COVID-19 Updates

Health and Safety Protocols

Masks [Updated 5/10/2022]

  • May 06, 2022, The CDC has designated Schenectady County as an area of “high” COVID-19 community impact level, and recommended that individuals mask when in public. Upon the advice of our public health consultant, and in consultation with our COVID-19 Advisory Group, we are now shifting to an expectation that community members will wear masks in indoor spaces when others are present.

  • If you are unsure whether you should be wearing a mask, please wear one.

  • When released from isolation, you are to wear a well fitting mask for 5 days.

Testing [Updated 1/4/2022

  • Spring Term 2022 - Details

  • Unobserved Testing FAQs page.

  • Students who feel ill should remain in their room and contact Health Services to schedule an appointment immediately or go to urgent care on the weekend. They should not go to class or other meetings, even if they begin to feel better after treating their symptoms with a fever reducer or decongestant. Faculty and staff should remain at home and contact their physician, and inform their supervisor and Human Resources. It is especially important to take any symptoms seriously if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

What to do if you test positive [Updated 1/28/2022 ]

  • If you receive a positive result from on-campus testing you must isolate for five days at a College-provided hotel or at home and should:
    • The College will notify your professors, but if you want to let them know immediately, you can do so.
    • Notify your close contacts.
      • Roommates/suitemates
      • Friends/teammates with whom you have regular contact
      • University personnel with whom you have had close contact (15 minutes or more) beginning two days before onset of symptoms or date of your positive test.
      • Non-Union community members with whom you have had close contact, if known.

  • If you receive a positive test from an off-campus testing location or a rapid test:
    • If you test positive on the weekend or an evening, please contact Campus Safety immediately, so we can begin the isolation process.
    • Then share your positive result immediately with the Health Center at uchealthcenter@union.edu.
    • Isolate for five days at home or a College-provided hotel.
    • Consult with the health center to determine your isolation timeframe.
    • Your only need to notify your professors if there is an urgent need for them to be aware outside of normal business hours.
    • Notify your close contacts.
      • Roommates/suitemates
      • Friends/teammates with whom you have regular contact
      • University personnel with whom you have had close contact (15 minutes or more) beginning two days before onset of symptoms or date of your positive test.
      • Non-Union community members with whom you have had close contact, if known.

What to do if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive. [Updated April 19, 2022]

  • You do not need to quarantine.
  • You need to test 5-7 days after last exposure (unless you have positive in the past 90 days, then you do not need to test). Employees should consider taking a home test, if not in coordination with the on campus testing schedule.
  • You may go to class as usual, however, you should wear a mask indoors including your residential space until you receive your negative test result per CDC guidance.
  • If you develop any symptoms, you should immediately contact the Wicker Wellness Center at (518)388-6120 or uchealthcenter@union.edu during business hours or visit urgent care and contact campus safety at (518)388-6911 after hours. You can also take a rapid test if you have one. If you test positive, please follow the steps above. You cannot under any circumstances isolate in campus housing.

Vaccinations [Updated 4/19/2022]

  • All students, faculty and staff were required to be vaccinated prior to the start of fall term (or when hired), with exceptions only being made for individuals who have been granted a medical or religious accommodation.
  • Those individuals who have been granted accommodations must be tested for COVID-19 weekly.
  • Booster vaccinations required by Jan. 24 or within 2 weeks of hire date or date of eligibility
    Getting a booster is critical to our ability to be on campus in person. All students and employees who are eligible (two months after a J&J vaccine or five months after the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer) are required to get their booster and show proof by Jan. 24 or as soon as received, unless you requested and were granted an accommodation.

    • Students should email a copy of their vaccination record to Health Services at uchealthcenter@union.edu.
    • Employees should upload pictures of their vaccination cards and email them to hr@union.edu or drop off copies at Human Resources.

Isolation and quarantine protocols [Updated 1/9/2022]

Students

Post-isolation Period Guidelines
In order to allow students to return to on-campus activities as quickly as possible during their post-isolation period while still ensuring that roommates of COVID-19 positive individuals are being afforded an appropriate measure of care, we have developed the following protocols.

