Dear Union College Community,
COVID-19 infection rates have been rising around the world, across the United States, and in nearby communities. Despite extraordinary efforts by all of us, rates have also been rising at Union. Over the past two weeks, the total number of positive COVID tests among Union students, faculty, and staff has grown from 11 to 17. The number of students in quarantine has reached a new high at 116. Although some infections are due to non-compliance with college and state guidance, we are increasingly seeing infections occur among those who are making every effort to avoid infection.
Although much attention is focused on planning for next term, our immediate goal is successful completion of the current term. We have learned much over the past eight weeks. We have also realized that there is much that remains unknown about the virus and its near and long-term effects on people. It is with these caveats that we share the following:
- Our health and safety protocols greatly reduce the risk of infection, which remains low despite the recent uptick. They do not prevent an individual from being placed in quarantine. We believe that our health and safety protocols, including quarantine, are critical factors in the low number of positive cases we have experienced to date.
- The Schenectady Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for determining who must quarantine, and when close contacts can return to the community.
- In some instances, the DOH has required an entire class to quarantine when an individual in that class tests positive for COVID.
- The College is engaged in discussions and continues to partner actively with the DOH regarding evolving appropriate quarantine protocols given our extraordinary safety measures.
- We will continue to update the Union Where You Are site and link the newest information from the What’s New section.
We returned to campus this fall with a shared commitment to protect the health and safety of one another. I am proud of what we have done together, and I thank you for all that you are doing for the welfare of the Union community.
David R. Harris