November 13, 2020

As you are aware, the College is preparing to complete our fall semester and help our residential students leave campus for the break from November 25, 2020 through January 18, 2021. The documented spike in COVID-19 cases nationally and in our own state makes it very important that each of us understand the ways we can help to mitigate risks of continuing spread of this virus as you determine travel plans to home, families, or friends.  As such, I am writing to encourage your participation in our campus’ COVID-19 Departure Testing clinics.

The College has been able to arrange for COVID-19 rapid testing to be available to all on-campus residential students between November 17 and 20, 2020 at no charge to students.  Limited additional appointments for our campus’ commuter students (undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education) will also be available.  We are using the SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test, supported by the New York State Department of Health for testing in college and university settings.  The test is a lower nasal swab test, so not as invasive as the upper nasal PCR test with which you may already be familiar.  Results of this test can be determined within 15 to 30 minutes.  Additional information regarding the test, its effectiveness, concerns with testing positive, and additional frequently asked questions can be found here, and is also in the document attached to this email.

The majority of residential student testing will be administered within your own residences at College-run “mobile” testing clinics (meaning they will travel to you!). Specifically, residents of Shove Hall and Shove Suites will be tested in the campus’ Health Center.  Information regarding both the dates, times, and schedule information for all in-residence testing sites as well as the appointment link for residents of Shove Hall and Shove Suites can be found on the last page of the document here.  This information is also in the document attached to this email. 

Again, as the country is experiencing a significant spike in COVID-19 cases right now, and with students from all over traveling to home communities at the end of their fall semesters, testing presents one more opportunity to identify risks of exposure from and for a population who is more likely to be asymptomatic. We care about the people we are planning to see during this break. We know the health care system is increasingly challenged to respond to the current caseload of COVID-19 patients. 

Knowing that, anything that each of us can do to support public health and safety is important.  In addition to wearing masks, maintaining distance, and disinfecting protocols, testing is another measure that can support actions which minimize exposure and support family and community well-being.  We hope you will strongly consider this opportunity and look forward to seeing you at the clinics or the Health Center next week.

If you have additional questions regarding the test or our plans, please direct them as follows:

Rapid test product information:                      

Deb Frank, (315) 655-7122

Residential testing schedule:                         

Tiffany Varlaro, (315) 655-7237

Testing protocol and rationale: