Messages to the Community

September 17 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian Community,

We write to provide you with an update on our operating status framework and a snapshot of this week’s tests.

Good Trending News

There has been plenty of encouraging news this week following our testing clinics as case numbers on campus continue to decline. We had 22 new positive cases this week out of 1,492 tests (1.5% positivity rate), compared to 71 positive cases out of 2,510 tests (2.8% positivity rate) last week and 119 positive cases out of 2,969 tests (4% positivity rate) the week before. This is the result of everyone working together and making smart individual choices to slow the spread in recent days.

The Club and Organization Fair takes place this afternoon, and it is because of our students' continued hard work and commitment to slowing the spread that this treasured event is able to take place.

Updated Campus Operating Status Framework

We are grateful to the members of the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee who have spent time over the last two weeks revising our operating status framework based on what we have learned about the Delta variant and how we can most effectively mitigate spread within our campus community moving forward. This week, members of the Committee sought feedback from selected student, faculty, and staff representatives from across campus, and we appreciate their time and thoughtful feedback. Senior Staff has approved the recommended changes to the framework, which is now available online.

You’ll note that there are two new phases found within the Yellow and Orange levels--Phases A and B. These phases pertain to the “Student Residences” and “Campus Gatherings” section of the status levels and allow for some flexibility to adjust residential restrictions given current campus conditions.

Additionally, we want to share insights into how we make decisions to move from one level to another. Because of the complexities of this virus and our commitments to our campus and local communities, there are many factors taken into account during the decision-making process. Deciding to change our operating levels is never easy as we know that any change often causes relief for some in our community and anxiety for others.

Indicators we use to determine a need to shift levels and/or phases within levels include:

  • Directives/guidance from St. Lawrence County Public Health, New York State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Number of active cases in the past 7 days
  • Positivity rate in the past 7 days
  • Nature of student and employee clusters
  • Capacity of staff to manage ongoing cases and support students
  • Capacity of staff to manage student disciplinary issues
  • Student compliance with testing and public health measures
  • Access to testing supplies/PPE
  • Quarantine/isolation capacity on campus and in the area
  • Student and employee mental health
  • Local hospital and public health capacity
  • Amount of off-campus travel
  • Timing of institutional events

Current Operating Status: Orange-Phase A

The University will remain at what is now known as Orange-Phase A through Friday, Oct. 1. There are no noted changes since our last update. As was noted in the message earlier this week, we are preparing to welcome families to campus in a responsible way for Laurentian Weekend. We seem to be headed in a positive direction and hope to reevaluate our level when we complete testing the week after Laurentian Weekend. 

Students with Symptoms

Students experiencing COVID symptoms during the weekend or when the Health Center isn’t open should contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

When the Health Center isn’t open, students with a recent negative test result with ongoing upper respiratory or non-COVID symptoms may also visit Canton Urgent Care: 

  • EJ Noble Medical Building, 80 East Main Street, Canton; Lower Level Parking Lot
    • Phone: (315) 386-3300; Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any student that tests positive off-site is required to notify Safety and Security.

Please continue to protect yourselves and our community by wearing a mask, washing your hands, and keeping a safe distance from others, to help slow the spread. We will continue to keep the COVID-19 dashboard updated regularly and will be in touch with you again next week.

Thank you for your continued efforts to support as safe a campus environment as possible. 

Have a restful and safe weekend,

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

September 16 Message to Students and Employees from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community, 

Today’s brief message includes an update to our COVID-19 dashboard. Our campus operating status will remain at Orange (higher risk).

In total, there are now 69 current active cases on campus—all are students. Tuesday’s test results identified 11 positive cases out of close to 1,200 tests. Since last Saturday, we have identified 11 positive cases out of 128 tests from our rapid testing clinics. There are 175 pending results from the Wednesday clinic. Our results continue to be encouraging as we have worked as a community to slow the spread of the virus.  

Senior Staff and the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee plan to share an updated campus alert status framework with the campus community tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 17). 

Friday and Weekend Health Services:

Students experiencing COVID symptoms on Friday should contact the Health Center immediately to schedule an appointment to get tested. 

Students experiencing COVID symptoms during the weekend or when the Health Center isn’t open should contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

When the Health Center isn’t open, students with a recent negative test result with ongoing upper respiratory or non-COVID symptoms may also visit Canton Urgent Care: 

  • EJ Noble Medical Building, 80 East Main Street, Canton; Lower Level Parking Lot
    • Phone: (315) 386-3300; Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Any student that tests positive off-site is required to notify Safety and Security.

We will continue to update the dashboard daily. Please continue to protect yourselves and our community by wearing a mask, washing your hands, and keeping a safe distance from others, to help continue to slow the spread.

Sincerely, 

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

September 15 Message to Students and Families from Student Life

Dear Laurentians,

We write today with an update about modifications to Laurentian Weekend, planned for September 24-26. Wellness and the psychological well-being of our students are critically important to St. Lawrence University. We recognize how hard the start to the semester has been on our students and families and want to prioritize the need for families to have time together.

Due to the recent surge of positive COVID-19 cases among students, Laurentian Weekend has been altered to focus solely on a family weekend to allow our students and their loved ones to spend time together. Our goal is to put student well-being at the center of our efforts while keeping the risk of viral spread as low as possible. This means that all activities focused on alumni returning to campus are canceled or postponed. The University will offer a host of events that will allow students and any visiting families the opportunity to spend quality time together outside. Activities on our original schedule were either moved outdoors or canceled, and we added other outdoor activities for students, whether or not their families are visiting for Laurentian Weekend. An updated schedule of events is available on the Laurentian Weekend website.  Please know that our plan was developed with input and consultation from local public health officials. 

The University has added some additional health and safety expectations for students and guests and we will need your partnership to ensure a safe and relaxing weekend for everyone during and after the event. 

  • Upon arrival to registration, all guests will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative result on a PCR COVID-19 test taken no earlier than Tuesday, September 21, 2021. 
  • Guests (including parents and families) are not allowed to enter residence halls. 
  • Masks are required at all times when inside and are strongly encouraged outside when social distancing can not be maintained. 
  • The same gathering restrictions that are required of our students are expected of guests during Laurentian Weekend, specifically, individuals must keep gatherings to 15 people or fewer. 
  • There will be no indoor dining available during the weekend for guests, and we will not be providing food at any Laurentian Weekend scheduled events. Due to the high rate of viral transmission in St. Lawrence County, for safety reasons, we strongly discourage students and families from eating indoors at local restaurants. We are working to provide take-out options from local restaurants and vendors to have available on campus at times throughout the weekend.
  • Surveillance testing will be conducted for students following Laurentian Weekend. 

It is important for guests and visitors to recognize that St. Lawrence County has been identified by the Centers for Disease Control as an area with a high level of community transmission. The county has also experienced a significant increase in the number of positive cases during the past few weeks and that only about 60% of the eligible population in St. Lawrence County is fully vaccinated. The University strongly encourages families and students to wear a mask in the local community. 

Please register at https://alumni.stlawu.edu/events/laurentian-weekend before the deadline of Wednesday, September 22.

We are all invested in supporting our students and providing a healthy, fun, and safe weekend on campus. If you have questions please contact the Office of Laurentian Engagement via email at sluevents@stlawu.edu.

Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you to campus next week. 

Sincerely,

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

September 11 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community,

We write to provide an update to the campus community on our testing results from this week and the plan moving forward. 

What We’ve Learned

Our goal has been to slow the spread of the virus on our campus. We had 71 new positive cases this week compared to 119 new positive cases last week. This is the result of everyone working together and making smart individual choices to slow the spread in recent days. This is an encouraging development that we want to build on.

Our overall positive case numbers have declined at a level that, while better than where we were a week ago, is still not a sustainable level for our campus resources and infrastructure.

Campus will remain in Orange (higher risk) status. In recognition of the progress we have made this week in preventing further increases in cases, we are adjusting some of the restrictions that were previously in place. These changes are effective immediately.

Campus Operating Status Remains at Orange (With adjustments in italics)

  • Cross-building visitation is restored.
  • Students are able to gather in slightly larger groups of 15 or less. Larger gatherings may occur with approval of a safety plan.
  • For the next two weeks, we will reduce testing for fully vaccinated students to 50%. (As a reminder, students and employees who are not fully vaccinated continue to be required to participate in weekly surveillance testing.) This decision has been made in consultation with local public health officials.
  • We are lifting our outdoor mask requirement. There will still be some instances, like during University-sponsored larger outdoor gatherings, where masks may be required outdoors.
  • The indoor mask policy for all indoor spaces remains in place.
  • Takeout dining remains in place.
  • Students are still not permitted to visit other colleges, attend gatherings or parties at other colleges, or in off-campus houses hosted by other students.
  • Travel in Canton/Potsdam is limited to essential trips only and students must wear a face mask at all times when off campus, including when visiting local businesses. Students must receive approval to go beyond Canton/Potsdam. To go beyond Canton and Potsdam, submit a request to travel off campus.
  • Employee guidance: Flexibility for employees concerned about extenuating circumstances at home (with supervisor approval), as well as offering a hybrid option for any team meetings, and faculty discretion for remote teaching in consultation with the Dean’s Office are all extended for the coming week, through Sept. 19. Students are asked to recognize that individual faculty, in consultation with the Dean’s Office, will determine remote or hybrid instruction. There are individual classroom circumstances involving particular spaces, class activities, or vulnerability of class members that students may not be aware of, which will impact these judgments.

Club and Organization Fair--Friday, Sept. 17, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

We plan to host the Club and Organization Fair this Friday, Sept. 17, which was postponed from Sept. 3. This large outdoor event will require participants to wear masks. 

Masking Policy

A scientifically proven mitigation tactic in slowing the spread of COVID-19 is wearing a face covering when around others. Though the University is removing the requirement for outdoor masking in most circumstances, indoor masking remains absolutely vital to our efforts to protect community health. 

While we’ve seen improved adherence to this policy since the beginning of the semester, we still have heard of issues in classrooms and other indoor spaces. All campus community members must wear effective masks in all indoor locations, consistent with University policy. 

The correct way to wear a face mask includes:

  • Covering your entire nose and mouth,
  • Hooking under your chin, and
  • Fitting snugly but comfortably to your face to avoid any gaps or sagging.

In Progress: Updated Campus Alert Status Framework

We’ve heard from many members of our community—students, parents, faculty, and staff—that clearer guidance on our alert levels and our decision-making process is desired. In recent days, the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee has been actively working  on a revised framework. The revisions are based on what we have learned about the Delta variant and how we can most effectively control spread within our campus community moving forward. We will spend the next several days seeking feedback from selected student, faculty, and staff representatives prior to finalizing the updated framework. Our goal is to share the updated framework with you by Friday, Sept. 17.

This week’s adjustments to our Orange campus status align with our initial draft of the forthcoming framework.

Students with Symptoms

Students who are experiencing symptoms are strongly encouraged to immediately call the Health Center at 315-229-5392 or email healthcenter@stlawu.edu to schedule a rapid test. Sunday’s walk-in clinic hours are 1-3 p.m.

If you begin experiencing symptoms and the Health Center is closed, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

We know these circumstances come with challenges, but it is critical that we continue to work together to reduce the spread on campus. These temporary measures are necessary to restore a safe, healthy, and rewarding on-campus experience for our entire community. We will continue to review data regarding testing, evidence regarding compliance with restrictions, and advice from the St. Lawrence County Public Health office. And we will continue to provide frequent updates on our status and any changes to restrictions, as well as keep the COVID-19 dashboard updated regularly.

Sincerely,

Kate Morris, President
Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

September 9 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community, 

Today’s brief message includes an update to our COVID-19 dashboard. Our campus operating status will remain at Orange (higher risk) now through Sunday, Sept. 12.

In total, there are now 157 current active cases on campus—154 are students and 3 are employees. Tuesday’s test results identified an additional 19 positive cases out of more than 1,200 tests. The University also identified 8 additional positive tests through our rapid testing clinic on Thursday. We expect that we’ll continue to see positive cases, yet are encouraged by the decreasing number of needed rapid tests compared to last week.

Senior Staff and the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee plan to review results from the Wednesday and Thursday testing clinics as well as any other rapid test results during the next few days. We expect to communicate plans for next week and beyond on Sunday, Sept. 12. We will continue to update the dashboard as needed on Friday and over the course of the weekend.

Friday and Weekend Health Services:

The Health Center will once again offer walk-in hours for students experiencing COVID symptoms on Friday and through the weekend.

  • Friday, Sept. 10; 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Saturday, Sept. 11; 1- 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 12; 1-3 p.m.

If you begin experiencing symptoms and the Health Center is closed, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

Students with a recent negative test result with ongoing upper respiratory or non-COVID symptoms may also visit Canton Urgent Care: 

  • EJ Noble Medical Building, 80 East Main Street, Canton; Lower Level Parking Lot
    • Phone: (315) 386-3300; Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Please continue to protect yourselves and our community by wearing a mask, washing your hands, and keeping a safe distance from others, to help slow the spread.

Sincerely, 

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

September 8 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community, 

Today’s brief message includes an update to our COVID-19 dashboard and additional information about testing clinics through Friday. Our campus operating status will remain at Orange (higher risk) now through Sunday, Sept. 12. In total, there are now 136 current active cases on campus—133 are students and 3 are employees.

Walk-in Clinics at the Health Center

Walk-in testing at the Health Center continues to be available for students experiencing symptoms. During the remainder of this week, these students should head to the Health Center during business normal hours (8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) for a rapid test—do not attend Thursday’s Leithead Testing Clinic. No appointment at the Health Center is necessary this week. 

If a student becomes symptomatic outside of regular business hours, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

Employees who are experiencing symptoms should not come to work and should contact their healthcare provider.

Leithead Field House Testing Clinic

This week’s testing clinics at Leithead Field House conclude on Thursday. In addition to testing all students, any employee who wants to be tested is able to walk into Thursday’s clinic between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

We do not have any results from Tuesday’s or today’s Leithead clinics; we expect Tuesday’s results on Thursday and today’s results on Friday.

Update on Webinars

Thank you to the more than 500 Laurentians who took part in our webinars earlier this week. We are working to make those recordings available by the end of this week and we will send more information soon.

Please continue to mask, wash your hands, and keep a safe distance from others. Together, you are all helping us slow the spread.

Sincerely, 

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

September 7 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community, 

Today’s brief message includes an update to our COVID-19 dashboard and additional information about this week’s remaining testing clinics. Our campus operating status will remain at Orange (higher risk) now through Sunday, Sept. 12.

In total, there are now 142 current active cases on campus—139 are students and 3 are employees. Thank you to our students who are being responsible and getting rapid tested when they have symptoms.

Walk-in Clinics at the Health Center

 Walk-in testing at the Health Center continues to be available for students experiencing symptoms. During the week, these students should head to the Health Center during business normal hours (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) for a rapid test—do not attend the Leithead Testing Clinic. No appointment at the Health Center is necessary this week. 

If a student becomes symptomatic outside of regular business hours, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

Leithead Field House Testing Clinic

Local public health officials continue to encourage us to test all students during this situation, and our testing clinics at Leithead Field House resumed today. We do not have any results from today’s tests—we expect them to come in sometime late Wednesday or early on Thursday.

We are also hosting our planned testing clinics on Wednesday and Thursday this week. In addition to testing all students, any employee who wants to be tested is able to walk into either clinic between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

Thank You

By continuing to mask, wash your hands, and keep a safe distance from others, you are helping us slow the spread. We appreciate the work everyone is doing both individually and collectively to reverse this recent trend in cases so we can return to the rewarding in-person experience we want for this semester and year.

Sincerely, 

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

September 6 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community, 

We write to you with a brief update. Your ongoing vigilance in adhering to our safety measures is essential to slowing the spread on our campus, and we appreciate your partnership. 

The health center tested students during the weekend walk-in hours and we are grateful to students for recognizing symptoms and taking steps to obtain COVID test results quickly.  

Our COVID-19 dashboard has been updated. In total, there are now 137 current active cases on campus—134 are students and 3 are employees. 

Message from President Kate Morris 

Please take a moment to read an important message from President Kate Morris which can be found  here

Thank You SLU EMS

We would also like to extend our deepest gratitude to the SLU EMS team for stepping up and helping facilitate testing this weekend. Your compassion and care for our entire Laurentian community is inspiring, and we would not have been able to weather our current circumstances without your leadership. 

We Can Turn This Around

Our strength as a community is our greatest advantage and we can turn this around. Continue to mask, wash your hands, and keep a safe distance from others to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for doing your part to reverse this recent trend in cases and working together to return to a safe, rewarding in-person experience this semester.

Sincerely, 

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

September 6 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from President Kate Morris

Laurentians,

To say that it has been a challenging week on our campus would be an understatement. I have spoken with and heard from many of you over the past week—students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University, and I am grateful for all of your insights as we navigate next steps in slowing the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.

Although I have heard strong and opposing views about the pandemic and our response to the recent increase in cases within our campus community, the deep care and concern for the wellbeing of our community has been consistent across all the feedback. Many Laurentians have expressed concern or fear that we are not taking enough action to curtail the spread of the virus, advocating that we should put the campus community in a strict lock down for two weeks, requiring remote learning and restricting students to their rooms. Even more people have expressed concern or anger that we are doing too much—that we should test only those who are actively ill, stop isolating students who test positive, and accept that we will now be living with the virus rather than containing it. Furthermore, we all are experiencing the fatigue of coping with a public health crisis for the past 18 months. We were all so hopeful, just weeks ago, that things were getting significantly better, however the rise of the Delta variant has been an unwelcome reminder that the pandemic is not yet over.

With this as context, I write to you personally, in my own voice, to share with you that in navigating the pandemic and placing safety as a foundational value, our goal is to do all we can to preserve in-person academic experiences and University-sponsored student activities.

With the pandemic and with all other things, my central focus will be to uphold our institutional mission, which is to “provide an inspiring and demanding undergraduate education in the liberal arts to students selected for their seriousness of purpose and intellectual promise.”

At the same time, we need to have a clear understanding of the risks experienced by individual members of our campus community. For example, while our students are almost entirely vaccinated and are at extremely low risk for serious illness, should they contract COVID-19, there are students on campus—both vaccinated and with approved exemptions—who face higher risks due to pre-existing conditions.  And, although all employees will have been vaccinated (or have an approved exemption) by the end of the month, we must remember that our employees are not full-time residents of our campus, as our students are. Our faculty and staff have home lives, and many of them have family members in their households who are unvaccinated (e.g., children for whom the vaccine is not yet authorized).

As such, it is imperative that our faculty and staff, especially those who interact directly with students, be engaged in decisions about how to conduct their work. For this reason, the Dean’s office has approved some faculty members to teach remotely for the time being. In addition, divisional vice presidents and managers have approved requests by some staff members to work remotely during this time. I would ask that students and families understand that these temporary changes reflect our institutional care for the unique challenges faced by certain employees and are not an effort to undermine students’ experiences.

Finally, it is imperative that every member of this community understand that the spread of the virus on our campus has stretched critical campus resources. Most notably, if case numbers continue to climb, we will lack the human resources necessary to operate the health center, our testing clinics, and our limited, on-campus isolation spaces. Labor shortages in the North Country further exacerbate our challenges in getting people where we need them most—caring for our students and sustaining our operations.

I am confident that students and their families are deeply disappointed with the newest restrictions we enacted.  Frankly, I am as well. None of us want restrictions, but to achieve our goal of an in-person residential experience this year, it is imperative that we slow the spread of the virus on this campus, and that we do so quickly.

As I have shared in a variety of venues when reflecting on my transition to St. Lawrence, the community here is strong and deeply interconnected. Student leaders have already stepped up to further enhance a student culture to take this situation seriously. Parents are talking with their students about preventive behaviors. Faculty and staff are working closely with students to allay their anxieties. The Campus Safety Monitoring Committee and the Senior Staff are working tirelessly to manage the situation. This community is committed to getting through this, knowing that better days are ahead.

Thank you for taking the time to read my message and thank you for doing your part to put this challenging episode behind us. As our sophomore student leaders have said in their recent social media effort, Be a Saint, Slow the Spread.

Sincerely,

Kate Morris

September 5 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community,

Our COVID-19 dashboard has been updated with test results from Saturday and Sunday. Out of the 117 new tests, we identified 5 new cases. In total, there are now 130 current active cases on campus—127 are students and 3 are employees.

Campus Operating Status (Orange):

Our Campus Operating Status will remain at orange (higher risk) from now through September 12. Your diligence in adhering to the temporary health and safety measures between now and then is crucial to slowing the spread of the virus on our campus. 

Classroom Masking Update:

In addition to the enhanced safety measures announced on Friday, the University strongly encourages faculty, staff, and students to double mask when in contexts where social distancing is difficult like classrooms, advising sessions, or meetings.

Webinars:

Over the next few days, the University will sponsor three separate webinars for students, faculty and staff, and parents and families to help answer questions and provide information. Links will be sent to each group separately.

Session for Students (SLU log-in required)

  • Monday, Sept. 6 from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Submit questions ahead of time to ewhite@stlawu.edu.

Session for Faculty and Staff (SLU log-in required)

  • Tuesday, Sept. 7 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Submit questions ahead of time to acaddean@stlawu.edu or to the co-chairs of Faculty Council.

Session for Parents and Families

Labor Day Health Services:

  • Health Center’s services are offering walk-in hours for students experiencing COVID symptoms on Labor Day.
    • Monday, Sept. 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • If the Health Center is closed, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

Continue to mask, wash your hands, and keep a safe distance from others to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

It has been incredibly encouraging to watch Laurentians work together toward our shared goal of getting back on track for a healthy and rewarding remainder of the semester. Thank you for making choices that prioritize the health and safety of our entire community and for your continued partnership in our efforts to reverse the spread on campus.

Sincerely,

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

September 4 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community,

We have been encouraged by the solidarity and compassion of our entire community over the past few days and our renewed commitment to stopping the spread. Thank you to our students for modifying their behavior last evening. We know that will help us mitigate the spread. 

We will continue to keep campus informed with the most updated test data, reminders of our current operating status, as well as information for student health services and campus resources as we work together to flatten the curve.  

Test Results and Campus Operating Status (Orange): 

Our COVID-19 dashboard has been updated with test results from Thursday and Friday. Out of more than 460 new tests, we identified 16 new cases. In total, there are now 131 current active cases on campus—125 are students and 6 are employees.

Our Campus Operating Status will remain at orange (higher risk) from now through September 12. In the critical time between now and then, your vigilant adherence to temporary health and safety measures is essential. 

Updates and Important Information: 

For the most up-to-date information and detailed health and safety requirements, please refer to the Always Forward website. 

Weekend Health Services:

  • Health Center’s services are offering walk-in hours for students experiencing COVID symptoms.
    • Saturday, Sept. 4 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Sunday, Sept. 5 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • If the Health Center is closed, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.
  • Students with a recent negative test result with ongoing upper respiratory or non-covid symptoms may also visit Canton Urgent Care: 
    • EJ Noble Medical Building, 80 East Main Street, Lower Level Parking Lot
    • Phone: (315) 386-3300
    • Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Other Resources: 

Should you need extra support, please don’t hesitate to take advantage of resources available through the Health and Counseling Center, the Chaplain’s Office, and Academic Support, as well as a 24/7 mental health crisis support line (315-229-1914). 

The Employee Assistance Program is free and provides confidential counseling to all our employees and their families.

Please continue to mask, wash your hands, and keep a safe distance from others. 

Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding, and thank you to the many Laurentians going above and beyond to keep our community safe. 

Sincerely,

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

September 3 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community,

We know that this has been an anxious and difficult week for our campus community.

We write to you with an update regarding test results and a temporary change in Campus Operating Status. (For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the Always Forward website.) 

Test Results and Operating Status Change:

Test results from Wednesday’s clinic and Thursday’s rapid tests reflect a declining positivity rate from earlier in the week. Out of the 1,026 tests 26 new positive cases were identified. Our COVID-19 dashboard has been updated and shows 114 current active cases. Of those positive cases, 108 are students and six are employees.

The Campus Operating Status has been changed to orange (higher risk) from now until Sunday, September 12. With renewed vigilance and attention to safety protocols, we are hopeful that this temporary measure will reduce the spread of the virus. The University will test all students and any employee who wishes to be tested during the week of September 6 and reassess our status based on those results.  Please see below for a comprehensive breakdown of all orange alert status precautions.

Masks:

Until September 12, masks are required to be worn outside while in the company of others in addition to the current mask policy.

Be a Saint, Stop the Spread:

We need our entire community to work together to flatten the curve. We all share the goal of getting back on track for a more normal semester and will reach this when our collective campus community—students, faculty, and staff—work together. The upcoming week and two weekends are critical, please make smart decisions that prioritize our collective health and safety.

Quarantine Space: 

Currently, our on-campus quarantine space is at capacity. We strive to remain flexible in our planning and have secured more rooms, should we need them, thanks to our strong partnership with SUNY Canton. This space is reserved for students who live over 500 miles from campus. Students who live within 500 miles of campus are required to leave campus to quarantine for 10 days.

Academic Update and Class Meetings:

  • The University has extended through September 12 faculty discretion to decide to offer class meetings hybrid or remotely. This is not required, and classes may meet in-person or remotely based on the instructor’s judgment in consultation with the Academic Dean’s Office. 
  • In order to assist our contact-tracing efforts, faculty must keep seating charts and/or daily photos of class meetings for all in-person classes. 
  • Masks must be worn at all times in all in-person class meetings.

Health Services:

  • Through the weekend, our Health Center’s services are offering walk-in hours for students experiencing COVID symptoms.
    • Friday, Sept. 3 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 
    • Saturday, Sept. 4 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Sunday, Sept. 5 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • If the Health Center is closed, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555. 
  • Students with a recent negative test result with ongoing upper respiratory or non-covid symptoms may also visit Canton Urgent Care: 
    • EJ Noble Medical Building, 80 East Main Street, Lower Level Parking Lot
    • Phone: (315) 386-3300
    • Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Temporary Visitation and Gathering Restrictions:

  • We are temporarily suspending cross-building residential visitation. 
  • Students may visit with other students in their same residence hall. They may visit with students who reside in other residence halls in outdoor spaces on campus.  
  • The number of individuals in each room should be no more than double the designated room occupancy:
    • Single = 2 occupants total
    • Double = 4 occupants total
    • Triple = 6 occupants total
    • Other residential areas (e.g., suites, townhouses) = 10 occupants total
  • Masks must be worn at all times when inside residential buildings. This includes residence hall bathrooms, lounges, common areas, and hallways.
  • Students may remove their masks when in their rooms with their roommates when the door is closed. If any student guests who are not assigned to a room are present, all occupants must wear masks.
  • Indoor and outdoor student gatherings are limited to 10 individuals or fewer.
  • If you wish to host an event larger than 10 individuals, you must submit a safety plan for approval. Please submit your safety plan here.  
  • Students may gather outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer but must wear masks at all times.
  • Supervised University functions (academic field trips, classes, athletic practices) involving more than 10 people may proceed as long as they meet campus health and safety protocols. 
  • Students are not permitted to have outside visitors on campus unless approved for a supervised University function. 
  • All campus buildings, including the Sullivan Student Center and academic buildings, will be locked and only accessible with a St. Lawrence ID scan. 

Athletics:

  • Our colleagues in Athletics continue to follow all NCAA COVID-19 guidelines to protect the health of our athletes, visiting teams, and the communities to which our athletes travel.
  • Please Visit Saints Athletics for updates on specific competitions. 

 Dining: 

  • Dana Dining Center and Northstar Cafe are takeout only starting on Saturday, Sept. 4.
  • Students dining indoors may only dine with others from their residential building.
  • Students may dine with others outdoors in groups of 10 or fewer.
  • When dining outdoors, please maintain social distance and wear a mask when not eating.
  • Outdoor dining tables are set up outside Dana and the student center.

Student Off-Campus Travel: 

To keep our North Country neighbors and campus community safe, the following activities are prohibited: 

  • Visiting other colleges, attending gatherings or parties at other colleges or in off-campus houses hosted by other college students.
  • Attending off-campus gatherings of more than 10 (that includes in off-campus housing), unless it is an approved University event with a registered safety plan (i.e. a community service event or class field trip).
  • Attending off-campus gatherings of any size without a face covering, including off-campus houses rented by St. Lawrence students.

Travel in Canton/Potsdam is limited to essential trips only. 

  • Students must have approval to go beyond Canton/Potsdam. Submit your request here.
  • Wear a face mask at all times when traveling off campus, including when visiting local businesses. 
  • If riding with someone who is not your roommate, please keep vehicle windows open and practice social distancing when possible.

Smoking Guidelines: 

  • Because COVID-19 primarily affects the respiratory system, we discourage smoking and vaping on campus this semester. 
  • If you do smoke, make sure you’re at least 10 feet away from others even if they’re wearing masks.

Disciplinary Action: 

  • We will implement judicial consequences for violations of these precautions.
  • For serious violations or repeat infractions, students may be sent home until a Dean’s panel can hear the case. 
  • Those who fail to comply with guidelines of the campus alerts or University officials responsible for enforcing them may be sent home. 
  • If you see an infraction take place, please report it anonymously here.

Employees: 

  • Any employees concerned about extenuating circumstances at home should speak with their supervisor about working remotely between now and September 12.
  • Supervisors should plan to offer a hybrid option for any team meetings. 

Resources: 

In the meantime, it’s normal to feel anxious and uncertain during this period of heightened precaution. Please remember there are resources for students available to help, including many caring Laurentians in the Health and Counseling Center, the Chaplain’s Office, and Academic Support, as well as a 24/7 mental health crisis support line (315-229-1914). 

The Employee Assistance Program is free and provides confidential counseling to all our employees and their families.

Saints Stop the Spread

Over the past few days, we’ve seen many student leaders rise to the occasion of helping us overcome this challenge. We know vigilant adherence to these temporary measures can have a positive impact in reversing the spread.

We will continue to update the community as we have more information. Please remember to wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep some space between you and others when possible.

Sincerely,

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

September 2 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community,

We have a brief update for you this morning.

Test results from Tuesday resulted in 22 positive cases being identified; this is a positivity rate of less than two percent among the more than 1,100 tests conducted Tuesday.

Our COVID-19 dashboard has been updated and shows 88 current active cases. Of those positive cases, 83 are students, and 5 are employees. Our Health Services team continue our contract tracing efforts, with added staff to address the increased number of cases.

We are conducting our third testing clinic today, Thursday, September 2, in Leithead Fieldhouse between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. In addition to testing all students, any employee who wants to get tested is encouraged to do so. No appointment is necessary. 

Important: Students who are experiencing symptoms are strongly encouraged to immediately call the Health center at 315-229-5392  or email healthcenter@stlawu.edu to schedule a rapid test. Do not attend the Leithead Testing Clinic on Thursday.  Health center hours are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

If a student begins experiencing symptoms while the Health center is closed, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

We will continue to update the community as we have more information. Please remember to wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep some space between you and others when possible.

It is critical that we all continue to come together with shared vigilance and discipline to mitigate the risks of COVID to our campus community. Your continued patience, understanding, and diligence in following public health protocols are appreciated and will help us through this difficult time.

Sincerely,

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

September 1 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian community,

We have a shorter update for you this evening since we have not yet received Tuesday’s testing clinic results from the Broad Institute, our testing provider. We expect those to come in overnight tonight or early Thursday and we will update the community once we know more.

Our COVID-19 dashboard has been updated and shows 66 current active cases on campus—a 10-case increase since Tuesday evening. Of those positive cases, 61 are students and 5 are employees.

  • Our Health Center administered 113 rapid tests today at a walk-in clinic for symptomatic students. Those helped us identify 10 more positive student cases for an 8.9% positivity rate from that clinic. This represents a decrease in the number of new cases and the rate of positive cases among those tested, compared to Tuesday. (For reference, Tuesday’s walk-in clinic had a 42.5% positivity rate--73 tests, 31 positives.)
  • As was the case on Tuesday, many of the students who tested positive at the walk-in clinic commented that they were exposed to or around someone who had recently tested positive. Our Health Services team and a few others continue our contract tracing efforts.
  • More than 900 PCR tests were completed at Wednesday’s testing clinic at Leithead Field House. We expect those test results to come in on sometime late Thursday or Friday. Results are emailed to individuals from Broad Institute; our Health Center directly contacts students who test positive.

Our third testing clinic of the week is on Thursday in Leithead between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. In addition to testing all students, any employee who wants to get tested is able to walk in to get tested. No appointment is necessary.

Students experiencing symptoms during the Health Center’s regular business hours (8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday) should schedule an appointment with the Health Center for a rapid test—do not attend the Leithead Testing Clinic on Thursday. Students can call the Health Center at 315-229-5392 and should leave a message if they get the voicemail, or they can email the Health Center at healthcenter@stlawu.edu.

If a student begins experiencing symptoms while the Health Center is closed, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

We anticipate learning about more positive cases Thursday and Friday. We are encouraged that our students are monitoring themselves for symptoms and taking the necessary action of getting tested if they become symptomatic. While the number of cases may increase, knowing the full scope of this situation is critical and we’re thankful Laurentians are doing their part.

As we mentioned Tuesday, we will continue testing all students next week (9/7-9/9) in order to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. Unvaccinated employees are also required to take part in our weekly testing clinics. More information will be forthcoming.

Our Campus Operating Status remains at yellow (moderate risk). What we learned from positive cases today has not provided any evidence that classroom transmission is taking place at this time. As a reminder, faculty can request to temporarily offer their classes in a hybrid or virtual format this week. Our temporary adjustments to the co-curricular and residential experiences, such as take-out dining and student social gatherings no larger than 10 people, remain in place.

As we get closer to the weekend, student decisions and behavior will be critical in flattening the immediate curve and helping us get back on track. Continued adherence beyond this spike in cases will ensure we’re able to have as normal a semester as is safely possible. This is what all of us have wanted and this continues to be our goal.

Please remember to wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep some space between you and others when possible. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this situation together.

Sincerely,

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

August 31 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian Community,

As promised in our earlier message, we want to provide you with an update on our campus status and testing results from today.

Our COVID-19 dashboard has been updated and shows 56 current active cases on campus—a 32-case increase since 8 a.m. this morning (Aug. 31). Of those positive cases, 51 are students and 5 are employees.

Our Health Center administered a number of rapid tests at a walk-in clinic for symptomatic students. Those tests yielded 31 new positive student cases. Many of these students who tested positive commented that they were exposed to or around someone who had recently tested positive. Our Health Services team has spent much of the day and this evening conducting contact tracing. We have allocated additional resources to aid with contact tracing to ensure this takes place as quickly as possible.

We shared detailed information in our earlier message about how we handle a positive student case and close contacts. Our Containment and Quarantine page on the Always Forward website also outlines our protocols for positive student cases and close contacts.

At our pre-planned testing clinic at Leithead Field House, we conducted more than 1,170 PCR tests—a daily record—thanks to many campus staff and volunteers. We do not have any results from those tests today—we expect them to come in sometime on Wednesday. We are also hosting our planned testing clinics on Wednesday and Thursday this week. In addition to testing all students, any employee who wants to get tested is able to walk into either clinic between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

We expect more positive cases throughout the remainder of the week. Students who become symptomatic on Wednesday should head to the Health Center during business normal hours (8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.) for a rapid test—do not attend the Leithead Testing Clinic. No appointment at the Health Center is necessary on Wednesday. If a student becomes symptomatic outside of regular business hours, please contact Safety and Security at 315-229-5555.

Our Campus Operating Status remains at yellow (moderate risk). The Laurentian community is one that highly values the in-person educational experience; we have heard from many students and parents over the last day who trust us to navigate this increase in cases while doing everything we can to protect that experience that is core to our mission. Because we are not aware of any classroom transmission taking place at this time, classes are still permitted to be held in person. Faculty have discretion for this week to temporarily offer their classes in a hybrid or virtual format. We ask that students and families please remember our faculty also have family members at home who may not be able to be vaccinated and who are more vulnerable to this virus.

We are making additional temporary adjustments to the co-curricular and residential experiences. In an effort to limit eating and drinking indoors, we will be transitioning to take-out dining only, which will begin on Saturday. Between Wednesday and Saturday, students will be able to choose between dining in and taking out. We strongly encourage students to move dining experiences outside by taking advantage of takeout options as they are able.

