Confirmation of COVID-19 on campus

Back to Updates & Messages: COVID-19

Dear Campus Community,

I write to share that Colgate was informed today, March 31, that a student living on campus and three employees have received test results confirming a diagnosis of COVID-19. 

These diagnoses were confirmed by the Madison County Department of Health (DOH). The student, who was already housed in isolation out of an abundance of caution, is being cared for by Colgate’s Student Health Services. Impacted staff members are recovering at home.  

Colgate has prepared for this moment. The University’s Emergency Operations Center has undertaken intensive planning and preparations for quarantine and isolation spaces for students, as well as plans for meals and ongoing support.

The DOH, with support from the University, will be conducting contact tracing of those who may have been in direct contact with these newly diagnosed individuals. Because these are the first confirmed cases on campus, we wanted to quickly inform our students, faculty, and staff. However, due to the nature of this illness and widespread infection rates throughout the region, the University will not be keeping an ongoing tally of confirmed cases. Madison County is keeping record of cases in our area

Even if you are not contacted by the DOH, it is important to act as though you and those you know are potential carriers of COVID-19 and to follow closely the CDC social distancing and hand washing protocols. 

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 difficult time.

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.

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

  • Students with concerns should: during regular office hours, call the Student Health Center at 315-228-7750; all other times, call the Upstate Medical Center Coronavirus Hotline at 315-464-3979.
  • Faculty and staff members should contact their primary care providers or the Upstate Medical Center Coronavirus Hotline at 315-464-3979.

To reduce risk of infection — for many illnesses — campus community members should practice careful hygiene: 

  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. 
  • When soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze in the crook of your elbow or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Then, wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home when you are sick
    • Students: contact your professors and administrative dean to discuss temporary accommodations
    • Employees: contact your supervisor
  • Do not share:
    • Drinks or drinking glasses 
    • Eating utensils 
    • Toothbrushes, towels, lip balm, or cosmetics 
    • Food or drink from a common source (e.g. punch bowl) 
    • Smoking materials 

Additional public health updates will be shared as needed at Specific questions can be sent to

Dan Gough
Associate Vice President of Campus Safety and Environmental Health and Safety