them safe and healthy. 

The shift to telework for many employees was not a College decision, but rather a requirement as a result of the governor’s shutdown order and of CDC, state, and local guidance to de-densify the workplace and learning environment.   
 
That guidance has changed, capacity limitations have all been lifted, and workplaces have been deemed safe operating at 100% capacity. According to the CDC, vaccinations are now the best defense against serious illness and complications from COVID-19.   
 
Consistent with this guidance, the College has mandated vaccinations for all faculty, staff, and students, except when an exemption is required due to a medical condition or sincerely held religious belief.   
 
Since de-densification is no longer deemed necessary for health and safety reasons, and given that we will be a nearly fully vaccinated community by Sept. 3, it is essential for us to return to our jobs on campus to support our students in the learning enterprise. Each Skidmore employee is a part of that enterprise and contributes to it, and being on campus and interacting with our students and with each other is a crucial part of that element of our jobs.  

While some divisions and units can and have been able to operate efficiently using telework arrangements, others cannot and have been working on campus throughout the pandemic. This has created a divide and perceived inequity by some, and a loss of our sense of community for many, including students who have repeatedly expressed concerns about the lack of staff and faculty presence on campus over the past year, and staff who have expressed a lack of collaboration, teamwork, and effectiveness.

The College understands the uncertainty of the situation for parents with young, school-aged children and will consider flexibility for employees on a case-by-case basis, keeping equity issues in mind. There is not a formal policy. 

COVID-19 VACCINATION

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.

No, the vaccination is free.

All employees who cannot schedule vaccination appointments outside of regular work hours will receive paid time off for work time missed due to receiving the vaccine. Exempt and nonexempt employees should record any work time missed due to traveling to and receiving the vaccination as sick time. Union employees should record this time as College Emergency Leave. To be eligible for paid leave, employees must provide proof of their vaccination appointment to their supervisor, who will work with Human Resources to approve a sufficient period of paid time off for each vaccine injection. The amount of paid time off will depend on the time and location of the vaccination appointment (e.g., local appointments may require 1 to 2 hours of paid time off to attend, while an appointment in Plattsburgh could require 4 hours of paid time off to account for the additional travel time.).  

Out of an abundance of caution, 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
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.

Employee Testing

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

Out of an abundance of caution, 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 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

You must bring your Skidmore College ID for proper identification. Masks must be worn, and employees must maintain appropriate social distancing at all times.

Employees who receive a negative test result will receive an email that will allow them to access a confidential online portal provided by CareEvolve to view the negative test result. Employees who test positive will be contacted by the College’s ordering physician, who will provide the positive test results by phone. Employees who test positive will also be given important information regarding quarantine and following up with your regular physician.

If an employee is a new user and being tested for the first time, the process is outlined here. 

Test results are released in real time. Participants with negative test results will receive an email notification. Positive test results will be provided by telephone by the College’s ordering physician.   

Employees who are already registered can log in here to view test results. 

Objections may be directed to HR, who will address them on a case-by-case basis.

Before your first test, you will be asked to sign a HIPAA-compliant release allowing Broad Institute to share the results of test with the College. The College will maintain any information received related to the exposure or diagnosis of COVID-19 as confidential medical records in accordance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and New York State Human Rights Law. This means the College will keep employees’ test results private and will not disclose them except as required by state and local health officials and to the extent necessary to carry out the College’s protocol for responding to an employee who tests positive as described in the College’s Reopening and Safety Action Plan. 

The College will be providing testing options for members of our community who are identified through our contact tracing/case investigation process as having been exposed to COVID-19. Current CDC recommendations call for fully vaccinated individuals to test three to five days after exposure.

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.
 

Employees who are quarantined but can work remotely and are medically able to do so will be expected to work and are not eligible for College Emergency Leave.

Any employee who is unable to work as a result of a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine will receive up to 14 days of College Emergency Leave. Employees should record this time as College Emergency leave when completing their timecards.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should wait 90 days before being tested again.

Broad Institute will administer the SARS-CoV-2 Real-time Reverse Transcriptase-PCR Diagnostic Assay. This is a molecular test. The College is not offering antibody testing.

The turnaround time for test results is 24-48 hours.

Yes, all unvaccinated employees who are working on campus will be required to be tested.

If you have questions not answered here, please contact Sarah Vero, Interim HR Director, at svero@skidmore.edu.