January 19, 2021
Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,
As we prepare to begin the spring semester, we want to share additional information on steps being taken to safeguard the health of the community.
Free testing for faculty, staff and students continues to be available on a walk-in basis until January 24, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the Winn-Seeley Gymnasium. Results are generally available within 24 hours and will be communicated directly to individuals, with negative results delivered by email and positive results via a phone call to determine next steps.
At this point the initial testing is going well. As of this morning more than 1300 students have either been tested on-campus or arrived on campus with tests completed. Three students tested positive during the initial round of testing. The second round of testing begins today and will be completed by Friday for most students. Any remaining students who need assistance scheduling time for arrival and testing should enter that information into the myHousing system and staff will be in touch directly to develop a plan.
As you have seen in local and national news, there are new strains of the virus that are reported to be more infectious. Accordingly, social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing are more important than ever. Recently, some public health experts have pointed to the benefits of wearing two masks, and we encourage everyone to consider doing so. We ask people to be particularly conscious of the six feet required for effective social distancing.
Individuals over the age of 65 and those who are teaching in-person classes are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine. We are hearing reports that many faculty and staff who fall into these categories have been successful in getting appointments in the local area. But we also know that at this moment the supply of the vaccine is limited, so we urge those who are eligible to make appointments as soon as they can. We continue to anticipate that Hobart and William Smith will eventually become a vaccination site, and we will keep the community informed of any developments in this regard.
As a result of the availability of the vaccine, we will revise the daily assessment form to capture vaccination status so that those who have completed vaccinations no longer have to fill it out. Please remember, however, that the vaccine, while extremely effective in preventing serious illness, has not been proven to prevent transmission. Accordingly, we must all continue to wear masks even after receiving vaccination.
Finally, we remind faculty and staff that Dr. Jeremy Cushman ’96 will be holding a Town Hall tomorrow at 11 a.m. to discuss the State’s vaccine distribution and answer questions.
Provost and Dean of Faculty
Vice President for Campus Life