Spring return-to-campus update
Dear Skidmore Community,
I’m pleased to report that our initial return-to-campus process was very successful. From Jan. 25-31, we tested every student upon arrival (in addition to the pre-arrival testing students conducted), and after 2,339 tests, we had only four student positives, and then a fifth from a pre-arrival test. We currently have five students in isolation and only 11 in quarantine, thanks largely to the “safe shelter” mode in which we have begun the semester.
This is exceptionally good news. I applaud our students for their care and attention to safe process, and our staff for their diligence and careful planning. We needed to start the semester with as little of the virus in our community as possible, and the indications are that we are succeeding.
Continued vigilance and a high level of caution remain necessary, of course. We are awaiting the next round of test results from Monday and Tuesday, which will be crucial to assessing the overall success of our transition back to campus. Our original plan for week two was to continue dining within student residences (with meals picked up from the dining hall) and to resume in-person classes as scheduled and planned. That remains the plan for week two. We hope to begin expanding student gatherings when it is safe to do so. However, limitations on gatherings will remain in place for at least one more week. If anything changes in that planning, I will alert the community promptly.
Everyone should feel very proud of the job we’ve done as a community in returning safely to campus. But I implore us all to remain as careful and vigilant as possible. The road ahead is hopeful, but we are still very much in the midst of this pandemic and our continued best efforts are necessary for us to get through this period.
Thanks to all,
Marc C. Conner