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The following is the weekly Health Services update for December 10 from Mark Parisi, director of counseling and health services:

Dear students,

Before you head home for the holidays, we are offering pre-holiday COVID-19 testing. On Wednesday and Thursday (December 15 and 16), Health Services will offer our regular surveillance testing (not rapid) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Saint Joseph Hall Auditorium. Test results will be received by Thursday night, December 16. On Friday, December 17, Health Services will offer rapid testing in Saint Joseph Hall Auditorium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The results from these rapid tests are available within 15 minutes of completing the test. All these tests are for students and employees who do not have any symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should reach out to healthservices@strose.edu or covidresults@strose.edu to request the link to testing in Health Services; students can also call Health Services at 518.454.5244 for a provider visit.

Find the sign-up link for Non-Rapid COVID-19 Testing here.

Find the sign-up link for Rapid COVID-19 Testing here.

COVID cases: This week, we had 4 students and 0 employees report a positive COVID-19 test. The total number of cases currently considered to be active is 8. The COVID-19 Dashboard is updated as new cases arise, and you can view it at any time.

The Omicron variant: The emergence of the Omicron variant and speculation regarding its infectiousness and its ability to cause severe illness has been in the news lately. Scientists do not have a significant amount of data regarding this variant yet but the current knowledge base supports continuing to utilize all the safety protocols you have been practicing to minimize your risk of infection with any variant of COVID-19. This includes receiving the COVID-19 vaccine as well as a booster when eligible, mask-wearing and hand washing. Please explore the CDC’s website to find the most current information related to the Omicron variant.

COVID-19 booster dose changes to eligibility: NYS is encouraging people 18 years and older to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Read here about the expanded criteria regarding who is now eligible to receive a booster dose and consider receiving a booster dose.

Event guidelines: As the nation reopened during the pandemic, guidance about what is advised in public spaces, such as mask wearing, became murky. This includes confusion on our campus. We want to hold events and activities so we can enjoy a sense of community, we just need to do it safely and with clear, widely understood expectations.

The event policy that can be found here should clarify College requirements. In short: Enjoy events but wear masks indoors, except under specific exceptions outlined in the policy. Of course, the pandemic is fluid and policies may change as circumstances evolve.

Sexual wellness kits: Be sure to pick up your complimentary sexual wellness kit! You can pick one up in the Counseling Center or Health Services or Student Development in the EAC.

Children and the COVID-19 vaccine:  Everyone ages 5 and older is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.  View the CDC’s website detailing which age groups are eligible for which brand of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Your COVID-19 vaccination card: For those that are still waiting to receive their second vaccine dose or may be eligible for a booster vaccine dose, remember to bring your original vaccination card showing either your first dose or the completed two-dose series in order for the vaccination site to add the additional dose to your card. If you have lost your card, you can request a replacement. The CDC’s webpage on vaccination cards has helpful information on how to replace a lost card as well as other ways to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

Reporting positive COVID test results: Please remember if you are tested for COVID-19 off campus, you need to report POSITIVE test results to covidresults@strose.edu.

Mandatory testing: Students who are not fully vaccinated – you are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your second dose of the vaccine ­– regardless of exemption status are required to participate in mandatory testing. You will be notified each week to sign up for testing the following week. If you have not provided documentation of your full vaccination status and are not seeking an exemption, you will have a hold placed on your account preventing you from registering for Spring 2022 classes until we receive that information.

If you desire testing for COVID-19: COVID-19 testing is available through Health Services, and you should call 518.454.5244 or email healthservices@strose.edu.

Required documentation: Please remember to send your vaccine card and your test results to covidresults@strose.edu. If you still need to find a vaccination site, here are the local options available.

COVID Emotional Support Hotline: The New York State Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 844.863.9314.

Reporting possible exposure: Please remember if you have been exposed to anyone that has tested positive for COVID-19, or you suspect you may have been exposed but are unsure, email covidresults@strose.edu to notify the College and discuss your particular situation so we can best advise you on how to proceed. Remember, this directive applies whether the positive case is affiliated with Saint Rose or not.

Treatment at Health Services: For any non-urgent medical issue, students can call 518.454.5244 or email healthservices@strose.edu 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. The Health Center will be open for student appointments starting Monday, August 30.

Treatment at the Counseling 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 counseling@strose.edu. Students can speak with a counselor through a phone session, Zoom session, or in-person session. The Counseling Center is located on the third floor of Saint Joseph Hall.

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 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 healthservices@strose.edu.

Sincerely,

Mark Parisi
Director of Counseling and Health Services