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Updates on Fall 2020 // CARES Act Information // Daily Check-In
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Fall 2020 Plan

 

All plans, policies, and procedures are subject to change due to new information, guidance and/or direction from the state.

 

 

The campus re-start plan was developed based on guidance from the Governor's Office, the Mohawk Valley Control Room, SUNY System Administration, the Schoharie County Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and other experts.

The core tenets of our plan are: 

  • Safety first 
  • Protect our core mission of academic excellence with available resources 
  • Maintain broadest access and affordability for all New Yorkers to higher education 
  • Sustain programming through academic and operational synergies 
  • Demonstrate agility in responding to the workforce needs of New York State 

 

Frequently Asked Questions for Fall 2020

 

August 14, 2020
Library Operations Updates >>

Trailways Bus Service Update
Trailways will have bus service for those looking to use the service to come to campus. There will be one bus and it will arrive at the campus on Friday, August 14, 2020, at 6:00 PM.  This bus will accommodate students traveling  Friday from Long Island and Port Authority. Students from Long Island are advised to book the 9:30 AM departure Friday morning from Babylon. Students leaving Port Authority are advised to book the Friday 2:00 PM departure from Port Authority. These buses will merge and depart in Albany at 5:15 PM with an arrival time to the campus of 6:00 pm Friday evening. Students using the bus service must wear a mask for the duration of the trip.

August 6, 2020
If you have a health concern about wearing a mask, accommodations may be provided. Please contact the AccessABILITY Resources Office at 518-255-5282 or dss@cobleskill.edu for more information.

August 5, 2020
Bills are now available in your Banner Web account and are due on August 14th. Financial planning for college can be daunting. Monthly payment plans are available in Banner Web under the “Billing and Payments” section of the Student Services Menu.

July 21, 2020
Requests for use of campus facilities by external groups: No requests for external use of campus facilities will be accepted until September 1. External requests will be considered after that date.

July 20, 2020
There will be no conference contests or championships in any Fall 2020 sport. Please refer to our athletics page for more information.

July 20, 2020
"You will receive an email announcement when your fall bill is available to be viewed in Banner Web under Billing and Payments. Bills will NOT be mailed. Monthly payment plans will be available when bills are viewable."

July 17
Revised course schedules shared with students

July 27
Residential students will receive their date and time to move in 5 Days before coming to campus: All students complete a pre-arrival screening

August 1
Fall semester bills will be available after this date.

You will receive an email announcement when your fall bill is available to be viewed in Banner Web under Billing and Payments. Bills will NOT be mailed. Monthly payment plans will be available when bills are viewable.

August 10
Move-in begins 

August 14
Fall bills are due

August 17
Classes start 

October
No fall break 

November 20
In-person instruction ends 

November 30
Classes resume online 

December 4
Semester ends 

December 11
(Extended semester ends, if necessary) 

 

A "Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy" has been adopted by the campus. Anyone on campus – faculty, staff, student, volunteer, visitor, contractor, or vendor – or anyone engaged in college-related business, either on or off-campus, will comply with the College's social distancing policy and use PPE, and surveillance testing attestation protocols.

All employees are expected to read and understand the campus policies, which will be posted later this week on the campus website at https://www.cobleskill.edu/about/leadership/campus-policies/index.aspx.

Visitors to campus will be limited for the foreseeable future.

The campus is implementing an "event testing" protocol; that is, testing will be done for symptomatic individuals. 

PPE, including disposable masks, gloves when necessary, and cleaning supplies, will be made available for employees and, where necessary, visitors. An office may request the facial coverings from the Director of Emergency Management. Employees may use their own facial coverings as long as they are of an acceptable classification.

Employees who fail to adhere to the wearing of a facial covering, as outlined in the policy, will be subject to disciplinary action per their bargaining unit's contract. Should an employee have a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a facial covering, accommodations will be made to the extent possible.

Cleaning supplies (hand sanitizer, disinfectant, etc.) will be provided for use with shared equipment and objects.

All employees are required to complete a symptom checker each day they are on campus. Digital, paper, and in-person processes will be utilized to ask individuals if he/she has:

  • knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has or had symptoms of COVID-19;
  • tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days; and/or
  • has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

Should an employee be experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, then they are to remain or return home and monitor their symptoms; they will be encouraged to be tested at a local healthcare facility and await results before returning to work.

The Cobleskill Auxiliary Services (CAS) is implementing daily screening of employees as they arrive to work (questionnaire and temperature taking.) Employees exhibiting or acknowledging symptoms will be required to return home.

If an employee tests positive, they will remain at home in isolation until cleared to return to work by their local Health Department. Their work area will be disinfected, proper notifications made, and reports made to the appropriate entities.

Faculty and staff who travel to restricted states will be required to quarantine at home or at an off- campus location for 14 days before returning to campus. New York State requires that anyone traveling from a restricted area complete the NYS Traveler Health Form. 

