The COVID Response Team is developing appendices and will add them to the draft plan by Dec. 10.
Table of Contents
- Pre-Return Health Screening/Quarantine, Training and Testing
- Proposed 2021 Spring Dates
- Continued Planning
- Section 1. Reopening
- Capacity: Population Density and Social Distancing
- PPE and Face Coverings
- Testing and the Daily Health Screening
- Residential Living
- Operational Activity
- Restart Operations
- Vulnerable Populations
- Section 2: Monitoring Testing Responsibility
- Section 3: Containment
- Section 4. Pause and Shutdown
The SUNY Oneonta 2021 Spring Reopening Plan sets out actions the college will take to ensure a safe learning, living, working and recreational environment for its students, employees, and guests. The guidelines and policies described in the plan, and more fully delineated in the attached appendices, will be implemented immediately under the leadership of Acting President Dennis Craig. The President’s Cabinet will work collaboratively across campus to carry out this Plan, modeled after the Reopening New York: Checklist for Higher Education Institution Reopening Plans (Appendix XX) and ensure best efforts are taken to safeguard the health and safety of students and employees across all divisions.
The Plan was developed under the leadership of Leamor Kahanov (Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs) and Julie Piscitello (Vice President for Finance and Administration) who co-chair the college COVID Response Team (CRT) Steering Committee. Faculty, staff and students from across campus provided input through participation on the CRT Steering Committee and five subcommittees: Communication, Health and Safety, Learning and Instruction, Facilities and Dining, and Student Development. (Appendix XX)
While strong leadership is necessary for a successful and safe reopening, all members of the campus community play a role in protecting the health and safety of themselves and others. We ask that students and employees commit to doing their part to prevent the community spread of COVID-19 by following all campus safety guidelines and rules, encouraging each other to comply and reporting situations that may endanger others.
Prior to returning to campus, students and employees must comply with testing and quarantine protocols issued by the State University of New York system. Additional requirements are set forth for those individuals returning to campus from international locations or any of the non-contiguous states. Details are available in Appendix XXXX.
Education and training about COVID-19 safety and prevention will be provided to all students and employees. The responsibility for COVID Safety and Education will be shared by several offices depending on the constituency trained.
Student Development and Human Resources will provide education for all students and employees respectively through online training courses. Employees in high-risk positions (Health Center, University Police Department (UPD), maintenance workers, custodial staff, Testing Center employees, Quarantine & Isolation [Q&I] team) will receive additional safety training specific to their positions from their supervisors or the campus Environmental Health & Safety Officer.
This Plan will continue to be reviewed and revised as needed in a rapidly changing environment. The COVID Response Team and its subcommittees will continue their work throughout the semester, providing recommendations for consideration by Acting President Dennis Craig and members of the President’s Cabinet to ensure safety and health for all college constituents as we pursue our institution’s mission and goals.
SUNY Oneonta has implemented measures to reduce the density of students and employees on campus to decrease the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Deans are setting an academic schedule enabling courses to be taught through multiple modalities to meet both teaching and learning needs and safety and health requirements. In person mask-to–mask (M2M) instructional offerings will be reduced to approximately 20% of the scheduled course offerings. Under the leadership of the Vice President for Student Development and the Residential Life staff, the spring semester’s campus student residential population will be limited to approximately 1,070, which is about 30% of designed residential capacity. Residence Halls will reduce density through single occupancy rooms, with a maximum of four students assigned per restroom. In partnership with Sodexo, unlimited dining services will be offered with meals being provided in take-out mode only to ensure reduced density.
The campus classroom inventory has been modified to ensure a minimum of six feet between student stations. Tablet chairs will be deployed to classrooms; unused tables and chair furnishings will be stored in smaller classrooms in each building. This will reduce occupancy levels to 50% for most labs, classrooms, and computer labs and to 30% of previous levels in tiered theatre classrooms.
Following guidelines established by New York State, SUNY and the college’s Environmental Health and Safety department, the office of Human Resources will monitor and limit the number of employees on campus through flexible work schedules, telecommuting and rotation schedules for on-site work. In addition, departmental operational plans will consider remote work, separate breaks, shift staggering and other measures to reduce workplace density. The college has established and will enforce guidelines requiring a distance of 6 feet be maintained between persons unless safety or a core function of work activity requires a shorter distance. Risk assessments of departmental workspaces and other areas have been conducted to ensure that appropriate engineering and administrative controls are in place to achieve population density and social distancing. Tightly confined spaces will be occupied only by one individual at a time unless all occupants are wearing face coverings. If occupied by more than one person, the campus will keep occupancy under 50% of maximum capacity. Additional risk assessments will be conducted as and when needed.
Reduced density and maximum COVID occupancy numbers are set for all meeting, event, and common room spaces and signage prominently posted. The reduced occupancy rates are programmed into the electronic meeting and event scheduling system (EMS). The campus will continue using online meeting platforms (TEAMS, Collaborate, etc.) to allow employees to connect from their home or campus office. In- person gatherings will be limited as much as possible and the use of tele- or video conferencing encouraged whenever practical. Essential, in-person gatherings (e.g. meetings) will be held in open, well-ventilated spaces with social distancing (at least 6 feet between attendees) and face coverings required. Gatherings of this nature will also adhere to posted COVID occupancy capacity guidelines.
Departmental procedures are established to ensure contactless or limited contact for pick up and drop off areas. Engagement with students, faculty, staff, vendors, and visitors to the campus will be managed through a series of barriers and floor markings to direct traffic flow in commonly congested communal areas. Social distancing markers are posted using tape or signage that denotes 6 feet of spacing in commonly used and other high traffic areas on campus. Social distancing markers have been applied to floors in high traffic corridors to denote a single direction of traffic. High volume staircases have been denoted as up or down only. Engineering controls, such as plexiglass screens at service points are in place as indicated by risk assessments to ensure that social distancing can be maintained while the work of the college continues. In addition, the college has initiated a plan to digitize its processes and procedures and to provide an electronic signature capability for major administrative processes.
The Environmental Health and Safety department will review the personal protective equipment requirements for employees engaged in elevated risk functions on campus and will provide equipment as needed, following guidance from SUNY, New York State Department of Health, the CDC and other agencies (Appendix XX). Face coverings are supplied to all employees and students upon request to the Environmental Health and Safety Officer.
