COVID-19 Update: Skidmore employee tests positive
Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,
I write to inform you that Skidmore College has been notified that an employee, away from campus, has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee remains off-campus and isolated until they have been cleared by health officials. Out of respect for the employee’s privacy and in line with federal laws relating to health information, we cannot identify the individual. (Editor's note: Please visit the FAQ page for more information)
This news, while difficult to hear, is not unexpected. All known information about this coronavirus indicates that many people across the country most likely have been exposed, and there is no natural or social boundary that limits who can be affected or where new cases can emerge. As testing is expanded, we are likely to see a spike in the number of reported cases nationally and locally.
We are living through extraordinary times. Our nation and virtually every country around the world – down to communities like ours – have been challenged. The familiar social order has been disrupted, and each of us feels the effects personally. So, let me acknowledge that many people, understandably, are feeling anxious and some members of our community are upset. This latest development only adds to an already challenging situation. This is a time when all of us are called to depend on our sense of community and on one another.
Please be assured that the health and safety of all members of our community will
always be our highest priority, and we will continue to do everything in our power
to slow the spread of this coronavirus. We will continue to work closely with and
follow the guidance of regional, state and federal health officials, both in this
case and in our overall response to the pandemic. Additionally, we will continue the
deep cleaning of common areas and high-traffic, high-touchpoint areas throughout the
It is important to acknowledge that the burden of decisions we have made to address the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen especially on our students and their families, and on some students more heavily than others.
We have requested that students return to collect their belongings, so they have what they need to successfully participate in remote learning. Students and their families have been collecting their belongings from campus residences this week. We deeply appreciate the cooperation, patience and understanding of our students and their families during this disruptive process. We understand the process is difficult and may cause hardships for many, and we continue to provide flexibility, as needed, for those who cannot return to Skidmore this week or who face other challenges.
Students and families who have difficulties or other concerns may contact Residential Life at email@example.com. Students who are unable to collect necessary academic materials by March 23, when remote learning begins, should contact their individual faculty members.
Room and board refunds
As previously announced, the College will prorate room and board fees, adjusted for any financial aid, for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Credit adjustments, if any, will be processed by May 1.
On-campus and remote work for employees
We will continue to work together to slow the advance of COVID-19 within our community. We also remain committed to doing the important work on campus, including serving and supporting our students who remain in residence. Together, we can continue doing this work with the community’s health and safety always in mind. We also need to acknowledge the tension between the values of safety and service. Members of our community are called upon to make difficult decisions – on a daily and hourly basis – about how best to balance these values.
With this understanding, we encourage College employees to continue telecommuting to the extent possible. Some employees will need to continue to report to campus to complete their duties and should confer with direct supervisors about options. Updates to FAQs and further information will be provided by supervisors and Human Resources.
As I have said before, this is an unprecedented situation for both our nation and for Skidmore College, and we are working to support and assist all members of our community in meeting the demands placed upon us. Now, more than ever, we need to join together as a community in a spirit of cooperation, compassion, understanding and flexibility. Again, we all are in this situation together, and it will take our collective efforts to deal with it in ways that, ultimately, will make our community stronger.
Philip A. Glotzbach