COVID-19 information

March 12, 2024

Dear Union College community:

Early this month, the Centers for Disease Control provided updated guidance on isolation practices for those infected with COVID-19, which the state of New York also has adopted.

Health authorities are no longer recommending a 5-day isolation period for those infected with COVID-19. Instead, they are now calling on those who become ill with COVID-19 to remain away from others only until they have been fever-free without the aid of medication for 24 hours.

The updated recommendations - which also apply to those with other respiratory illnesses - mirror those that were in place before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Given these changes, Union also has adjusted its policies related to COVID-19 to remain consistent with the CDC and New York State.

Effective immediately:

  • Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19, or who are sick with other respiratory illnesses such as flu or RSV, only need to remain away from classes or campus until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication.
  • Those infected with COVID-19 will no longer be required to report their positive test result to the Health Center or Human Resources.
  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 should notify their faculty if they will need to miss class. As is the case with any illness, students should communicate directly with their faculty members to make arrangements for making up missed work.
  • Upon returning to class or work, we strongly recommend that you wear a mask indoors when around others for five days, consistent with CDC guidance.
  • Additionally, we strongly endorse other preventative strategies for reducing the spread of illness such as limiting close contact with others while ill and frequent hand-washing.

These updated guidelines reflect the fact that effective vaccines exist for the three most common respiratory illnesses: COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV and that a large majority of the U.S. population has developed some immunity to COVID-19 through vaccinations, prior infection, or both.

As we enter this next phase in responding to COVID-19, we want to stress the importance of staying away from class or campus when you are ill, regardless of whether you have COVID-19, until your symptoms have begun to subside.

This simple act of respect for your classmates and colleagues will go a long way toward keeping our campus community healthy and is in the best spirit of our Union value of showing care for one another.

Here’s to a healthy and productive spring!