According to established campus policies, all members of the campus community (students, faculty, staff, visitors, vendors and contractors) are required to wear masks or face coverings when on college property or in college spaces, including classrooms and residential spaces. This requirement applies to all campus community members including affiliated units such as the Research Foundation, OAS, Sodexo, etc. The mask or face covering must cover both the nose and mouth and be worn in both indoor and outdoor settings. A mask or face covering must always be worn unless a person is alone in their office space. Complete face covering guidelines are detailed in Appendix XX.
Students who violate college guidelines, including those outlined in the student Statement of Shared Responsibility (Appendix XX) may be referred to the Office of Community Standards for disciplinary review and the imposition of discipline (Appendix XX). Employees who fail to comply with the published face covering and social distancing guidelines will be referred to the Office of Human Resources for review and resolution of the violation in accordance with applicable collective bargaining agreements and college procedures. Discipline may be imposed, up to and including termination. Campus visitors that do not comply may face removal of authorization to be on campus property and/or termination of any applicable lease/permit/contract. For all campus community members, failure to comply with social distancing and face covering guidelines may result in prosecution for violations of New York State law.
Campus community members may report observed violations of the college’s social distancing and face covering policy by submitting the COVID Concern Form (Appendix XX). The online form can be used by SUNY Oneonta students, staff, faculty, and the public to report non-compliant activity that takes place on-campus or in the city and town of Oneonta. Further, members of the campus community may contact the Office of Community Standards (607.436.3353) to report students who may be in violation, and the Office of Human Resources (email@example.com) to report employees who may be in violation. Activities of concern include (but are not limited to): prohibited gatherings, failure to self-isolate or quarantine, and failure to comply with mask/facial covering requirements, social distancing, and campus health protocols.
Prior to Return to Campus
All students who plan to study, visit and/or work on-campus during the Spring 2021 semester must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (normal, no virus detected) prior to their arrival on campus. The test must be taken within a three (3) day period prior to the student’s return to campus. Only PCR molecular tests or antigen tests are accepted; antibody tests will not be accepted. All students must report their test information in the Oneonta Portal, an online reporting mechanism. The uploaded documentation must include the student's name, type of test (PCR or antigen), test result and the date the test was administered.
If a student has received a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19 within the three (3) month period prior to returning to campus, the student is not required to be tested again before arrival on campus but must provide documentation of the positive diagnostic test to the College via the SUNY Oneonta Portal.
Students who receive a positive COVID-19 test result in the 3-day period prior to arriving at campus, will be required to isolate and follow instructions from their local Department of Health. Additionally, students who test positive cannot travel to the SUNY Oneonta campus until they receive a clearance document from their local Department of Health.
Students who fail to provide proof of a negative test or clearance document before arriving on campus will not be permitted to check into their residence hall, attend classes, begin on-campus employment, or access any campus facilities.
Students returning to campus to live and/or take on-campus, in-person, classes must also complete a daily health screening questionnaire each day during the fourteen (14) days prior to their planned date of arriving on campus. Students are also required to quarantine at home for seven (7) days prior to returning to campus to lessen the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Any student who screens positive on the daily health screening questionnaire and/or shows symptoms of COVID-19, is encouraged to seek medical care and must test negative for COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus.
Upon Return to Campus
After students arrive on campus, they must participate in pooled surveillance testing conducted by the College. Mandatory pooled surveillance testing will continue every week throughout the semester. (Appendix XX).
All students living on campus or using any campus facilities are required to complete an online training course regarding basic safety practices in containing the spread of COVID. All off-campus students are expected to take the same online course and will be barred from accessing campus facilities if they have not completed the course. Students will be required to take and pass a short quiz to satisfy the training requirements.
Detailed information about pre-return and return to campus requirements can be found in the Academic Continuity and the Health and Safety of Students, Faculty, and Staff Policy for Winter and Spring Terms 2021 issued by SUNY (Appendix XX).
Prior to the Fall 2020 semester, the college instituted a Daily Health Screening requirement for all employees. For the Spring 2021 semester the college again requires that all employees, both those working on campus and those working remotely, complete an online Daily Health Screening before beginning work or within thirty minutes of arriving at work. The screening will ask employees to respond to six questions to ascertain the following: exposure to persons with identified or suspected cases of COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19, testing and testing results, travel outside of New York State, and employees’ presence on campus. Pursuant to SUNY policy, employees will be required to complete the Daily Health Screening beginning two weeks prior to return to campus for the Spring 2021 semester (Appendix XX).
The names of employees responding affirmatively to the Daily Screening question about an on campus presence will be compared to the reports of employees who have accessed campus buildings during the respective testing period and, ultimately, to the list of employees tested in the latest pool testing. The supervisor of any employee who has not completed the Daily Health Screening or complied with the testing requirement will be notified and asked to confirm that the employee has been counseled. If non-compliance continues, further action will be taken as needed. Employees who answer “yes” to Daily Health Screening questions about testing, travel, experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or exposure to positive, assumed positive or out-of-state travelers will receive direction and assistance responsive to their individual situations. Employees will be contacted by Human Resources staff members and given instructions regarding testing, quarantine and isolation, in accordance with Department of Health guidelines. Any employee’s failure to follow directives will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
The Daily Health Screening tool will be periodically updated or revised to reflect changes in testing or health monitoring requirements. Communication of the changes will be made via email notice to all employees.
Employees will also participate in campus pool testing (or other required testing) in accordance with SUNY, NYS and campus guidelines and any applicable collective bargaining unit agreements. Employees not required to participate in testing are encouraged to participate.
Employees will be individually notified of negative test results via email. Any employee whose test results are positive will receive a telephone call from Human Resources or Health Center staff members.
When an employee tests positive for COVID-19 designated staff members will work with the local Department of Health to conduct contact tracing among campus constituents and coordinate quarantining and isolation requirements. All identified contacts will be directly notified by the DOH and/or Human Resources, and signage will be posted in buildings in which the positive-testing employee lived or worked and email notifications will be provided to all employees who work or live in the building. The employee’s name will not be disclosed. Employee quarantine and positive test information will be reported to SUNY through the SUNY Employee Portal.
