COVID-19: Heightened precautions, modified operations
Dear Skidmore Community,
I write to inform you that, through our weekly testing process, we have identified four confirmed COVID-19 cases this weekend from testing on Thursday, Nov. 12, and Friday, Nov. 13. We know we are very likely to see more positive cases as we continue testing today. In accordance with New York state regulations, Saratoga County Public Health Services has been alerted and contact tracing is underway. Affected individuals are in isolation and receiving appropriate care and support, and we send them our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Because of this increase in cases and due to rising local, regional and national COVID-19 infection rates, Skidmore’s campus COVID-19 alert has been raised to level 3. All members of the community are asked to proceed with a heightened awareness of safety protocols, such as wearing masks and social distancing. Reducing contact with or proximity to others as much as possible is highly encouraged.
In the interest of the health and safety of all members of our community during the final few days of in-person learning, the following operational changes will be implemented immediately:
- Faculty are encouraged, where possible, to hold remaining classes remotely Monday, Nov. 16, through Friday, Nov. 20.
- Dining Services will immediately transition to take-out food only.
- Family members and other visitors will not be permitted to enter residence halls or apartments during move-out. Students should move their belongings themselves or with roommates and meet family members outside in designated parking areas. Students who need assistance should inform Residence Life staff as soon as possible.
- All club meetings, athletic practices and all other group meetings or gatherings of three people or more must be held virtually.
- Employees who can work remotely, including those whose work brings them to campus occasionally, should come to campus only when it is absolutely necessary. Please consult supervisors and managers with any questions.
Students who experience symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and contact Health Services. Employees who experience symptoms should contact their primary healthcare provider. Anyone who experiences symptoms should not go to the surveillance testing tent.
As a reminder, students must have negative test results prior to leaving campus and should not travel while waiting for a test result. Leaving without a negative test result in hand would be a serious violation of our student COVID-19 conduct code, since that could potentially put others at risk. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 prior to Nov. 21 will need to be in isolation for a minimum of 10 days prior to leaving the area. Skidmore will support students who are required to be in isolation or quarantine based on the results of pre-departure testing.
We are all seeing the alarming rise in infection rates across the country, and this serves as a reminder that Skidmore too is affected by what is happening around us as well as by our own choices. This underscores the fact that we can all make a huge difference as a community by strictly observing precautions and following the guidelines outlined here. Our community has done an incredible job this semester and we need to continue making heroic choices in the days and weeks ahead. This will help us transition from our fall semester and will prepare us well for our spring semester.
Further updates will be provided as they are available.
Marc C. Conner