January 10, 2022
We write today to provide a brief update on our plans to welcome back students for a robust, in-person Spring 2022 semester. As our student athletes have arrived on campus for winter practice, return-to-campus COVID-19 testing has been successful with no cases reported upon arrival. However, pre-arrival testing has also proved helpful, as some students who planned to return early have reported a positive test result, and thus isolated at home. As such, we are adjusting our pre-arrival testing strategy and are requiring all students, even if arriving during the January 21, 22 and 23 opening weekend, to be tested at home prior to traveling to campus. More information about Pre-Arrival Tests is in the first bullet below.
As communicated earlier, in order to be considered fully vaccinated, the Colleges are requiring vaccination as well as a booster when the HWS community member is eligible. HWS community members are considered fully vaccinated when they have received a booster after two months of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or beyond five or six months of the mRNA Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, respectively (this mirrors the CDC, NYDOH and NCAA definition of fully vaccinated). Students should login to the COVID-19 Vaccination site to upload their vaccination and/or booster information, or to update an exemption request. Employees should use the COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Form to submit information pertaining to their first COVID-19 booster. The Colleges will host a booster clinic on-campus on Wednesday, Jan. 26. More information, including the registration link, can be found on the Colleges’ calendar.
Here are a few other updates that will be helpful for planning:
- Pre-Arrival Tests: While we previously only encouraged a pre-arrival test, some of our partner colleges and universities that are requiring pre-arrival tests and that are starting the semester earlier than HWS have seen a high number of positive cases of students prior to them traveling to campus. This allows the student to isolate at home, monitor symptoms, reduce the risk of transmission, and return to campus ready to engage in academics. As a result, we are now requiring all students to obtain a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving to campus. This may be a PCR or an antigen test. You may use an at-home test and submit an image of the result as long as your HWS student ID is included in the image. Students should submit their test result to the COVID-19 Vaccination site to the “Pre-Arrival Test” section of the site. Tests should be administered no more than 5 days prior to arrival. Students who are positive should isolate at home and the Deans’ offices will work individually with each student and their faculty.
- Quarantine and Isolation: We have worked with Ontario County Public Health to update our isolation procedures in order to comply with the new CDC and New York State Department of Health guidelines.
- Anyone who tests positive and is fully vaccinated, as defined above, must isolate for five days and may depart isolation on day six if they are symptom free. In addition, these individuals must wear a mask at all times, including around room, suite or apartment-mates, for five days after their isolation period ends.
- Individuals who do not meet the definition of fully vaccinated are required to quarantine for five days if they have a direct exposure, and, if positive, are required to isolate for five days and test negative on day six in order to depart isolation.
- Employees who live outside Ontario County should follow their county’s guidelines regarding quarantine and isolation.
- On-Site Arrival Testing: In addition to a pre-arrival tests, all students will be required to have an on-site PCR test on Jan. 21, 22 or 23 (even if they were an early arrival) with a negative result prior to attending in-person classes. Results are typically posted 24-48 hours after delivery to the Broad Institute. Because that increased testing may lead to a delay in test results being posted, faculty may choose to hold classes remotely on Monday and/or Tuesday, Jan. 24 and 25.
- Previous COVID-19 Positives: Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days will not be required to participate in pre-arrival or arrival on-site testing. The COVID-19 Vaccination site includes an option to upload documentation from a previous positive. If you tested positive at HWS, we will upload your documentation on your behalf.
- Co-Curricular Events: Through the first week of the semester, no in-person, co-curricular events with more than 25 people are permitted without express permission from the Colleges’ Campus Logistics Team. Requests should be submitted to email@example.com.
- Grab-And-Go: We will offer additional grab-and-go dining options through February 6.
- Off-Campus Residence Hall Guests: We will be limiting visitation for non-HWS guests and off-campus HWS students to residence halls for the first two weeks of the semester.
- Everyone should closely self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, including taking your temperature daily.
Recognizing the importance of activities that bring our community together, Winter Wonderland (an event that is 100% outdoors and that includes food trucks, fire pits and outdoor games) will occur as planned on January 29—but masks will be required in order to participate.
We will continue to provide updated information to the community prior to the start of the semester. Updated answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the COVID-19 Dashboard, and we will resume updates to COVID numbers on the Dashboard starting on Monday, Jan. 24. As always, we welcome questions to either of us individually (our email addresses are listed below) or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Provost and Dean of Faculty
Becca B. Barile
Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students