We will be temporarily limiting student social gatherings to 10 people or fewer. Some University events, such as the Club and Organization Fair scheduled for Friday, will proceed but with extra health and safety precautions in place.

Student decisions and behavior over the next several days and upcoming weekend will be critical to flattening the immediate curve and helping us get back on track. Many around campus have noticed better adherence to mask-wearing policies in indoor spaces over the last day and we appreciate everything everyone is doing to help stop the spread. Continued adherence beyond this spike in cases will ensure we’re able to have as normal a semester as is safely possible, which is everyone’s goal.

As we look ahead to next week knowing we are likely to see a continued increase of positive student cases throughout the remainder of this week, we plan to continue testing of students next week in order to ensure the health and safety of our campus community. More information will be forthcoming.

We are confident that our community will continue to support and respect each other during this time. Please remember to wear a mask, use good hygiene, and keep space between individuals when possible. We will send another message to campus on Wednesday once we have more information on results and testing.

Sincerely,

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

August 31 Message to Students, Employees, and Families from the President's Office, Academic Affairs, and Student Life

Dear Laurentian Community,

We shared yesterday (Monday, August 30) that St. Lawrence saw an increase in positive student cases over the weekend that prompted us to change our Campus Operating Status to yellow (moderate risk).

Since then, we have received responses and questions from many of you. We take the health and safety of our campus community seriously, and our goal when communicating changes or updates to our status is to provide you with clear and accurate information as quickly as possible. We hope our Frequently Asked Questions section below is helpful in guiding your understanding of the current situation and the reasons behind decisions that have been made.

We're confident that the data-informed response that enabled us to navigate the pandemic successfully for the last 18 months will again serve the Laurentian community well as we meet whatever challenges may come our way this coming year. As always, our up-to-date COVID-19 policies and protocols can be found on St. Lawrence’s Always Forward website.

We plan to send another update to campus this evening.

Sincerely,

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

Current Status: What We Know

We had three vaccinated students test positive during our Arrival Testing process last week. On Friday, Aug. 27, we reported five additional positive student cases on our COVID-19 Dashboard. We ended last week with 8 active positive student cases and 3 active positive employee cases.

Over the weekend, we learned that several students began exhibiting symptoms, immediately took steps to get tested, and received positive test results. Our Health Center keeps in close contact with positive students to monitor symptoms. As of now, our students have experienced mild symptoms. We do not currently have any students who are seriously ill.

This type of spread among fully vaccinated students and the presence of symptoms was concerning enough for us to raise the alert level on campus to yellow and impose some temporary additional restrictions, which were outlined in our August 30 message.

As of this morning at 8 a.m., (Tuesday, Aug. 31), we have 20 positive student cases. Contact tracing is ongoing and based on those efforts, we anticipate the number of positive student cases will increase as we proceed with our previously-planned testing of all students this week. We are not aware of any classroom transmission taking place at this time.

What should students do if they become symptomatic?

Students who are experiencing symptoms should not attend the testing clinic in Leithead Field House and should instead go to the Health Center immediately during regular business hours (8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday). Today and tomorrow (8/31 and 9/1), the Health Center is offering walk-in appointments for rapid testing.

For students who become symptomatic after hours, please contact Safety and Security.

Students experiencing symptoms should not attend class and should communicate with their faculty members.

What are the current campus restrictions?

  • Masks are now required of all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in all buildings, including campus residential buildings (except when in a room with the door closed)
  • Student gatherings are limited to less than 50 people
  • Visitors to campus are not permitted in campus residence halls (cross residential building visitation for current students is permitted, but students are encouraged to limit their visitations when possible)
  • Unvaccinated individuals are also required to wear a mask outdoors when in the presence of others, as well as socially distance from others

Are these new restrictions permanent?

No. While current campus conditions have required us to take some additional preventative steps, our hope is to have them in place temporarily.

We will continue to evaluate the Campus Operating Status and local conditions and make decisions we believe to protect one another.

What happens if a student tests positive?

Students who live within 500 miles of St. Lawrence who test positive will need to do so at home for 10 days or a period of time determined by Public Health. Students and families who this affects should make plans now for this possibility. (This answer has been edited to remove the need for a negative test in order to return to campus. Students who test positive cannot be tested for 90 days.)

Students who don’t live within 500 miles will be placed in an on- or off-campus isolation space for a period of 10 days or a period of time determined by Public Health.

What does meal and health support look like for students isolating/quarantining on campus?

Students in quarantine or isolation on campus receive one hot meal, one cold meal, and one continental breakfast, as well as disposable dishware and utensils, delivered at noon each day by Dining Services staff. Each quarantine/isolation room is equipped with a mini fridge, microwave, and snacks.

Students are monitored multiple times daily by Student Health Center medical staff using text messaging for those without symptoms or video calls to those with mild symptoms. Students requiring hospital care will be transported by Canton Rescue Squad medical personnel.

Students in quarantine or isolation will be allowed outdoors for a supervised period of time each day.

Do students need to quarantine/return home if they are deemed a close contact?

Asymptomatic vaccinated students who are determined to be close contacts are currently not required to quarantine per public health guidance. This is a change from the 2020-21 year when close contacts were all required to quarantine. St. Lawrence requires these students to be tested between Days 3 and 5 since exposure per public health guidance. These students should mask in every indoor space when in the presence of others until they receive that test result.

Unvaccinated students or symptomatic vaccinated students who are determined to be close contacts are required to quarantine. If they live within 500 miles of St. Lawrence, they will be sent home to do so.

Can asymptomatic vaccinated students go to class if they are deemed a close contact?

Because the CDC and local public health officials are advising that asymptomatic vaccinated people who might have been near someone who tests positive for COVID do not need to quarantine, the Health Center is advising students in this situation that they can attend class.

Students or faculty who are concerned about their class attendance are encouraged to discuss the possibility of making other arrangements for students to miss a class and make up the work.

Are classes being offered via Zoom for students unable to attend due to isolation/quarantine?

Some faculty may offer this opportunity, but it is not required of faculty to offer their classes via Zoom. All faculty recognize that in the current circumstances more students than usual may be unable to attend class for legitimate reasons, and they have been encouraged to work with individual students to make up any missed meetings and work.

As a temporary measure, faculty may decide to teach their classes remotely or in hybrid format this week (Aug. 30-Sept. 3).

Can employees also get tested during the testing clinics on campus this week?

Yes, all employees are welcome to get tested at this week’s clinics. Clinics are being held in Leithead Field House on Wednesday, Sept. 1, and Thursday, Sept. 2, from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Employees do not need an appointment.

Why is the University testing asymptomatic individuals?

The testing of all students, regardless of vaccination status, has been an extra precaution the University chose to take as part of the campus arrival process, and local public health officials recommended the testing of all students upon arrival and the week after arriving.

If there is a student vaccination requirement, why isn’t the student vaccination rate 100 percent?

As of August 30, our student vaccination rate is nearly 97 percent. There are two reasons why it will not reach 100 percent:

  • A very small percentage of our students (1.4%) received medical or religious exemptions.
  • Another very small percentage of students (1.8%) did not have access to approved vaccines where they live. Those students were required to start the vaccination process upon arrival to campus. They will be fully vaccinated in the coming weeks.

What can we expect next/later this week?

Based on current contact-tracing efforts as of Tuesday, August 31, we anticipate the number of positive student cases will increase as we proceed with our previously planned testing of all students this week. While we did not experience an outbreak on our campus throughout the entire 2020-21 academic year as many colleges did, we have had flexible plans and strategies in place in the event they occur.

More positive student cases could mean additional changes to the Campus Operating Status and more temporary restrictions being put in place. We will communicate with you as soon as possible regarding the addition or removal of restrictions.

August 30 Message to Students, Employees, and Parents from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear Laurentian Community,

As we start the first full week of classes, we want to update the Laurentian community on test results, the campus alert status, new student requirements, and updates to the campus mask policy.

Campus Alert Status

All students were tested upon arrival to campus, which yielded three positive test results. As of today, August 30, we now have 18 active student positive cases, in addition to three active employee positive cases.

Because we are seeing an increase in transmissions among vaccinated students, and because the University’s top priority remains the health and safety of the campus community, Senior Staff and the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee have changed the Campus Operating Status to yellow (moderate risk).

As planned, all students will be retested this week during testing clinics held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. If you have not signed up for an appointment yet please register for a time as soon as possible.

Additionally, our Campus Operating Status move to Yellow means the following changes for students at this time:

  • Masks are now required of all students, regardless of vaccination status, in all buildings, including campus residential buildings (except when you are in a room with the door closed)
  • Student gatherings are limited to less than 50 people
  • Visitors to campus are not permitted in campus residence halls (cross residential building visitation for current students is permitted, but students are encouraged to limit their visitations when possible)

We will continue to update the COVID-19 dashboard regularly and are monitoring the situation closely. We will communicate additional changes as needed.

What to do if you are experiencing symptoms

Students who are experiencing symptoms should contact the Health Center immediately. After hours please contact Safety and Security. Students experiencing symptoms should not attend class and should communicate with their faculty members.

