COVID-19

Fall 2021 Requirements, Procedures and Plans

SUNY Oneonta will resume in-person instruction, return to customary residential experiences and reinstate traditional campus events and activities for the Fall 2021 semester, with classes beginning on Monday, Aug. 23. Operating procedures are listed in our fall plan below, and answers to frequently asked questions are provided on this page.

As of Aug. 23, the Pfizer vaccine was fully authorized by the FDA, therefore requiring all students coming to campus for any reason to be required to be vaccinated per guidance from the SUNY Board of Trustees. See below for details on how to submit proof of vaccination and limited exemption criteria. 

The purpose of this plan is to ensure the collective health and safety of SUNY Oneonta students, faculty and staff, and do our part to minimize the potential health and safety impact to our surrounding community. We continue to follow all applicable federal, state and local health guidance pertaining to COVID-19. The following plan highlights the procedures we will follow to ensure student success and maintain the health, safety and wellness of our campus and local community.

This plan is a living document and subject to change based on new and evolving information and guidance from the CDC, New York State and SUNY. Please continue to check this page for updates on our response to the pandemic.

Testing, Masking, Academic and Campus Operations Guidance

Indoors

Beginning Aug. 9, 2021, masks are required for all students, faculty, staff and visitors in all indoor spaces until the vaccination data of our campus community supports relaxing said requirements. At this point, and due to the close contact nature of in-person classes and life in a residence hall, the percentage of our campus population who is fully vaccinated is not high enough for us to feel comfortable allowing anyone to be unmasked indoors.  The indoor mask requirement allows for pedagogical freedom in classrooms and laboratories, protects privacy and avoids the problems associated with an honor system, and ensures safety in all indoor settings. An incremental approach to relaxing indoor mask policies depending on vaccination statistics will be routinely evaluated by our COVID Response Strategic Team.

Social distancing does not need to be maintained while everyone is fully masked.

Masks may be removed indoors only in the following situations:

  • when socially distanced and eating/drinking while seated. Please note that no food or drink is allowed in any classroom, lab, or performance space during instruction.
  • while socially distanced and working at workstations* or in personal residence hall rooms.
    (*workstations do not include stations in computer labs or desks/furniture in shared recreational, study, or instructional spaces.)

Outdoors

Individuals who have submitted proof of vaccination are able to remove their masks outdoors without having to maintain social distancing. 

Unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and those who have not provided proof of vaccination status are only required to wear masks outdoors when social distancing from others cannot be maintained.

Acceptable Face Coverings

Members of the college community and visitors are encouraged to provide their own facial coverings, however the face coverings must:

  • be made of at least two layers of washable, tightly-woven fabric (cotton is preferred), or be a commercially available disposable mask (AKA examination masks).
  • cover the wearer's nose and mouth at all times.
  • be securely fastened to the wearer's head by means of straps or ear loops.
  • conform to the wearer's face to provide the best possible seal and prevent gaps.
  • not have an exhaust valve.

Face coverings that do not meet the intention or function of preventing the spread of COVID-19 are prohibited. The following are examples of face coverings which have been found insufficient in meeting our mask guidelines by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.  

  • Any type of covering affixed in any way to eyeglasses. 
  • Masks that do not cover both the mouth and nose.
  • Masks that are constructed of loosely woven fabrics.
  • Masks made from non-permeable materials that are likely to suffocate.
  • Masks with unfiltered exhaust valves. 
  • Face shields worn without a mask.

Individuals who do not comply with the mask policy, or whose face coverings are determined to be insufficient, will be directed to comply by wearing an acceptable face covering as listed above. Continued failure to comply may result in an investigation and consequences carried out by the office of Community Standards for students or Human Resources for employees. 

Weekly Surveillance Testing for Asymptomatic Students & Employees

Free COVID-19 tests are available on campus for asymptomatic students and employees. The purpose of surveillance testing is to survey a non-symptomatic population to detect if the virus is present and prevent it from spreading.

Is testing required?

  • Students, faculty and staff who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or whose vaccination status is unknown are required to test weekly in our surveillance testing program.
  • Seven percent of fully vaccinated students will also be randomly selected and required to participate in surveillance testing each week starting Sept. 13. 
  • Five percent of fully vaccinated employees will also be randomly selected and required to participate in surveillance testing each week starting Sept. 20.

    The college reserves the right to increase the frequency of testing among the entire campus community at any time. Remember, surveillance testing is only for people who are asymptomatic. Anyone with COVID symptoms who needs a test should see the section about “diagnostic testing” below. 

When and where are tests available?

The testing center is located in the Morris Conference Center. 
(
Morris Conference Center is located near Human Ecology and Alumni Hall and can be seen as building 33 on the campus map.)

Regular Hours of Operation:

  • Mondays: 1 – 8 p.m.
  • Tuesdays: 9 a.m. - noon
  • Sundays: 1 – 8 p.m.

The testing cycle for students (weekly schedule for compliance) runs Monday - Sunday. If students miss the testing center on Monday or Tuesday, they must get tested on Sunday (or get a test off campus) to remain in good standing. Tests done on Sundays satisfy the requirement for the testing week that began on the prior Monday; they do not meet the requirement for the following testing week.

Those who may miss the testing center can pay for a test off campus to satisfy their weekly testing requirement. Students in this situation can use the state's test site finder or purchase a BinaxNOW over-the-counter/ at-home test. (The college does not accept Ellume or QuickVue rapid tests.) Students must upload a screenshot/photo/.pdf of the results of a test taken off campus or at home. Anyone using the BinaxNOW at-home test must write their name and the date the test was taken on the test kit then take and upload a photo of both the kit and a college or government-issued ID card next to each other to meet the weekly testing requirement. 

What type of tests are available on campus? How do the tests work?

The tests conducted on campus are saliva-based pool tests. These are simple, self-administered oral swab tests that only take a few minutes to complete. Instructions on how to conduct the test will be provided at the testing center.

Individual test samples are pooled together in small groups and the pool is tested for COVID. If the pool comes back negative, then all samples in that pool are presumed negative. If the pool comes back positive, the individual swabs will be tested separately to see which is/are positive.

