March 11, 2021
Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,
Yesterday, New York State updated the eligibility criteria for individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to include in-person staff. All staff who are working in-person, even if not in the office daily, are now eligible for vaccination beginning on March 17. This includes student employees. Those eligible for the vaccine can schedule an appointment using the NYS Am I Eligible form. Note that this form will not allow those in the new eligibility group to make an appointment until after March 17. Employees should be prepared to show their HWS ID card or a recent pay stub at their scheduled vaccination appointment. Pay stubs can be accessed on the PeopleSoft self-service portal. The Office of Human Resources will send student employees a letter this week confirming status as a student employee that can then be presented at the vaccination appointment as proof of eligibility.
The continued expansion of eligibility status means that in the not-too-distant future, all faculty and staff will be eligible to be vaccinated, along with about half of students. We are continuing to vigorously advocate to the State that all students should be eligible for a vaccine, and will let the campus community know as soon as that happens.
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control also changed guidance for those who are fully vaccinated. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Details can be found on the CDC website. As we move forward, the Colleges will seek additional guidance from New York State but until we are able to fully understand all expectations, the public health expectations of the Colleges remain the same – everyone should continue to wear a face mask and practice social distancing and enhanced hand hygiene.
Recognizing the ongoing stress of the pandemic and the need for an intentional focus on self-care, the Colleges are planning a number of wellness and fun events for the week of March 15. Starting on Monday and running through Saturday, March 20, students are invited to participate in meditation, yoga and relaxation sessions; a socially distant ice cream social, visits from food trucks, and cookie and cotton candy pop-ups; a badminton tournament and open swim times at the Bristol Pool; and a Bob Ross Paint Night, among other events. Details will be communicated to students via email.
Finally, at the request of the COVID Coalition, we have established a Twitter account @hwsCOVIDinfo that is delivering timely updates on information the Colleges receive about COVID. We hope you’ll follow and make suggestions about content you’d like to see there.
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Vice President for Campus Life