Anyone physically present on campus is required to follow all social distancing policies and surveillance protocols. Individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, who have tested positive in the past 14 days or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 are not allowed on campus.

The staff member or department hosting visitors or utilizing volunteers will be responsible for screening, educating, and monitoring their activities. The department contracting with or using the services of contractors or vendors will ensure compliance with all campus social distancing and screening protocols.

Students will be provided an initial supply of face coverings. Students that interact with animals will also receive gloves. Students are expected to adhere to the social distancing and face-covering policy, including when in the residence halls. (See "Residential Living" for more details.)

An electronic screening checklist will be sent to students prior to their arrival day. All positive screens will need to show proof of testing and be free of symptoms as documented by a medical professional upon arrival. Residential students will be screened upon arrival prior to being permitted to occupy their room. See "Move-In Process" below for additional details.

After arrival day, testing will be performed at Cobleskill Regional Hospital, based on referrals from the campus Wellness Center, for symptomatic students.

Monitoring of student symptoms will be implemented by requiring students to answer a brief symptom questionnaire.

As a precautionary measure, prior to arriving to live in the residence halls, the College is requesting all residential students to self-quarantine for seven days before coming to campus. This is not a mandate but will assist the College with monitoring and contact tracing.

Students traveling to campus from restricted states will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Such students will be housed in a residence hall set aside for this purpose. All quarantine protocols will be followed as outlined in SUNY Cobleskill’s approved re-opening plan.

Each student traveling to campus from a restricted area is required to complete the online health form as required by New York State which can be found here: https://forms.ny.gov/s3/Welcome-to-New-York-State-Traveler-Health-Form within 24 hours of arrival on campus. The student will take a screen shot of the last page and submit a copy to the campus Wellness Center. 

Students who test positive will be sent home; however, pending consult with Local Health Department (LHD), students with COVID-19 may need to stay in their residence hall to lessen infecting others. International students or long-distance students may also need to remain on campus; this will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with the LHD.

Quarantine (those suspected of having COVID19) will take place in a designated residence hall that has been taken offline for residential students, and isolation (for those diagnosed with COVID19) will take place in an Alumni Commons Town Home. Pending directives of the Local Health Department, the College may quarantine students to their respective residential rooms while awaiting test results.

A Case Manager will coordinate students' needs in quarantine and isolation with a cadre of staff assistants. Coordination includes, but is not limited to, Wellness appointments and well-being checks, academic assistance (tutoring services via CASE), food service delivery via dining services, and online engagement programming.

The Local Health Department will coordinate outreach to commuter students in quarantine. Case Manager and Commuter Student Liaison will provide support to students regarding academics and engagement programming for commuter students.

The Human Resources Department will communicate with the Administration and the Director of Emergency Management the reported employee cases to monitor rates and trends.

We are reviewing potential smartphone apps that could be used by both students and faculty/staff for contact tracing. Social distancing is our best weapon in preventing further spread of COVID-19.

Several staff members have been trained in contact tracing and will work with Human Resources (for employees) and the Wellness Center (for students) to provide contact tracing if needed.

Should an employee or student test positive for COVID-19, the following process will be used to clean affected areas. 

  • Close off areas used by the person who tested positive.  
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. 
  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning or disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. 
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and printers/copiers. 
  • Once the area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use. 
  • Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection. 
  • If more than seven days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is unnecessary. 
  • Continue routine cleaning and disinfection, including enhanced cleaning protocols that the campus uses to maintain a healthy environment during the influenza season.  

Faculty and Staff

  • Faculty and staff who share offices will be required to wear masks if they cannot maintain social distancing. Additionally, they will be offered either an alternative work schedule, an alternative office location, or the opportunity to work remotely. 
  • Faculty can request to offer their courses remotely. 
  • Individual employees who are considered to be part of an at-risk/vulnerable population will be allowed to telecommute for as long as possible, as long as telecommuting is successful. If telecommuting is not successful, the employee and supervisor will work out a schedule and assignment that is mutually beneficial for as long as feasible. Should telecommuting not be an option, accommodations will be made to the extent possible. 
  • Faculty or staff members who are in vulnerable populations or feel uncomfortable if required to return to campus physically may request an unpaid leave of absence. Such requests will be approved whenever practicable. Faculty and staff are encouraged to discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor. Individuals who do not have permanent status are urged to discuss proposed plans with Human Resources and their union representatives. An unpaid leave of absence may affect the timeline for continuing/permanent appointments. 

Students

  • Students will have the ability to access online courses asynchronously if they are unable to attend during the scheduled time.  Course materials will be available via Moodle.
  • Students seeking to take all courses online will receive assistance from an academic advisor to develop their schedule and the AccessABILITY Resources & Transition Office when necessary. 
  • Please refer to the Residential Life section for additional information on addressing students with special needs.  