Off-campus and on-campus student tests will be pooled separately, and on-campus student tests will be pooled by residence hall.

If you have not previously participated in the college’s pool testing, you will need to create an account at app.clarifi-covid-19.com. If you already have an account, please log in and register for each new test. To reduce wait times at the testing center, it’s best to do this ahead of time on your mobile device. If you do not have a cell phone and/or need help, you can register for your test with assistance from volunteers at the testing site.

Before testing you must:

  • wait 3 hours after brushing your teeth
  • wait 30 minutes after eating, drinking, smoking, vaping, chewing gum/mints

How do students and employees get results from the on-campus tests? 

If an someone is in a negative pool, their test is presumed negative and the result will be displayed in the suny-covid-test.com testing portal. 

If someone is in a positive pool, they will be notified and should follow appropriate directions provided depending on vaccination status:

  • Students:
    • Fully vaccinated students and employees will be notified about the positive pool via email and are not required to quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic. If their individual test result comes back negative, they will be notified via email and the testing portal. If their individual test result comes back positive, students will be contacted by the Health Center/Quarantine & Isolation team and employees will be contacted by Human Resources with instructions on isolating.
    • Partially vaccinated or exempt (unvaccinated) students will be contacted by the Quarantine & Isolation team with instructions about moving to precautionary quarantine. If the individual test result comes back negative, the Quarantine & Isolation team will notify the student and help facilitate leaving quarantine. If their individual test result comes back positive, students will be contacted by the Health Center/Quarantine & Isolation team and employees will be contacted by Human Resources with instructions on isolating.
  • Employees:
    • Beginning in October, all employees, regardless of vaccination status, will be notified about the positive pool via email and are required to quarantine to prevent any asymptomatic spread from breakthrough cases. If their individual test result comes back negative, they will be notified via email and the testing portal and can stop their quarantine. If their individual test result comes back positive, employees will be contacted by  Human Resources with instructions on isolating.

Diagnostic Testing for Symptomatic Students & Employees

Diagnostic testing for symptomatic students will be available at the Health and Wellness Center or at any local pharmacy or health clinic. All students who develop symptoms should go into a precautionary quarantine until test results are returned. Please contact Graig Eichler at 607-436-2077 for assistance and advice on moving to quarantine, both on or off campus. If students get a test off campus they should report the results to the Health Center.

If a test comes back positive, please follow the directions from the contact tracers from the Department of Health. Everyone who tests positive must isolate regardless of vaccination status. If a student gets a positive result after the Health Center closes, please contact Graig Eichler at 607-436-2077 for assistance and advice on moving into isolation on or off campus.

Employees should contact their primary care physician or a local pharmacy/clinic for a test if they develop symptoms.

Wastewater Testing

On-campus wastewater testing will also be conducted to help monitor the positivity level on campus and identify any areas or buildings that may be experiencing an increase in cases.

Fully Vaccinated Individuals

  • Students: Per CDC and New York State guidance, at this time, fully vaccinated students who are exposed to COVID  — meaning they have received all required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and at least two weeks have passed since their final dose — and are not symptomatic, are not required to quarantine. If fully vaccinated individuals are part of a positive pool in the on-campus surveillance testing, they are not required to quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic.
  • Employees: All fully vaccinated employees are required to quarantine if they are part of a positive pool at this time. 

Any vaccinated individual who was exposed to a positive case and has symptoms is required to quarantine and seek a diagnostic test. 

If a fully vaccinated individual tests positive for COVID, they are required to isolate and follow directions from the Department of Health and the Health Center (students) or Human Resources (employees).  

Partially Vaccinated and Exempt (Unvaccinated) Individuals

Partially vaccinated and exempt (unvaccinated) students, and any employees who are unvaccinated or vaccination status is unknown, are required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19 and should self-monitor for symptoms and seek a test 5-7 days after exposure (or as soon as symptoms are experienced). If these individuals test positive they must isolate and are required to follow directions from the Department of Health and the Health Center (students) or Human Resources (employees).  

Residential Students

Students in positive pools, direct contacts of COVID-positive individuals, and symptomatic residential students awaiting test results will be required to quarantine in designated quarantine residence halls. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate in one of the designated isolation residence halls. If you live on campus, college staff will transport you to our quarantine residence hall, where you will have meals prepared and delivered by our catering staff.

Students can be transported between their residence hall and the quarantine and isolation residences through use of a van(s) that have been modified for that purpose.

The quarantine and isolation buildings will be staffed by dedicated, full-time staff members. MacDuff will serve as the college’s quarantine hall, and Denison will serve as the isolation hall.

Symptomatic students, regardless of vaccination status, who live in a residence hall and who cannot schedule a same day appointment with the Health Center must quarantine in a designated quarantine space until they can make their appointment. Students who do not comply with this directive may be subject to disciplinary actions.                                                            

Off-Campus Students & Employees

Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated off-campus students or employees in positive pools must quarantine in place at their residence and should not come to campus until they receive a negative individual result. See resources for students who are quarantining off campus.

Off-campus students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at their place of residence. Off-campus students in isolation who require resources during their period of isolation, or would like to isolate on campus, can access additional community resources at this link.

The NYS requirements for a mandatory pause are no longer in effect. However, SUNY retains the authority to pause campus activities in cases of increased community transmission.

SUNY Oneonta will institute a phased contingency plan that allows the campus to actively mitigate and respond to different levels of campus -and community-spread. The indicators used for action will include, but aren’t limited to, factors such as the number of positive pools from week to week, the prevalence and intensity of COVID-19 at both on-campus and off-campus wastewater testing sites, symptomatic cases at The Health and Wellness Center, the local positivity rate, and local hospital capacity.

Most courses will return to their traditional on-campus (in-person) instruction format for the fall. There will be some classes offered in hybrid in-person and online formats, as had been the case even pre-pandemic: courses and instructors are vetted by faculty and shared governance for online delivery. See the Course Schedule Key and Class Search Page for more information about instruction formats. 

