Messages to the Community

September 6, 2020

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

We write today with what will be the first of planned weekly updates to the community regarding the health and safety of the entire on-campus population as we continue to navigate the pandemic. If there is a fast-breaking situation, we will also report on that in between regular updates.

As we conveyed in our message during the first week of classes, The Colleges have instituted surveillance testing of campus, administering between 200-300 tests per week of people drawn from multiple spaces and affinity groups across campus as well as testing all people who report symptoms related to COVID-19. We continue to use the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., for our testing, with continued fast turnaround on results.

We currently have four positive cases identified from our testing; all are students. Contact tracing on those individuals has been completed and for any close contact that was reported, staff from the Hubbs Health Center and/or the Ontario County Public Health Department have already been in touch with you. Those students have been placed in isolation and are receiving regular monitoring, and anyone with whom they lived and/or had close contact is in quarantine. The initial testing of those in quarantine has come back negative. We will test everyone in quarantine again after seven days, or sooner if they report symptoms. We continue to monitor vigilantly both the on and off campus situation and ask anyone who has any symptoms or who believes they may have been in close contact with someone who is positive, either on or off campus, to call Hubbs Health Center. Consistent with our past practices, faculty will receive notice from the Deans offices of students who are not able to attend class based on reports from Hubbs Health Center.

Please note that attending or teaching a class, or living in the same residence hall with a person who tested positive is not necessarily defined as close contact so long as you maintained safety protocols including wearing a face covering and practicing social distancing. You may find yourself responding in the affirmative to a question on the daily wellness survey; that does not automatically signal the need for a quarantine. Instead, it allows us to be extremely careful and to check in with those who do indicate “yes,” to assess risk.

The one positive case we identified during our mass testing of all incoming students has completed the required isolation. Since the beginning of the semester, we have also had some students enter into quarantine due to travel restrictions or contact exposure; those quarantines are concluding this week with negative testing in all cases. We remind you that: students may report they are unable to attend class because of either isolation or quarantine; quarantine can occur for any of a number of reasons; and there will be students going into and coming out of isolation and quarantine on any given day throughout the semester. We ask faculty and staff to please work with these students so that they can continue with their coursework and academic support during these times.

While we know no one wants to hear that we have positive cases, we have anticipated that this would happen and prepared for their management. Along with the county health department, with whom we are in continual contact, we are organized and able to care for our students and protect the overall health of the HWS community, and will continue to do so. The best way to thwart the spread of the virus is to be absolutely strict in our collective use of face coverings and in our observance of social distancing and cleaning protocols. Please continue your diligence in the days and weeks ahead.

As we move forward, we recognize that news (and rumors) can spread quickly, and we are not always able to get official notices out ahead of them. But we are committed to keeping the community abreast of the situation and to inform you when we have reliable information.

Finally, the Colleges are preparing to offer multiple opportunities for community members to receive the seasonal flu vaccine. Additional information about that process will be shared in the coming days.

Sincerely,

Mary Coffey
Provost and Dean of Faculty

Robb Flowers
Vice President for Campus Life

Fall 2020 Opening

Messages to the Community

Winter Break and Spring 2021 Semester by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - October 19, 2020

Campus update by Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - October 12, 2020

Campus update by Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - October 5, 2020

Campus update by Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - September 28, 2020

Campus update by Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - September 21, 2020

Campus Update by Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - September 14, 2020

Campus Update on Health and Safety by President Joyce P. Jacobsen and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - September 8, 2020

Campus Update on Health and Safety by Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - September 6, 2020

Updates on Fall 2020 Semester by Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - August 25, 2020

Fall 2020 Opening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - August 20, 2020

Update on Fall Reopening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen, Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - June 24, 2020

HWS Return to Campus Update for Employees Sonya Williams - June 11, 2020

Fall 2020 Study Abroad by Mary Coffey and Thomas D’Agostino - June 5, 2020

Planning Underway for our Fall Opening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 28, 2020

Forward, Together by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 12, 2020

Using the CARES Act to Stay on Track for Graduation by John Young - May 12, 2020

Updates from Campus by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

An Update to Parents and Family Members of Admitted Students by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

Greetings from Human Resources by Sonya Williams - April 15, 2020

Grading for Spring 2020 Semester by Mary Coffey - March 30, 2020

Timeliness and Timelessness of an HWS Education by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 27, 2020

Introducing the HWS Student Emergency Fund by Julie Bazan ’93 and Rick Solomon ’75, P’10 - March 24, 2020

Staff Telework Resources by Sonya Williams - March 24, 2020

Message Regarding Commencement by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 20, 2020

Postponed: HWS Reunion by Bob O’Connor P’22 - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing by Robb Flowers - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing and Services by Robb Flowers - March 17, 2020

A Massive Natural Experiment by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 16, 2020

With Gratitude by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Face-to-Face Instruction Canceled by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 13, 2020

Follow-Up Note on Colleges’ Response to Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 11, 2020

From the Dean of Spiritual Engagement by The Reverend Nita C. Johnson Byrd - March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Contingency Planning by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 10, 2020

An Update on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 5, 2020

Information on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - February 28, 2020

CONTACT

General questions and comments should be directed to:

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

Questions regarding health issues should be directed to:

Hubbs Health Center
119 St. Clair Street
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: 315-781-3600
Appt. Phone: 315-781-4530
Fax: 315-781-3802