Last updated: March 23, 2020

Following the University's announcement of a community member who tested positive for COVID-19 in their hometown, Colgate is now hearing from others who have undergone testing.

Members of the Colgate community have tested positive for COVID-19 and are receiving appropriate care. These individuals returned home from campus earlier this week, have been tested elsewhere, and self-reported to Colgate.

Should I Be Concerned or Take Action?

Action is only required by those who made close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. The CDC specifically defines close contact with a person who has tested positive. In short, you have been in close contact with someone if you have:

  • provided care for the individual, including healthcare workers, family members or other caregivers, or others who had other similar close physical contact without consistent and appropriate use of personal protective equipment, or;
  • lived with or otherwise had close prolonged contact (within 6 feet) with the person while they were infectious, or;
  • had direct contact with infectious bodily fluids of the person (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment

If you have been in close contact with someone and your are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should call 911 immediately:

  • severe difficulty breathing (e.g., struggling for each breath, speaking in single words)
  • severe chest pain
  • having a very hard time waking up
  • feeling confused
  • lost consciousness

Please Respect Individuals' Privacy

In accordance with federal law related to health information, individuals cannot be publicly identified. Please respect their privacy — even if you believe you know who they are — so they can focus completely on their health. As a community, we must do everything we can to support these individuals and one another through this incredibly difficult time.

Contact Tracing Underway

Guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Madison County Department of Health (DOH), Colgate works with public health officials to identify known individuals who were in contact with anyone who tests positive. Those individuals are being notified by the Madison County DOH, with the assistance of Colgate, with next steps they should take. If you have not been notified, then you are not deemed to have increased risk because of exposure to these individuals.

Know When to Self-isolate/Quarantine

As a reminder, symptoms of COVID-19 infection include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. COVID-19 is spread mainly person-to-person through respiratory droplets, or by touching an object with the virus on it and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes. COVID-19 is treated through rest, fluids and nutrition, and medicine to reduce fever and discomfort. We encourage the Colgate community to stay up to date with the latest information from the CDC online

Individuals who think they have been exposed to COVID-19 should not walk into a healthcare facility; it is important to call first so the staff can prepare.

  • Students who are living on campus should call the Student Health Center at 315-228-7750 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to set up an appointment. Outside of these hours they should call Campus Safety at (315) 228-7333.
  • Students living off campus or at their primary residence, who have concerns that they have been exposed to COVID-19 while in Hamilton, should contact their healthcare provider and then inform the University by emailing
  • If you are in Hamilton and have an urgent medical concern that is COVID related please contact the New York State Department of Health at 888-364-3065.

The National Institutes of Health makes clear that, while little is known about the long-term effects of COVID-19, symptoms currently range from very mild to severe, and the most vulnerable populations are those who are older, and individuals with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. We encourage everyone in our community to continue good hygiene practices and to stay home if you do not feel well. This public health emergency requires everyone to consider themselves and others in order to keep the community safe. Visit the CDC online for the most up-to-date guidance for ways you can help prevent the spread of this illness. 

Take Preventative Measures

Every single one of us has the responsibility and the power to keep our community safe. Please continue to take these steps to keep yourself and those around you safe, especially those most vulnerable.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health in this time of uncertainty. It is perfectly normal to feel some anxiety about the situation and have some concerns about what may happen next. It is a good idea to stay informed through reliable resources and to remain connected to your family and friends regarding communication.

Counseling and Psychological Services

  • Helpful tips on coping
  • Starting March 23, remote/phone consultation with counseling and psychological services will be available by appointment.
  • After-Hours: Call the counseling center at 315-228-7385, for an emergency dial #2

Office of the Chaplains

Remote/phone meetings are also available with Colgate's chaplains (regardless of religious identity). Schedule appointments as outlined below, or call the office at 315-228-7682.


Rev. Dr. Corey MacPherson

University Chaplain & Protestant Campus Minister

Schedule appointment with MacPherson

Deacon Mark Shiner

Associate University Chaplain & Catholic Campus Minister

Schedule appointment with Shiner

Rabbi Barry Baron

Associate University Chaplain & Campus Rabbi

Call to schedule an appointment: 315-228-7682