As we return to campus in spring 2021, SUNY Oswego’s first priority is the health and safety of our campus community, including its students, faculty, and staff. The best way to maintain the safest environment possible throughout 2021 and beyond is for each of us to take steps to minimize the risks, not only for ourselves, but for all members of the SUNY community.
- wearing face coverings (masks)
- hand washing
- social distancing
- participating in testing and tracing
- completing daily screenings
- being mindful of our surroundings and the impact we have
Any of us alone can spread this disease and cause harm to others. But all of us together can build a community that is safe and healthy, where educational success is possible. Here’s what you need to know and do as SUNY and SUNY Oswego welcome students back to campus in 2021:
SUNY Oswego will continue its ongoing and frequent communication with members of the campus community and external stakeholders, including the County and City of Oswego. Campus communications are grounded in transparency and support the principles of putting safety first; protecting the core academic areas of excellence; maintaining our fundamental mission of the broadest possible access to world-class teaching, research and scholarship; sustaining academic programs and achieving operational efficiencies; and demonstrating agility in responding rapidly.
SUNY Oswego will continue to report daily COVID-related information to the SUNY COVID-19 Tracker in accordance with guidelines set forth by SUNY, and consistently through its own campus dashboard which is updated daily.
If additional information or alerts need to be shared with the campus community, this communication is implemented through multiple information channels including campus-wide email, the online Campus Bulletin, the Oswego Today daily email and the college’s Oswego Forward/COVID-19 website. Regular and frequent communication with the local health department and SUNY will occur throughout the testing, tracing, isolation and quarantine process.
(14) Days Prior to Arrival
All students and employees coming to campus for any reason must pre-screen daily for travel history, COVID-19 history and COVID-19 symptoms beginning 14 days prior to arriving on campus.
(7) Days Prior to Arrival
All students coming to campus for any reason must complete a 7-day precautionary quarantine prior to returning to campus. The following limited exemptions are allowed for the 7-day precautionary quarantine stated above:
Medical School and Health Professions students designated as “essential employees” will not be required to quarantine.
Students who are employed may apply for a limited exemption to allow them to work during the quarantine by emailing [email protected]. To qualify for the exemption, such students will need to document the COVID-19 safety protocols of their employers. Also, the exemption will only apply to their ability to work. When not working, the students will be expected to quarantine from others.
Out-of-State and International Travelers
SUNY Oswego will proactively reach out to international and domestic students and employees who live outside of New York and out of the country to ascertain their arrival dates and quarantine schedule according to New York State’s Travel Advisory guidelines whether living on- or off-campus. All individuals must attest that they have submitted the New York Traveler Health form, and follow the guidance of the governing local health department related to quarantine/isolation, testing and timing of returning to campus.
A phased return will take place for all residential students, whereby the student will adhere to a schedule in order to occupy their residence hall, including mandatory signing of the Oswego ‘Spring Forward’ Pledge and participation in campus baseline COVID-19 pooled saliva testing prior to move-in. SUNY Oswego will work with students to determine their respective return dates.
Off-campus students and employees returning to campus must also participate in baseline COVID-19 pooled saliva testing upon arrival. There is no cost to students or employees who participate in campus-based testing.
Students or employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of arrival are exempt from participating in campus testing, but must provide evidence of the positive test result to SUNY Oswego’s Health Services office (students) to [email protected] or Human Resources (employees) to [email protected]
All students and employees coming to campus for any reason must participate in campus surveillance testing each week throughout the spring semester.
Any student or employee who comes to campus for any reason must complete a daily health screen.
This daily health screen will contain questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, exposure to potential contacts that may or are confirmed to have COVID-19 and ask whether they have traveled to a NYS restricted state or internationally. Students and employees will log into the daily health screen with their Laker NetID for identification. Health screens will be dated and time-stamped to assist with tracking and tracing. To ensure that this health information remains protected, personal health data will not be stored. The daily health screening questions will be updated accordingly as required by the CDC and/or per New York State guidelines.