  • Students who do not share a bedroom will be released back to their on-campus residence after five days if they meet all the criteria outlined above. They will be required to wear a mask at all times on campus when around others for five days, but will be allowed to remove their mask while alone in their bedroom.

  • Students who live in a shared bedroom and who meet the release criteria will be allowed to return to campus so they can attend class and participate in other activities. They will not be allowed to sleep in their bedroom for the next five days, however. Instead, the College will provide a hotel room nearby for the student at no cost. The student must sleep in the hotel for five nights following release from isolation and will not have to wear a mask while alone in their hotel room.
  • Students who share a bedroom with a roommate(s) who also tested positive within 90 days are able to return to their shared bedroom.

  • Students who live off campus and need to participate in our post isolation process should contact the Dean of Students office at dos_office@union.edu.

These protocols apply to all students who test positive, including those who are currently isolating as a result of pre-arrival positive test results and those who choose to isolate at home should they become infected after their return.

Transition back to campus for those who have tested positive at home
Please remember that your local department of health should release you from isolation. Please share that information with the health center and they will clear you to return to campus.

Due to logistical concerns and feasibility we are unable to allow students who tested positive at home into our post-isolation hotel program until January 12th. This means that if you tested positive at home between Jan. 1-6, you cannot move into your bedroom (with a roommate) or into post-isolation hotel space until Jan. 12. If you are able to come to campus for classes (e.g. your home is within driving distance to campus) and return home during this period of time to sleep (Jan. 10-12) please do so otherwise you will need to work with your faculty and Class Dean. If you have sent your positive result to Health Services, you will receive a follow up email with details. If you have questions, please email dos_office@union.edu.

It is important to note that close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals who are vaccinated and asymptomatic do not need to isolate. Those individuals will receive an email from the College within a few hours of the positive student being notified. This email will contain information about what to do in terms of testing and masking. It is extremely important that you look for that email.

Employees

  • Our Isolation and quarantine guidelines have changed. In some cases, COVID-19 positive individuals will only need to isolate for five days if certain conditions are met. Likewise, fully vaccinated employees who have received a booster or who are not yet eligible for a booster do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, if certain conditions are met. Human Resources will provide details regarding release from isolation and quarantine to affected employees.

  • COVID-19 positive individuals, who tested positive on campus, will be contacted by Human Resources with details about their result and isolation protocols. You may receive a text message from NYSDOH or a representative from SCPHS also may contact you with news of your test result.

  • Employees may or may not receive regular check-in calls from SCPHS to monitor any symptoms and answer any questions you may have. Seek medical attention from your physician or another medical provider should you experience worsening symptoms.

  • Vaccinated, close contacts of a COVID-19 individual who are asymptomatic do not need to quarantine, but must wear a mask at all times while indoors on campus and should get tested within 5-7 days of notification of their exposure. If your testing window doesn’t fall on the College’s regular schedule, employees should get a PCR test (not a rapid test) off-site and email the results to .

Building Capacity and Physical Distancing

  • Given the return to a fully in-person campus, we will be operating classrooms, residence halls and dining halls at full capacity.
  • Please maintain a distance whenever possible and take advantage of the outdoors for activities or scheduling events where practical.

Residential and Social Life

  • Indoor social events allowed among Union student, faculty and staff.
  • Union students will be able to visit one another in residence halls, but no non-Union guests will be permitted in residence halls.

Campus Visitor Policy for Spring Term 2022 [Updated 4/21/2022]

  • All campus visitors are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or have a negative COVID test result (PCR or rapid test is acceptable) within 72 hours of the event. While there will be no formal verification when you arrive at Union, we respectfully request this requirement is honored to keep our campus community healthy.
  • Masks will be optional.
  • Visitors are not permitted in the residence halls.
  • Frequent hand washing is recommended and encouraged during your visits.
  • We ask that you do not visit campus if you feel unwell or have COVID-related symptoms.

Off-campus travel

  • Students are permitted to leave campus for social and academic purposes.
  • There are no restrictions on faculty or staff.
  • Students, faculty and staff should follow prudent guidelines when traveling with respect to masking, social distancing and follow up testing upon return to campus.