The campus re-start plan was developed based on guidance from the Governor's Office, the Mohawk Valley Control Room, SUNY System Administration, the Schoharie County Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and other experts.
The core tenets of our plan are:
October 21, 2020
An employee of SUNY Cobleskill has notified campus that they have tested positive for COVID-19. The individual has been in contact with their respective county health department of health, and contract tracing is complete. All areas on campus that the individual was in contact with have been cleaned and sanitized. Thank you to everyone involved and our community's continued support and engagement to promote open communication, effective prevention, and responsible operations.
October 12, 2020
As previously announced, all last week’s pool testing was negative, including expedited testing of students in Dix, Draper, and Pearson performed on Thursday and Friday.
However, after we announced the pause in-person classes and activities, a student who is a resident of the Dix, Draper, Pearson collection area alerted the COVIDtesting@cobleskill on Thursday afternoon that s/he was at home and had just received a positive test result for COVID. The student left campus for home on Friday, October 2, and was symptomatic on Saturday. The Department of Health was alerted, initiated contact tracing, and directed individuals to quarantine as appropriate.
The wastewater testing sample which resulted in our pausing in-person classes last week was taken while the student who tested positive was still on campus. Additional samples of the Dix, Draper, Pearson collection area were taken and delivered to the lab on Friday, October 9. We have not yet received the results but will keep the campus community informed when they are received.
As emphasized in the campus-wide emails last night and this morning, a small number of students who reside in Dix, Draper, Pearson Halls did not participate in testing last week. Those students have been instructed that they cannot return to campus until they provide a negative test result to COVIDtesting@cobleskill.edu.
The management of Covid-19 prevention and testing on campus remains a fluid process, with decisions made through our plan, robust pool, individual, and wastewater testing, and careful and thoughtful consideration of all known factors. The safety of the campus community will always be at the forefront of our decisions and we will continue to keep the campus informed as additional information becomes available.
October 11, 2020
All activities and in-person classes will resume on Monday, October 12th. Enhanced social distancing is no longer in effect for Dix, Draper, and Pearson Halls; however, all members of the campus community are reminded to wear face coverings and to practice social distancing as per campus policy.
Students in Dix, Draper, Pearson Halls who did NOT test cannot return to campus until they provide a negative test to COVIDtesting@cobleskill.edu.
October 8, 2020
Following the evaluation of our most recent wastewater testing samples, an elevated level of indicators associated with COVID has been detected in one of the aggregated samples. There is no cause yet for alarm. The levels detected are low, and they exist in the combined sample of the units. The remainder of the campus tested did not show quantities of a detectable level. Wastewater analysis is an early detection tool that allows campuses to quickly take the next and necessary step to conduct further testing to pinpoint and isolate any COVID positive cases. Every time an individual infected with COVID-19 uses the bathroom, a small amount of the virus sheds into the sewer system's wastewater. The levels detected could be attributed to a small number of cases, either active or in recovery.
In keeping with our campus testing plan, all students in the wastewater collection area with some level of COVID-19 detected, or areas with unknown levels, will be pool tested as soon as possible. Any students unwilling or unable to participate in the follow-up pool testing will be asked to leave the residential halls and provide a current negative COVID-19 test or complete the remainder of the semester through remote instruction.
Out of an abundance of caution and to prioritize and expedite testing, all in-person classes and library services will move to remote instruction starting today at noon Thursday, October 8th, and for Friday, October 9th. The faculty should work with students on individual course plans. All in-person student activities and in-facility dining will resume as testing allows.
Again, we have not had a positive test of individuals, but rather, some early warning detection from wastewater testing. Therefore, we will be conducting the comprehensive testing and will keep the entire Cobleskill community fully informed as we receive the results.
In addition to the aggressive testing of individuals, we need to reiterate the importance of social distancing, handwashing, properly wearing face coverings, reporting of any COVID-like symptoms, and cleaning/disinfection of surfaces.
SUNY Cobleskill encourages you to register for SUNY Cobleskill's NY-Alert with Everbridge, our Emergency Communication System. This is an essential element in SUNY Cobleskill's emergency management. To get started, just click on the link below or paste it into your browser: (Please Note: You will not be asked for your campus credentials - and it is recommended that you do not use your campus credentials when creating this account in the SUNY - Cobleskill's NY-Alert with Everbridge.)