Academic continuity plans were established before the start of the term so that the college is prepared to transition to remote instruction if necessary. Additionally, plans will be in place for learning and instruction continuity should faculty and/or staff become ill or otherwise unable to be present. Faculty will build flexibility into courses in case of student illness.

During in-person instruction, faculty, staff and students will be required to adhere to the campus mask policy outlined above. Students will adhere to the classroom behavior guidelines in the Student Code of Conduct. Students who do not comply with the policy will be referred to Community Standards for further action.

There will be no food or drink allowed in any classroom, laboratory or performance space while instructional activities are underway. The American Association of Pediatrics provides reasons  why full masking even among the fully vaccinated is optimal—until data on community spread and vaccination rates can be concretely determined. In addition, the CDC continues to update its guidance on wearing masks indoors as more information becomes available surrounding the transmission rate and effect of new variants on individuals and communities.

Faculty, staff and students may host visitors on campus and inside buildings, with the exception of inside residence halls (see residence hall guidance below). Guests and visitors include anyone who is not a current employee or student at the college who is invited to visit any indoor space on campus, ie: colleagues or visitors attending an in-person meeting, visitors here for a tour of any space or facilities, etc. In-person appointments and meetings are allowed in spaces that can accommodate proper social distancing . Anyone inviting multiple guests to gather or meet together must abide by the most current event capacity limits listed below.

As of Oct. 12, 2021, guests with an appointment or pre-arranged visit are no longer required to to complete a visitor daily health screening. However the visitor health screening is still available as an option if a host would like to take extra precautions. Contact Graig.Eichler@Oneonta.edu for more information on the visitor daily health screening.

Individuals patronizing retail locations and utilizing campus services on a short-term, walk-in basis will not have to complete the visitor daily health screening. Please note that the contact tracing protocols will still be in effect for individuals utilizing campus services.

Contractors and vendors are required to submit a COVID safety plan to the Facilities, Safety and Planning Office for review. 

College community members and visitors are required to continue following the college’s most recent health and safety protocols. Please see specific guidelines for masking, distancing, testing, and vaccination above.

Residence Hall Guest Policy

As of Oct. 15, on-campus residents are allowed to host outside guests in their residence hall, provided the guest can supply proof they are fully vaccinated. 

  • A guest registration form must be completed and submitted to residence life staff. Forms are available in the RA office in each residence hall or in the main office for Residential and Community Life in Wilsbach Hall and can be filled out ahead of time, or at the time a guest arrives.
  • If the guest is present while the form is being filled out, the residence life staff will have the authority to review the guest’s CDC vaccination card or the excelsior pass to confirm full vaccination (at least two weeks past final dose of vaccine). No other form of vaccine proof will be accepted. Proof of a negative test will not be accepted in place of proof of vaccine.
  • If the form is submitted in advance of the guest’s arrival, the guest can send their host a screen shot of their CDC vaccination card or their excelsior pass to be submitted with the form for review by residence life staff.
  • Hosts must get their roommate(s) approval before bringing a guest into any living area.
  • All guests must follow all federal, state and local laws and college policies as outlined in the residence hall license
  • Guests must always be accompanied by their hosts. Guests may not be left alone inside personal residence hall rooms or common spaces.
  • Masks are still required for everyone indoors.

Any enrolled student or college faculty/staff who is fully vaccinated or following weekly pool test requirements (unvaccinated/partially vaccinated/exempt from vaccination) will be allowed to visit residential students in their residence hall, including student rooms and public spaces open to residents. College community members should be prepared to show ID and proof of vaccination/testing participation if asked by the residential staff.

Please note, that the policy is subject to change at any time in response to the pandemic’s impact on our campus, local community, or wider region. Any changes will be communicated via email and residence life staff.

Strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID must be integrated into all event planning. It is the responsibility of those organizing the event to ensure that attendees are aware of all necessary public health guidance.

Venue Capacity

Indoor venues/rooms with a capacity of 100 people or less can host events at/up to full capacity. Venues/rooms with a capacity of 100 to 200 can host 100 attendees. Venues with a capacity of 201 or more are set at 50% of the rooms stated capacity. 

Capacity for outdoor events is capped at a gathering of 500 people at any one point in time. Bleachers will remain at 50% capacity for outdoor events.

Masking

All event attendees/audience members regardless of vaccination status – are required to wear masks at all times when inside campus buildings or facilities. Masks may be removed indoors only when actively eating and drinking while seated and socially distant. Masks are encouraged for all at outdoor events, but are mandatory for anyone who is unvaccinated. Event organizers are able to require masks, regardless of vaccination status, at their discretion.

Proof of Vaccination or Negative Test

If an event of over 100 attendees includes guests from outside the campus community (e.g., non-SUNY Oneonta students or employees) and the ability to socially distance is unavailable or the event is indoors and over 3 hours in duration, proof of vaccination or a negative test administered within five days prior to the event must be required.

Private Events

Campus facilities may not be reserved for private groups to use for events to take place throughout the remainder of 2021. Contact Graig Eichler (607-436-2077) for more information.

Additional Considerations

  • Social Distancing: Whenever possible, avoid filling the space to full capacity to allow for adequate social distancing between seating and/or consider carving out an area to allow for physical distancing that can be used by unvaccinated individuals or by vaccinated individuals who may not feel comfortable sitting in close proximity to others.
  • Event time: Considering shortening the event time. Limit the time people are together in the same room.
  • Virtual options: Consider hosting virtual meetings for large groups of people (more than 10). Create opportunities for people to attend in-person meetings and events virtually. Some individuals may have different comfort levels or be in a high-risk group.
  • Extra Precautions: Public health experts advocate layering mitigation measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. For example, an event that requires all participants to masks at all times and be vaccinated carries less risk for COVID-19 transmission than an event that only requires that participants wear masks. The layers of protection put into place will depend on a variety of factors including the event’s purpose, length and location and other considerations.

This policy will continually be assessed and adjusted based on local community and campus data (vaccination percentage, positivity rate, etc).

