Dear members of the campus community,
This afternoon, we received results of the pooled testing we did earlier this week, accounting for about a third of our residential students and dozens of commuter/off-campus students. The results came back negative.
This is great news! It is also a reminder how good hygiene practices help us keep COVID-19 from spreading.
First, everyone must continue to wear masks at all times while on campus, in the community and any other public places they visit. Masks should only be removed when an individual is alone, in a private room or office. Even outdoors, people should continue to wear masks when they could be in the presence of other people or walking near others.
Properly wearing a mask means covering your nose, as well as your mouth.
Second, we fully expect to do further testing in the coming weeks and months. We have wastewater testing in place that produces samples twice a week. If we see elevated levels of the virus in those samples, we will plan to do pooled testing within a week. We will otherwise plan pooled testing again for later in September, and again in October.
Third, everyone should be completing a daily self-check for any day they are on campus. This is for students, staff and faculty. Here is the self-check for students, and here is the self-check for faculty and staff. If you do not successfully pass the self-check, do not leave your residence and instead contact your health care provider or the Student Health Center.
Fourth, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced a threshold for when campuses must suspend in-person activities on campus and instead shift to online only for 14 days. That threshold is 100 positive cases, or 5% of the on-campus population, whichever is fewer. For SUNY Morrisville, our threshold is 60 cases, a conservative number below even the 5%. We must keep cases down, if we are to continue in-person activity.
Our start of a new academic year with new safety measures and protocols has not been without a few bumps – we have had reports of individuals and even groups not maintaining proper physical distance, or not wearing masks properly – we are fortunate to be in as a good of a position as we currently find ourselves.
Let’s keep up our efforts, and let’s even improve upon them. Thank you to everyone who participated in the pooled testing. Thank you to everyone who wears a mask, properly and every day. Thank you everyone who is cleaning our campus and monitoring our health. Thank you to everyone who is being a responsible citizen of our community.
Thank you to each of you for your commitment to protecting the health of others, and for making it possible for us to be #MustangStrong and to #KeepTheHerdHealthy.
David E. Rogers, Ph.D. | President