Mark Parisi, director of counseling and health services, sent the following weekly COVID-19 update to students on February 12, 2021:
We had eight students and zero employees report positive COVID-19 test results this week, bringing our total of cases for the spring semester to 66. Please note that the total includes test results from some time ago that have been self-reported since the start of the semester. They are not always recent or active cases. As a reminder, you can find the tally of positive COVID-19 cases on campus by viewing our COVID-19 Dashboard. It will be updated as new cases are reported.
Increased sample testing: This semester, we are increasing our weekly sample testing efforts. We will now randomly select 10% of our on-campus population (both undergraduate and graduate students and employees) for testing each week. This is an increase from last semester, when we tested 1% to 2% of our student population on campus weekly. The testing will be conducted using a non-invasive technique involving a saliva sample. If you are having COVID-19 testing done, be sure to not drink or eat anything a half hour before your testing appointment.
Students and employees who were selected for the first round of surveillance testing received an email yesterday and need to be sure they sign up for a testing time by Sunday at noon.
CDC updated guidance on mask use: The CDC is now recommending using two masks or tying the ear loops on disposable surgical masks to maximize the effectiveness of the masks in preventing the transmission of COVID-19. They believe this may be especially helpful in protecting people from transmitting the new variants of COVID-19, which appear to be more contagious. Here is a video demonstrating how to tie the ear loops. As for Saint Rose, you are not required to wear two masks, but you must continue to wear at least one mask in order to comply with our COVID-19 policies.
An important reminder: All undergraduate and graduate students who plan to be on campus for any reason this semester must send a negative COVID-19 test result to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who have not submitted results will be restricted from campus. ID card access to campus buildings will remain off until test results are submitted. Students who do not plan to come to campus for any reason this semester should submit this testing waiver to email@example.com, and they will not have access to campus buildings.
Daily Symptoms Tracker: Remember to complete the Symptoms Tracker form that appears on your To-Do list in the Navigate app every day.
Reporting positive COVID-19 results: Please remember, we are asking all students who seek off-campus COVID-19 testing and receive a POSITIVE result to email your test result to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 vaccine: It is important to be vigilant regarding scams being perpetrated around COVID-19 vaccination. Given the current issue with the limited supply of available vaccines, scammers are taking advantage and advertising fraudulent offers to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in an effort to steal personal information and/or collect money. Beware of these scams. To learn more about all types of COVID-19 related fraud, see the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services webpage. To find the most current information on the status of legitimate COVID-19 vaccine availability in New York. See vaccine updates.
A common question: If I’m vaccinated do I need to wear a mask? The answer is yes. According to the CDC, “People wear masks and avoid close contact with others to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. … We also don’t yet know whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. CDC will continue to update (the public) as we learn more.” For this same reason, individuals who have been vaccinated are still required to participate in our surveillance testing.
New York updated quarantine guidance for vaccinated people: Governor Cuomo yesterday announced that New York will adopt the CDC’s updated guidance that eliminates the requirement for fully vaccinated individuals to quarantine after confirmed or suspected exposure to COVID-19. According to that guidance individuals can forego quarantine if they are exposed to someone infected with COVID-19 if at least two weeks, but not more than three months, have passed since they received their second dose of vaccine. Click here for the CDC’s updated guidance (it’s located about halfway down the page under the heading “Public health recommendations for vaccinated persons”). Click here to read the state’s announcement. Vaccinated individuals should still wear masks and social distance. We have asked for clarification about whether this updated policy also impacts individuals subject to quarantine because of the state’s travel advisory, and we will update you when we receive more information.
Treatment at Health Services: For any non-urgent medical issue, students can call 518.454.5244 or email email@example.com for assistance, and their cases will be triaged by our LPN or nurse practitioners. Based on the presenting concerns, the triage outcome may lead to a telehealth or in-person appointment with the nurse practitioner.
Treatment at the Counseling and Psychological Services Center: Students may be experiencing emotional distress in response to the impact of the pandemic on their daily lives. Please call our center at 518.454.5200 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a counselor through a phone or Zoom session.
More COVID-19 information: You can find the most current COVID-19 information on the CDC’s COVID-19 webpage. You can always call the New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus Hotline at 888.364.3065 and ask any question you have regarding COVID-19.
You can view COVID-19 data for the Capital Region (and by county) on the New York State Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard.
New York State has put out a new COVID-19 contact tracing app that you can download to your phone. This app will be used to help notify you if you have been in close contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.
As always, if you have any concerns or questions, please contact the College’s Health Services at 518.454.5244 or email@example.com.
Director of Counseling and Health Services