As with the college’s public-health guidance throughout the past year, we will continue to monitor the national, state, and local COVID-19 situation. Guidance will routinely be assessed and adjusted based on local community and campus data (vaccination percentage, positivity rate, etc.). We thank you for your commitment to this community’s health, and for your understanding as we continue to navigate the fall 2021 semester together.

In accordance with current CDC recommendations, SUNY Oneonta’s custodial department will continue to sanitize all high-touch surfaces at least once daily but will revert to traditional cleaning operations consistent with campus standards that were in place prior to the start of the pandemic.

The air handling systems in each building will bring in as much fresh air as possible, and filtration for each system was upgraded to the maximum extent possible. You may notice space temperatures are warmer and/or more humid in the summer and cooler and drier in the winter. This is directly related to the volume of outside air that is being introduced into each area.

Hand sanitizing stations will remain in common areas in all buildings and will be checked/restocked daily. Campus departments can request additional cleaning supplies (wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.).  Employees looking for supplies should inquire with their office or department support staff. Supplies will be distributed to departments by work order. 

For questions about cleaning supplies, air handling systems and hand sanitizing stations, please reach out to the Office of Facilities, Safety and Physical Plant at facilities@oneonta.edu.

All students, regardless of vaccination status, must complete the mandatory pre-arrival screening survey and were sent an email with pre-arrival instructions on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The pre-arrival screening must be completed and approved before a student returns to campus. Upon successfully completing all the steps in the pre-arrival screening tool, students will reach a screen with their name and a green check mark. Please screenshot or print out this page and be prepared to show it upon request during move in or upon arrival to campus, and anytime during the first week back.

On-campus students:

  • who are fully vaccinated must complete the pre-arrival screening to verify their vaccination was received in the health portal and they are cleared to return to campus.
  • who are not fully vaccinated prior to their arrival on campus are required to submit proof of partial vaccination AND proof of a negative test administered within five days prior to their return to campus. 
    • Or, if a student has been diagnosed and recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days, they can submit receipt of a positive test result and must be released by their local health department from all quarantine or isolation requirements prior to their return to campus. These students must begin/complete the vaccination process within 5 days of their 90 day window ending.
  • Residential students who attempt to access campus without fulfilling the above requirements will not be allowed to move into their residence halls until doing so. The college's standard financial liability and refund policies will apply. Adjustments made to billed costs of attendance will not be made if a student does not comply with the requirement and therefore has a late move-in date. 

Off-campus students:

  • who are fully vaccinated must complete the pre-arrival screening to verify their vaccination was received in the health portal and they are cleared to return to campus. 
  • who are not fully vaccinated must submit proof of a negative test administered within five days prior to their first day back on campus.
    • Or, if a student has been diagnosed and recovered from COVID-19 within the past 90 days, they can submit receipt of a positive test result and must be released by their local health department from all quarantine or isolation requirements prior to their return to campus. These students must begin/complete the vaccination process within 5 days of their 90 day window ending.
  • Off-campus students who attempt to access campus without fulfilling the above requirements are subject to the campus judicial process.

Acceptable tests include PCR or antigen (rapid) tests. Antibody tests are not accepted.

​​​​​Students who cannot access testing due to financial hardship can request funding through the Student Emergency Fund.

Students who receive a positive COVID-19 result from their pre-arrival screening test must not come to campus. They must isolate at home and make arrangements to move into their residence hall or off-campus apartment upon completion of their isolation obligations.

 Vaccination Policy and Information

As of Aug. 23, after the FDA fully authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the SUNY policy mandating vaccines for students is in effect. All students who plan to access any campus facilities for any reason are required to be vaccinated.

Employees who are fully vaccinated may voluntarily submit proof of vaccination to the college. Information surrounding the college’s vaccination policy, procedure to submit proof of vaccination, expectations and exemption process can be found below.

  • All students who are taking any in-person classes or using any college facilities must submit proof of vaccination or have an approved exemption on record in order to remain enrolled. Students must receive a full series (all doses) of a vaccine and submit a copy of their CDC vaccination card to the student patient portal by 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 27. Students can choose to receive any of the three vaccines currently available in the United States. Exemptions are limited, and applications must be filed no later than Sept. 3. Details on exemptions and the applications can be found in the "Vaccine Exemptions" section below. 
  • All students must have a full series (all doses) of a COVID vaccine by Sept. 27. Students who choose not to get vaccinated by this deadline and do not have an approved exemption on file will be unable to come to campus for any reason — including to attend classes — and will be disenrolled from their classes.
    • If a student is not planning to get vaccinated or submit an application for a genuine religious or medical exemption, it may be in their best interest to either complete the withdrawal process or apply for a leave of absence* by Aug. 29 so they incur as little financial liability as possible.
    • Financial liability is determined by the withdrawal date, and if you wait until the Sept. 27 deadline you will incur full financial liability for tuition and most fees for the semester. The college will follow the standard liability schedules for tuition, fees, room and dining. See SUNY Oneonta’s withdrawal webpageleave of absence webpage, or SUNY’s tuition and fee liability policy for more information. If you do not complete this semester, your financial aid may also be impacted. Contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (finaid@oneonta.edu or 607-436-2532) for more information before making a decision to withdraw or take a leave of absence.  If the standard SUNY-authorized refund dates have passed, there will be no refunds for students in these circumstances.  
    • *Students requesting a leave of absence must provide proof of vaccination in order to return to campus.
  • We encourage students to get vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid any potential disruptions to their semester.
    • If you have not yet begun the vaccination process, you must make sure you have enough time to receive a full series by Sept. 27.  You can select the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at your discretion and still complete the full vaccine series by the deadline.
      • If you want to get the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, you must get your first dose by Monday, Sept. 6.
      • If you want to get the two-dose Moderna vaccine, you must get your first dose by Monday, Aug. 30.
      • If you want to get the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it is recommended you get vaccinated by Friday, Sept. 10, but must be no later than Sept. 27. 
      • If you are partially vaccinated, you must complete your vaccination series as scheduled, but no later than Sept. 27.