Employees tested at an off-campus site must immediately notify Human Resources if positive test results are received.
Overall daily test results will be reported on the college’s COVID-19 Dashboard maintained by the Office of Communications and Marketing. The number of new positive employee and student cases will be reported to the college community through the Office of the President or COVID Response Team email messages.
The college will take the utmost care to protect employees’ testing and health information. Access to names of individual employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be limited to only those who provide notification of results and otherwise only to the extent required to conduct contact tracing. We will continue to acquire assurances from Upstate Medical or any other test provider that all test materials are destroyed immediately upon test completion and no material is being used for any purpose than the intended testing.
Under normal conditions, SUNY Oneonta can house over 3700 students on campus. To create a low-density environment, campus housing will be restricted to approximately 1070 students during the spring 2021 semester. Students will be placed into single-occupancy rooms, in pods of 3-4 for sharing one full bathroom. Students will be charged at the double room rate. Each residence hall will be staffed with a professional staff member as well as student staff members.
All new and returning students must submit an application to Residence Life to request a spring 2021 housing assignment. In no particular order, priority will be given to students who are enrolled in a mask-to-mask (M2M) course, experiencing extenuating circumstances (such as housing insecurity or food instability), employed on-campus, spring-sports athletes, and/or international students. Students with serious COVID-19 policy violations from the fall 2020 semester will not be eligible for spring 2021 semester housing on campus.
New students, who have received a housing assignment prior to January 5, 2021 and who follow all appropriate protocols (Appendix XX) will move-in to assigned spaces on January 21, 2021. This timing will allow students to attend a mandatory virtual orientation session. New students who receive their assignment January 6, 2021 or later will be scheduled for move-in on January 30-31, 2021 if all pre-return protocols have been met. Returning Students will be eligible to move into their housing assignments as assigned January 22-24, 2021 if they fulfill the pre-return requirements. Students with housing assignments will not be eligible to check into the residence hall unless they have attested to the 7-day home precautionary quarantine, affirmed the Statement of Shared Responsibility, provided a negative COVID-19 test, and completed 14-consecutive days of daily screening (Appendix XXX).
COVID-19 informational videos will be shared with students on their first day in the residence halls. Move in times/dates will be staggered to allow for social distancing, cleaning and reduced risks. Visitors in the residence halls will be limited on move-in day and prohibited after classes begin.
All new students will begin their orientation with online modules in December 2020, to be completed by January 15, 2021. On January 22, 2021, new students will be required to attend a Microsoft Teams Live Orientation Event in order to begin developing community, creating expectations, and fostering connections.
The next stage will involve New Student Services (NSS) peer mentors, known as Dragon Guides, during which small-group meetings will help new students make connections with their peers. The NSS Team will create targeted programs additionally for other groups meant to build community (e.g. fall 2020 new students who were virtual, fall 2020 new students who return to on-campus housing in spring 2021, and fall 2020 new students who were on-campus but are virtual for the spring 2021 semester). The Dragon Guides will also continue to staff the “Lounge”, a virtual space for engagement and connection which was established in the fall 2020 semester.
Professional and student Residence Life staff will receive training on COVID safety protocols and requirements. The Residence Life leaders will also develop and communicate uniform compliance guidelines to both professional and student staff members to ensure uniform application of disciplinary measures across residence halls.
For the purposes of mask wearing and quarantine and isolation, co-occupants of quads, apartments, and suites will be considered units and will be able to occupy common spaces within the unit without masks. If there are students visiting from another unit within the same residence halls, masks are required. Students from the same unit may be quarantined and isolated together, similar to a family unit.
Masks will be required in residence hall shared spaces, circulation spaces, and any area outside student bedrooms. Social distancing markers are posted using tape and signs that denote 6 feet of spacing between persons in commonly used areas. Furniture will be reduced in common areas to discourage large gatherings, and revised COVID Occupancy limits will be posted, in addition to general COVID safety signs displayed on walls and floors throughout each building. Social distancing markers will be applied to floors in high traffic corridors and high-volume staircases to denote single direction of traffic. Elevator use will also be limited.
Enhanced cleaning will be conducted in the residence halls based on CDC and NYSDOH guidelines, including increased weekend coverage and cleaning of bathrooms twice daily. Cleaning records will be maintained on campus. Modified housing agreements and codes of conduct will be issued that include NY out of state travel regulations, no guest policy, no entry into other residence halls, and best practices in personal hygiene. Programs within residence halls will be limited based on the posted COVID room capacity and/or most recent NYS guidelines
COVID-19 safety protocols for auxiliary services have been developed with the expertise of OAS, Sodexo, the guidance of the CDC, the approval of the NYS Department of Health, and in collaboration with SUNY Oneonta. The CDC has identified that there is considerable risk for the spread of COVID 19 with indoor dining, even when seating capacity is reduced to allow tables to be spaced 6 feet apart. Wilsbach Dining Hall will be open as a take-out operation, and Hulbert and Mills dining halls will be closed. Retail Dining will be limited to Starbucks and the Mills Marketplace. Criteria will be established to determine when it is prudent to allow customers to dine in. Factors such as customers’ compliance with daily health screening, rate of testing, current rate of infection, availability of vaccines, and NYSDOH and CDC recommendations will all be evaluated. Individual dining accommodations will be made for those with mobility or other barriers to accessibility (Appendix XX).
The college will offer both fully remote and in-person classes for the Spring 2021 semester to meet the needs of all our students. Course selections for M2M will be delivered in dual modality, and students may choose their preference during the registration process. M2M sections will be offered in spaces adhering to class density protocols and health and safety protocols. Students and Faculty will utilize Blackboard, our learning management system, to ensure equal and continuous access to course content and information. TEAMS and Collaborate are supported by the College. Additional platforms are considered course materials similar to books, art supplies, etc., and must be identified clearly on the syllabus.
Academic continuity plans will be established before the start of the term so that the college is prepared to transition to complete 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 spring courses in case of student illness.
During M2M instruction, faculty, staff and students will be required to wear face coverings in addition to following social distancing protocols. Faculty and students will adhere to the Classroom Behavior Policy. Students who do not comply with the Policy will be referred to Community Standards for further action.
