November 2, 2020
Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,
I write to deliver this week’s campus update as well as to greet you all at the start of what will likely be one of the most interesting weeks in our electoral experience.
Our streak of good fortune continues on campus, with again no positive cases of COVID-19 identified, and only one student currently in quarantine. This ray of brightness contrasts with the generally grim news across the United States and much of the rest of the world regarding high infection rates. We must not take our current state of grace for granted and instead maintain our vigilance, even as our students, faculty and staff also continue to move about relatively freely on campus and in Geneva in comparison to the situation in many other areas of the nation. Please continue to uphold safety standards and do not let your guard down in small gatherings, which appears to be one of the main ways in which COVID is currently spreading. We have the chance to be one of the success stories for higher education this fall if we all keep up our standards.
In other good news, on Saturday Governor Cuomo announced a revised testing and quarantine policy: Students and employees traveling out of state will not need to quarantine for as lengthy a time upon return to New York, so long as they test negative before and after return. Students will receive further instructions from Student Affairs, but should this policy hold, we should see an expedited return to campus in January.
With national election day tomorrow, many are tense, and all the uncertainty in the world contributes to that tension. Please support each other during this stressful time: take the time to talk with someone who is anxious; reach out with kindness and good will. Focus on what you can control, don’t lose hope, and know that this too will pass. And, if you haven’t done so already: Vote.
Joyce P. Jacobsen
Hobart and William Smith Colleges