Students living in the United States can get any of the three vaccines currently available with FDA emergency authorization: Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

International students should try to get vaccinated with one of the above three vaccines.  If those are not available to an international student, they should seek to be vaccinated with any of the vaccines currently under emergency authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Anyone age 12 and older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in New York State. Members of the SUNY Oneonta community can register at any site in New York and are responsible for scheduling their own appointments.

On-campus vaccination clinics

The Health Center will host weekly vaccination clinics open to students and employees. To register for an appointment, please click on the appropriate link for the type of vaccine and dose needed (first or second) and the date you'd like. Remember, you must follow the schedule for your second dose based on the date of your first dose. Those receiving Pfizer must wait 21 days in between doses and those receiving Moderna must wait 28 days in between doses.

First Dose:

  • First dose clinics on campus have ended as the timeframe has passed for students to receive a first dose of Pfizer of Moderna in time to meet the deadline of having both doses (a full series) by Sept. 27.

Second Dose:

Off-campus vaccination options

The CDC has an easy and convenient Vaccine Finder that can help you find a vaccination site at your neighborhood pharmacy, drugstore or grocery store.

In addition, anyone studying, living or working in New York can use the state's Am I Eligible? app or call the state's COVID-19 vaccination hotline at 1-833-697-4829 to request an appointment at any state-run site.

Students interested in obtaining their vaccine in Otsego County can check Otsego County’s Department of Health for more information regarding local clinics.

Students

Residential students must submit proof of receiving one dose of a vaccine at least three business days before arrival on campus.

Off campus students should submit proof of full vaccination as soon as possible and will be required to do so once the SUNY mandate goes into effect.

  1. Students should first check to see if the college has record of their COVID-19 vaccination the Health Center student patient portal by logging in and clicking on the “immunization” tab.
  2. If you do not see your COVID-19 vaccine listed in your file, please click the “upload” button on the main menu and upload a photo of your CDC vaccination card. Please note, we cannot accept documentation from the Excelsior Pass for students, it must be a photo of the CDC vaccination card. By submitting a photo of your vaccination card, you affirm it is accurate and has not been forged or altered in any way, and acknowledge that it is a crime to falsify COVID-19 vaccination information.

Employees

  1. Employees can upload a PDF from the Excelsior Pass mobile app or a photo/scan of your vaccination card to the secure COVID Vaccine Proof Employee Form.
  2. ​​​Proof may also be provided by taking the original, or a true copy, of your vaccination card or Excelsior Pass .pdf to Human Resources (Netzer room 208 for state employees).
  3. Human Resources will review all submissions within two business days and notify you of approval status. Should this be the case, please reach out to the appropriate human resources office at the contact information provided in the form.
  4. Vaccination information will be confidential and only used by human resources for the purpose of ensuring compliance and other safety measures that differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees (quarantine guidance, etc).
  5. Please direct any questions to Human Resources.

Students and employees who do not have proof of full vaccination on record must participate in weekly surveillance testing and may have other limitations on campus.

Proof of COVID-19 antibodies through test results cannot be used as an alternative to receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine. Students who have not been able to access a second dose in their community will have the opportunity to be vaccinated on campus. SUNY Oneonta, in partnership with the Otsego County Department of Health, will offer a weekly standing clinic for students who need to complete their vaccination series. The Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will be available at these clinics. Dates and locations are forthcoming.

The Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine has received full FDA authorization. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been granted emergency approval for use by the FDA. The vaccines are safe and effective. Visit the CDC’s website to learn more about the importance of the vaccine and to dispel any myths you may have heard.

Exemptions to the vaccine mandate are limited and include only the following categories:

  1. Medical Exemption
    • Students may be exempt from this vaccine requirement if a duly licensed health care provider certifies in writing that the COVID-19 vaccination may be detrimental to the student’s health. The campus shall provide reasonable accommodations to those students whose medical condition(s) contraindicates COVID-19 vaccination so long as the failure to be vaccinated does not prevent the student from otherwise fulfilling the programmatic or curricular requirements of their academic program. Students granted a medical exemption will be subject to certain restrictions in the guidance herein and may be subject to other restrictions imposed by the campus.
      Applications for medical exemptions must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., Friday, Sept. 3. The form to apply for a medical exemption must be printed, completed, signed and uploaded to the Health Center student patient portal.
  2. Religious Exemption
    • Students who hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs that are contrary to COVID-19 vaccination may be exempt after submitting a written statement to that effect as required. Such statement should explain how receiving the COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with the student’s sincere religious belief or practice and how not receiving the COVID-19 vaccination will not otherwise prevent the student’s completion of programmatic or curricular requirements of their academic program. General philosophical or moral objections to the vaccine shall not suffice as the basis for a religious exemption. Students granted a religious exemption will be subject to certain restrictions in the guidance herein and may be subject to other restrictions imposed by the campus.
      Applications for religious exemptions must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., Friday, Sept. 3. The form to apply for a religious exemption must be printed, completed, signed and uploaded to the Health Center student patient portal.

  3. Fully Online: Students who are enrolled in a schedule of fully online classes and do not plan to access campus for any reason, do not need to submit proof of vaccination, but must attest that they will not come to campus through the pre-screening tool by Friday, Sept. 3.  If online students plan to come to campus, or access college facilities for any reason, they must submit proof of vaccination or have an approved exemption on record.

Exemption Review Process: Requests for exemption that are filed by the Sept. 3 deadline will be reviewed beginning Sept. 7. Students who have applied for an exemption will be notified if their application is approved or denied as quickly as possible, but decisions will be sent on a rolling basis over the next two weeks. If an exemption application is denied, students will have five days from the date of their denial to get their first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and provide proof of initial administration (CDC vaccination card uploaded to the student health portal- see full instructions above). Students opting for one of the two-dose vaccines must stay on schedule to receive their second dose in order to remain in compliance. 
Any student who is denied an exemption and does not wish to comply with the vaccine mandate will have the opportunity to withdraw and have adjusted financial liability. Please contact StudentAccts@oneonta.edu with any questions about financial liability.