Employees who are experiencing symptoms should not come to campus and should contact their primary care physician immediately.

Mask Policy

Masks must be worn in ALL public indoor spaces, including residential buildings, classrooms, meeting rooms, and hallways, whether others are present or not.

Face coverings MUST:

  • cover your entire nose and mouth
  • hook under your chin, and
  • fit snugly to your face with NO gaps or sagging.

Wearing an inadequate or improperly fitting mask will be considered a violation of the University’s policy.

The mask policy is a critical University safety policy and adherence is required for all employees and students.

As a reminder, the following are acceptable and not acceptable face coverings:

Acceptable:

  • Snugly fitting cloth masks and gaiters are acceptable options.

What does NOT count as a proper face covering:

  • Masks with exhalation valves, vents, or holes for eating or drinking
  • Your hand, arm, or elbow
  • The collar of your shirt
  • A scarf or bandana
  • A face shield
  • A napkin, hand towel, piece of paper, or anything else that is not a cloth barrier, secured to your face and fitted snugly under your chin to cover your entire nose and mouth.
  • Holding a mask in front of your face

Vaccination Update

Close to 97% of our students and 82% of employees have provided proof of being fully vaccinated. Once all students have fully completed the process, the student rate will be approximately 98.5%. Employees have until September 29, 2021, to comply with the recently announced employee vaccination policy.

The University strongly encourages employees who have not yet been vaccinated to initiate their sequence as soon as possible. Students and employees who have been granted a medical or religious exemption are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing.

Report a Concern

The University has made a commitment to do everything it can to safely protect our campus community. In an effort to do so, we created a form to provide community members with the opportunity to submit concerns they have about adherence to protocols and policies.

Local/Regional Status

St. Lawrence County remains at a high level of COVID-19 transmission and a 51% vaccination rate according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Due to these factors, the University discourages students from leaving campus except for essential travel for groceries, medical appointments, medication, approved courses, or outdoor recreation. If students do leave campus the University strongly encourages all students to wear a mask when indoors.

While vaccination is one of the most effective ways that we can protect our community against COVID-19, we also recognize that with the number of cases increasing rapidly across the country and the much more contagious Delta variant, all Laurentians need to prioritize the health and safety of our community. Wear a mask when indoors and continue to practice good hygiene by washing your hands. We all share in the excitement of being back together as a community and don’t want to put that experience in jeopardy.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg, Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Hagi Bradley, Vice President and Dean of Student Life

August 19 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 be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Implementing a vaccine requirement for employees has been a difficult decision, and we recognize that there are many perspectives on the issue. However, vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect our community against COVID-19.

With the number of cases increasing rapidly across the country and the much more contagious Delta variant, this requirement prioritizes the health and safety of our community. Earlier this week The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York has also recommended all college and university campuses to strongly consider a mandatory vaccination program for all in-person students, faculty, and staff.

There were several opportunities to provide feedback on the proposed policy, including an open session for staff and faculty and an online form where faculty and staff members had the chance to submit anonymous feedback. We appreciated the engagement of our employees in this process and the hundreds of pieces of feedback that we received and reviewed as we carefully considered this new policy. While we did hear concerns and opposition to the proposed policy, the overall response was in support by a significant margin. Furthermore, the concerns and opposition 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 show proof of vaccination by September 29, 2021. Questions raised during the open sessions did require us to make a few small changes that are reflected in the posted policy.

We look forward to a safe opening of the academic year in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

St. Lawrence University Senior Staff

August 13 Message to Students, Families, and Employees from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear students and families,

We write to provide an update on arrival information and Laurentian Weekend. As you are aware, the Delta variant has surged across the nation and St. Lawrence County has seen an increase in cases. We are planning for a more normal full in-person semester, with in-person classes, cross-building visitation for students from the time they move in, normally scheduled breaks, and a return to campus following Thanksgiving Break. At the same time, the University will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community in the coming weeks, months, and year.

Arrival Information

Due to the increased number of cases regionally and nationally, the University has decided to add PCR arrival testing of students and has adjusted the move-in process accordingly.

All students must now report to Leithead Field House upon arrival to campus on the same date and time as originally assigned by Residence Life; notifications were sent to all students last week with their move-in assignment and a reminder email will be sent next week. Students should approach the check-in clinic from the Appleton Arena entrance to campus.  When you arrive in Canton, please follow the Registration signs.  You will be routed onto Park St., then Maple St., and then Miner St.  You may also enter “Appleton Arena” or “130 Miner St., Canton, NY” into your GPS to ensure you arrive at the correct location and enter the parking lot traveling in the right direction.  

Please bring your University I.D. or another valid photo I.D. with you to Leithead Field House. After your arrival test is administered you will meet with Residence Life staff at this location and be cleared to enter campus. Test results are typically received within 24-36 hours. Upon leaving Leithead, you may proceed to your fall ’21 residential building.  University staff will be stationed around campus to direct First-Year students and families to their residence hall.  Additional Residence Life staff will be available at each residence hall to confirm all students have reported to Leithead and are cleared to enter campus.  Parents and guests are permitted to enter the residence halls to assist with transporting personal items to student rooms.

All individuals, students and families, are required to wear face coverings when indoors during move-in day.

Early Arrivals

Approved early arrivals including Athletes, Student Leaders and International Students will receive specific updates from their sponsoring departments and Residence Life directly about arrival testing and instructions.

Vaccination Requirement

Please remember that all students must provide proof of full vaccination status or have an approved exemption in order to move-in.

  • Vaccinated Students: The deadline to upload proof of vaccination to the Medicat Portal was August 1. If you have not yet completed this step and are not in the categories below you must do so immediately or risk losing your spot on campus this fall.
  • Unvaccinated Students with Approved Exemption: Required to upload pre-arrival PCR test to the Medicat Portal prior to arrival. This pre-test must be administered no more than five (5) days prior to your arrival date.
  • Students who are in the process of being fully vaccinated: Please communicate your status with Residence Life and the Health Center as soon as possible to ensure your move-in plans align with the University’s protocols and procedures. These students will need to abide by the procedures for unvaccinated students with approved exemptions (pre-arrival test five days prior to arrival, test on day of arrival, and remain in our weekly surveillance testing until fully vaccinated).

Students who have not provided proof of vaccination or who do not have an approved exemption are not permitted to enroll at the University this fall and should not travel to campus. Students in this situation must provide proof of vaccination by no later than Monday, August 16.  Any students who do not meet the University’s vaccination requirement will be deregistered from fall ’21 courses and removed from their campus housing assignment.

Quarantine

There is no quarantine requirement for students upon arrival to campus, regardless of vaccination status. 

In the event of a positive case or an unvaccinated student being deemed as a close contact, the University has a small number of beds reserved for quarantine. Similar to last year these on-campus quarantine beds will be available only to students who live 500+ miles away and on a space-available basis.

Laurentian Weekend

The University would like to confirm that we are currently planning to welcome guests including students’ families to campus at the end of September for Laurentian Weekend. We anticipate following similar safety protocols to what was required for our guests at the Class of 2020 Commencement celebration on August 1st: All guests will be required to show proof of vaccination, or a recent negative result on a PCR Covid-19 test taken no earlier than September 21, 2021. Registration information will be coming out in the next week.

We look forward to welcoming students back to campus and thank every member of the Laurentian community for their cooperation in helping us protect ourselves and each other.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg
Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs

Hagi Bradley
Vice President and Dean of Student Life

August 9 Message to Students, Families, and Employees from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear students, families, and employees,

As of Monday, August 9, St. Lawrence County has reached a substantial level of COVID-19 transmission according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Effective immediately and in accordance with the CDC’s recommendation, the University is reinstituting a mandatory face-covering policy for all indoor non-residential campus spaces and for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. This policy will be in place until conditions improve.

  • In all non-residential buildings, face coverings are not required indoors for vaccinated individuals when they are:
    • 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)
  • Because residential buildings are considered private, shared living spaces, fully vaccinated students are not required to wear face coverings when inside a residence hall; these individuals are encouraged to wear face coverings in residential situations in which they feel more comfortable doing so.
  • Unvaccinated students are required to wear face coverings inside all buildings, including residential buildings, unless they are in their own room with only roommates present and the door closed. They must also wear a mask outside when in the presence of others.
  • Unvaccinated employees are required to wear face coverings inside all buildings. They must also wear a mask outside when in the presence of others.
  • All guests and visitors must wear face coverings when inside buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

To learn more about what face coverings are approved for use and face covering dos and don’ts, visit our Campus Mask and Social Distancing Policy page. Physical distancing protocols remain required for all unvaccinated individuals.

Students and families preparing for the move-in process: Anyone who plans to go inside any University building, including residence halls, will need to wear a face covering to do so. We ask every person preparing to arrive on campus as part of move-in to be mindful of their personal health and monitor themselves for any symptoms prior to coming to campus. People will be coming to campus from many regions, states, and countries--some of which have higher levels of community transmission than St. Lawrence County.
 
As stated in the University’s August 6 message, our plans for the semester calendar remain unchanged. Wearing face coverings is a necessary adjustment we all must make to ensure the health and safety of all and move forward with our plan, which includes:

  • A full in-person semester,
  • In-person classes,
  • Cross-building visitation for students from the time they move in,
  • Normally-scheduled breaks, and
  • A return to campus following Thanksgiving Break.

