Archive: Messages to the Community

2021-22

April 22 Message from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear campus community,

In light of the increase in COVID cases in our region, we write today as a reminder of the continuing importance of protecting community health. Following the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) we recommend and encourage wearing face masks in all public indoor spaces. As we prepare for the many year-end events on campus, wearing masks when appropriate will help to ensure that we can all participate in these fully and safely.

The CDC recommends wearing masks where COVID transmission is high, as it is currently in the North Country. Wearing masks is recommended especially at large, indoor gatherings to ensure the highest degree of safety and health on campus. 

Fortunately, a very high percentage of our campus community is vaccinated, affording strong protection to the health of our community. At the same time, given the importance of our work in the last weeks of the spring term, we should take appropriate precautions to ensure we all can complete the semester effectively.

Important Reminders

  • Event organizers can request that attendees wear masks during their events.
  • In consultation with the dean’s office, instructors may require masks in individual classes.
  • Free, high-quality masks (KN-95, etc.) are available at the student center.
  • Free, home-test kits are available at campus security.
  • If you experience COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, self-isolate and get tested.

  With consideration for every Laurentian and shared responsibility to our community, we look forward to a healthy conclusion of this year’s classes and the best possible start of summer.

Sincerely, 

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

April 14 Message from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear campus community,

There has been an uptick in the number of active COVID-19 cases on campus and in our surrounding communities. As of today, there are more than 20 active positive cases on campus.  Stay informed by checking the updated SLU COVID dashboard.

We ask that you take reasonable precautions, as follows:

  • If you have COVID (or flu-like) symptoms, you must immediately self-isolate.
  • Students, from your residence, schedule a test at the student health center.
  • Employees should contact their supervisors, not report to work, and schedule a COVID test as soon as possible at a local testing site.
  • Home test kits are available for pick up at campus security.
  • If necessary, a friend or family member can pick up a home test kit for you and bring it to your residence. 

Reminder: For those who test positive:

You must isolate for five days after showing symptoms, and

You must wear a mask for five days after your isolation period ends.
 

Campus Masking Guidance 

Everyone on campus is required to carry a mask that can be put on when necessary.

  • Recommended masks are surgical grade: KN95, N95, etc.
  • KN95 masks are available in the Student Center.
  • N95 masks can be ordered from purchasing at https://www.stlawu.edu/covid19supplies
  • If you would like to be fit-tested using the OSHA protocol to confirm that an N-95 mask fits your face, contact Suna Stone-McMasters at smcmasters@stlawu.edu.

Everyone has a different risk profile that isn’t obvious to others, and as Laurentians, we respect the wishes of others. We expect that, should a Laurentian ask for masks to be worn, every Laurentian in the room will honor that request.

In consultation with the Dean’s Office, course instructors may continue to require masks in individual classes based on their evaluation of the safety requirements in each class. The Dean’s Office can send a message to students enrolled in those classes indicating that mask-wearing is a University requirement in those classes and students must adhere to this expectation.

Quarantine and Isolation Space

As we communicated earlier this semester, if case numbers continue to rise and the need for isolation space exceeds our current rooms, we will provide students with an option to isolate themselves in their residence hall rooms - if their roommate or suitemates agree. In such cases, roommates or suitemates would need to complete a consent form in the Residence Life Portal.  In all cases, the University would work with students who test positive and their roommates on individual solutions, with openness to alternatives that work best for those involved. This plan upholds our commitment to the in-person residential experience and also aligns with what several colleges and universities have put into practice. More details are available on the Always Forward website.

Moving Forward

The Campus Safety Monitoring Committee and Senior Staff will continue to closely monitor the situation during the weekend and early next week and will continue to evaluate our campus operating status and masking policy. 

 This weekend we recognize that many students are looking forward to the annual Springfest events. Springfest is a significant campus tradition for students, but we encourage students who decide to attend to take the necessary safety precautions because there is an increased risk of exposure. 

 As we enter the last few weeks of classes, we urge you to take any necessary precautions to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID. We recognize that ending the semester strongly is important to our campus as students prepare for the end of the semester's academic activities, performances, and athletic competitions. We hope that all Laurentians make thoughtful and careful choices in the coming days to protect our community. 