Questions pertaining to the exemption process and status of the request should be directed to the Division of Student Development at 607-436-2513 or student_devel@oneonta.edu. 

Student Exemptions and Campus Policies

Students who are granted an exemption must follow policies for unvaccinated/vaccination status unknown individuals. Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated students must wear masks indoors at all times and outdoors (when social distancing can’t be maintained), quarantine if they come into contact with a positive case (even if asymptomatic) and participate in weekly testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Testing

  1. Asymptomatic students who are partially vaccinated, exempt or have not yet submitted proof of vaccination status are required to test every week.
  2. Seven percent of fully vaccinated students and five percent of fully vaccinated employees will be randomly selected to participate in mandatory testing each week.  Those selected will be notified on Sunday evening that they must be tested within the next seven days.
  3. Asymptomatic employees who have not submitted proof of vaccination are required to test every week.

Please note that the testing requirements may change depending on conditions on campus or in the local community and county. The college reserves the right to increase the frequency of testing among the entire campus community at any time.

Until proof of full vaccination is on file and approved, employees and students will be considered unvaccinated/unknown vaccination status and must continue to test weekly.

See testing center location and hours in the "Testing Information" section above.

If you have not previously participated in the college’s on-campus pool testing, you will need to create an account at clarifi-covid-19.com. If you already have an account, please log in and register for each new test. To reduce wait times at the testing center, it’s best to do this ahead of time on your mobile device. If you do not have a cell phone and/or need help, you can register for your test with assistance from volunteers at the testing site.

Seven percent of fully vaccinated students and five percent of fully vaccinated employees will be randomly selected to participate in mandatory testing each week. If selected, students will be notified on Sunday evening that they must be tested within the next seven days.

It is recommended and encouraged for fully vaccinated individuals participate in the weekly surveillance testing to help prevent spread from any asymptomatic cases and help people feel safe and comfortable on campus. See the "Testing Information" section above for testing center hours.

The college reserves the right to change the testing procedures and increase or decrease the selection of fully vaccinated individuals on a random basis for surveillance testing to help catch any asymptomatic cases and prevent an outbreak.

This additional surveillance testing will help complete the picture of any asymptomatic spread on campus and provide more data about the rate of possible breakthrough cases. The college may adjust the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals who are randomly selected based on the overall college positivity rate. The number could be lowered when the rate is low and raised when the rate is high. Any changes to the selection process will be communicated via email to the entire college community.

Fully Vaccinated Students: Per CDC and New York State guidance, at this time, fully vaccinated students who are exposed to COVID  — meaning they have received all required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and at least two weeks have passed since their final dose — and are not symptomatic, are not required to quarantine. If fully vaccinated individuals are part of a positive pool in the on-campus surveillance testing, they are not required to quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic.

Fully Vaccinated Employees: All fully vaccinated employees are required to quarantine if they are part of a positive pool at this time. 

Any vaccinated individual who was exposed to a positive case and has symptoms is required to quarantine and seek a diagnostic test. 

If a fully vaccinated individual tests positive for COVID, they are required to isolate and follow directions from the Department of Health and the Health Center (students) or Human Resources (employees).  

Partially vaccinated or exempt (unvaccinated) students will be contacted by the Quarantine & Isolation team about being in a positive pool and provided with instructions about moving to precautionary quarantine. If the individual test result comes back negative, the Quarantine & Isolation team will notify the student and help facilitate leaving quarantine. If their individual test result comes back positive, students will be contacted by the Health Center/Quarantine & Isolation team and employees will be contacted by Human Resources with instructions on isolating.
Unvaccinated and vaccination status unknown employees will be contacted by Human Resources about quarantining and the result of their individual test result.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID should not participate in the weekly surveillance testing, and should get an individual diagnostic (PCR or rapid) test instead.

Students experiencing symptoms should contact the Health and Wellness Center for a diagnostic test. Diagnostic testing is also available at several local pharmacies or health clinics. NYS Department of Health has a website to help locate off-campus testing options.

Employees should contact their primary care physician or a local pharmacy/clinic for advice and a test if they develop symptoms.

Fully vaccinated:

  • If you are identified as a close contact of someone who is positive, you do not have to quarantine unless you have symptoms as indicated by current CDC guidance.
  • Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, you should get tested as a precaution, but it isn’t necessary to seek a test immediately after you learn you are a close contact. The CDC recommends that vaccinated asymptomatic people wait 3-5 days from the exposure before getting a precautionary test, and I encourage you to take advantage of the free on-campus tests for that purpose. If you have been selected for the random testing of vaccinated students, you should still participate, as it is OK to test sooner than 3-5 days after exposure, but you should test again the next week, as well.
  • If you develop symptoms, you should immediately self-isolate and contact the Health Center for advice on getting a diagnostic test as soon as possible.

Partially vaccinated or exempt/unvaccinated:

  • If you are notified you have been in close contact with someone who is positive, you will be required to quarantine. Please follow the instructions from the contact tracers and the college’s Quarantine and Isolation team.
  • If you are asymptomatic you should wait until 5-7 days after exposure before getting a test to try and avoid the possibility of a false negative by testing too early.  
  • If you develop symptoms, please notify the Health Center or the Quarantine and Isolation team and they will assist you in getting a diagnostic test.  

Students can contact Graig Eichler at 607-436-2077 for advice and assistance on moving to isolation on or off campus any time of day. Students living on campus can also reach out to their residence hall director for help getting in touch with the Quarantine and Isolation Team. 

Students are encouraged to utilize the on-campus tests as they are free and among the most accurate COVID tests available today. Remember, these tests are saliva-based tests that are quick and simple to take and fully vaccinated people do not have to quarantine if they are part of a positive pool as long as they are asymptomatic. 

Those who may miss the testing center can pay for a test off campus to satisfy their weekly testing requirement. Students in this situation can use the state's test site finder or purchase a BinaxNOW over-the-counter/ at-home test. (The college does not accept Ellume or QuickVue rapid tests.) Students must upload a screenshot/photo/.pdf of the results of a test taken off campus or at home. Anyone using the BinaxNOW at-home test must write their name and the date the test was taken on the test kit then take and upload a photo of both the kit and a college or government-issued ID card next to each other to meet the weekly testing requirement. 