Four personal wellness days have been scheduled during the semester in lieu of Spring Break to reduce the risk of COVID transmission due to travel. The Personal Wellness Days provide a brief break from classes and meetings, and an opportunity for faculty and students to decompress from the challenges of taking/delivering college courses during the pandemic. No classes or required meetings will be held on these days, nor will students have work due or assigned for these days. Students will have an opportunity to safely participate in on-campus social and relaxation activities which will adhere to COVID safety guidelines.
The James M. Milne Library is committed to providing library resources, services and research spaces to our students, faculty and staff. Changes to regular library services and operations are to create a healthy environment that minimizes the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission.
Library visitors are expected to adhere to all college guidelines and policies. In order to promote social distancing and maintain low density, the library will be card-access only for all SUNY Oneonta students, faculty and staff. Face coverings are required at all times, as well as observing social distancing, signage and room capacity indicators.
Spaces will be made available for small groups of no more than three (3) people to meet. The decision will be made by library staff, based on current conditions and students’ needs and NY State Guidelines.
Study spaces will be available for students similarly to the fall 2020 semester. Most spaces are for individual use, but a few designated small group spaces may be made available. Furniture has been arranged to create socially distanced study spaces that are easily cleaned by college staff. Cleaning supplies will be readily available for library visitors to use when needed.
To prevent students from moving furniture in ways that do not meet social distancing guidelines, signage will be posted with specific social distancing requirements. Library and Environmental Health and Safety staff will periodically check furniture placement and request assistance from Facilities staff to return the furniture to acceptable spacing.
The Health Center will be fully staffed for the semester and to provide weekend medical care hours at the Health Center. Hours of operation for the Health Center are currently 8:00am to 4:30pm Monday-Friday. Weekend Hours will be 10-4 on Saturday and Sunday. A nurse helpline company will be contracted so students will have access to medical advice 24 hours a day.
Diagnostic testing and treatment of COVID positive patients will be conducted by Health Center staff and located inside the Health Center. PCR testing is available through Quest Labs and generally results are returned between 2 and 7 days. Currently the Health Center has obtained 100 BD rapid tests but are in the process of obtaining more for the spring semester. Currently, the BD rapid test has a false negative rate of 16% so should a student test negative on a rapid test a PCR test will still be administered.
Counseling services will be provided remotely through telephone. Should the need arise an alternate location for counselors to work has been identified which is remote from the Health Center.
Students can be transported between their residence hall and the quarantine and isolation residence halls through use of a van(s) that have been modified for that purpose. Primary means of transportation to hospital will be Oneonta Fire Department for sick students rather than a cab voucher.
Information about any positive tests will be provided to the Otsego County Department of health for further action. Residential students testing positive will be relocated to the Tobey residence hall for isolation.
Diagnostic testing and treatment of COVID positive patients will be located inside the Health Center in negative pressure exam rooms. Students with COVID-related symptoms will enter the building through a rear door, labeled “Health Center Entrance 2”. The student will enter the building into a rear waiting room. New doors are being constructed in the hallways to cordon off a COVID wing which consists of the lab and 2 pods of exam rooms: 3 exam rooms in each pod, a patient bathroom, and an area for provider notes and PPE donning and doffing. These 6 exam rooms are currently being altered to achieve negative pressure according to CDC recommendations.
Sufficient N95 masks have been procured and staff have been fit tested. Fit testing of new staff will be provided as required. Additional supplies of shields, goggles gowns etc., are in currently in acquisition.
All students calling for appointments will be phone triaged. If students do not indicate signs of COVID-19, students may be seen via telemedicine or in the building in one of the four non-COVID exam rooms. The Health Center will limit the range of non-COVID related services provided to reduce the number of students coming to the Health Center and the risk of transmission. Non-COVID related pharmaceutical dispensing at the center will be reduced and local pharmacies will deliver prescriptions.
Recognizing the dual goals of keeping employees safe and serving students, the college and other college constituents, Human Resources will coordinate with Environmental Health & Safety and college leadership to define staffing requirements to meet each division’s expected workload and also plan for potential changes. Staffing plans will be developed in two phases: the first phase will identify staffing requirements for both normal college operations and completion of all COVID related requirements; phase two will identify staffing levels needed in the event of a crisis or emergency event.
Telecommuting (working remotely) will be considered in accordance with SUNY and collective bargaining agreements, to meet population density and safety requirements, and if work productivity needs are met. To standardize and monitor remote work assignments, divisional and/or departmental Business Continuity plans that describe staffing expectations, expected workloads, in-person office coverage, and remote work will be submitted to Human Resources for review and discussion. All employees working from a remote location will be required to submit regular work plans and reports to ensure productivity levels are met. Format and frequency of the work plans will be determined by the leadership of the individual divisions or departments. Human Resources will also work closely with campus leadership to communicate to employees, with as much advance notice as feasible, when remote work is permitted and when working on campus is required. To facilitate population density requirements, rotating schedules among departmental employees or alternate work schedules may be implemented.
Plans to reassign or redeploy employees (within classification and in accordance with prevailing guidelines) will be developed to provide staffing to cover specific COVID-19 duties such as monitoring students’ Daily Health Screening response, and to ensure a speedy response to any emerging needs over the course of the semester. Training will be developed and provided in advance of the beginning of the semester.
Prior to the spring semester, Human Resources will work with campus and crisis management leadership to identify COVID-19 related tasks which may require employee volunteers (e.g. the Care Call line). A list of volunteers will be generated, with training provided to volunteers according to their task choices.
One employee and a back-up will be assigned to spearhead the volunteer effort and to act as liaison between the crisis management leaders and the volunteers. In addition, a lead volunteer will be identified for each type of task (e.g. staffing the Information call line) to act as the information conduit between the Volunteer Taskforce Leader and the volunteer force associated with that task. Human Resources will work with IT to develop an electronic platform for posting and sharing information among volunteers.
A working group composed of Financial Aid, Student Employment and Human Resources will review the student employment program to determine availability of student employment positions for spring 2021 for both the Federal work study and temporary student employment programs, in compliance with applicable regulations and adherence to budgetary restrictions.
Student Employment will provide information to students about the availability of positions and practical aspects of obtaining positions, completing employment paperwork, and setting work hours. Remote and on-campus position are available with an emphasis on federal work study positions: remote work positions will allow the college to offer an increased number of employment opportunities. Training workshops and how-to materials will be provided to all student employment supervisors.
