COVID-19 Updates

Campus Quarantine Update - Jan. 29, 2021

Publication Date

Dear Union College Community,

As our dashboard indicates clearly, we are slowing the spread of COVID-19 at Union College. Since Jan. 17, there have been 34 student cases on campus. There were 26 student cases the week of January 17, with most of those coming early in the week. This week we have recorded 8 student cases (results returned Jan. 24-Jan. 29). There have continued to be relatively few staff and faculty cases. After an initial spike, reducing the number of cases was a top priority. With your help, we have accomplished this critical goal. Thank you for the sacrifices you have made for the health of our community.

These trends are encouraging, but the rates of COVID-19 infection on campus and in communities near and far remain high. We must remain vigilant. We must also provide our community with opportunities to develop, to grow, and to sustain mental and physical health. To achieve all of these goals, and in recognition of the tremendous effort we have all made to slow the spread, the campus quarantine will end today at 5 p.m., which is two days earlier than planned. We will return to a modified version of the restrictions that were in place during fall term. As conditions improve, we look forward to further relaxing restrictions. If conditions (including compliance) worsen, we will need to again impose stricter policies. Revised policies for winter term can be found at Union Where You Are and below:


  • Off-campus Activities
    • Permitted:
      • In-person medical appointments
      • Local grocery stores and trips for household essentials (e.g., cleaning supplies)
      • Off-campus employment
    • Not permitted:
      • In-person dining at restaurants or bars
      • Off-campus fitness centers or gyms
      • Riding in cars with people who are not your roommates or suitemates
      • Note: Violating this policy may result in a student transitioning to remote learning or being restricted from campus access (off-campus students).
    • Requires permission:
      • Any off-campus travel not identified above as permissible. To request permission please email:
  • Residence Halls
    • Every resident can have one guest in their room. If there are multiple residents in a room, the rule of one guest per resident will apply. A guest is defined as anyone not assigned to the residence hall room. Masks must be worn when guests are in the room, unless people are actively eating, and everyone must remain at least six feet apart at all times during such visits.
    • Off-campus students are welcome in campus buildings, and as guests in residence halls.
  • Dining
    • In-person dining will resume on Monday, Feb. 1 with reduced seating capacity
  • Athletic Facilities
    • Outdoor athletic facilities remain open for socially distanced use, with masks.
    • Indoor athletic facilities will re-open for students only, beginning Saturday, Jan. 30. Consistent with public health guidance, capacity will be limited.
    • Health and safety guidelines and hours for our athletics facilities are available here.
  • Schaffer Library
    • The library will re-open for in-person use and study space, beginning Saturday, January 30. You can find library hours and guidelines here.
    • There will be no food allowed in the library, and masks must remain on unless you are actively drinking.
    • Individuals who do not comply with library health and safety guidelines will be asked to leave the library and may be subject to sanctions.
  • Winter Term Study Spaces
  • Indoor Gatherings
    • Groups may schedule indoor activities, consistent with mask and distancing policies, by contacting the appropriate administrative office (e.g., Student Activities, Minerva Program, Athletics). Indoor, non-academic events are restricted to 20 people.
  • Fireside Treats
    • Saturday, Jan. 30, 1 p.m. - 2 p.m., drop by any of the fire pits for s’mores and hot cocoa.


  • As outlined in our communication on Monday, Jan. 25:
  • Employees who work on campus daily, or who frequently come to campus and have the potential to come into contact with students and/or other employees (e.g., dining, campus safety, professors teaching an in-person class or otherwise working in-person with students and/or colleagues, admissions, student health employees, facilities, etc.), must be tested twice a week through Feb. 4 (Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday). Weekly testing will resume on Feb. 8 with testing hours available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Everyone who can work remotely should continue to do so.
  • If you have questions about testing or working remotely, please review our testing guidelines and speak with your supervisor.


  • Only Union students and employees are permitted in campus buildings.
  • Admissions visits are suspended until Feb. 6.

Thank you for continuing to do what it takes to preserve our on-campus term, and keep members of the Union and surrounding communities safe.

Be well,

David Harris

Fran’Cee Brown-McClure
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Beth R. Glassman
Interim Chief Human Resources Officer

Strom Thacker
Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs