Colgate Together: The University Responds to COVID-19

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When New York State issued strict 14-day quarantine rules for Colgate students, staff, and faculty returning to New York from more than three dozen states, we knew our reopening plans faced a significant new hurdle. But Colgate made the decision to embrace this requirement as an opportunity both to increase the safety of all members of the community, and to come together in an extraordinary, once-in-a-century joint community effort.

Given that all Colgate students were invited to come back to campus in our reopening plans, and given that New York State quarantine regulations apply not only to those who were coming from 35+ states, but also to those with whom they live, we knew Colgate faced an extraordinary challenge:

How to meet state quarantine guidelines that would now — because we will live together — apply to essentially all Colgate students?

How to make this mandatory, state-driven period a time when we come together and work together?

How to not only get through this time, but also be better for it?

Here’s what we are doing for this two-week period:

  • Our athletics department and other University staff will now deliver more than 2500 meals several times a day to our students for these two weeks.
  • Welcome baskets with snacks and water will be in every Colgate room prior to student arrival.
  • Colgate face coverings and sanitizers will be placed in every room.
  • We are working with local grocery stores and restaurants to have meal delivery available to all.
  • Hundreds of Colgate staff will deliver textbooks and packages to all of our students.
  • We have worked with officials to allow for time outside and away from one’s residence for health and exercise.
  • We’re providing scheduled shuttle buses for students who live off campus in residences without outdoor space to come to campus and use it as their “quarantine backyard.”

The campus has been transformed with picnic tables and tents to make time outside safe and comfortable. Classrooms have been modified for student safety. Ventilation systems have been upgraded. And, most importantly, students will undergo multiple COVID tests to detect any possible occurrence of disease. We have secured spaces for those who test positive for the virus.

In Colgate’s two centuries, we have never attempted anything like this. But through the steps we will take together, we can comply with New York State law and increase, collectively, our chances for health and safety. This is a two-week period that calls on all of us to share in a common purpose.

We are providing additional details about what to expect during the universal quarantine for students returning to campus for in-person instruction. Many details are now online

Please review this guidance closely, as it should answer many outstanding questions. We also know there will be many more questions in the coming days and weeks ahead, and we will continue to update this quarantine section of the website with that information, both as we finalize additional details and address any changes in New York State guidance between now and your arrival.

We are doing this together, so we can be together.