We hope the current rise in cases will soon subside and look forward to a healthy conclusion of this semester.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

March 24 Message from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear campus community,

On Feb. 28 we sent a message to campus outlining a series of changes to the campus mask policy and said the changes would remain in effect through spring break, and we anticipated removing the remaining mask requirements by March 25 if current trends continued.

Both on-campus and in our local and regional community those trends have continued. Due to the continued downward trend in active COVID-19 cases, at the recommendation of the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee, Senior Staff has determined that the St. Lawrence face-mask requirement will change starting on Monday, March 28.  Please note that masking policy remains UNCHANGED this week, and masks should be worn in all classrooms and required meeting spaces prior to Monday.

  • Individuals will no longer be required to wear masks in most indoor public spaces including classrooms and required group meetings. However, students, faculty, and staff can ask that masks be worn in their classrooms, group meetings they attend, their residences, or their offices.
  • Everyone has a different risk profile that isn’t obvious to others, and as Laurentians, we respect the wishes of others. We expect that, should a Laurentian ask for masks to be worn, every Laurentian in the room will honor that request. 
    • Course instructors may continue to require masks in individual classes based on their evaluation of the safety requirements in each class. The Dean’s Office can send a message to students enrolled in those classes indicating that mask-wearing is a University requirement in those classes and students must adhere to this expectation.
    • In required meetings, attendees should contact the convener to convey the request for masking during specific meetings. 
    • A printable mask graphic that you can display on your door or in your workspace is available for download.  We recommend that this sign be placed on all office doors and other spaces where mask-wearing is requested so that it can be easily recognized and followed.
  • Consistent with NY State, Centers for Disease Control, and local public health guidance there are no longer distinctions between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals regarding mask requirements. The weekly testing requirement for unvaccinated individuals remains the same.
  • In compliance with New York State, anyone who is within six to ten days of recovering from testing positive for COVID is required to continue to be masked around others.
  • Masks are required to be worn in the Health Center.
  • Everyone on campus is required to carry a mask that can be put on when necessary.
    • Recommended masks are surgical-grade: KN95, N95, etc. 
    • KN95 masks are available in the Student Center.
    • N95 masks can be ordered from purchasing at https://www.stlawu.edu/covid19supplies
    • If you would like to be fit-tested using the OSHA protocol to confirm that an N-95 mask fits your face, contact Suna Stone-McMasters at smcmasters@stlawu.edu.

While the trends regionally and nationally remain encouraging, the pandemic has not ended and continued care remains vital. In particular, recent concerns about a second omicron wave in Europe and the risk for this in the United States are cause for ongoing vigilance and the University will continue to adapt our community health measures as needed. 

Recent changes to the mask requirement were made possible by our continued commitment to the practices that mitigate COVID’s spread. The University will continue to monitor the Centers for Disease Control, NY State, and local public health guidance should campus or local conditions change.

We hope that you had a good first week back from spring break and look forward to the rest of the semester. 

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

February 28 Message from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear campus community,

Due to the current declines in active COVID-19 cases on campus and throughout the county, the St. Lawrence face-mask requirement is changing for vaccinated individuals starting on Wednesday, March 2.

  • Vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces with the exception of classrooms and required group meetings. Note that masks still MUST be worn in classrooms and required group meetings.  There is no change at this time to the requirement that in these areas masks must be effective and appropriately worn.
  • Employees with office doors can leave those doors open without having to wear a mask.
  • Masks are required to be worn in the Health Center.
  • Students, faculty, and staff can ask that masks be worn in their residences or offices. Everyone has a different risk profile that isn’t obvious to others, and as Laurentians, we respect the wishes of others. We expect that, should a Laurentian ask for masks to be worn, every Laurentian in the room will honor that request. 
    • A printable mask graphic that you can display on your door or in your work space is available for download.  We recommend that this sign be placed on all office doors and other spaces where mask wearing is requested, so that it can be easily recognized and followed.
  • Those who have an approved vaccine exemption must continue to wear a mask while indoors on campus.
  • In compliance with New York State, anyone who is within six to ten days of recovering from testing positive for COVID is required to continue to be masked around others.
  • Everyone on campus is required to carry a mask that can be put on when necessary.