Students who miss their mandatory weekly COVID test should get a test on campus on the next available testing day. Students who miss a required weekly test and do not make it up will be subject to judicial charges through the Office of Community Standards. 

Alternately, students can fulfill their mandatory testing requirement by obtaining a COVID test off-campus and contact the Health Center about submitting a copy of that test.

See information about the weekly testing cycle and off-campus testing options in the "Testing Information" section above.

Employees who miss a required test should contact Human Resources to find out about locations where they can get a test on campus or in the community. 
 

Students who test positive while home for a break or weekend should follow the directions of your local contact tracers and stay in isolation where you are. Please notify the Health Center of your positive result for advice and next steps on staying up to date with your school work.

If you are symptomatic and awaiting a test result, please notify the Health Center and wait until you receive a negative result before returning to campus.

Anyone needing assistance with quarantine or isolation can contact the Q&I team at  607-436-2077. 

 

Quarantine and Isolation

Yes, please see the Quarantine and Isolation section above for full details regarding the quarantine and isolation procedures and location.

If you are unvaccinated and a known close contact of someone who has tested positive, in a positive surveillance test pool, are symptomatic and waiting to get a test, or you waiting for test results, you must quarantine until you receive your negative test results in order to prevent transmitting the virus. Symptomatic students, regardless of vaccination status, who live in a residence hall and who cannot schedule a same day appointment with the Health Center must quarantine in a designated quarantine space until they can make their appointment. Students who do not comply with this directive may be subject to disciplinary actions.

If you live on campus, college staff will transport you to our quarantine residence hall, where you will have meals prepared and delivered by our catering staff. If you live off campus, you must quarantine in your place of residence until you receive a negative test.  See resources for students who are quarantining off campus.

Students: If you are fully vaccinated, you can be exempt from quarantining if you were exposed to someone who tests positive or are in a positive pool as long as you are asymptomatic. Students who are symptomatic should contact Graig Eichler at graig.eichler@oneonta.edu or 607-436-2077 for instructions on quarantine and testing. Employees who are symptomatic should contact human resources as well as their primary care provider or their local department of health for instructions on quarantine and testing.

Regardless of vaccination status, if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you should isolate yourself in your room and follow directions provided by the Department of Health. Please cooperate with the contact tracer who calls or emails you to find out who you may have been in contact with prior to isolation. If you live on campus, college staff will transport you to our isolation residence hall, where you will have meals prepared and delivered by our catering staff. Health Center staff will be available for tele-health and in-person medical care. Contact the Health Center at 607-436-3573 Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Outside of regular business hours students can contact Graig Eichler at 607-436-2077 for advice and assistance on moving to isolation on or off campus. 

Yes. Students who can’t safely quarantine or isolate in their off-campus apartment have the option to quarantine or isolate on campus, for a fee. Meals will be delivered and there will be 24-hour staffing. Please contact Graig Eichler at graig.eichler@oneonta.edu or 607-436-2077 any time of day for more information.

Vaccine

Students living on campus are required to have received at least one COVID vaccination dose upon arrival, and must finish their vaccination series as soon as possible. All students, on or off-campus, are be required to be vaccinated by Sept. 27 after the FDA fully authorized the Pfizer vaccine on Aug. 23.

Please see the Vaccination Policy & Information section above for full details.

To ensure we can offer our customary in-person college experience, and so all students can complete their academic requirements with as few interruptions or delays as possible, we are taking a proactive approach to get students vaccinated as soon as possible.

The FDA has fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are currently approved for emergency use. The vaccines are safe and effective. Individuals who live in close quarters, such as in a residence hall, are at a greater risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19. Requiring all residential students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is the safest way to offer on-campus housing for our students.

We are adhering to SUNY's policy mandating student vaccination, and this will ensure we can continue to offer the in-person, residential college experience students expect.

Domestic students are fully vaccinated if they have received all required doses of one of the three vaccines currently available with FDA emergency authorization: Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) and are at least two weeks have passed since the final shot. 

International students who were unable to receive one of the vaccines under emergency authorization in the U.S. are considered fully vaccinated if they received all required doses of any of the vaccines currently under emergency authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are at least two weeks have passed since the final shot. 

In order to check into your residence hall, you must have received at least one dose of a vaccine at least five business days before your move-in date and have proof uploaded to the student health portal.  Or you must have an approved exemption on file. Residential students who attempt to access campus without fulfilling the above requirements will not be allowed to move into their residence halls until doing so.  

Yes, if you receive one of the two-dose vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) you can begin and finish your vaccination series in two different locations.

Students will have the opportunity to receive their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna on campus. SUNY Oneonta, in partnership with the Otsego County Department of Health, will offer a weekly standing clinic for students who need to complete their vaccination series. Details about these clinics will be communicated to students via email. Details about these clinics are listed in the "Where to Get Vaccinated" section above.

Everyone is also encouraged to continue to utilize the New York State Am I Eligible tool to check the availability of the vaccine and make appointments at state-run mass vaccination sites, or find other local vaccination sites on the CDC website

  • We need to know the date of your vaccine doses so we can tell when you are fully vaccinated (two weeks past your final dose). You’ll need to participate in weekly testing until you are fully vaccinated.  This information is also important to us incase we will ever be required to have booster shots.  
  • The excelsior pass only tells us if someone is vaccinated or not, it doesn’t provide dates of doses.
  • Individuals who have lost their vaccine card, need to contact their vaccination provider or their state department of health to get access to their vaccination record. New Yorkers can call the NYS COVID Vaccination hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829) and they can provide you with a copy of your immunization record, which does have the dates of the doses of your vaccines. You can upload a copy of the immunization record to the student patient portal.
  • Those enrolled in v-safe or VaxText after the first vaccine dose, you can access vaccination information using those tools.