After baseline testing is concluded, all students and employees coming to campus for any reason must be tested at least once each week through campus surveillance testing. SUNY Oswego uses highly reliable, pooled saliva testing developed by SUNY Upstate Medical University to test each student and employee who will be studying and/or working on campus.
Testing is performed on campus at the Lee Hall Testing Center and the Syracuse Campus Testing Center (use these links for instructions and to schedule an appointment). There is no cost to students or employees for testing.
Failure to comply with COVID testing requirements will result in disciplinary action, including immediate measures that will restrict one from participating in classes, as well as denied card access to residence halls and dining centers.
SUNY maintains a comprehensive dashboard of COVID-19 testing and infection rate status across the system and at each campus. SUNY Oswego will also continue to report daily COVID-related information to the SUNY COVID-19 Tracker in accordance with guidelines set forth by SUNY, and consistently through its own campus dashboard which is updated daily.
Each of us can take small steps to protect ourselves and the campus community. Because COVID-19 is highly contagious, these simple measures apply both on and off-campus:
Wear face coverings (masks) at all times on campus, including in classrooms, conference rooms and other public spaces, even when you are able to maintain six feet of social distancing.
Exceptions to this requirement include when students are (1) in their private residential or personal space, or (2) eating meals on-campus while seated and socially distanced.
- Faculty and staff are likewise exempt when alone in their office or other private spaces.
- All new students, faculty and staff will be provided with two free cloth face coverings from SUNY Oswego before joining the campus community.
- A supply of replacement face coverings will also be maintained by the campus.
- All students and employees will also be encouraged to provide their own face coverings to ensure they always have an adequate supply of clean face coverings to access.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available.
- Stay home when you are sick or have potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
- Practice social distancing at all times to reduce transmission.
Students who test positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, or are informed by a state or local health department, or medical or campus official that they are “at risk” for having COVID-19 may be required to quarantine or isolate. This may include taking classes remotely, and not going to dining halls and other campus facilities.
The campus has specific information about restrictions while in quarantine or isolation that may be found in the Isolation and Quarantine section.
Students identified for quarantine and isolation (whether residential or non-residential) will have access to certain assistance, such as the delivery of food and medicine. They may also receive psychosocial, academic and/or other supports, as needed.
When the campus learns of a violation of the rules associated with COVID-19 safety, students may lose access to campus facilities and/or campus housing. Other disciplinary actions may be taken by the Student Conduct and/or Human Resources Offices. Student conduct is governed by the campus Code of Conduct. Minimum sanctions are outlined in the Uniform Sanctioning in Response to COVID-19 Student Violations. Consistent with SUNY policy, students who are partially or completely removed from the institution due to a violation are not eligible for refunds.
We understand that this is an exceptionally challenging time. SUNY has resources to help you get the support you need.
- Health Services will continue providing a 24-hour per day call nurse support line (through Fonemed) to all students;
- Health Services staff will work on a rotating schedule, as needed, with the balance of staff telecommuting.
- The Counseling Center provides telecounseling and evaluates the appropriateness of in-person sessions. Crisis appointments are staffed by phone and Zoom, and students are permitted to attend face-to-face appointments after proper screening.
- ReachOut SUNY
- Thriving Campus
- New York State Office of Mental Health Crisis Text Line: Text GOT5 to 741741.
- Free online QPR suicide prevention training is available for students, faculty, and staff
Consistent with the fall 2020 semester, SUNY Oswego will teach using multiple modalities: 25% of our lecture courses will be face-to-face, 25% hybrid, and 50% remote (combination of synchronous and asynchronous).
The Office of Learning Services will continue to provide tutoring services primarily remotely, but in some instances in-person, during this time. Students are also strongly encouraged to reach out to their faculty with specific questions around course materials and assignments.
Students having technology issues should contact the Campus Technology Services office at 315-312-3456.