October 2, 2020
SUNY Uniform COVID-19 Sanctioning Policy >>
September 23, 2020
We are thrilled to announce that there were zero positive cases in the first round of COVID pool testing. Over 600 faculty, staff and students were tested. There are still some tests pending so we ask students who live in the affected residence halls to continue to practice enhanced social distancing. An announcement about in-person classes and labs for tomorrow, September 24, will be made later this afternoon.
This news is an indicator that our plan is working as expected. Our best defense is our collective efforts to take care of one another. Please continue to mask up, check your distance, wash your hands, and do your part to keep the campus safe.
September 22, 2020
Following a tremendous response by our students for additional pool testing, we have decided to extend the brief interruption of in-person classes and library services through Wednesday, September 23rd. We anticipate receiving the first round of results by early September 23rd.
We are thrilled that our students have responded so responsibly and want to make sure that any students, faculty, or staff who need or want to participate in pool testing will have the opportunity to do so. Any faculty or staff interested in participating in pool testing will be able to drop-in at the Bouck gymnasium testing site between 8-12 on Wednesday, September 23rd. Testing is precautionary – there are zero positive cases on campus at this time. This brief inconvenience will ensure we can continue our positive progress towards expanding programming and completing a safe and successful fall semester.
Remote classes will continue as usual. Students in face-to-face classes should check their email and/or Moodle for assignments and instructions.
Please remember that the wastewater samples we collect are from the sewage system, and there is no cause for concern or interruption to our campus water system. As always, Cobleskill drinking water is safe and delicious.
September 21, 2020
Following the evaluation of our first wastewater testing samples, an elevated level of indicators associated with COVID has been detected in the aggregate sample of four of our high-rise residential halls out of 10 total halls. There is no cause yet for alarm. The levels detected are low, yet they exists in the combined sample of the four units. The remainder of the campus tested did not show quantities of a detectable level. Wastewater analysis is an early detection tool that allows campuses to quickly take the next and necessary step to conduct further testing to pinpoint and isolate any COVID positive cases. Every time an individual infected with COVID-19 uses the bathroom, a small amount of the virus sheds into the sewer system's wastewater. The levels detected could be attributed to a small number of cases, either active or in recovery.
In keeping with our campus testing plan, all students in the wastewater collection area with some level of COVID-19 detected, or areas with unknown levels, will be pool tested by the end of mid-day tomorrow, Tuesday, September 22nd. Any students unwilling or unable to participate in the follow-up pool testing will be asked to leave the residential halls and provide a current negative COVID-19 test or complete the remainder of the semester through remote instruction.
Out of an abundance of caution and in order to prioritize and expedite testing, all in-person classes and library services will move to remote instruction for Tuesday. The faculty should work with students on individual course plans. All in-person student activities and in facility dining will resume as testing allows.
Again, we have not had a positive test of individuals, but some early warning detection from wastewater testing. We will therefore be conducting the comprehensive testing and will keep the entire Cobleskill community fully informed as we receive the results.
In addition to aggressive testing of individuals, we need to reiterate the importance of social distancing, handwashing, properly wearing face coverings, reporting of any COVID-like symptoms, and cleaning/disinfection of surfaces.
We anticipate expedited results, and more guidance will follow as details become available, and any necessary mitigation efforts move forward. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Vice President of Operations at 518-255-5402.
September 15, 2020
More information about mandatory student testing can be found here.
September 11, 2020
Volunteer Pooled COVID-19 Testing
Would you like to participate in the COVID-19 Pooled Testing? Testing will take place every Tuesday in September from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. View campus flyer >> for details.
For questions, contact Nicole Field at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 4, 2020
President Terenzio's Message To Students >>
August 17, 2020
Requests for use of campus facilities: No requests for external use of campus facilities will be accepted until further notice. All academically related requests for groups of 25 or more or that include requests for external guests must be approved by the School Dean. Dean approved requests will be forwarded to the Office of Campus Events and Conferences.
