In light of the recent, rapid spread of the omicron variant in New York State, we write today to provide an update related to our public health measures for the upcoming spring 2022 semester. We will also hold two faculty and staff town halls, on Friday, Jan. 14, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. President Casey and members from the Task Force on Reopening will provide further information and answer questions about the start of the spring 2022 semester when we begin to welcome students back Jan. 21–24.
Register for 11 a.m. Town Hall
Register for 4 p.m. Town Hall
Submit your questions
Employee baseline testing will be offered Jan. 18–20 for worried-and-well employees and students at the Clark Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Indoor Masking Requirement
The New York State HERO Act is still in place. According to updated guidance for protection against SARS-CoV-2, we strongly recommend everyone on campus wear medical-style masks such as surgical masks, N95, KN95, or KF94 rather than cloth masks or face coverings. The University has an ample supply of surgical masks, and is in the process of ordering a supply of KN95 masks. Departments may request these via their designated COVID-19 supply coordinator. Please also ensure that you wear your masks properly, covering both mouth and nose.
Reporting a Positive Test Result
Staff members are required to notify their supervisor and human resources if they test positive for COVID-19. Faculty members should notify their department chair or program director and human resources. Employees who are able to perform their work from home and are asymptomatic or feeling well enough should do so. Employees who are not able to work from home will be paid for their time out while in isolation or awaiting their day-six test
Course Instruction During Student COVID-19 Testing Period
During the first week of classes (Jan. 24–28), in order to accommodate the potential for high numbers of students being absent from in-person classes due to isolation protocols, faculty members are asked to incorporate flexibility into their classroom instruction. This may include moving courses to Zoom, streaming in-person classes online, alternative assignments, or other options. Individual instructors have the authority to make decisions about course delivery the first week, as throughout the rest of the semester, although it must be noted that teaching in a remote manner past the first week is not consistent with Colgate’s accreditation and may only be utilized for short durations to accommodate required isolation or other short-term emergencies. These measures are meant to provide equitable access to students in isolation or for situations where faculty are in isolation. We will continue to make Colgate classrooms safe and secure environments for students and faculty members, especially given our highly vaccinated and boostered community.
Close Contact Guidance
In light of updated guidance from the CDC and Colgate’s Task Force on Reopening, Colgate will be altering its quarantine and isolation policies for the spring semester.
- Fully vaccinated AND eligible for a booster but not yet boosted: You must quarantine for 5 days and wear a high-quality well-fitting mask while around others for the following 5 days.
- Fully vaccinated and boosted OR not yet eligible for a booster: No quarantine is required but these individuals should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure. If symptoms appear, quarantine and seek testing.
- Exempt from vaccination for medical/religious reasons: You must quarantine for 5 days and wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask while around others for the following 5 days.
- If possible, test on day 5.
- Day 0 is the last date of exposure. Day 1 of your quarantine is the first full day after your last contact with a person who has had COVID-19.
- Fully boosted means you received the booster at least 2 weeks before the first date of your exposure.
- In all cases, if you are symptomatic you should continue to stay home.
Reporting if You Are a Close Contact
Employees are required to notify their supervisor and human resources (email@example.com) if they must quarantine as a confirmed close contact of an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
Isolation is used to separate people infected with COVID-19 from those who are not infected. Employees who test positive will be contacted by HR.
If you test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, you must:
- Stay home for five days.
- If, on the morning of the sixth day you are symptom-free or symptoms are resolving (must be fever-free for 24 hours), then you will be required to take a rapid antigen test. A negative test will be required to return to work.
- You may need to isolate longer than five days based on the progression of your symptoms. If you are moderately to severely immunocompromised, isolate for 10 days.
- Employees may use an at-home test, OR may come to the Colgate testing clinics, which will be held Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the semester.
- If released from isolation after day five, employees must continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for five additional days.
Employees should receive a booster as soon as they are eligible. The booster requirement will go into effect on Feb. 1. Employees who fail to meet this requirement will be subject to employment action. If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 or have a note from your physician to delay receiving a booster shot, please forward this information to human resources.
Please ensure that your name and date of birth are visible in any image being used for document verification. If using the Excelsior Pass Plus, use the download option (not a screenshot) to save a PDF for uploading. Should you experience issues with the upload, please contact the Human Resources Department for assistance.
Reminder of Gathering Guidelines and Best Practices
Colgate continues to adhere to CDC and New York State guidelines regarding events and gatherings. We strongly recommend that event organizers review best practices for in-person gatherings and implement additional steps as much as possible, particularly for gatherings with outside guests.
As members of the Colgate community, employees play a central role in maintaining the health and safety of the Colgate and Hamilton communities. We appreciate everything you do to support Colgate’s academic mission and wish you and your families a happy, healthy 2022.
Laura H. Jack
Vice President for Communications