Students who wish to disclose covered disabilities and receive reasonable accommodations should contact the Office of Accessibility Resources 315-312-3358 or [email protected]. SUNY Oswego will also work with faculty to provide the knowledge and skills to support remote learning of students with disabilities. Academic Deans will remind faculty members that the standard process for requesting academic accommodation will continue to apply, no matter the mode of instruction.
Phased Student Return/Move-In: All new and returning residential students will move into their residence halls through a phased, move-in schedule. Residence Life & Housing staff will work with students to schedule their return as well as their COVID-19 testing. All students must test before they are allowed to move into their residence hall and receive test results before classes begin on Monday, February 1, 2021. (Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of arrival are exempt from participating in campus testing, but must provide evidence of the positive test result to SUNY Oswego’s Health Services office (students) to [email protected].
The use of move-in volunteers will help enforce the social distancing rules and process. Students and families will be asked to sign-up for a move-in slot so that we can control the campus density as well as the number of people in each hall. We will provide student volunteers with PPE along with supplies that allow us to sanitize areas such as staff tables and move-in bins between staff changes.
Special housing considerations for students who are immune-compromised or who have an underlying health condition will be made. Students who inform Residence Life & Housing of their underlying health condition(s) may be placed in a single room or in a residence hall with the lowest density through the medical housing accommodation process. Residence Life & Housing will work within its medical accommodation housing committee to ensure that students are reviewed so that they can be evaluated for additional support.
Residence Hall 2021 COVID-19 Agreement: Students who reside on campus will be asked to affirm their understanding of the expectations for living in a residence hall. This agreement will include the following expectations:
- You are expected to follow these guidelines as well as the Student Code of Conduct and Residence Hall Policies (as outlined in the Residence Life & Housing License) while living in campus housing. Additional and revised policies are stated below. Should you not strictly follow these directives, your housing agreement may be terminated immediately.
- You MUST participate in campus surveillance testing for COVID-19, as determined and required throughout the semester.
- You MUST limit your interactions with others and ALWAYS follow social distancing requirements set forth by NYS guidelines and wear an acceptable face covering when you are outside of your residence hall room.
- You are expected to remain on campus to the fullest extent possible. When you attend class and are walking around campus, you must wear a mask and practice social distancing. If you travel away from campus out of the Central New York area, you must complete a travel form and comply with any New York state quarantine requirements
- You are not permitted to enter residence halls/apartments other than your assigned living space. Students from other residence halls and off-campus guests/visitors are not permitted to enter your residence hall.
- Group gatherings will be restricted pursuant to NYS gathering guidelines, including hanging out in lounges or common areas.
- If there is a directive to remain in your room for an extended period of time, you must comply. Be respectful of your fellow students, campus staff, and community members.
Use of acceptable face coverings in common areas: Students must always wear a face covering while outside of their residence hall room. Students must wear a face covering when they enter the residence hall and in public spaces such as the elevator, community bathrooms, lobbies, hallways, laundry rooms, lounges and other public areas within the residence halls.
Appropriate social distancing will be enforced: Residence hall bathrooms, public spaces, laundry rooms and high contact areas have additional signage to set the expectations of social distance. Supplies will be provided for students to clean the space before and after use as a secondary precaution. Laundry rooms have been reduced in size to accommodate three students at a time. Signage will be posted to reset the expectations within these spaces. The furniture in lounges is labeled to highlight the expectations of one person per chair, spaced six feet apart, to stay within the social distance guidelines. Each building has professional and student staff that will always be asked to help enforce our expectations for social distancing and the wearing of face coverings within the residence halls.
Residence Hall Social Distancing and Cleaning Protocols: All community spaces in residence halls are reconfigured to enforce social distancing practices and expectations, including in the residence hall lounges, laundry rooms, desk operations and computer labs.