August 14, 2020
Library Operations Updates >>
Trailways Bus Service Update
Trailways will have bus service for those looking to use the service to come to campus. There will be one bus and it will arrive at the campus on Friday, August 14, 2020, at 6:00 PM. This bus will accommodate students traveling Friday from Long Island and Port Authority. Students from Long Island are advised to book the 9:30 AM departure Friday morning from Babylon. Students leaving Port Authority are advised to book the Friday 2:00 PM departure from Port Authority. These buses will merge and depart in Albany at 5:15 PM with an arrival time to the campus of 6:00 pm Friday evening. Students using the bus service must wear a mask for the duration of the trip.
August 6, 2020
If you have a health concern about wearing a mask, accommodations may be provided. Please contact the AccessABILITY Resources Office at 518-255-5282 or email@example.com for more information.
August 5, 2020
Bills are now available in your Banner Web account and are due on August 14th. Financial planning for college can be daunting. Monthly payment plans are available in Banner Web under the “Billing and Payments” section of the Student Services Menu.
July 20, 2020
There will be no conference contests or championships in any Fall 2020 sport. Please refer to our athletics page for more information.
July 20, 2020
"You will receive an email announcement when your fall bill is available to be viewed in Banner Web under Billing and Payments. Bills will NOT be mailed. Monthly payment plans will be available when bills are viewable."
Revised course schedules shared with students
Residential students will receive their date and time to move in 5 Days before coming to campus: All students complete a pre-arrival screening
Fall semester bills will be available after this date.
You will receive an email announcement when your fall bill is available to be viewed in Banner Web under Billing and Payments. Bills will NOT be mailed. Monthly payment plans will be available when bills are viewable.
Fall bills are due
No fall break
In-person instruction ends
Classes resume online
(Extended semester ends, if necessary)
A "Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy" has been adopted by the campus. Anyone on campus – faculty, staff, student, volunteer,
visitor, contractor, or vendor – or anyone engaged in college-related business, either
on or off-campus, will comply with the College's social distancing policy and use
PPE, and surveillance testing attestation protocols.
All employees are expected to read and understand the campus policies, which will be posted later this week on the campus website at https://www.cobleskill.edu/about/leadership/campus-policies/index.aspx.
Visitors to campus will be limited for the foreseeable future.
Below is the Pledge that students are required to affirm.
I agree to do my part to keep SUNY Cobleskill and the local community in good health. I understand I have a role in the fight against COVID-19 and commit to responsible actions as an accountable member of the Cobleskill community. I will uphold the SUNY Cobleskill student code of conduct and the COVID-19 policies by demonstrating personal integrity, respecting others, and supporting the campus community by:
Following the most current public health and College guidelines to help protect myself and others. This includes limiting my interactions with others and following social distancing requirements by remaining six feet away from others. Please review the social distancing policy here: https://www.cobleskill.edu/about/leadership/campus-policies/pdfs/Social%20Distancing%20and%20Face%20Covering%20COVID-19%20Policy.pdf
Protecting myself and others in high-traffic areas of campus or situations where physical distancing isn’t possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a face covering while in the space with any other individual(s) or if I cannot remain six feet apart. I will wear a face covering during in-person classes and trainings. Keeping my hands clean and sanitized. Adhering to capacity limits in social situations to prevent high-spread scenarios.
Adhering to the 14-day quarantine, as outlined by the Governor of NY (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-205-quarantine-restrictions-travelers-arriving-new-york), if I live in or recently spent time in a state listed. Here is the link for restricted states, which is subject to change: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.
Adhering to COVID-19 related guidelines as per course syllabi.
If I am a residential student, upholding the Terms and Conditions of residency, paying attention to new protocols regarding COVID-19.
If I am a student athlete, abiding by all NCAA, NAC, and College guidelines outlining safety.
Following department of health and College policies should I need to be quarantined or isolated due to possibly being exposed or contracting COVID-19.
Seeking clarification from appropriate College staff and faculty regarding any questions I may have regarding appropriate protocols around safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Modifying my actions and encouraging others to do the same as guidelines and recommendations adapt over time.
Pool testing has been implemented. This approach was developed and validated by SUNY Upstate Medical
University's laboratory, and will use saliva samples, pooled in batches as small as
10 and as large as 25 samples.
Participation in pool testing is mandatory for any students who live on campus or who are taking on-campus courses and/or using campus facilities.
