COVID-19 Updates

[Students] Start of Union College winter 2022 term protocols

Publication Date

Dear student,

I hope this finds you well and that you are enjoying your break so far.

I want to take this opportunity to share what we know about our health protocols for our return in January. Given the current prevalence of COVID-19 in the Schenectady region, the emergence of the COVID-19 omicron variant and the risks of COVID-19 transmission associated with year-end holiday gatherings, we will be taking a number of steps to ensure the health of our community as we start the new term.

Testing

  • Pre-arrival
    All students are expected to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to campus for the start of the winter term. A PCR test is preferred, but a rapid test is acceptable.

    If you test positive, do not come to campus.

    Instead, you should inform the Wicker Wellness Center of your result, and isolate at home for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of your test if you are asymptomatic. You will not be allowed to return to campus until you have been cleared to return by the Wellness Center. Testing before returning will limit the spread of COVID on campus and allow infected students to isolate at home rather than at a hotel near campus.

    Also, if you have tested positive for COVID-19 at any time since leaving campus in November, please send your results to uchealthcenter@union.edu. You will not be required to test for 90 days from the date of your positive test.

  • Week 1
    All students will be required to take two tests during the first week of classes: Sunday, Monday or Tuesday (Jan. 2-4) AND then again either Thursday or Friday (Jan. 6-7). Testing will be held at Old Chapel/Hale House and students must use the on-campus testing center.

    The testing center will be open from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Jan. 2 and from 9-noon and 1-4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday that week. Off-campus tests will not be accepted. Students who fail to meet the testing requirement will be subject to disciplinary action.

  • Ongoing testing
    After Week 1, students will be required to test once a week - on either Tuesday or Wednesday - until further notice. Testing will be held at Old Chapel/Hale House from 9 a.m. - noon and 1-4 p.m. Off-campus test results will not be accepted and students who fail to test will be subject to disciplinary action.

Booster vaccinations
Booster vaccinations provide a valuable level of protection against COVID-19 and, consistent with our current policy on vaccinations, all students and employees will be required to obtain a COVID-19 booster. Additional details regarding boosters will be forthcoming, but students are strongly encouraged to receive their booster as soon as they are eligible.

Masks
Given the current and expected level of COVID-19 transmission in the Schenectady area and the emergence of the omicron variant, the decision has been made to extend the current masking rules into the winter term. Masks will be required for students while in the classroom and in most public indoor spaces. Masks will not be required in residence halls or while actively eating or drinking.

We understand that wearing masks for an extended period of time is uncomfortable but we urge everyone’s continued patience. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on campus and in the surrounding community with the hope of being able to relax the masking rules at some point.

Like you, we had hoped to be able to return to an even more normal way of living and operating by now, but unfortunately, the reality of the situation dictates that we continue to take these precautions. We are very appreciative of your commitment to your health and to the health of the entire Union community.

Further details and reminders will be provided over the next two weeks, and the latest information can always be found in the COVID-19 section of the Union College website.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday. I look forward to seeing you on campus early in the New Year.

Sincerely,

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