Union Where You Are: Plans for 2020-21

Winter Term Return Update - Students

Publication Date

Dear Students,

Thank you for your patience while the details for winter term at Union have evolved. Our goal is to create a seamless process while maintaining the safest conditions for everyone involved. The communication below is for all in-person students for the winter 2021 term.

Please read this communication carefully. Following all of the steps below will ensure a smooth arrival to campus. If you are planning on withdrawing or studying remotely, you may disregard.

New York State travel advisory and quarantine

On Oct. 31, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced new guidelines allowing out-of-state travelers to New York to “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York will continue to be exempt from the travel advisory; however, covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form.

In addition to the NYS Travel Advisory, all in-person students will be required to follow Union’s pre-arrival testing protocols as outlined in this message. Please be aware that these plans may change due to state or federal guidance.

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Steps for students returning to campus from N.Y., Penn., Vt., Mass., Conn. or N.J.

Step 1: Sign up for initial on-campus testing

All in-person students (on-campus, off-campus and commuter) traveling from these states must have a College-administered COVID-19 test upon arrival on campus. Student IDs will not be activated until confirmation of a negative pre-arrival test and an on-campus test is administered.

Step 2: Pre-arrival testing

To help reduce the risk of positive cases on campus, all students are required to have a COVID-19 test within three days prior to arrival on campus and must submit their negative test results at check-in.

  • Any student arriving without a test will have to find their own, non-College housing and will not be permitted on campus until they can produce a negative test result and then participate in our initial campus testing.
  • Any student who tests positive should follow the directives of their local department of health and should not arrive on campus until they have been cleared by their local health department. Students who test positive must also notify Union’s Health Services at uchealthcenter@union.edu.

Step 3: Arrive on campus during your designated time for your initial COVID-19 test

  • Do not arrive earlier or later than expected.
  • Go directly to the COVID-19 Testing Center. You CANNOT move into your room or visit any other campus location prior to completing your test. Your ID card will not be activated until you have arrived and completed your initial test.

Step 4: Move in and begin quarantine until negative result comes back

  • Once you have completed your initial test, you may move into your residence hall (if living on campus) and begin your pre-test result quarantine.
  • Students will be required to self-quarantine in their room (applies to all students regardless of if they are living on campus or off campus) until they receive a negative result. Results have typically taken between 24 and 48 hours to be returned. Any student found violating the pre-test result quarantine will have their housing and in-person class privileges revoked immediately and may be subject to additional sanctions.
  • Note: Students who were not living on campus during the fall term but are returning for winter term will receive separate instructions from Residential Life about key pickup location and specifics.

Key dates for pre-arrival and initial on-campus testing:

  • If you schedule your initial on-campus test for Jan. 7,
    then you should have your pre-arrival test on Jan. 4, 5 or 6.*

  • If you schedule your initial on-campus test for Jan. 8,
    then you should have your pre-arrival test on Jan. 5, 6 or 7.*

  • If you schedule your initial on-campus test for Jan. 9,
    then you should have your pre-arrival test on Jan. 6, 7 or 8.*

*All students must submit their negative pre-arrival test results at check-in.


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Steps for students returning to campus from non-contiguous states to New York and other countries

To comply with the NYS Travel Advisory and to help reduce the risk of positive cases on campus, all students arriving from other countries and states other than N.Y., Penn., Vt., Mass., Conn. and N.J. must follow the procedures below:

Step 1: Sign up for on-campus testing. (Applies to students arranging their own quarantine. Students using college-provided quarantine can skip to step 2.)

  • Students arranging their own quarantine must sign up for on-campus testing on day 4 of their NYS quarantine.
  • Students quarantining in College-provided space do not need to sign up for a testing date. Testing staff will come to the hotel on the designated date to administer the test.
  • On-campus testing will take place on Jan. 7, 8 and 9 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Students arranging their own quarantine can make their COVID-19 testing appointments by signing into the student health portal and clicking on the "Appt. Scheduling" tab. Note: The appointment scheduling is not recurring. You will need to make an appointment for each week of the term.
  • Student IDs will not be activated until confirmation of a negative pre-arrival test and a day 4 college-administered test is completed.