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection: The bathrooms, public spaces, laundry rooms and high contact areas are cleaned and disinfected every day. Additional hand sanitizer stations have all been added to each residence hall. Additional signage has been added in public spaces to encourage social distancing, face coverings and hand washing while in the residence halls always.
Restrictions on non-essential gatherings and activities: Lounge spaces in the non-quarantine and non-isolation room designated residence halls to be in use, but only at capacities determined to be safe per NYS guidelines. Furniture in these spaces is labeled with signs so that students are encouraged to distance while in the space.
Limited access by students to other residential facilities (e.g. dormitories): Access to residence halls has been restricted to the building in which the student lives. Students that live outside of a building will not have access to that building. In the case where buildings are connected, access has been changed to limit the flow of students from one building to another.
Restrictions of visitors: Students may not have any visitors on campus at this time.
Dining Halls Open for Residential Students and Staff Only: All residential students and staff are permitted to use any dining center on campus, including Lakeside, Pathfinder, Littlepage and Cooper dining centers. Both dine-in and takeout options will be available. Not all meals will be served in all locations. Dining Services (both retail and residential) will follow guidelines set by SUNY, CDC, and both local and state health departments to limit the spread of COVID-19. All SUNY Oswego Retail Dining locations and campus bookstore locations will follow the same protocols as listed for Residential Dining and retail “grab and go” food will be available for purchase by any student (commuter and residential) and employee.
Move-Out: Any student planning to move out of their residence hall must coordinate with the Residence Life & Housing office.
Pursuant to New York State Department of Health's "Supplemental Guidance for COVID-19 Containment at Higher Education Institutions", colleges and universities testing at least 25 percent of total on-campus students, faculty and staff weekly will not be required to go on pause unless their positivity rate exceeds 5 percent during a rolling 14-day period. If that positivity rate is exceeded, SUNY Oswego will immediately (1) transition all in-person learning to remote format(s), and (2) limit on-campus activities for a period of 14 days. During such period, in-person athletic events, extracurricular programs, and other non-essential student activities will be suspended, and dining hall(s) and other on-campus food services will be converted to a take-out model, as appropriate. Essential on-campus functions are authorized to continue.
After the 14-day period, the Oswego County Health Department (OCHD) shall evaluate SUNY Oswego’s efforts to contain COVID-19 transmission. If OCHD, in consultation with DOH, determines that SUNY Oswego has demonstrated that community spread of COVID-19 has been effectively contained, the campus shall be authorized to reopen for in-person learning. However, if after the 14-day period, SUNY Oswego has not demonstrated that community spread of COVID-19 has been contained, OCHD, in consultation with DOH, may require a continued suspension of in-person learning (i.e., an extended period of remote learning) and/or further mitigation measures by the College.
If at any time a cluster or clusters of positive COVID-19 cases develop at SUNY Oswego (e.g., a dormitory or residence hall) and such cluster(s) exceed the institution’s ability to contact trace, quarantine, or isolate, OCHD, in consultation with DOH, may require the College to transition all in-person learning to remote format(s) and limit on-campus activities, even if we have fewer than 100 individuals or less than 5% of the total on-campus population who have tested positive for COVID-19 over a 14-day period.
If the campus must switch to a two-week (or longer) pause, the following rules apply. If there is a need for a two-week pause (or longer), the campus community will be informed that classes will go remote for a specified period of time. Faculty already have planned for such a scenario and will move to remote instruction and communicate directly with students in their classes.
If there is a need to pivot to remote instruction, the campus community will be informed that classes will go remote for a specified period of time. Faculty already have planned for such a scenario and will move to remote instruction and communicate directly with students in their classes.
Changes and Updates: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic creates a fluid situation that may require unexpected changes in our response. Updates to scientific knowledge, public health guidance, or laws and regulations may mean SUNY and SUNY Oswego have to make changes to our standards and rules, including those indicated above. SUNY and SUNY Oswego will try to minimize these changes and their impact. We will keep you informed of new developments.