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These plans are based on federal, state, and local regulations and guidance that we have at this time, as well as public health recommendations.

As the situation with COVID-19 is fluid, they are subject to change. If you have questions, reach out to humanresources@strose.edu.

The following guidelines should be followed by all employees at the College:

Booster mandate and deadline

On January 19, the College announced that it will mandate the booster for all students and employees by June 30, 2022, if they are eligible to receive it. Students will not be able to enroll for the Fall 2022 semester if they have not met this requirement. Based on data from clinical trials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health are strongly encouraging those eligible to get a booster. According to the NYSDOH, a booster dose helps everyone to “maximize their protection, prolong the vaccine’s durability and continue to safeguard our communities against the virus.”

Those who have already been granted medical/religious COVID-19 vaccine exemptions will continue to be exempt. Employees who have already received their booster dose should send a photo of their vaccine card to hrtesting@strose.edu. The College will not grant exemptions for the booster requirement if the student/employee had already received the initial vaccination series unless the student/employee provides a note from a doctor providing a medical reason for not getting the booster dose.

Already, all new students and employees are required, like the rest of our population, to be fully vaccinated (which is currently defined as the first and second doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the J&J vaccine) unless they are granted a religious or medical exemption. (Those requests are made to healthservices@strose.edu). Students who did not comply with the vaccine requirement – aside from those who were granted a medical or religious exemption – were not able to register for Spring 2022 courses.

At this time, 97% of our employees and 95% of our students are considered fully vaccinated.

On-campus booster clinics

If you are currently eligible to receive your COVID-19 booster dose, please do so now. The CDC reports that the booster increases immune response in recipients and offers significantly improved protection from being infected with COVID-19, spreading the virus, and having a severe case.

We will hold booster clinics on January 20, February 3, and March 3 from 10 a.m. to noon and April 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Daniel P. Nolan Gymnasium. Use this link to sign up for either booster clinic. Find information about when you are eligible for your booster dose here. If you attended a previous on-campus vaccination clinic, you are eligible for one of these booster clinic dates.

Please let us know if you have already been boosted by an outside provider. Current CDC guidelines exempt those who have received their booster dose from quarantine if they are direct contacts with someone who has tested positive. For the College to begin planning for the updated quarantine protocols, it is essential that we know who has been boosted. Please email your booster status to HRtesting@strose.edu.

VACCINE EXEMPTIONS

Just as with the MMR vaccine requirement for students, students and employees can apply for a health or religious exemption. Employees can send their documentation of their full vaccination or their health exemption form or religious exemption form to hrcovid@strose.edu or contact the College’s Health Services with questions on exemptions. This video from Dr. Mark Parisi, director of counseling and health services, addresses some common vaccination questions.

MASKS

Effective March 7, masks will no longer be required to be worn indoors in Saint Rose buildings. This means that when students and faculty begin classes after mid-winter break, masks will no longer be required in classes, events, or meetings. Of course, you may still wear a mask in classrooms or anywhere on campus if that is your preference. Please note, wearing a mask continues to be a required part of the quarantine process should you become infected or are exposed to COVID-19. If employees or students have medical issues that would necessitate others wearing a mask in a classroom or other setting, employees should contact Human Resources and students should contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities.

The CDC recommends that indoor masking be reinstated should community levels of COVID-19 reach high levels. We will notify you should the Albany County designation change (currently medium) and appreciate your cooperation if the College needs to revisit the mask policy.

DAILY HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE

The NYS Health Commissioner has designated COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk to public health. Based on that designation, on Monday, the Governor declared that NYS employers should enact the provisions of the NYS HERO Act. With that declaration, NYS employers are required to implement their Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plans.

The College’s plan was approved in August and communicated to all employees on September 1. A copy of the plan is attached to this email and is also posted on the Human Resources Office SharePoint site.