This change in the mask requirement was made possible by every Laurentian’s enduring commitment to the practices that mitigate COVID’s spread. Our vigilance and adherence to campus safety expectations have had positive effects and we must continue to act together to keep our community safe. This policy will remain in effect through spring break, and we anticipate removing the remaining mask requirements by March 25 if current trends continue.

Please continue to take good care of yourself and each other.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

February 14 Message from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear campus community,

We write to update you on masking on the St. Lawrence University campus. 

Positive cases on campus continue to remain low, and St. Lawrence County transmission rates continue to decline rapidly. In light of these developments and New York state’s suspension of the indoor mask mandate for indoor businesses, at the recommendation of the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee, the University will remove masking requirements for vaccinated students in residence halls, effective immediately. Any student or staff member may choose to continue to wear masks in the residence halls. Please contact Residence Life reslife@stlawu.edu with questions. 

Students and staff who have an approved vaccine exemption are required to continue to wear masks in all indoor locations including residence halls.

We are proud of all Laurentians who have continued to adhere to the public health requirements throughout the pandemic.

As a reminder, KN95 masks continue to be available for free at the Student Center's main desk.

The University continues to require wearing masks in all other campus locations, including classrooms and all indoor public spaces. Where required, effective masks must be worn properly at all times. If cases remain low and county transmission rates continue on the current downward trajectory, St. Lawrence will continue to evaluate campus masking requirements in the weeks ahead. 

We hope you had a restful mid-winter break.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

February 3 Message from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear campus community,

We are happy to report a decline in active COVID-19 case numbers on campus and in our surrounding community. Data from public health officials show that active cases in St. Lawrence County have substantially decreased during the past three weeks.

This has prompted the University to change the campus operating status to Green effective immediately. 

This is welcome news, made possible by every Laurentian’s ongoing commitment to the best practices that mitigate the spread of COVID. Our vigilance and adherence to campus safety expectations has had positive effects and we must continue to act together to keep our community safe.

As we adopt this new status on campus, some things will change. First, though, it’s important to note what will not change because COVID-19 remains a serious health issue:

On campus at the Green alert level, everyone must continue to:

  • Wear a mask (recommended surgical grade or higher, e.g. KN95, N95, etc.) KN95 masks are available free to students at the Student Center main desk.*
  • Be vaccinated and, when eligible, have received a booster shot (or an approved exemption)
  • Get tested at the first sign of any symptoms associated with COVID-19
  • Wash hands often
  • Keep a safe distance from others

* Please consider the health and safety of everyone on this campus. Proper wearing of masks in public spaces is a vital University safety policy, and all members of the University community can and should hold one another accountable in reinforcing the mask requirement. 

The reason we continue to highlight the importance of masking is that some faculty, staff, and students are at higher risk due to medical conditions. Some have family members at home who are not yet old enough to be vaccinated or cannot be inoculated for other reasons.

Every Laurentian is empowered to maintain a healthy working and learning environment.
St. Lawrence faculty, staff, and students can ask anyone visiting their work or living spaces to comply with COVID-specific precautions, including that masks be worn correctly. (Cover the entire nose and mouth, hook under the chin, and fit snugly but comfortably to the face to avoid any gaps or sagging.)

What changes with the move to “Green” operating status?

  • Classes continue to be in-person.
  • In residence halls, cross-building visitation will be permitted. 
  • Masks must continue to be worn in all public spaces.
  • We will return to normal, NYS fire code restrictions on room occupancy.
  • Inside individual student rooms, with the door closed, vaccinated students are not required to wear a mask—unless, as noted above, any room occupant asks visitors to wear masks.
  • A maximum of 50 people can gather outdoors without a safety plan. 
  • There will be no restrictions for off-campus travel, but continue to encourage you to wear a mask when indoors. 

If you have any questions about this change, please contact your dean, department chair, supervisor, RA/CA, or Resident Life manager.

We look forward to a continued productive semester ahead. 

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

January 24 Message to Students from Health Services

Dear students,

In accordance with public health recommendations, a COVID-19 vaccination booster is required for all students and employees by either January 28, 2022, or 30 days after you are eligible.

Who Needs a Booster?