If employees travel in campus vehicles to perform their job duties, occupancy will be limited to a single person whenever possible. When necessary, multiple vehicle occupants will wear face coverings, social distance, use hand sanitizer, and allow for circulation of outside air.
An additional, temporary bus stop will be added near the Welcome Center to reduce student density at waiting areas. Signage will be posted at all bus stops stating: ‘No Mask, No Ride, No Exceptions”. Drivers will not allow students to board or remain on busses without wearing face coverings. Face covering must be worn to board the bus and must remain in place for the duration of the ride. Drivers will have a supply of face coverings for any rider who needs one. Drivers will be wearing face coverings and will be subject to regular health screenings. Drivers will regularly clean and disinfect the card swipe system and will only permit riders who will be seated; standing riders will not be permitted. Oneonta Public Transit (OPT) will deep clean and fog busses after each shift change, air conditioning systems will be regularly serviced, and ventilation will introduce the maximum amount of fresh air possible.
Where feasible, HVAC systems will be upgraded to MERV 13 filtration and reconfigured to maximize outside air as much as possible. HVAC filter housings will be inspected, and gaps will be closed to prevent air bypass. All HVAC system controls will be modified to run 24/7 and will be adjusted to maximize outside air intake unless humidity control is required. Direct, outside air AC units will be run continuously in offices that have them. Toilet exhausts will run 24/7. Regular preventative maintenance and care of HVAC filters will continue, following guidance from ASHRAE standards and SUNY best practices. Push-button drinking fountains will be operable and cleaned at least twice daily. Building water systems will be flushed prior to occupancy to prevent buildup of legionella bacteria from underuse.
The majority of activities offered by various Student Development offices, including student activities council programming, will be offered through virtual and remote methods. Additionally, M2M programs or activities may be held only if they meet college social distancing policies, as well as protocols from NY State and local authorities. Large group gatherings and events will be prohibited. Performances/exhibitions will not be open to the public.
Furniture is rearranged to help ensure a low-density environment and promote social distancing. Masks must be worn at all times within any Hunt Union space unless a student/visitor is seated and eating/drinking. All M2M events will require event monitors provided by the sponsor who will work with Hunt Union staff to maintain college COVID protocols.
All students and employees must adhere to any new capacity numbers posted for program/meeting rooms and public lounges. The College may use the Ballroom, the Waterfront room and the Red Dragon Theater during the day for classroom space. These spaces will convert to co-curricular engagement space during the evenings and on Saturdays. Open access rooms will be the Glimmerglass and Catskill rooms. The Susquehanna room, Leatherstocking room, Union Square, Red Dragon Theater, Waterfront, Ballroom, and Multipurpose Room 126 must be reserved for use. Butternut Valley room will remain offline and used to store extra furniture.
There will be no winter athletic competition. Spring athletic competition is uncertain at this time. Support will be provided for student athletes to continue to train within safety guidelines. The College will monitor conditions and determine if any athletic competition can resume during the spring 2021 semester. The Athletics Department is consulting with their conference and following NCAA “return-to-sport” guidelines which encompasses a phased approach to resuming competitions. Once an approved plan is created, it will be provided to the campus community. Specific questions should be directed to the Athletic Director.
Athletic facilities will be reopened to the campus community in coordination with the campus Environmental Health & Safety department, guidance from the CDC, and the NYSDOH. COVID-19 safety protocols have been developed and will be implemented upon the opening of these facilities. Health and safety signage will be visible at all facilities, both indoor and outdoor. Social distancing controls have been installed at service counters. All spaces will be cleaned and sanitized as necessary per campus, CDC and NYSDOH guidelines.
Outside organizations and groups will not be allowed to reserve athletic facilities for the spring semester. If a facility is open, on campus groups can submit requests and will be trained in COVID safety protocols
Catering will be provided exclusively by Sodexo Dining Services to small groups that comply with the attendee cap of the events safety protocol. All food will be served by trained Sodexo personnel with no unattended catering.
All retail operations will include flow control, social distancing indicators and Plexiglas barriers between customers and point of sale personnel. Masks are required in all dining and retail operations.
Procedures developed by Environmental Health and Safety to review and approve proposed COVID protocols for events on campus are in Appendix XXX. Event organizers must ensure that promotional material referencing COVID safety and social distancing is provided to attendees as a condition for holding the event. Outdoor events are encouraged; the established event protocols will apply to both indoor and outdoor events.
Until further notice, groups and organizations that are not affiliated with the campus will not be able to reserve campus facilities for functions or events.
Mental health information relevant to our campus regarding COVID-19 is included in public health and safety messaging. Significant evidence exists suggesting mental health indicators are correlated with compliance with social distancing. A survey-based study of student mental health related to the effects of COVID-19 is in process by faculty members affiliated with the Intermountain COVID-19 Impacts Consortium, a research group based at SUNY Oneonta, and this will inform all services of the Counseling Center and the work of the Mental Health Advisory Committee.
The Campus Health Educator has developed trauma-informed messaging available through signage on campus, as well as through social media channels to provide education about signs of stress or mental health concerns, provide normalization for student reactions, and offer positive coping strategies (Appendix XXX). The Health Educator offers healthy daily activities for student breaks and mindfulness meditation groups.
The Counseling Center is currently offering COVID-related support groups which focus on increasing social support, reduce isolation, and support health coping strategies. The Counseling Center is prepared to offer several of these support groups simultaneously. In addition, the Counseling Center provides referral information to faculty and staff to assist students who need of aid.
Human Resources works closely with the campus Employee Assistance Program (EAP) representative, to regularly communicate information about how to build resilience, how to avoid pandemic fatigue, and where and how to find resources to help with related issues. In addition, EAP and Human Resources will develop joint presentations and materials with tips for health and safety for release to the campus.
Human Resources has developed and will continue to communicate to the campus through various media, information about leave and resource programs available to employees, particularly those programs developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anticipated programs include accommodations for underlying health conditions, child and elder care concerns, extended time to use leave accruals, etc.
The Health and Counseling Center staff will work with Academic Affairs leadership to develop a plan to accommodate students who have an underlying health condition which impacts their access to learning and co-curricular activities. Employees who may be at a higher health risk due to exposure to COVID may seek an accommodation by completing and submitting COVID-ADA forms.