Much of the plan reflects exposure prevention measures that the College implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and that continue to be in effect today. However, in June 2021, the College discontinued the email-based daily COVID health screen when that process was no longer required by NYS. As the College’s Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan includes the daily health screen as a required control measure, the health screen will be re-activated. As in the past, each employee will be prompted by email early each work day to provide responses to the screening questions. Employees not responding to the early morning prompt will receive an email reminder at approximately 10 a.m. The Human Resources Office staff will review the daily responses and will follow up with employees, who report a COVID exposure and/or symptoms.

If you have any questions about the College’s Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan or about the daily COVID health screen, please feel free to contact me at ext. 5374 or via email.

RETURNING TO WORK ON CAMPUS

Beginning in Spring 2020, the College transitioned to a service model that was consistent with the requirements and best practices for minimizing exposure to COVID-19. While the COVID pandemic continues to impact our lives, vaccination and other public health initiatives have limited transmission rates and significantly decreased the positivity rates locally and statewide.

Given the positive developments regarding the COVID pandemic, which are reflected in CDC guidelines and lifting of restrictions by NYS and federal governments to “re-open” restaurants, stores, entertainment venues and the like, the College will resume an in-person service model.

We want, and need, our students to return to on-campus learning and living in order to provide them the full college experience. Part of the college experience is interacting with others face-to-face for conversation and to have questions answered.

On August 9, 2021, the College will resume in-person staffing to fully meet the needs of the College’s current and future students and employees. During the past year, you met many challenges with new ways of working together and, as an institution, we will continue to explore the best practices for providing service excellence to our students and colleagues.

To begin the transition, all department heads will develop a departmental staffing model for their departments, which ensures consistent staffing for in-person service to students as well as full office hours. The model must meet the objectives of providing timely communication, consistent service excellence, and effective change management.

The expectation is that students and colleagues will be able to access services in the manner that best meets their needs, whether in-person, on the phone, or via email.

For the significant majority of employees, staffing to meet this commitment to students and colleagues will require work to be conducted on-campus. However, department heads, with the approval of their vice presidents and the Human Resources Office, may permit employees to work remotely. Vice presidents may approve an off-campus work arrangement for one academic semester, if it meets the following criteria:

1. The arrangement does not negatively impact the department’s ability to meet the above-stated objectives; provides in-person, phone, and email service options, and maintains full office hours.

2. The employee approved for the arrangement continues to meet all expectations for job performance.

3. The employee works, at least, three days per week on-campus.

4. The employee agrees to alter their remote work arrangement and work on campus, if required by the department head. For example, this may be necessary if an event requires full department staffing or a project requires all staff working in person. A request to deviate from an approved remote work plan would typically involve advance notice to the employee.

5. The employee agrees to return to daily reporting to campus, if departmental needs change, to ensure that the department’s operational objectives are met.

Department heads with employees seeking to work full-time at home should utilize the process in the Telecommuting Policy for consideration of these arrangements.

Questions about the Department Protocol, remote work assignments, or telecommuting should be directed to the Human Resources Office.

IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE COVID-19

If an employee has any type of illness, the socially responsible course of action is to stay home to avoid spreading the illness to colleagues.

Visit this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for a current list of symptoms. Consider using the Self Checker link, a CDC guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care. The CDC indicates it will continue to update the list of symptoms as it learns more about the COVID-19 virus.

If an employee suspects that they have been exposed to COVID-19, they should:

quarantine and CONTACT TRACING

Contact tracing:

The College follows the recommendations of Albany County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health, which are aligned with current CDC guidelines. As these evolve, the College’s protocols may change.

As the pandemic becomes part of our lives, we each need to take personal responsibility for our vaccination and COVID status, and whether we have been exposed or have exposed someone else to the virus. The most protective measure you can take for your health and others is to be fully vaccinated and boosted.