Campus signage will be updated as soon as possible to reflect the reinstatement of the face covering policy. The University will continue to keep our COVID-19 dashboard updated regularly to keep the community informed on the status of conditions here on campus and in St. Lawrence County in order to ensure a healthy and safe learning environment.

Thank you for your cooperation in helping us protect ourselves and each other.

Sincerely,
 
Karl Schonberg
Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs

Hagi Bradley
Vice President and Dean of Student Life

August 6 Message to Students, Families, and Employees from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Dear students and families,

The countdown is on! The final preparations are being made here on campus as we all get ready for the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year later this month.

There has been a lot of news about COVID-19 in recent weeks, especially as it pertains to the delta variant of the virus. Rest assured our plans for this upcoming semester have not changed. Our plan includes:

  • A full in-person semester,
  • In-person classes,
  • Cross-building visitation for students from the time they move in,
  • Normally scheduled breaks, and
  • A return to campus following Thanksgiving Break.

Our top priority remains the health and safety of our Laurentian and local communities as is always the case and certainly as this pandemic continues. We recognize that we will still have members of our community who are not able to get vaccinated or who live with loved ones who aren’t vaccinated or are more susceptible to illness. We must continue to do all we can to protect ourselves and each other.

With that in mind, we wanted to provide you with updated information on current public health conditions in St. Lawrence County, move-in procedures, and up-to-date detailed information about academic breaks that are planned for the fall 2021 semester.

Student Vaccination Status

The deadline for students to receive their final vaccine and submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination was Sunday, August 1. As a reminder, St. Lawrence is requiring students to be vaccinated for the upcoming academic year as part of our efforts to have as normal a year as possible. Students with medical and religious reasons for needing an exemption were able to submit a request before the June 17 deadline. All requests submitted by the deadline have received a response from the University.  Students who are not vaccinated and have not received an exemption will not be able to enroll on campus for the fall semester.

Students who have not yet submitted the necessary paperwork and their parents will hear from our Health Services team in the coming days to verify vaccination information. For more information, visit our Vaccine Information and Resources page.

Current Public Health Guidance & Masking Policy

As of this email, federal, state, and local public health guidance in St. Lawrence County does not require vaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors or outdoors; unvaccinated individuals must wear face masks and respect social distancing when indoors or in the presence of others. You have likely heard that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new mask-wearing guidelines last week for areas where the level of community transmission of COVID-19 is substantial or high. While St. Lawrence County does not fall into either category at this time, there has been a steady increase in cases in our area over the last two weeks.

Students will need to bring masks with them to campus for the fall semester in the event that public health guidance, CDC guidance, or campus conditions change. If the level of transmission in St. Lawrence County becomes substantial or high according to the CDC, or should conditions on campus change in any way, we will immediately change our campus masking policy to require masks indoors while conditions last, per CDC guidance.

Please remember that students and families will be coming to campus from many regions and countries to move in, some of which no doubt have higher levels of community transmission than St. Lawrence County.

Move-In Information

Residence Life is coordinating a structured and timed move-in process with medical staff on site to ensure proof of vaccine has been provided. Students had the opportunity to recently provide arrival preferences and we guarantee each student will receive one of their preferred move-in date and time choices.

At this time, there are no travel restrictions in place for traveling to New York State.

Students and guests coming to campus to help with move in need to monitor themselves for any symptoms prior to their arrival on campus. If any student or guest, regardless of vaccination status, is symptomatic prior to arrival, do not come to campus and plan to get tested as soon as possible. Students should then contact Residence Life at reslife@stlawu.edu to let them know of a delayed arrival. Students who aren’t able to move in during their scheduled time will need to work with each of their professors on how to make up coursework until they are on campus and ready to attend in person.

Move-in Dates:

Sunday, Aug. 15: Arrival date for OLs, CAs 

Tuesday, Aug. 17 & Thursday, Aug. 19: Arrival date for new international students

Thursday, Aug. 19-Sunday, Aug. 22: International Student Orientation 

Sunday, Aug. 22: New students arrive during assigned time and First-Year Orientation begins (Students will receive their assigned time from Residence Life on Friday, August 6)

Monday, Aug. 23: Sophomore students arrive during assigned time and Sophomore Orientation begins Tuesday (Students will receive their assigned time from Residence Life on Friday, August 6)

Monday, Aug. 23 and Tuesday, Aug. 24: Junior & Senior students arrive during assigned time (Students will receive their assigned time from Residence Life on Friday, August 6)

** Fall sports student-athletes should have information from their head coach regarding any pre-season schedule or differing arrival schedule.

Academic Breaks

Our plan for breaks is dependent on public health conditions, protocols, and federal, state, and local guidance. Should anything change, we may need to take additional steps to ensure the health and safety of our campus and North Country communities. This could include, but isn’t limited to, increased testing and/or the testing of vaccinated individuals, and/or requiring a pre-arrival test before returning to campus.

It will be critically important that students and families are mindful of the conditions at their personal destinations over breaks and holidays and any state or federal directives that could prevent students from returning to campus (such as international border restrictions). Students monitor themselves for any symptoms for the duration of their time away from campus and prior to their return to St. Lawrence. No student should return to campus if they are exhibiting symptoms prior to arrival.

As a reminder, our planned academic breaks for the fall 2021 Semester are:

  • Mid-Semester Break
    • Thursday, Oct. 14-Friday, Oct. 15
    • Classes end on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 5 p.m.
    • Residence halls and some dining facilities will remain open throughout this break
  • Thanksgiving Break
    • Saturday, Nov. 20-Sunday, Nov. 28
    • Residence halls close on Friday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m.
    • Residence halls reopen on Sunday, Nov. 28, at 8 a.m.
    • Students requiring housing over this break may contact Residence Life; request forms will be available Oct. 19 and due Nov. 11
  • Winter Break (End of the fall 2021 semester)
    • Saturday, Dec. 18-Tuesday, January 18, 2022
    • Residence halls close on Friday, Dec. 17, at 5 p.m.
    • Only international students are permitted to stay on campus over this break; request forms will be available Nov. 30 and due Dec. 10

Laurentian Weekend

We know many families have made arrangements for Laurentian Weekend. We continue to assess local public health conditions and will share more information in mid-August.

We look forward to welcoming you to campus over the next few weeks and for the fall 2021 semester to get under way.

Sincerely,

Karl Schonberg
Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs

Hagi Bradley
Vice President and Dean of Student Life

August 3 Message to Employees from the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee

Colleagues,

We have learned that a vaccinated member of the Class of 2020 experienced mild COVID-19 symptoms upon returning home from the weekend and has tested positive for the virus. Contact tracing has been completed; if you have not been notified, then you are not a close contact. This will be our process should we learn of any future cases that could be tied to the event.

Your health and safety remain the University’s top priority. For those employees who worked or volunteered during this past weekend, we want to provide the opportunity for you to get tested. Testing is available on Wednesday, August 4, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Torrey Health and Counseling Center (76 Park Street). No appointment is necessary. Thank you for helping to make it a great experience for the graduates and their guests.

Each graduate and guest was required to follow the University’s COVID-19 protocols for the event. This included providing proof of complete vaccination, a positive COVID-19 test result dated May 1-July 20, or a negative PCR nasal test taken no earlier than July 27. We know that vaccines are the biggest step a person can take to protect themselves from a severe case of COVID-19, but we also know they are not 100 percent effective and that breakthrough cases, such as this one, can occur.

As always, if you begin experiencing symptoms, don’t come to work and go get tested. Testing is being done through St. Lawrence Health System, Claxton Hepburn Medical Center, and Clifton-Fine Hospital. Testing is by appointment only. Please call the hotline numbers below: 

  • St. Lawrence Health System: 315-261-6240
  • Claxton Hepburn Medical Center: 315-713-6655
  • Clifton-Fine Hospital: 315-848-8049 
  • Community Health Center of the North Country: 315-379-8132

Masking Policy and Guidance

Current federal, state, and local guidance in St. Lawrence County does not require vaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors or outdoors; unvaccinated individuals must wear face masks and respect social distancing when indoors or in the presence of others. You have likely heard that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new mask-wearing guidelines this week for areas where the level of community transmission of COVID-19 is substantial or high. While St. Lawrence County does not fall into either category at this time, there has been a steady increase in cases in our area over the last two weeks. If the level of transmission in St. Lawrence County becomes substantial or high according to the CDC, or should conditions on campus change in any way, we will immediately change our campus masking policy to require masks indoors per CDC guidance.

Additionally, employees should have masks with them at all times on campus in case the County status changes during the day.

Vaccines and Proof of Vaccination

St. Lawrence University strongly encourages all employees to get vaccinated. Vaccines are available at all local pharmacies and no appointment is needed. All employees who have been fully vaccinated and have not already shown proof of vaccination should plan to attend an upcoming testing clinic to do so. Over the next two weeks, testing clinics will be held Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Torrey Health and Counseling Center (76 Park Street).

The Campus Safety Monitoring Committee continues to monitor local public health conditions and may revisit the employee vaccination policy if cases continue to rise while vaccination rates remain steady.