You need the booster shot:

  • If you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least 5 months ago 
  • If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago
  • If you have recently recovered from COVID-19

NOTE: Per the CDC and Public Health: Individuals should not wait 90 days after a positive COVID test to receive a booster shot, unless advised by a primary healthcare provider.

Where Can Students Get a Booster? 

Pfizer Booster Clinic in Eben Holden 

When?

Thursday, January 27

How Much Will It Cost?

There is no charge to get your booster shot at the on-campus clinic.

You will need to make an appointment. Priority will be given to students.

STUDENTS SCHEDULE YOUR BOOSTER ONLINE: https://apps2.health.ny.gov/doh2/applinks/cdmspr/2/counties?OpID=D5F3D2FBBC7201E6E0530A6C7C165580

Or, if you prefer, you can get your booster off campus. 

Pre-register for a shot locally at Walgreens, Kinney Drugs, or with St. Lawrence County Public Health.

Booster shots are one of the most effective ways to protect our community against COVID-19. St. Lawrence University is hosting this clinic in partnership with St. Lawrence County Public Health. 

If you already received your booster, please make sure your proof of vaccination is uploaded to the Health Services Portal https://stlawu.medicatconnect.com/

Thank you,

The Health Center Team

January 20 Message to Students and Employees from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear campus community,

We hope everyone has had a great first few days of classes. We have an update on arrival testing for COVID-19 and critical reminders about the steps we all need to take to protect ourselves and each other this semester.

  • We ask you, please, wear a mask at all times on campus (details below).
  • If you feel ill or have any symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19, please get tested immediately (information on getting tested below).
  • Please wash your hands often.
  • Please keep a safe distance from others.

Arrival Test Results and Campus Operating Status

The University required students to complete a rapid/antigen test upon arrival. Currently, we have 27 active cases among students and nine among employees. Thank you to all faculty and staff who volunteered their time to make these clinics possible. Our COVID-19 Dashboard is updated regularly.

A number of students tested positive days before the semester began and have remained off campus. We thank these Laurentians for their efforts to keep our community safe and we look forward to welcoming them back to campus when they are permitted to arrive.

Our Campus Operating Status remains in Yellow-Phase A until at least Tuesday, February 1, 2022. 

On-Campus Booster Clinic and Additional Information 

The University is partnering with St. Lawrence County Public Health to offer a booster clinic next Thursday, January 27. Appointments will be required and priority will be given to students. More information will be sent to students next week.

If you already received your booster, please ensure your proof of vaccination is uploaded to the appropriate place.

Public Health Reminder: Wear Your Mask!

All members of our community, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks while indoors on our campus (those who are unvaccinated should wear them at all times, including when outdoors and in the presence of others). This is how we demonstrate respect for ourselves, and those around us - including our loved ones at home. Let’s do everything we can to protect each other. This is what it means to be a Laurentian.

The University encourages everyone to use medical-grade masks (e.g., surgical, KN95, or N95) and snug-fitting multi-ply masks. To encourage their use, the University will provide three KN95 masks to every student and employee. Employees should have received them already (please contact your supervisor if you have not). If students were not able to pick them up while at the testing clinics, they are available at the Student Center Information Desk.

Some classes may require additional safety measures given the nature of the coursework. Faculty will communicate these expectations to you. 

Masks must be properly worn when inside all campus buildings and residential buildings, including:

  • Classrooms and lab spaces
  • Hallways, bathrooms, lounges, and common areas
  • Residence halls, bathrooms, lounges, and common areas
  • In any fitness facility, including while exercising
  • In the Libraries and Brewer Bookstore
  • In the Student Center

Masks do not need to be worn by vaccinated individuals only when:

  • Working alone in an office or workspace with the door closed
  • Seated in a designated dining area while eating and/or drinking (face coverings should be replaced immediately when finished)
  • Students are in their own room with only their roommate(s) present and the door closed 
  • Student athletes while actively participating in their sport in accordance with NCAA guidelines

Face coverings need to:

  • Cover your entire nose and mouth
  • Hook under your chin
  • Fit snugly but comfortably to your face to avoid any gaps or sagging

What To Do: Experiencing Symptoms and Testing Positive

Not feeling well? The CDC keeps an updated list of symptoms often associated with COVID-19.