Routine cleaning of occupied areas and common spaces will continue daily. Cleaning measures such as vacuuming, removing trash, sweeping or cleaning walls may be performed less frequently to allow for increased cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and higher risk areas. Frequently touched surfaces in common areas of occupied building is cleaned and disinfected at least twice daily by the custodial department using products meeting the EPA criteria for use against COVID-19. Portable electrostatic sprayers are used on a rotating schedule to provide quicker disinfection of surfaces throughout a building. This work is completed predominately on the overnight shift.
Departments are stocked with disinfectant wipes, alcohol wipes for technology and spray bottles of disinfectant so employees can disinfect their own high touch surfaces. A routine disinfecting of high touch surfaces and personal spaces three times a day is recommended. Daily disinfection checklists have been provided to all departments as reminders to conduct regular disinfection activities.
Supplies of spray disinfectant will be provided in instructional spaces for faculty, staff, and students to wipe surfaces before and after use. Deep cleaning of instructional spaces will occur after-hours. Employees and students will be asked to clean their desks/work surfaces, if they are willing, before and after using with provided disinfectant and disposable towels.
Gloves are not required to be worn by employees and students wiping down their own spaces/common areas with wipes unless the safety data sheet (SDS) advises. These sheets are available by contacting the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Proper hand hygiene by frequently washing hands with soap and water is expected.
Cleaning and disinfection records will be maintained by the custodial department. If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 the college will determine the areas occupied by that person in the 48 hours prior to the start of symptoms. Common spaces frequently occupied by the person will be closed prior to cleaning and disinfection by trained and suitably equipped staff. Personal spaces occupied by the person will be closed for 72 hours prior to cleaning and disinfection by trained and suitably equipped staff. Disinfection will include the use of electrostatic foggers and spray on disinfectant if the 72-hour delay cannot be achieved. Virex II 256™ will be used to perform disinfection. This product has a 10-minute kill time and is EPA listed as a virucide effective against known coronaviruses.
Hand hygiene stations containing soap, water and paper towels, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol, will be provided in key high traffic locations throughout the campus. Disinfecting wipes or other disinfecting supplies will also be made available and include signage with best practice instructions and hand sanitizer. Additionally, all bathrooms will be outfitted with signage providing guidance on hand washing.
Frequently touched surfaces in building common areas are disinfected by cleaning staff at least two times per day. Employees and students will be asked to clean their desks/work surfaces, if they are willing, with provided disinfectant and disposable towels.
Sharing of tools and supplies is discouraged. When in contact with frequently touched surfaces or shared objects, individuals are advised to wear gloves. Shared objects must be disinfected after use, followed by handwashing.
Cleaning & disinfection protocols will comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) guidelines. Regular cleaning and disinfection will be conducted on an increased basis on all high traffic and high contact common areas.
If an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the college will secure his/her/their personal areas for 72 hours when possible. All communal spaces where the employee has worked will be disinfected using a combination of foggers and spray application.
To maximize campus resources available for disinfection faculty and staff are expected to assist with sanitizing personal spaces such as offices and will be provided with supplies such as disinfectant wipes and sprays. In the future new protocols for cleaning or safety may be introduced as needed, for instance may require staff to empty their own trashcans at common locations or hallway bins.
Signage has been developed and displayed widely throughout campus to support social distancing, mask wearing, hand hygiene, instructions for self-cleaning areas, and occupancy limits for common areas. Additional signage will be deployed as needed.
Throughout the semester, pooled and/or individual saliva testing of SUNY Oneonta students and employees will be conducted through SUNY Oneonta’s partnership with Quadrant Biosciences associated with SUNY Upstate Medical University. Testing through SUNY Upstate Medical began on August 28, 2020 resulting in the development of effective communication and campus processes to facilitate the pool testing.
All residents and off-campus students who have received a positive test through pool testing will be notified by a medical provider from the college Health Center or other medical provider. Health Center staff will then inform the Otsego County Department of Health and referred to the Contact Tracing team so a contact tracer can be assigned. Health Center staff will assess for symptoms and provide medical treatment or advice as appropriate. Health Center staff will then explain the terms of isolation and facilitate referral of student to the Quarantine and Isolation team for transport.
Employees will be individually notified of negative test results via email. Any employee whose test results are positive will receive a telephone call from Human Resources or Health Center staff members. Information about quarantining, contact tracing, etc. will be provided. Employees tested at an off-campus site must immediately notify Human Resources if positive test results are received.
Overall daily test results will be reported on the college Dashboard maintained by the Communications and Marketing division. The number of new positive employee and student cases will be reported to the college community through the Office of the President or COVID Response Team email messages.
Recognizing that many off-campus students were among those who tested positive in the early weeks of the fall 2020 semester straining the relationship between the college and the Oneonta community, the College has appointed a Cabinet level leader, VP of External Affairs, to engage students who live off campus and build positive relations with local community leaders. This new role will be responsible in part for establishing a community coalition in the model of a Neighborhood Watch program.
All employees who come to campus to discharge their professional responsibilities, all residential students, and all students in on-campus classes or who use the campus facilities for any reason will participate in surveillance pool testing on a weekly basis.
Students in residence halls and classes will be placed on a mandatory testing list. Students mandated to participate and who do not participate in pool testing will be contacted by Residence Life staff to let them know they need to show proof of a negative test or their card access will be turned off.
Approximately 2000 students live off-campus in the Oneonta area. Students living off-campus are required to participate in campus pool testing at the same frequency as on-campus students. Any off-campus student who takes an on-campus class or otherwise accesses a campus facility is required to test weekly within two weeks subsequent to accessing any campus facility.
In addition, ten percent (10%) of off-campus students living within 15 miles of campus and not otherwise testing in the bi-weekly pool testing, will be randomly selected weekly to participate in the campus pool testing. This testing will be mandatory. Selected students will receive a notice via email to test the following week; if any selected students fail to test when notified, they will be allowed to comply by being tested in the following week. If the second testing date is missed, the student will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and may be subject to penalty under the SUNY Uniform Sanctions policy (Appendix XX).