A wastewater/sewerage testing system is being utilized to monitor for COVID-19. If there are changes in baseline tests, then as feasible, we may conduct pooled testing in impacted areas.
“Event” testing of symptomatic individuals will be performed at the campus Wellness Center and/or at Cobleskill Regional Hospital.
PPE, including disposable masks, gloves when necessary, and cleaning supplies, will be made available for employees and, where necessary, visitors. An office may request the facial coverings from the Director of Emergency Management. Employees may use their own facial coverings as long as they are of an acceptable classification.
Employees who fail to adhere to the wearing of a facial covering, as outlined in the policy, will be subject to disciplinary action per their bargaining unit's contract. Should an employee have a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a facial covering, accommodations will be made to the extent possible.
Cleaning supplies (hand sanitizer, disinfectant, etc.) will be provided for use with shared equipment and objects.
All employees are required to complete a symptom checker each day they are on campus. Digital, paper, and in-person processes will be utilized to ask individuals if he/she has:
Should an employee be experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, then they are to remain or return home and monitor their symptoms; they will be encouraged to be tested at a local healthcare facility and await results before returning to work.
The Cobleskill Auxiliary Services (CAS) is implementing daily screening of employees as they arrive to work (questionnaire and temperature taking.) Employees exhibiting or acknowledging symptoms will be required to return home.
If an employee tests positive, they will remain at home in isolation until cleared to return to work by their local Health Department. Their work area will be disinfected, proper notifications made, and reports made to the appropriate entities.
Faculty and staff who travel to restricted states will be required to quarantine at home or at an off- campus location for 14 days before returning to campus. New York State requires that anyone traveling from a restricted area complete the NYS Traveler Health Form.
Students will be provided an initial supply of face coverings. Students that interact
with animals will also receive gloves. Students are expected to adhere to the social
distancing and face-covering policy, including when in the residence halls. (See "Residential
Living" for more details.)
An electronic screening checklist will be sent to students prior to their arrival day. All positive screens will need to show proof of testing and be free of symptoms as documented by a medical professional upon arrival. Residential students will be screened upon arrival prior to being permitted to occupy their room. See "Move-In Process" below for additional details.
After arrival day, testing will be performed at Cobleskill Regional Hospital, based on referrals from the campus Wellness Center, for symptomatic students.
Monitoring of student symptoms will be implemented by requiring students to answer a brief symptom questionnaire.
As a precautionary measure, prior to arriving to live in the residence halls, the College is requesting all residential students to self-quarantine for seven days before coming to campus. This is not a mandate but will assist the College with monitoring and contact tracing.
Students traveling to campus from restricted states will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Such students will be housed in a residence hall set aside for this purpose. All quarantine protocols will be followed as outlined in SUNY Cobleskill’s approved re-opening plan.
Each student traveling to campus from a restricted area is required to complete the online health form as required by New York State which can be found here: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Welcome-to-New-York-State-Traveler-Health-Form within 24 hours of arrival on campus. The student will take a screen shot of the last page and submit a copy to the campus Wellness Center.
In the event that a residential student tests positive for COVID-19, the campus will consult and follow the guidance of local health departments in order to stop the spread.
Quarantine (those suspected of having COVID19) will take place in a designated residence hall that has been taken offline for residential students, and isolation (for those diagnosed with COVID19) will take place in an Alumni Commons Town Home. Pending directives of the Local Health Department, the College may quarantine students to their respective residential rooms while awaiting test results.
A Case Manager will coordinate students' needs in quarantine and isolation with a cadre of staff assistants. Coordination includes, but is not limited to, Wellness appointments and well-being checks, academic assistance (tutoring services via CASE), food service delivery via dining services, and online engagement programming.
The Local Health Department will coordinate outreach to commuter students in quarantine. Case Manager and Commuter Student Liaison will provide support to students regarding academics and engagement programming for commuter students.
Contact tracing will be performed by the Schoharie County Department of Health, in cooperation with the campus. Several staff members have been trained in contact tracing and will work with Human Resources (for employees) and the Wellness Center (for students) to supplement contact tracing if needed and requested by the Schoharie County Department of Health.