Sincerely,

Brian Atkins, Convener-Campus Safety Monitoring Committee

July 30 Message to Employees from the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

On behalf of the Campus Safety Monitoring Committee, I write to provide guidance as all employees who worked on campus prior to COVID-19 prepare to return to campus locations by Monday, August 2, 2021.

You have likely heard that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new mask-wearing guidelines this week for areas where the level of community transmission of COVID-19 is substantial or high. While St. Lawrence County does not fall into either category currently, there has been a steady increase in cases in our area over the last week. 

As the University prepares to welcome members of the Class of 2020 and their guests this weekend, the safety of our community remains a top priority. Each graduate and guest was required to provide either proof of vaccination, proof of recent COVID-19 negative test, or prior positive test within 90 days.

As a reminder of the campus mask and social distancing policy:

  • Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask indoors or outdoors while on campus.
  • Unvaccinated individuals are required to continue to wear a mask indoors on campus when in the presence of other people.
  • Social distancing guidelines of 6 feet between people remain in place for unvaccinated individuals both indoors and outdoors on campus.
  • Per CDC guidelines, at this time determination of vaccination status for mask wearing and social distancing will be on the honor system while on campus.  

Updated Testing Information 

Following CDC guidance, the University will exempt those who have been fully vaccinated from surveillance testing if they provide proof of vaccination to the University. St. Lawrence employees are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. Vaccines are available at all local pharmacies and no appointment is needed.

If you have been fully vaccinated, you may show proof of vaccination to onsite St. Lawrence medical staff on Tuesday, August 3, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and Wednesday, August 4, from 10-11 a.m. at the Torrey Health and Counseling Center (76 Park Street). Medical staff will record your status as vaccinated and your status will be retained in a confidential location for the purposes of surveillance testing exception only. 

Proof of vaccination can be either the actual vaccination card you received when you completed vaccination or the Excelsior Pass. (If you downloaded the Excelsior Pass earlier this spring when the Pass expired within 90 days, you may download the Pass again, as it’s now valid for one year from your date of immunity.)

If you have not been fully vaccinated, for whatever reason, you must continue to test regularly throughout the fall semester if you work on campus or access campus. Those employees who are not exempted from testing will get an invitation to start weekly surveillance testing next week.

The Campus Safety Monitoring Committee continues to monitor local public health conditions and may revisit the employee vaccination policy if cases continue to rise while vaccination rates remain steady. The University continues to prioritize our community’s health and safety.

Thank you for your efforts as we all prepare for another productive and safe academic year.

Sincerely,

Brian Atkins, Convener-Campus Safety Monitoring Committee

June 30 Message to Students, Families, and Employees from Vice President of the University and Dean of Academic Affairs Karl Schonberg and Vice President and Dean of Student Life Hagi Bradley

Dear Laurentian community,

We write today to announce our plan for operations during the next academic year. St. Lawrence plans to return to a traditional two-semester calendar with full occupancy. Details, announcements, and updates will be added as decisions are made throughout the year. The plan is consistent with guidance issued by the American College Health Association (ACHA), New York State, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As a reminder, every decision we make is guided by these principles:

  • The University remains committed to its mission: to provide an inspiring liberal arts experience for students from all over the world who come here with purpose and promise.
  • The safety and well-being of our entire campus community remain our top priority.
  • Decision making will be as inclusive and equitable as possible and will be done in consultation with local public health officials, and guidance from federal and state agencies.
  • Flexibility and innovation will be required, which extends to our responsibility for the long-term strength of the institution.

The Always Forward website has been updated with information about the upcoming year and includes details to answer the most commonly-asked questions in the following areas:

The following offices are happy to assist you if you have additional questions:

The Laurentian community successfully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the last year and we owe that success to our employees, students, and families. Thank you for working alongside us to ensure that was possible. We look forward to another successful year on campus. 

Sincerely,

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

June 7 Message to Students and Families from Health Services

Dear campus community,

In our previous message to you regarding the Fall 2021 semester, we shared that a COVID-19 vaccination will be required for students in residence at St. Lawrence during the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, in accordance with the American College Health Association guidance. Below are some critical deadlines that will ensure you and your family have enough time to prepare for the fall.

Accepted Vaccines

St. Lawrence will accept the vaccines listed below with emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA or the World Health Organization.

U.S. Vaccines with FDA EUA:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

International vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (this list will be updated as new vaccines are approved):

  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield (Serum Institute of India)
  • Sinopharm (Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products)
  • Comirnaty/BNT162b2 (Fosun Pharmaceuticals, Hong Kong)

Already Vaccinated?

For students who are fully vaccinated, please upload your proof of vaccination to our health portal, Medicat.

Our Health Services team will hold instructional webinars for new students in the near future.

The deadline for uploading your proof of vaccination to Medicat is Sunday, August 1. This allows our staff time to verify and follow up with students if needed.

Vaccination Appointment Deadlines

Students arriving on campus for the Fall 2021 semester must be fully vaccinated* by the time they arrive.

*The CDC considers an individual to be fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after receiving their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

For students who haven’t received the vaccination or started the 2-dose series yet, schedule an appointment now to get the process started this month (June). For those receiving the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, this will ensure you have time to complete both doses.

Students should make sure they have received the first dose before Thursday, July 1. A student’s final vaccination appointment should be completed by Sunday, August 1, to ensure they are fully vaccinated* by the time they move in.

For those on campus during the Summer Semester, walk-in vaccine appointments are available at the Health Center for both employees and students during normal business hours Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

We recognize that vaccines are not available equitably everywhere. If a student is unable to get fully vaccinated before arriving on campus, we will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during move-in at the Health Center. Please email healthcenter@stlawu.edu for further guidance. 

Exemption Request Deadline

As with all vaccine requirements, students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons, but the expectation is that we will be a University community of largely vaccinated individuals, greatly reducing the risk of infection for all. This will also allow students to fully access classes and extracurricular activities, as well as minimize NYS quarantine protocols based on exposure.

If you plan to request an exemption, you must contact the Student Health Center at healthcenter@stlawu.edu on or before Thursday, June 17, with that request. This gives our staff time to review your request.

Exemption decisions will be made and shared by Thursday, July 1. This timeline gives those not approved for an exemption time to schedule and receive their COVID-19 vaccination(s) before arriving in mid- to late-August.

Additional Vaccine Information and Resources

We have provided answers to frequently-asked questions and additional information about our vaccine requirement on our Always Forward website.

As always, our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our campus community. Flexibility, innovation, and understanding are required from all of us to have another successful year. Please keep checking your email for additional information about the fall semester that will be sent throughout the summer. 

Sincerely,

Erin M. Casey, PA-C

Clinical Director of Health Services

May 12 Message to Students and Families from Academic Affairs and Student Life

Campus community,

As we begin the start of the summer semester, we want to let you know what to expect at St. Lawrence for the upcoming fall semester.

Vaccination efforts across the nation have slowly started to stop the spread of the virus. We are pleased to report that as of the end of April, more than 55 percent of employees at St. Lawrence have reported to have either been fully vaccinated or have received their first shot. This is an excellent start, and we feel that we are on the path to herd immunity among our employees. We strongly urge all employees to take advantage of opportunities to protect themselves and the rest of the community.

Student Vaccine Information

Proof of a COVID-19 vaccination is required for students in residence at St. Lawrence for the 2021-22 academic year, in accordance with the American College Health Association guidance. We have heard repeatedly from our current students that their academic success and mental health suffered in a year when they could not interact with their friends as they have in the past, when they were often taking classes remotely, and when they ended up in quarantine more frequently than they or we desired.  As a residential college, the only way that we see to get back to a life that resembles what they so clearly want is through vaccination. As with all vaccine requirements, students may request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information is available on the Always Forward Website.

Planning for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

We thought the community would appreciate reading some of the planning assumptions that we made for next year. Campus-wide public health measures of various kinds are likely to continue, within the context of a more typical campus calendar and environment. Additional information will be communicated throughout the summer, and modifications to our plans may be necessary based on the public health situation. We anticipate communicating final plans no later than mid-August, based on state, local, and national guidelines at that time:

  • Campus Residence – We are planning for an essentially normal two-semester calendar where all students will study on campus in both semesters. 
  • Academic Instruction - We expect to offer all classes and labs fully in person next semester.
  • Campus Life - We expect a full slate of campus events, social activities, and athletic competitions to take place, as they would during any given academic year, with possible modifications based on state guidance.

Employees

With vaccines readily available to all employees, with the expectation of full enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year, and with the ability as of May 15 to have 75% office occupancy and the expectation of full occupancy later in the summer per state guidance, we expect all employees who previous to COVID-19 worked on campus to return to campus locations by August 2, 2021.

We’ll phase in the return, striving to have our offices populated at the 50% level in June and at the 75% level in July. Office managers will work out specific schedules. (Faculty who are teaching classes remotely through July 9 do not need to change their plans.) More detailed information will be sent by Human Resources before the end of the week.

Public Health

We expect that we will still require our community members to wear a mask and participate in surveillance testing during at least the fall semester, with requirements and schedule to be determined closer to fall.  Both are important parts of our mitigation strategy.

Our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our campus community. Flexibility, innovation, and understanding are required from all of us to have another successful year. Additional information will be sent to you later this summer, and we look forward to next fall. 

Sincerely,

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