Employees will participate in campus pool testing (or other required testing) in accordance with SUNY, NYS and campus guidelines and any applicable collective bargaining unit agreements. Any employees not required to participate in testing will be encouraged to participate.
Diagnostic (individual) testing and treatment of COVID positive patients will be conducted by Health Center staff and located inside the Health Center. PCR testing is available through Quest Labs and generally results are returned between 2 and 7 days. Currently, the Health Center has obtained 100 BD rapid tests, but are in the process of obtaining more for the spring semester. The BD rapid test has a false negative rate of 16%, so should a student test negative on a rapid test a PCR test will still be administered.
The cost of the campus’s pooled testing program is covered by the campus. Rapid testing administered to students at the Health Center is also covered by the campus. PCR testing administered to students at the Health Center is charged to the student’s health insurance.
The COVID Response Team will communicate weekly to monitor the current metrics to monitor for signs of an outbreak. Included in the metrics which will monitored will be:
- Positive cases on campus (including students, faculty and staff)
- Positive cases in off-campus students
- Level of positive cases and outbreak in the community
- Wastewater COVIID-RNA intensity levels on campus and at the City (Oneonta) wastewater treatment plant
- Local hospital capacity/ICU capacity
- County-wide data on number of new cases
- Student compliance with social distancing and mask-wearing ordinance
- Employee illness (particularly among essential staff including Health Center, University Police, Residence Life, dining services, cleaners and facilities)
- Daily health screening data
- Capacity of on-campus quarantine and isolation housing
- Contact tracing data that indicates a significant number of cases related to on-campus activity, classes or residents
- Availability of PPE and amount of PPE reserves
When more than either 100 individuals or 5% of the total on-campus population tests positive within a fixed 14-day period, the campus will immediately (1) transition all in-person learning to remote format(s) and (2) limit on-campus activities for a period of 14 days.
Wastewater testing of the three discharge points from the campus (below Lee Hall, Hulbert Hall, and near the Maintenance and Operations Center) will monitor viral RNA load. Wastewater testing is conducted through 24-hour composite sampling twice weekly to capture the daily transient population and on weekends to monitor the residential population. New COVID-19 positivity or increasing trends will trigger additional upstream wastewater testing and possible increases in the scope and frequency of pool testing of students in residence halls. Facilities conducts wastewater sampling and provide report information to the COVID Response Team, Residence Life and the center. Facilities will coordinate with planned wastewater testing by the City of Oneonta to monitor COVID-19 levels among off-campus students. If City wastewater tests indicate significant increases of COVID-19, the College will increase its mandatory testing for off-campus students.
All members of the Contact tracing team will complete the Contact Tracing course and follow directions from the Otsego County Department of Health. There will be a college coordinator to oversee the contact tracing team and facilitate communication between the Otsego County Department of Health and the Contact Tracing team.
Students living on-campus, taking in-person classes or using campus facilities are required to complete a daily health screening throughout the semester and starting 14-days prior to returning to campus.
Symptom surveillance occur through a Daily Student Health Screening; records of students attending the Health Center; and information provided through the Residence Life chain of command regarding general student health. Increases in symptoms may trigger increased surveillance testing and other health checks.
All employees, both those working on campus and those working remotely, must complete an online Daily Health Screening before beginning work or within 30 minutes of arriving at work. Employees returning to work on campus are required to self-screen before coming to work on campus and self-screening templates. Workplace screening is implemented including computer-based health questionnaires. Where practical, workplace temperature screening stations will be implemented.
All campus members, regardless of place of residence, must follow the New York State Travel Advisory. Students, faculty, and staff who have traveled to/from restricted states/regions or to/from international locations, as defined by New York State, must attest that they have submitted the New York Traveler Health form. They also must follow the guidance of the local Department of Health related to mandatory testing, quarantine/isolation, and the timing of a return to campus.
The College has reserved three residence halls (328 beds), for quarantine and isolation housing., that is staffed by employees working on site who check-in with students throughout their stay. When a student is diagnosed as COVID positive through pool testing or through the Health Center, a professional from the Health Center calls to inform the student of the a positive for COVID-19 test; assess for current or past symptoms and provide treatment or advice for self-care for those symptoms; explain isolation or quarantine to students; explain that they will be contacted by a contact tracer and need to comply with the contact tracer’s requests. When the college is informed that a student has been diagnosed with COVID by an outside provider, the Health Center will reach out to those students to offer support or medical care.
Students Transportation to and assistance to move into the designated Quarantine and Isolation residence halls will be provided by trained staff members (non-student). (See Workforce section)
While in quarantine or isolation housing, students are expected to continue their college coursework, unless they are physically unable while in quarantine or isolation housing. Students must contact their instructors immediately to make arrangements for remote course work or accommodations, prior to all assignment deadlines.
Residential Students and Staff Living in Residence Halls: Students will be instructed prior to returning to campus and reminded throughout the semester by Residence Life and Housing staff that if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, they should not leave their residence hall room, but should call SUNY Oneonta’s Health Center. Until they recover, they will remain in contact with and under the care of the Health Center staff and any other appropriate health care and public health employees. Students can use the CDC self-checker to evaluate symptoms when unsure if they have symptoms that should be tested.
Off-Campus/Commuter Students: off-campus/commuter student must notify SUNY Oneonta’s Health Center if they develop symptoms of COVID-19. In addition to reporting COVID symptoms, all off-campus/commuter students will notify Health Center if they have a positive test for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Off-campus/commuter students will be asked to remain off-campus and will be provided instructions on self-quarantine or isolation if they test positive for COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19. The Student Development division established support protocols for off-campus students and refer their names to the Care Call team (Appendix XXX).
Employees and/or the supervisor of the employee will notify SUNY Oneonta’s Office of Human Resources of symptoms through an online form or they can call the NYS COVID triage line at 1-888-364-3065. In addition to reporting COVID symptoms, all employees should contact Human Resources if they have a positive test for COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Employees will be given instructions on self-quarantine or isolation if positive for COVID-19 or suspected of having COVID-19 from their local health department (Appendix XX). The Office of Human Resources will obtain a copy of the issued quarantine or isolation orders directly from the employee. Any other employees and/or students who have been exposed to the person with symptoms or COVID positive employee will be notified by the County Health Department and/or Human Resources if identified as a close contact and will be provided with instructions to self-monitor for symptoms.