Given the high number of cases across the country at this time, the CDC has recommended a prioritization model for contact tracing. We will continue to work with those who test positive on their isolation procedures and assist them in how to identify and notify personal direct contacts. This may not include classes, unless it is determined that circumstances in a particular course may pose a higher level of risk. Testing is available to anyone who may have been exposed, and the sign-up link will be readily available in the weekly update emails from Mark Parisi, director of counseling and health services, each Friday.

Quarantine protocols:

IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 (NO MATTER WHAT YOUR VACCINATION STATUS IS)

  • You should isolate for 5 days, counting the first day of your symptoms or, if you are asymptomatic, the day your positive test sample is collected as Day 0.
  • If you show no symptoms (asymptomatic) at the end of 5 days or if symptoms are resolving, isolation ends and you must wear a well-fitting mask (or double mask) while around others for an additional 5 days.
  • Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised should isolate for 10 days and follow this longer isolation guidance from the CDC.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SOMEONE WITH COVID-19

If you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, the following protocols apply. Please read carefully as they are different depending on your vaccination status and whether you have had COVID in the past 90 days.

For those who are fully vaccinated and have received the booster dose at least 2 weeks before the first date of exposure:

  • No quarantine is required, but you should wear a well-fitting mask (or double mask) while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
  • If possible, it is recommended you test at Day 5 with either a PCR test or antigen test. The testing link will be sent each Friday in the weekly email from the College’s Director of Health Services, Dr. Mark Parisi.
  • If symptoms appear, you should quarantine and immediately seek testing through the College’s Health Services. You can end quarantine if your test result is negative. If you receive a positive test result, you should follow isolation recommendations for those who have tested positive, counting your onset of symptoms as Day 0.

For those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, regardless of vaccination status:

  • No quarantine is required, but you should wear a well-fitting mask (or double mask) while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure.
  • If possible, it is recommended you test at Day 5 with either a PCR test or antigen test. The testing link will be sent each Friday in the weekly email from the College’s Director of Health Services, Dr. Mark Parisi.
  • If symptoms appear, you should quarantine and immediately seek testing through the College’s Health Services. You can end quarantine if your test result is negative. If you receive a positive test result, you should follow isolation recommendations for those who have tested positive, counting your onset of symptoms as Day 0.

For those who have been fully vaccinated and are eligible for but have not received a booster dose:

  • Quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask (or double mask) while around others for an additional 5 days.
  • If possible, it is recommended you test at Day 5 with either a PCR test or antigen test. The testing link will be sent each Friday in the weekly email from the College’s Director of Health Services, Dr. Mark Parisi.
  • If symptoms appear, you should quarantine and immediately seek testing through the College’s Health Services. You can end quarantine if your test result is negative. If you receive a positive test result, you should follow isolation recommendations for those who have tested positive, counting your onset of symptoms as Day 0.

For those who are not fully vaccinated:

  • Quarantine for 5 days and wear a well-fitting mask (or double mask) while around others for an additional 5 days.
  • If possible, it is recommended you test at Day 5 with either a PCR test or antigen test. The testing link will be sent each Friday in the weekly email from the College’s Director of Health Services, Dr. Mark Parisi.
  • If symptoms appear, you should quarantine and immediately seek testing through the College’s Health Services. You can end quarantine if your test result is negative. If you receive a positive test result, you should follow isolation recommendations for those who have tested positive, counting your onset of symptoms as Day 0.

Eating and drinking:

If you are in any of the described quarantine periods above, you should not eat or drink in the presence of others, including in our on-campus dining facilities. Please utilize the takeout options and do not drink or consume food while others are present.

Interacting with students

Reporting if students say they’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or are quarantining or isolating: All reports of students who say they have tested positive or are quarantining or isolating should be sent to Jen Richardson at richardj@strose.edu. If the College has been notified of a student’s need to quarantine, you will be notified through the dean, Student Development, or Health Services. If you are uncertain of a student’s status, please contact Jen Richardson. We can confirm if a student is quarantined. However, due to privacy regulations, whether an individual has tested positive or is fully vaccinated will not be shared.

