COVID-19 Updates

Strong testing results for this week

Publication Date

Dear Union College Community:

As you all know, we have completed our second week of mandatory testing. And we are pleased to share the very good results with you today.

Testing revealed only two positive results, both employees, out of approximately 2,400 people tested. We want to commend everyone for their ongoing commitment to the health of our community.

Despite this good news, it should be noted that we still had a number of individuals who did not test this week as required. As a reminder, testing is mandatory.

As shared last week, failure to test on two occasions the rest of the term, including this week, will lead to disciplinary action being taken.

  • For students, that means suspension for the remainder of the fall term, regardless of what week we are in.

  • For employees, disciplinary action will be determined by the responsibility center head in consultation with Human Resources.

Transition to Unobserved Testing

Beginning on Oct. 26, the College will pilot an unobserved model of testing. The testing experience and set up of the testing center largely will remain the same. The primary difference will be that we will no longer have an individual at the testing station instructing and monitoring you. For next week, there will be observers on site for those who choose to use one.

This change will allow us to reduce the number of volunteers and medical personnel needed to operate the testing center, thus reducing the burden on our employees and the College. We also are confident moving to unobserved testing will not compromise the integrity of our testing operations.

Instructions will be posted at each station and you will conduct the test in the same way that you do in the observed model. We will have staffing around to coach folks through the process should they need a reminder.

For more detailed information on this transition to unobserved testing, please visit the Unobserved Testing FAQ document.

Testing and health-related reminders for students

  • Weekly testing must be done at the testing center on Tuesday or Wednesday. The Wicker Wellness Center is not an option for mandatory testing.

  • If you feel ill during the week, contact the Wellness Center and make an appointment to be evaluated. This evaluation may or may not include being tested for COVID, depending on your symptoms.

  • Fully vaccinated close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals who are not symptomatic do not need to quarantine, but should wear a mask indoors and test within 3-5 days. If you develop symptoms at any point you must notify the Wicker Wellness center during business hours or campus safety on nights and weekends.

  • If you feel ill over the weekend, you should go to an urgent care center, contact Campus Safety or call Fonemed at 1-888-409-1063.

  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for at least 10 days from the date of their test - or from the onset of symptoms, if they are symptomatic. This date will be confirmed by the Wicker Wellness Center or the Department of Health. If possible, we encourage students to return home for their isolation period.

  • If you have to isolate as a result of COVID-19, your professors will be notified of your absence and will be asked to provide missed course material.

We wanted to close this week’s message by taking a moment to thank everyone for doing their part to keep the campus community healthy, which has allowed us to offer in-person classes and a much more normal experience for our students this fall.

We’d also like to offer a special thanks to our facilities and dining operations employees who have gone above and beyond this fall while working under challenging circumstances. Similarly, we are deeply appreciative of all those employees who have volunteered at our COVID-19 testing center this fall.

Thanks, once again, to everyone for your continued commitment to the health of our community.

Sincerely,

Michele Angrist
Interim Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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

Tye Deines

Chief Human Resources Officer

Scott Jones

Vice President for Administration and Finance