The Health Center will provide medical care for students in isolation or quarantine 7 days a week between 8:30 and 4:30 pm. Medical care will consist of a phone triage meeting to determine the severity of the symptoms. Then students may receive either a tele-health visit or an in-person exam from a medical professional in the quarantine and isolation hall. For a tele-health visit, the Health Center will provide digital thermometers and pulse-oximeters to the Quarantine and .Isolation (Q&I) team to be delivered to students with tele-health appointments
The Care Team, comprised of SUNY Oneonta staff members, will be regularly emailing or texting students to check on their well-being, if they have any needs such as items left in their original residence hall, a package at the Dragon Express, or other items that could make their stay more comfortable. The staff will assist students with any off-campus vendors who are trying to deliver items to them (e.g. Doordash, Instacart, Ubereats). The staff will meet the vendor and deliver to student's room.
The Health Center Staff will assess, test, and provide medical guidance for students who report COVID-19 symptoms. Students demonstrating symptoms or those who have been directly exposed to COVID-19 will be required to be tested. The cost of rapid testing administered to students at the Health Center is covered by the campus. PCR testing administered to students at the Health Center is charged to the student’s health insurance.
The protocols described in the Hygiene, cleaning and disinfection section will continue. The Environmental Health and Safety Officer, in conjunction with the Facilities department, determine if additional or more cleaning and disinfecting activities are needed to contain the spread of COVID among students and employees.
In the event of positive test results among students and/or employees, the campus will be immediately notified: the Office of Communications and Marketing who will utilize email and other electronic media to notify the campus community through the daily updates and dashboard; the Student Development and Human Resources offices will work with Facilities to post signage in buildings occupied or visited by an individual whose test results were positive; and emails notifications will be made to employees and/or students who live or work in those buildings. Contact tracing will be conducted by the trained campus contact tracers as directed by the local Department of Health.
The Communication Plan (Appendix X) describes strategies and types of messages for information updates, including email, website, social media and virtual meetings.
The college will follow the guidance of the NY State Department of Health in terms of returning to remote operations. Specifically, when less than either 100 individuals or 5% of the total on-campus population tests positive with-in a 14-day period, the campus will immediately (1) transition all in-person learning to remote format(s) and (2) limit on-campus activities for a period of 14 days. Also, during this time, campus will suspend all in-person events, extracurricular programs, and other non-essential student activities, and dining will remain take-out models with delivery to quarantine and isolation halls.
At the end of the 14-day pause in activities, the college will follow the Department of Health’s guidance regarding virus containment sufficient to resume the previous levels of in-person activities. The NY State Department of Health defines “Total on-campus population” as all students, faculty, and staff who are on the campus location, including those students living on campus and those attending class on campus, as well as all staff and faculty working on campus. A pivot to fully remote operations may occur is the virus cannot be contained.
Continuity of student learning will be maintained in the event of a pause in on campus (M2M) courses, instructor illness or change or a pivot to fully remote. The Academic contingency plan is housed in each department and shared with school deans and the Library and includes:
- Planning within syllabi for the shift to remote
- Support for faculty through production assistants, feedback of experiences and improvements and continued TLTC and Faculty center support
- Departmental plans for emergency course coverage and completion
To facilitate continuity of student learning in the event the College must shift all courses to online learning, these steps will be taken:
- Consideration of impact on academic operations including the calendar and key deadlines (e.g. course withdrawals) and possible need for policy modification
- The College Senate and Student Association will be engaged if there are any proposed changes to procedures and/or policies
The Communication Plan will describe strategies and types of messages for information updates including email, website, social media, and virtual meetings.
Continuity of academic student services will be maintained through the following measures in the event of a pause on campus transition to fully remote. The Academic contingency plan includes:
- Academic and other forms of student support will continue to be provided online
- Student well-being, persistence and degree progress will continue to be addressed using key data points by the Academic Advisement Center, Registrar’s Office, and Provost’s Office, in collaboration with Student Development offices and Financial Aid.
- Student access to online library resources will continue. Library staff are available to help students, faculty and staff. (Refer to appendix # Library operations plan)
- Updates to Federal, State and SUNY guidelines for international travel will continue to be provided by the Office of International Education.
- A common internship/fieldwork form is employed for schools, departments and the Career Development Center indicating requirements for the appropriate county Department of Health (DOH), site responsibility to follow NY State Guidelines and acceptance of risks with students on site.
During a Pause Dining Services, dining services protocols of take out with social distancing will remain unchanged. Dining services will remain fully attendant to the food needs of students in Isolation and Quarantine while they remain there. If the pivot to fully remote occurs, Dining Services will enact contingency plans to continue feeding students who remain on campus for special reasons such as homelessness.
Public transportation may be curtailed during a Pause or pivot to fully remote. Campus vans may be used with staff drivers to transport students to urgent medical appointments etc. on an as needed basis.
In the event of a Pause, move to fully remote operations, or if the CRT deems that early warning signs of an outbreak exist, the college will implement an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) using the Incident Command System (ICS). The EOC will be set up large well ventilated pre-arranged location complete with communication and information infrastructure. Once the EOC is called, clear, concise, and timely objectives will be developed to focus on the safety of the whole community. Resources will be aligned to support the objectives.
Preparation for an event warranting an EOC will include completion of NIMS training modules, identification of the ICS structure, location and infrastructure set up requirements for the EOC, ICS roles and responsibilities, emergency communication schedule, and a tabletop exercise/drill before the spring 2021 semester.
A detailed plan for a transition to fully remote has been developed. The plan includes:
- Notification of the closure to students
- Provision of restricted activity periods
- Closure of community spaces
- Provisions for outdoor exercise
- Remote work for professional staff
- Provisions for closure of desk operations while continuing services
Plans for a safe and orderly move out include:
- Staged move out times and dates
- Checkout procedures
- Arrangements for temporary storage f belongings
The campus has developed a comprehensive plan to communicate internally and externally through a Pause or move to a fully remote process. The plan includes:
- Communication strategies
- Identification of content matter experts
- Plans for message development and distribution
- Identification of constituents including but not limited to faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, donors and the Oneonta community
- Plans for interface with media and response to enquiries.