COVID-19 Updates

[Employees] Start of winter term 2022 protocols

Publication Date

Dear Colleagues:

As we near the beginning of our year-end break for employees, we want to take this opportunity to share what we know about our health protocols for our return in January.

The situation with the omicron variant continues to evolve quickly, and further details and reminders will be provided over the next two weeks. The latest information can always be found in the COVID-19 section of the Union College website.

As you know, classes begin Monday, Jan. 3 and most students will return to campus on Jan. 2. 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-Return to Campus
    In order to reduce the likelihood of transmission at the start of the winter term, it is imperative that employees do not come to work if they feel ill when it is time to return to campus. In those instances, you should get tested for COVID-19 and stay home until you receive a negative test result.

    Diagnostic COVID-19 testing for individuals with symptoms is generally covered by your health insurance and is available through physicians’ offices, urgent care centers and most pharmacies. If you test positive, either through a home or lab test, you should inform Gwen Pulvirent in Human Resources at pulvireg@union.edu as well as your supervisor, and follow the isolation guidelines provided by the College or the Schenectady County Department of Health.

  • Week 1
    Everyone will be required to take two tests during the first week of the term – on 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.

    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.

  • Ongoing testing
    All members of the community 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.

Booster vaccinations
Booster vaccinations are proving to 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 receive a COVID-19 booster early in 2022. We strongly encourage employees to get their booster as soon as they are eligible. As we did for vaccinations, we plan to set a deadline for receiving a booster and expect to share details in the next week.

Masks
We will continue to require masks on campus to start the winter term. Specific details regarding masking rules will be forthcoming.

Like you, we had hoped to be able to return to a more normal way of living and operating by now, but the COVID omicron variant represents a new and evolving challenge. We remain committed, however, to providing information about our health protocols in a timely fashion.

As always, we are very appreciative of everyone’s commitment to their health and to the health of the entire Union community.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday.

Sincerely,

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

Tye Deines
Chief Human Resources Officer

Scott Jones
Vice President for Administration and Finance