March 1, 2021
Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,
Our COVID case number continued to drop over the past week, and we started this morning with eleven students in either quarantine or isolation, all scheduled to come out by the end of the week. While this improvement is heartening, as is the news from this weekend that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now approved, we must continue to be vigilant and follow our safety protocols as vaccines are still not widely available and concerns remain regarding the paths of local, national, and world prevalence rates.
As we move forward, we continue to believe that maintaining normal operations, whenever it is possible and safe for students, is the best way to deal with the needs of students and the entire HWS community. This principle has animated our decision making process since the pandemic began. This includes preserving the faculty’s ability to decide whether or not to hold in-person classes, having in-person dining options, keeping our facilities open for the campus community, allowing admissions visits, and holding co-curricular and extracurricular activities, including athletics, when it is deemed safe and in keeping with state, county, and other regulations to do so. We are in constant contact with the county and state health authorities, as well as with a wide range of professional networks, in order to share information and best practices.
New York State has indicated reduced restrictions starting on March 15 regarding size of formal gatherings, and we are working hard on planning for an in-person commencement as well as for senior week activities. These activities will likely require increased testing and we are committed to working out a protocol that will make it possible to carry out these events. We are also actively working on summer plans, which will include summer research and other on-campus activities as we work to restore a higher level of activity on campus. As usual, if you have questions about our campus policies, send them to Spring2021@hws.edu.
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Vice President for Campus Life