Increased COVID-19 cases and on-going surveillance testing

February 15, 2021

Great Dane:

This past Friday, we asked students living in on-campus residence halls and apartments to participate in an additional COVID-19 surveillance test. We took this necessary step in response to increased rates of positive tests over the course of the previous several days. We received over 3,000 samples on Friday – thanks to those of you who submitted your sample! The response rate was very good.

Friday’s additional surveillance test identified 43 resident students as being presumptively positive for COVID-19. We have been in contact with those students whose surveillance test came back as positive and their close contacts, and are working to provide the necessary support to limit further spread of the virus.

While the positive rate for this additional test is consistent with the average rate for on-campus students for the previous four days, it is above what is a sustainable level for the campus. As such, it is imperative that all students strictly adhere to required COVID-19 safety measures, especially avoiding all social gatherings, wearing masks and limiting time spent off campus so that the University can avoid having to take further restrictive actions.

Submitting weekly surveillance tests will help us maintain in-person courses and activities. I am so grateful to our resident students who responded quickly on Friday to submit an additional surveillance test. Please plan to submit your regular weekly surveillance test again this week, and every week for the balance of the semester. The schedule for submitting your sample is available on the Surveillance Testing webpage.

Please continue to wear your mask, keep at least six feet apart from others, avoid social gatherings, limit the amount of time spent off campus and practice good hand hygiene. In the Campus Center, please keep your masks on whenever you are not eating or drinking, and limit two individuals per table at all times. Additionally, in the University Libraries, please wear your masks at all times and follow distancing policies.

Should you have any questions, please call the University’s COVID-19 Hotline at 518-442-2683 or email the Dean of Students Office at [email protected].

Thank you for continuing to do everything you can to keep our community safe!

Sincerely,

Clarence McNeill

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students