Important Alert Level Updates
Dear Skidmore Community,
I’m pleased to report that after beginning the semester in “safe shelter” mode and maintaining enhanced precautions throughout this week, we currently have just two students in isolation and three in quarantine. This is a remarkable result, indicating the rigor of our preparations and the exceptional commitment from all of us to a safe return to campus.
As noted in the Return to Campus Plan, our goal was to resume in-person dining and more activity beginning the third week of the semester. Given the limited number of COVID-19 cases on campus and declining positivity rates in Saratoga County, we will move forward as planned, while of course maintaining continued vigilance and a high level of caution.
To help guide decisions about activities, movement and operations on campus as we continue through the semester, the College has refined our alert level framework to address key health and safety factors.
Through this weekend, heightened precautions remain in place: students will continue to pick up their meals to-go at the dining hall and gatherings are not permitted. Provided that positive test levels remain low over the weekend, I’m happy to share that effective Monday, Feb. 15, the College will operate at anAlert Level 2.
At Alert Level 2, the number of positive test results and number of exposed individuals in quarantine are slightly higher than at the lowest level of alert, but effective and timely contact tracing is possible. The College has been able to swiftly identify, isolate and contain transmission. There is no evidence of wider transmission within the Skidmore community, on and off campus.
I encourage everyone to visit the Campus Planning website to carefully review detailed information about the alert levels and each level’s impact on key services, operations, activities and expectations. With that in mind, I want to highlight a few key changes to be aware of, effective Feb. 15:
- Dining will return to normal operations.
- Testing will return to once weekly.
- Small-group gatherings of no more than 10 individuals will be permitted when individuals are masked and socially distanced at all times.
- In housing, on-campus students may visit others on campus (one person per room or apartment). Off-campus students may visit other off-campus students (one person per apartment or house). All students must be masked and socially distanced at all times and cleared in CoVerified. Students living off campus may not be in campus housing and students in campus housing may not visit off-campus residences.
Given the uncertain and ever-changing nature of the pandemic, flexibility within alert levels is essential and anticipated. Guidance may shift in response to any unique combination of factors. In addition, the need to adjust from one level to another may occur quickly. As always, clear communication within our community will be crucial.
If there is a required shift in alert levels — up or down — all students and employees will be notified via email, followed immediately by a Skidmore Urgent Notification System (SUNS) message. The email will provide any key guidance at that particular moment, in addition to what is posted on the Alert Level webpage.
The College’s current operating status will always be visible on the COVID-19 Dashboard, and alert level changes will also be noted in the Skidmore Weekly Bulletin.
If anything changes in the plan outlined above prior to Monday, the community will be notified as promptly as possible.
This is extremely encouraging news. We’re starting out about as well as anyone would have dared to hope. Everyone should feel exceptionally proud of the job we’ve done as a community in returning safely to campus. Now we must continue to exercise caution and care, as the virus remains more prevalent than in the fall and we still have a journey ahead of us with this pandemic. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other.