Students who become symptomatic should contact the Health Center (315-229-5392) during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) or contact Safety and Security (315-229-5555) outside of those hours.

Employees should contact their supervisors, not report to work and schedule a COVID test as soon as possible at a local testing site.

Positive test result? There are many ways people can now get tested for COVID-19, including at-home tests. We have outlined reporting processes for students and employees on the Always Forward website. 

In addition to masking and monitoring yourself for symptoms, please continue to wash your hands and keep a safe distance from others when possible. Welcome back to campus and we thank you for your efforts as we kick off another semester.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

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January 18 Message to Students, Families, and Employees from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community,

We are excited to welcome students back to campus for the spring semester.

COVID-19 cases have risen significantly across the nation due to the more transmissible omicron variant. St. Lawrence has revised its quarantine and isolation plan for the Spring 2022 semester. 

Our updated five-day isolation procedures are in accordance with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and NYS Department of Health and we have developed additional plans with input from local public health officials. 

Employees and students who test positive should refer to the Always Forward website for guidance on how to report it.

As we saw last semester, there are no easy answers when it comes to isolation and quarantine space on campus. While we have added some space, capacity remains limited. As we attempt to remain flexible in our planning, we have secured more rooms and are again grateful to SUNY Canton for their partnership. It is possible that they will need that space for their own purposes during the semester. However, we will start the semester using this space for students who test positive who need to isolate. 

Based on the experience of other colleges and universities, we have contingency plans in case we do not have vacant rooms for all students needing isolation and quarantine space at some point this semester. There is strong evidence that people who are vaccinated and have received the booster are either asymptomatic or experience very mild symptoms. In the event that we run out of quarantine and isolation space, we will provide students with an option to isolate themselves in their residence hall rooms if their roommate or suitemates agree. In such cases, roommates or suitemates would need to complete a consent form in the Residence Life Portal.  In all cases, the University would work with students who test positive and their roommates on individual solutions, with openness to alternatives that work best for those involved. This plan upholds our commitment to the in-person residential experience and also aligns with what several colleges and universities such as Dartmouth have put into practice this semester. More details are available on the Always Forward website. 

If we have run out of quarantine and isolation space and students are unable to isolate themselves in their rooms, then students who live within 500 miles of campus would be required to isolate at home. We will do everything we can to make this an option of last resort for students who are required to isolate because we recognize the burden on the students and families. 

We realize this is a difficult situation and we hope that case numbers decline quickly, as they have elsewhere. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all members of the Laurentian community for their resilience and flexibility. We enter the spring semester with a renewed commitment to providing the in-person residential experience that we all cherish, and by taking these early safety measures together we will ensure a great semester together this spring. 

As always, you are reminded to be vigilant in wearing a mask, socially distancing when possible, and washing your hands.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

P.S. Here is a link to the video of the Student and Parent Information Session that was held last week in case you were not able to attend.

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January 14 Message to Students and Families from Residence Life

Dear students and families,

St. Lawrence is closely monitoring a winter storm and the possible impact it could have on travel throughout the eastern U.S. on Sunday and Monday. As of today, the forecast for Canton indicates this winter storm could have a direct impact on the North Country.

For students whose travel plans could be affected, Residence Life is offering students the option to change their move-in date to Tuesday if needed. Please email Residence Life at reslife@stlawu.edu to make that change. All requests to change arrival dates must be in writing and submitted via email. Students are not able to request a Sunday arrival time since there is no testing clinic scheduled that day. 

Students who still plan to arrive on Monday do not need to contact Residence Life.

Transportation Services: As of now, it does not look like this storm will impact the break bus returns. If the forecast changes, Transportation Services will contact all students signed up to ride the return bus to campus.

Previously-scheduled shuttle rides to campus could be affected. Transportation Services will let students know as soon as possible if the weather causes any delays so students can make arrangements accordingly.

Before Students Arrive

  • We strongly recommend all students test at home as close as possible to their arrival on campus. 

    • Students who test positive at home are required to:

When Students Arrive

  • All students are required to take a rapid antigen test on campus prior to moving back into their residence halls in January. Students should have received specific information about their arrival date and time from Residence Life. 