Do not ask for proof of vaccination:
At no point should an employee ask a student or another employee for proof of vaccination. Conversations about vaccination and exemptions are individual, personal, and between that person and Health Services or Human Resources. Clinical and student teaching placements are being handled through a separate process.

Symptomatic individuals and testing at the College: We are asking all students and employees not to come to campus if they have any symptoms and to isolate until they have a negative result on a PCR COVID test. Any student or employee can be tested through Health Services. We are doing rapid and PCR tests, which take a minimum of 48 hours. This is a key way of minimizing the spread of the virus. Most of the students are quarantined upon our request out of an abundance of caution. Once we receive their negative PCR COVID test, they can return to class and campus life. We understand that this is going to lead to more students and employees with reports of absence due to illness; however, this is a critical aspect of our ability to remain in person.

WORKPLACE HYGIENE AND CLEANING

The College’s responsibilities for hygiene and cleaning include:

  • Adhering to hygiene and sanitation requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
  • Cleaning and sanitizing offices, classrooms, common areas, and restrooms on a daily and as-needed basis. Higher traffic will be cleaned more frequently.
  • Providing additional hand sanitizer stations for employees.
  • Providing sanitizing spray and towels in classrooms and meeting rooms.

Employee responsibilities for hygiene and cleaning include:

  • Washing their hands frequently.
  • Covering their face for a sneeze or cough.
  • Not coming to work when sick.
  • Wearing a mask inside College buildings if you are unvaccinated. Not sharing equipment such as phones, tools, keyboards, writing instruments.
  • At employee discretion, considering sanitizing/disinfecting personal use work items such as their phone, desk, keyboard, high-touch areas, etc. on a daily basis. Each department will be provided with cleaning supplies for this purpose.

VISITORS ON CAMPUS

For now, with the exception of Admissions and Clinic operations, departments that will have visitors on campus still must require the visitor to complete an online health questionnaire on the date of their visit. (Admissions and the Clinic have their own screening forms and procedures). Unless invited by a College department, a campus visitor should not access this link independently. Invited visitors will be required to provide responses to the following questions:

  • Name
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Department in which they are visiting
  • Have you tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Have you been exposed to a person, who tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Do you have any symptoms of COVID-19?

Departments will be notified of visitor responses. If the visitor does not complete this questionnaire prior to their visit or indicates “Yes” to any of the COVID-19 related questions, they will not be allowed on campus. Human Resources should be notified immediately at 518.337.4858 if a visitor responds “Yes” at any time.

If a department wishes to use the visitor system, please email humanresources@strose.edu as soon as possible. With your request, please provide the department name as it should appear in the system dropdown list and the email address of the department employee who will receive and review responses.

COVID-19 TESTING FACILITIES APPROVED BY THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Employees can be tested for COVID-19 by appointment by NYSDOH as follows:

NYSDOH Testing Hotline: 888.364.3065
Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center (if no transportation available): 518.465.4771
Colonie Rite Aid, 1800 Central Avenue, Albany: riteaid.com
Priority One Urgent Care: 2080 Western Avenue, Guilderland, 518.867.8040

COVID-19 TESTING FOLLOW-UP REQUIREMENTS

In the event of positive test results, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) will contact the local health department in the county where the employee resides and the local DOH will call or mail the employee (within 4 days) quarantine requirements and tracing orders.

Employees with a positive diagnosis must provide all updates to Human Resources. Human Resources will consult with the employee regarding their return to work on campus. See Policy for Employees Unable to Work Due to Pandemic (COVID).

As always, in the event of an emergency situation, call the Saint Rose Department of Safety and Security at 518.454.5187, or call your local emergency facility. Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

NYS Department of Health info on COVID Testing Hotline and information
Albany County Department of – COVID Basic Information
Albany County Department of Health – COVID Testing and Exposure Reporting Information
Albany County DOH- Make Your Own Face Covering
CDC List of COVID Symptoms
CDC- How to Protect Yourself, What To Do If You Are Sick