Step 2: Pre-arrival testing:

  • Obtain a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival in N.Y. with documentation of a negative result, which you will show at check-in.

Step 3: Quarantine for 3 days upon arrival in N.Y.

  • Students can either move into College-provided quarantine space on Jan. 4, 5 or 6, or they can arrange their own quarantine that fulfills the New York state requirements.
  • Students can submit their quarantine plans using this form by Dec. 15.

Step 4: Receive a COVID-19 test on day 4 of their quarantine in the state of New York

  • Students who quarantine in College-provided space will receive their N.Y. COVID-19 test through the College at their quarantine location and will be permitted to move into campus housing upon receipt of their campus test result. Students must remain in quarantine until they receive a negative result for their day 4 N.Y. COVID-19 test.
  • Students who arrange their own N.Y. quarantine should schedule a day 4 COVID-19 at the Testing Center and must provide proof of the location of their quarantine (hotel/Airbnb receipt, travel receipts, etc). Students who are scheduled to live on campus for the winter term can move into their residence hall to begin their pre-test result quarantine after they have completed their day 4 COVID-19 test at our Testing Center. They must remain in their pre-test result quarantine until they receive a negative result for their day 4 N.Y. COVID-19 test.
  • Students who live off campus must remain in their pre-test result quarantine until they receive a negative result for their day 4 N.Y. COVID-19 test.

Step 5: Move-in after negative day 4 COVID-19 test

  • Students who quarantine in College-provided space, who are living on campus for winter term, can move into their residence hall room after receiving a negative result for their day 4 N.Y. COVID-19 test. Their IDs will also be turned on at this time.
  • Note: Students who were not living on campus during the fall term but are returning for winter term will receive separate instructions from Residential Life about key pickup location and specifics.

Key dates for pre-arrival testing, quarantine, and day 4 testing:

  • If you arrive in NY/start your NYS quarantine on Jan. 4,
    then your pre-arrival test needs to be on Jan. 1, 2 or 3
    and your day 4 college-administered COVID-19 test will be on Jan. 7*

  • If you arrive in NY/start your NYS quarantine on Jan. 5,
    then your pre-arrival test needs to be on Jan. 2, 3 or 4
    and your day 4 college-administered COVID-19 test will be on Jan. 8*

  • If you arrive in NY/start your NYS quarantine on Jan. 6,
    then your pre-arrival test needs to be on Jan. 3, 4 or 5
    and your day 4 college-administered COVID-19 test will be on Jan. 9*

*All students must submit their negative test results at check-in.

Students arranging their own quarantine must sign up for on-campus testing on day 4 of their NYS quarantine.

Students quarantining in College-provided space do not need to sign up for a testing date. Testing staff will come to the hotel on the designated date to administer the test.

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For all students

Options for pre-arrival testing include:

  • Contact your primary care provider to schedule a test.
  • Check with your local urgent care centers or pharmacy.
  • In New York, students can call the COVID-19 hotline at (888) 364-3065 to schedule a test.
  • Students who have exhausted all options in their area may reach out to dos_office@union.edu to discuss an alternative means of securing a test.

Move-in reminders

We are again asking for you to limit the number of people helping you move back to campus. If you must bring help, you may bring up to two people, but only one of those helpers can enter the building at a time. Helpers may remain on campus for two hours after your test has been completed and must depart at that time. As a reminder, everyone must properly wear a face covering at all times and be COVID-19 symptom-free upon arrival on campus.

NOTE: When packing to come to Union, please think about how you would leave campus if we had to quickly begin functioning remotely. Bring only items that you would be able to take with you by whatever means of transportation you will use to get home. We strongly recommend you minimize the possessions you bring to campus this winter. Past experience shows that we may need students to move out on short notice and may not be able to provide access to rooms for an extended period of time. Shipping and storing of belongings may not be possible.

Thank you for your patience as we prepare for winter term. Please continue to read your email to make sure you receive the most up-to-date information.

Stay well,

The Residential Life Team