    • Students who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days are not required to test and need to upload a copy of their positive test result into the Health Center Portal: https://stlawu.medicatconnect.com/
  • After getting tested, students must minimize their interactions with others and follow strict masking protocols when inside any campus space, including residence hall rooms, or when in the presence of others until the testing clinic has closed.
    • Only students who test positive on arrival will be notified of their result. Students wh test negative will not be contacted.
  • Students who arrive after the Arrival Testing Clinic in Leithead has closed for the day will need to go to Safety and Security to get their new ID card and their testing kit.

Spring 2022 Isolation and Quarantine Information

Public health guidance has changed frequently over the two weeks and the University is in the process of finalizing isolation and quarantine protocols for the Spring 2022 semester. We plan to share more early next week.

Please be safe as you make your way to Canton in the coming days. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Sincerely,
The Residence Life Team

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January 13 Message to Employees from Senior Staff

Dear colleagues,

We write to announce that the University has accepted the recommendation from the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee that all employees be required to have a vaccination booster against COVID-19. 

Booster shots continue to be one of the most effective ways that we can protect our community against COVID-19. There continues to be strong evidence that people who are vaccinated and have received the booster are either asymptomatic or experience very mild symptoms if they test positive. Meanwhile, those who have not been vaccinated or boosted have a much greater chance of experiencing more serious consequences, including hospitalization and even death.

The overall response to the proposed policy was in support by a significant margin. While we did also hear concerns about the proposed policy, those did not outweigh the concerns for the safety of our community.

The final policy is posted on the University website, and employees will need to upload proof of vaccination by January 28, 2022, or 30 days after they are eligible for a booster.  A reminder that employees who have vaccines or boosters scheduled during their normal working time are eligible for up to four hours of paid time to cover missed time. Please contact staff in the Human Resources office with any questions.

We hope that employees had a good winter break and we look forward to welcoming our students back to campus next week.

Sincerely,
St. Lawrence University Senior Staff

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January 10 Message to Students, Families, and Employees from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community,

As we prepare to welcome our full community back to our classrooms, residences, and other facilities, we write with more details on the University’s operating status, arriving on campus, in-person classes, our testing plan for the semester, booster shot requirement information, and a reminder of the University’s masking policy.

While COVID-19 cases increase across the country and in St. Lawrence County, there is strong evidence that suggests people who are vaccinated and have received the booster are either asymptomatic or experience very mild symptoms if they test positive. These facts give us hope and optimism as we enter the spring semester.    

Campus Operating Status: Yellow Level A

Senior Staff has accepted the recommendation of the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee to raise our operating status to Yellow-Level A, effective immediately until Monday, January 24. 

In-Person Classes

St. Lawrence is committed to maintaining an in-person educational experience. We recognize how important the in-person experience is to our students, faculty, and staff. Classes will begin as scheduled on Wednesday, January 19.

As we transition back to campus, in consultation with the Academic Dean some course instructors may offer some course content virtually in order to accommodate personal and family health needs.  More information will be sent this week by the Academic Affairs office to faculty and students outlining classroom expectations. 

Campus Arrivals

  • We strongly recommend all students test at home this week as close as possible to their arrival on campus. 

    • Positive test results need to be uploaded into the Health Center Portal: https://stlawu.medicatconnect.com/
    • Students who test positive at home are also required to email Elaine White in Student Life, ewhite@stlawu.edu
    • Please remain at home until you are released from isolation by your local public health department. 
  • All students will be required to take a rapid antigen test on campus prior to moving back into their residence halls in January. Students should have received specific information about their arrival date and time from Residence Life. 
  • Students who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days are not required to test and need to upload a copy of their positive test result into the Health Center Portal: https://stlawu.medicatconnect.com/

Reminder: Vaccine Booster Student Requirement 

Booster shots are one of the most effective ways that we can protect our community against severe symptoms and hospitalization from COVID-19. In accordance with public health recommendations, a COVID-19 vaccination booster will be required for students for the Spring 2022 semester. Proof of the vaccination booster is required by Friday, January 28, 2022, or within 30 days after a student is eligible for a booster shot. 

If students haven’t already, we strongly recommend them to get their booster before arrival if they are eligible. Please visit vaccines.gov for a list of available locations across the U.S. We hope to host a booster clinic on campus in late January, but cannot guarantee this will be possible.