Proof of COVID-19 antibodies through test results cannot be used as an alternative to receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who have recovered from COVID are vulnerable to reinfection, especially with variants like the more contagious Delta variant circulating, and experts do not yet know how long antibodies may protect you from getting sick again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Also, getting the vaccine makes it less likely that you will transmit the virus to people who are unable to get vaccinated due to medical reasons or because they are not yet eligible (like children under 12). Read more from the CDC about why to get vaccinated even if you've already had COVID.

According to CDC, you can be vaccinated as long as you have recovered from COVID-19. If you have questions, you should talk to your primary care physician or the health center (for students). You can learn more at CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination FAQ page.

It’s understandable to have doubts and concerns about the vaccines. You are not alone. But millions of others, just like you, have done the research and put their doubts aside to protect themselves, their families, and their communities. 

Hear from fellow Red Dragons about why they got vaccinated.

View an informative Q&A video with our college physician, Dr. Todd Bitterman.

Here are a few helpful answers to some common questions/concerns:

  • Can I trust vaccines that were developed so quickly?
  • The tech behind the vaccines is not new and researchers have been working with it for decades. Millions of people have safely received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • I’m healthy and not at risk for COVID. Why do I have to get vaccinated?
  • Being fully vaccinated helps prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to others. People with compromised immune systems are still at risk, and those under 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine. 
  • I’m concerned about long-term effects of the vaccine.
  • According to the CDC, serious side effects causing long-term health problems are extremely unlikely with any vaccine, including the COVID vaccine. On the other hand, there are reports of serious longer-term effects of COVID-19 infection, known as Long COVID.

Campus Activities and Facilities

Yes. A mix of in-person and virtual events and meetings will be offered. Please check CampusConnection for the most up-to-date event calendar. Full event guidance will be released soon.

Yes. Prospective students and families should contact admissions to set up a campus visit.

All academic and administrative buildings will be unlocked during regular business hours. Residence halls will remain locked with card access for only the necessary students or employees. Please note that this may change depending on conditions on campus or in the local community and county. The college reserves the right to activate card access at any point and will communicate any changes via email.

Yes. Campus dining will be a mix of dine-in and takeout services, and Starbucks and other retail dining venues will be open.

Starbucks, Red Dragon Outfitters and Damascene Book Cellar will all be open to the public, with operating hours posted on the OAS website. Starbucks will be takeout only for walk-in visitors. College community members, or visitors who have been invited and pre-screened by a college host, may use the designated dining spaces in the Hunt Union Living Room.

Beginning Oct. 15, students living on campus are allowed to host guests in their residence hall, provided the guest can supply proof they are fully vaccinated.

See full residence hall guest policy in the "Campus Guests & Visitors" section above.

Yes. Please see the full guest and visitor and residence hall guest policies  in the "Campus Guests & Visitors" section above.

Other Questions and Answers 

We are utilizing the SUNY COVID Case Tracker to report our current active cases. The college sends data to SUNY every weekday and the numbers are updated each afternoon. 

The number of actual active cases is different than the number at the top of the SUNY COVID Tracker because that section of the dashboard reports cases over a 14-day rolling period, not active cases. You can see the total number of students in isolation (active cases) on the SUNY COVID Tracker by selecting “Oneonta” and scrolling down to the “Quarantine & Isolation: Current Status” section. 

The daily health screening is no longer required for students.

As of Sept. 20, employees are required to submit a daily health screening. This is sent to your Oneonta email address every weekday morning.

See "Campus Guests & Visitors" section above for information about health-screening requirements for visitors.

We do, however, encourage everyone to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and should quarantine in place and call a healthcare provider.  Employees should contact their primary care physician, and students can contact the Health Center at 607-436-3573 for consideration of diagnostic testing. If the Health Center is closed, and you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please see the Emergencies and After Hours Concerns page for a list of local resources. 

Academic Affairs has prepared a webpage with frequently asked questions and resources for teaching faculty. View the webpage.

Hand sanitizing stations will remain in common areas in all buildings and will be checked/restocked daily. Campus departments can request additional cleaning supplies (wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.).  Employees looking for supplies should inquire with their office or department support staff. Supplies will be distributed to departments by work order. 

For questions about cleaning supplies, air handling systems and hand sanitizing stations, please reach out to the Office of Facilities, Safety and Physical Plant at facilities@oneonta.edu.

The Otsego County Department of Health is responsible for contact tracing for anyone who receives a positive result from a test conducted on campus or in our county.

We are living through an unprecedented time in history and it has caused great disturbance in most people’s lives. Managing added responsibilities and restrictions, or being quarantined or isolated, can add stress at an already difficult time. The SUNY Oneonta community is here to help you. If you are struggling, you can request a check-in from the college using the Dragon Care Check-In form. The Counseling Center or your residence hall director can also connect you to support services.

The Counseling Center has created a list of online resources for learning to cope with the anxiety and stress of these trying times:

If you are located in Otsego County and need to speak with a licensed counselor immediately, please call the 24-hour Otsego County Mobile Crisis Assessment Team at 1-844-732-6228. 

Faculty and staff can reach out to the Employee Assistance Program for referrals and resources.

Student Emergency Fund - The Student Emergency Fund provides grants for SUNY Oneonta students to pay for urgent expenses triggered by unforeseen events that threaten their ability to stay in college. If you are experiencing a hardship due to the unexpected changes connected to the Coronavirus, the student emergency fund may be able to help.

Student Emergency Grants - SUNY Oneonta will receive funds through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) to be disbursed in the form of emergency grants to eligible students. Eligible students will receive an email from EmergencyRelief@oneonta.edu with further information about assistance and details about the disbursement process. More information about these grants is available on the HEERF Student Aid Funds page. Questions about relief grants should be directed to EmergencyRelief@oneonta.edu.

Report a Concern

COVID Concern Form
This form goes to college officials.

To report a concern to the City of Oneonta, call or text 607-376-7453.

Additional Data

Otsego County Department of Health DOH Website | DOH Facebook

Intermountain COVID-19 Impact Consortium ICIC WebsiteICIC Facebook

NYS COVID-19 Tracker

SUNY COVID-19 Case Tracker

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