What Students Should Know: COVID-19 and Returning to Campus – CGCC
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What Students Should Know: COVID-19 and Returning to Campus

What Students Should Know: COVID-19 and Returning to Campus

With the opening of the spring semester on January 25, 2021, Columbia-Greene Community College’s first priority is protecting the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. The best way to maintain the safest environment possible throughout 2021 and beyond is for everyone to take steps to minimize the risks for all members of the SUNY community. This includes:

  • Wearing face coverings (masks);
  • Washing hands frequently;
  • Maintaining social distancing protocols;
  • Participating in testing and contact tracing;
  • Completing daily screenings; and
  • Being mindful of our surroundings and the impact we have on each other.

Anyone of us can spread this disease and harm others. But, working together, all of us can maintain a safe and healthy learning and working environment.

Here’s what students need to know before returning to the campus:

Mandatory Quarantine

SUNY requires students to complete a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to the first day of on-campus classes (January 25 and/or February 1, 2021) and submit an attestation documenting the quarantine period (January 18 through January 25 or January 25 through February 1, 2021). Students not completing the quarantine must participate in the on-campus testing immediately upon returning to campus or present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days before classes begin.

Students in the nursing program who are participating in a clinical experience are not required to quarantine. In addition, students gainfully employed must ask their employers to submit documentation of their work schedule during the required quarantine period to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services and receive an exemption. Students also must document the COVID-19 safety protocols of their employers with the Provost.

Stay Informed

Check the web site, Blackboard, and College e-mail frequently for important updates about COVID-19.

Get Tested Weekly

SUNY requires all students enrolled in on-campus classes be tested weekly for COVID-19 through the pooled surveillance method. These tests will be conducted in the Dining Hall located in the Main Building. The Director of Health Services, Laura Sangi, will send a weekly sign-up sheet for appointments to students’ e-mail addresses listed with the College.

Get Screened Daily

Students arriving on campus must complete a daily health screening for travel history, COVID-19 history, and COVID-19 symptoms administered by Campus Security at the entrance to each building.

Check the COVID-19 Dashboard

SUNY maintains a comprehensive dashboard of COVID-19 testing and infection rate status across the System and at each campus: https://www.suny.edu/covid19-tracker/.

Follow Isolation Protocols

Students exposed to the virus must follow the isolation guidelines provided by the Department of Health in the county of permanent residence.

Be Responsible – It’s Easy to Do Your Part!

Each of us can take small steps to protect ourselves and the campus community. Because COVID-19 is highly contagious – and continues to surge across the country – these simple measures apply both on- and off-campus:

  • Wear face coverings (masks) at all times on campus, including when leaving the car and at all times in the building – in classrooms, conference rooms, and other public spaces – even when able to maintain the six-foot social distancing requirement.
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home at the slightest sign of illness or when potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Practice social distancing at all times to reduce transmission.

If Exposed, Complete Mandatory Quarantine and Isolation

Students who test positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, or receive information from a state or local health department, or medical or campus official that they are “at risk” for having COVID-19, may be required to quarantine or isolate. Isolation and/or quarantine may include switching to a remote class format, so be sure to inform the instructor about the imposed isolation and/or quarantine.

Students identified for isolation and/or quarantine will have access to certain assistance, such as academic, psychosocial, and/or other supports, as needed. For information, contact Beverly Burka at 518.828.4181, Extension 3364.

Follow the Rules or Face Disciplinary Action

When the campus learns of a violation of the rules associated with COVID-19 safety, students may lose access to campus facilities. Other disciplinary actions may be taken by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Services, as outlined in the Chancellor’s Uniform Sanctioning in Response to COVID-19 Student Violations and/or the Columbia-Greene Community College Code of Conduct (www.sunycgcc.edu). Consistent with SUNY policy, students who are partially or completely removed from the institution because of a violation are not eligible for refunds.

Take Care of Yourself – Physically and Mentally

Columbia-Greene Community College understands these are exceptionally challenging times. SUNY provides a number of resources to help students receive the support they need:

Know Which Classes Will Be Taught On Campus

Barring unforeseen circumstances with respect to the virus, Columbia-Greene Community College will be offering limited face-to-face classes during the spring 2021 semester in applied learning fields that include automotive technology, building construction technology, computer science, criminal justice, cyber security / digital forensics, environmental studies, fine arts, human services, medical assisting, and nursing.

Get Instructional and Technology Help

Students needing help with academic and/or technology issues should contact the Academic Support Center at 518.828.4181, Extension 3242.

Request Accommodations for Disabilities

Students who wish to disclose covered disabilities and receive reasonable accommodations for their disabilities should contact the Office of Accessibility Services at oasweb@sunycgcc.edu or 518.828.4181, Extension 3437.

Follow These Rules If Columbia-Greene Needs to Pause

If the campus must switch to a two-week (or longer) pause, the following rules apply:

  • Classes will immediately switch to a virtual format, and students will not be allowed on campus during the pause. Face-to-face instructors will provide guidance on completing coursework.
  • The College will not issue refunds for on-campus classes that pivot to a virtual modality.

Be Aware of Changes and Updates

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic creates a fluid situation that may require the College to impose unexpected changes. Updates to scientific knowledge, public health guidance, or laws and regulations may mean SUNY and Columbia-Greene Community College have to revise standards and rules, including those indicated above. SUNY and Columbia-Greene Community College will try to minimize these changes and their impact and will keep students informed about new developments.


Columbia-Greene stands ready to help students as much as possible. Feel free to address questions to instructors, academic advisors, and/or the staff in the Academic Support Center.

Thank you in advance for following the SUNY and New York State Department of Health guidelines that will help keep students – and the campus community – as safe as possible during the duration of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

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