Students are required to upload their proof of vaccination booster to the Medicat Portal. The requirement does not pertain to students with a previously approved medical or religious exemption. 

Masking Policy

The University’s masking policy remains in place until further notice. Given the very high transmissibility of the omicron variant, every member of our campus community must adhere to this policy so we can uphold our commitment to provide the in-person educational experience we all want.

We strongly encourage the use of medical-grade masks (e.g., surgical, KN95, or N95) and snug-fitting multi-ply masks when possible. Early data show these face coverings reduce the transmissibility of the virus more effectively than cloth masks. To encourage their use, to start the semester the University will provide three KN95 masks to every student and employee. 

Spring 2022 Testing Plan

After arrival testing, rapid tests will be available at the health center for students experiencing symptoms. 

Our weekly testing clinics will continue this semester and are mandatory for all unvaccinated Laurentians. Any asymptomatic student, faculty, or staff member can get tested during weekly clinics.  The University will continue to share information about the number of cases on campus identified through all tests.  Symptomatic students should not wait for a clinic and should instead contact Health Services (315-229-5392), while symptomatic employees should schedule a test as soon as possible at a local testing site. 

Information Sessions

We know that students and parents have questions about the vaccine booster requirement and the return to campus plan. We will host a webinar to answer questions on Thursday, January 13, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. ET (Please note this is a change from the previously announced date of Tuesday, January 11.) A fully-captioned recording of the webinar will be made available as soon as possible.  

An information session for faculty and staff is scheduled for Thursday, January 13, at 11 a.m. ET via Zoom. Zoom information will be sent to faculty and staff this week. 

The beginning of the semester will look different than we all had hoped, but we will address the continuing public health challenges and have an outstanding, enriching, and enjoyable spring semester. We all share a concern for the health and safety of our entire community, and we appreciate your continued understanding, flexibility, attention to COVID-19 updates, and adherence to our public health protocols. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus soon.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

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December 21 Message to Students and Families from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear students and families,

As the fall semester ends, we write to update you on our plans for next semester, information about booster shots, and the January arrival process. 

Spring 2022 Semester

We plan to welcome students back in person in mid-January. We will continue monitoring the public health situation, including the new omicron variant, and make changes as needed. The University will provide a full update on spring semester planning no later than Monday, January 10.

Vaccine Booster Requirement

Booster shots are one of the most effective ways that we can protect our community against COVID-19. In accordance with public health recommendations, a COVID-19 vaccination booster will be required for students for the Spring 2022 semester. Proof of the vaccination booster is required by Friday, January 28, 2022, or within 30 days after a student is eligible for a booster shot. 

We strongly encourage students to get their booster during the winter break if they are eligible. Please visit vaccines.gov for a list of available locations across the U.S. We hope to host a booster clinic on campus in late January but cannot guarantee that it will be possible.

Students are required to upload their proof of vaccination booster to the Medicat Portal. The requirement does not pertain to students with a previously approved medical or religious exemption. 

Returning to Campus in January

In the fall, our community endured an outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of the semester and then saw an increase in cases following Thanksgiving Break. Our goal with our Spring 2022 Return to Campus Plan is to welcome students back with as little spread of viral illness as possible.  

Students should plan on a two-step approach to returning to campus in January:

  • We strongly encourage all students to get tested at home within a few days of their return to campus. 
  • All students will be required to take a rapid antigen test on campus prior to moving back into their residence halls in January. 
  • Students that have previously tested positive for COVID 19 within the last 90 days are not required to test. Students that have previously tested positive for COVID 19 within the last 90 days need to upload a copy of their positive test result into the Health Center Portal: https://stlawu.medicatconnect.com/

We do not plan on continuing to test asymptomatic vaccinated and boosted students throughout the semester unless we see a significant increase in positive cases. 

More specific information on returning to campus will be sent in January by the Residence Life team. 

We recognize that students and parents may have questions about the vaccine booster requirement and the return to campus testing plan. We will host a webinar to answer questions on Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at 4:00 p.m. (EST). Please note that campus departments are closed starting on Thursday, December 23, 2021, through early January. 

We hope that you get the chance to relax and recharge during the winter break, and we look forward to seeing you in 2022.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs
Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

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