An Everbridge smartphone app is being tested and will soon be available to faculty, staff and students. It will allow voluntary self-reporting of a positive diagnosis and provide a means to inform individuals who are also using the app if the self-reporting individual’s mobile device may have been in close contact with others’ mobile devices.
Should an employee or student test positive for COVID-19, the following process will be used to clean affected areas.
Faculty and Staff
Employees are required to complete a "Return to Work" course developed by HR, including social distancing requirements, personal hygiene, and training on how to don and doff a mask properly. The course is available at https://moodle.cobleskill.edu/course/view.php?id=19254.
Meetings should be held virtually, using Microsoft Teams or another online platform,
as much as possible. Face-to-face meetings should only be held when social distancing
is possible. Attendance should be limited, and face coverings used.
Drop-in visits to offices are highly discouraged; appointments should be made to assist in limiting office density.
Employee travel will generally be limited to Advancement and Enrollment Management trips only for the first semester. Other special circumstances, including for externally funded research projects, will be reviewed by the Vice President of the employee requesting the use of a vehicle. All employees will be required to complete a form attesting to following safety, cleaning, and proper maintenance protocol while in possession of the vehicle. A checklist will be provided that employees will complete at the end of their trip. For approved trips using campus vehicles, Facilities Management will carefully clean each vehicle after use, using appropriate CDC guidelines.
Transportation for students will be implemented in two phases. Phase 2 will include academic field trips and co-curricular activities. We will assess the effectiveness of Phase 1 and determine if, when, and how we move to Phase 2. See below under "Extracurricular Activities" for additional details.
The College does not run an on-campus shuttle. The county bus service (Schoharie County Public Transportation (https://ridescpt.com/), which serves the campus, has implemented the following procedures:
The Academic Calendar has been adjusted as follows
The Terms and Conditions (T&C) of Residence Hall Occupancy are being revised, and all students will be required to affirm the conditions. These revisions will be in addition to the code of conduct for students to remain enrolled. Enhancements will include:
Special Considerations for students with health concerns:
Provisions have been made to house students should it become necessary to implement quarantine or isolation procedures.
CAS will be operating and will provide food service to all students and employees. Initially, the following locations will be open: Prentice, Twisted Whiskers, and Farm Fresh Café. Limited seating will be available; pre-orders for takeout will be available through a new app being launched by CAS.
There will be no conference contests or championships in any Fall 2020 sport. Please refer to our athletics page for more information.
Each office will coordinate with Facilities Management to assess their individual staffing capacity to comply with the social distancing policy and submit plans for administrative approval. Each plan is to account for maximum capacity at any given time, considering space restrictions.
Work will be accomplished remotely and using technology as much as possible to reduce campus density, following the continuity plans and protocols established during our highly effective and successful remote work program instituted in March. For situations that do not allow for technology use, individualized meetings will be set up where proper protocol will be used (PPE, social distancing, etc.). These activities include new hire on-boarding, training, requested meetings, etc.
Offices that require in-person operations, but have the inability to properly social distance, will use alternating work schedules or adjust schedules to stagger times in the office.
Individuals considered to be part of an at-risk population will be allowed to telecommute for as long as possible, as long as telecommuting is successful. If telecommuting is not successful, the employee and supervisor will work out a schedule and assignment that is mutually beneficial for as long as feasible.
For any necessary in-person interactions, appointments should be made. Drop-in visits are highly discouraged.
Routine cleaning shall be continued according to custodial departmental standards and includes actions such as:
Frequently touched surfaces in common use areas of occupied buildings are cleaned and disinfected daily by the custodial department using a disinfectant listed on EPA's List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Examples of frequently touched surfaces include:
Cleaning and disinfection logs listing the date, time, location, scope of cleaning and name of person cleaning will be maintained. Custodial employee cleaning guidance is available at:
Upon notification of the first confirmed positive student case, the campus will begin serious discussions about shutting down. Our limited quarantine and isolation space can rapidly be depleted. Guidance will be sought from the local health department and System Administration.
Should the campus move to remote operations:
A plan has been developed if the campus should need to close early for COVID-19 related reasons. A similar process to spring move-out will be used. Details will be shared as necessary.
Faculty and staff with questions about this plan should consult with their respective cabinet member.
Further details and links to materials referenced in this plan will be shared with the campus community as soon as they are available.