Employees are required to complete a "Return to Work" course developed by HR, including social distancing requirements, personal hygiene, and training on how to don and doff a mask properly. The course is available at https://moodle.cobleskill.edu/course/view.php?id=19254.

 
  • Cohorts of student leaders from both academics and co-curricular areas will have specialized online training regarding being "socially responsible" in the world of COVID-19 on and off-campus. Discussions will include how to show leadership during this time, behavioral expectations and consequences, social distancing, and face coverings.  
  • Commuters will also have specialized online training regarding being "socially responsible" in the world of COVID-19 on and off-campus. Discussions will include behavioral expectations and consequences, social distancing, and face coverings. 
  • All students – residential and commuter – will sign a pledge before arriving to campus and as a requirement to come to campus, pledging to uphold the above policies and procedures. An online forum for all students and parents will occur prior to classes where the President will address both parents/families and students.  
  • The student code of conduct and/or the Terms of Conditions for residential living will be enforced for the removal of a student from campus for non-compliance.  

Meetings should be held virtually, using Microsoft Teams or another online platform, as much as possible. Face-to-face meetings should only be held when social distancing is possible. Attendance should be limited, and face coverings used.

Drop-in visits to offices are highly discouraged; appointments should be made to assist in limiting office density.

Each department will develop plans that comply with the campus social distancing policy. It is strongly recommended that student meetings take place via an online platform (e.g., Microsoft Teams). Drop-in visits to offices are highly discouraged.

Employee travel will generally be limited to Advancement and Enrollment Management trips only for the first semester. Other special circumstances, including for externally funded research projects, will be reviewed by the Vice President of the employee requesting the use of a vehicle. All employees will be required to complete a form attesting to following safety, cleaning, and proper maintenance protocol while in possession of the vehicle. A checklist will be provided that employees will complete at the end of their trip. For approved trips using campus vehicles, Facilities Management will carefully clean each vehicle after use, using appropriate CDC guidelines.

Transportation for students will be implemented in two phases. Phase 2 will include academic field trips and co-curricular activities. We will assess the effectiveness of Phase 1 and determine if, when, and how we move to Phase 2. See below under "Extracurricular Activities" for additional details.

The College does not run an on-campus shuttle. The county bus service (Schoharie County Public Transportation (https://ridescpt.com/), which serves the campus, has implemented the following procedures:

  • Masks or face coverings are required when riding transit buses and while waiting at bus stops 
  • For social distancing purposes, seat availability is limited 
  • Disinfecting wipes are available at the entry door for passenger use 
  • Interior of buses are being ventilated 

The Academic Calendar has been adjusted as follows 

  • The semester will run August 17th-December 4th 
  • 1-week early start 
  • Cancellation of October break 
  • All students depart before Thanksgiving, on Saturday, November 21 
  • Only remote instruction after Thanksgiving beginning on Monday, November 30. 
  • Courses have been identified for remote and face-to-face instruction (approximately 75% and 25%, respectively). Confirmation will be provided to faculty by mid-July via email and mail regarding the status of the courses they are scheduled to teach in the fall. Students will be informed by July 17 regarding the format of their courses. 
  • The vast majority of classes will meet during the days/times published in the master schedule. Any exceptions will be communicated as soon as possible. 
  • Faculty will follow social distancing protocols in classroom and laboratory spaces at all times. 
  • Room capacities have been established by Facilities Management, in compliance with social distancing protocols. 
  • All faculty will utilize Moodle LMS and record classes and/or post notes via this platform to allow for synchronous and asynchronous student participation in online courses.
  • Student technology needs will be assessed prior to the start of the semester and again during the first two weeks of the semester to ensure that students are able to access course material. 
  • Educational Support Services (tutoring, accessibility accommodations) will be provided remotely. Testing accommodations will be available remotely and on campus by appointment. 
  • Some computer labs and classroom spaces will be reconfigured for social distancing and will be available for student use. 
  • The Library will be open to members of the campus community with spaces available for use clearly marked. The Library will be closed to the general public. 
  • The college farm continues to be in full operation. Appropriate protocols will continue to allow a limited number of students to continue to work on the farm.
  • If a return to remote operations is required, there will be a one-week transition period, and the semester will be extended to December 11. 

The Terms and Conditions (T&C) of Residence Hall Occupancy are being revised, and all students will be required to affirm the conditions. These revisions will be in addition to the code of conduct for students to remain enrolled. Enhancements will include: 

  • Roommate agreement – roommates and suitemates will be considered an exception to the PPE requirement when the students are within their assigned living space. This is based on NYS guidance that individuals who cohabitate a space can be considered a "family unit." 
  • The agreement will include details such as respecting space, limiting interactions that create safety concerns, and reporting any symptoms that arise. 
  • For the ongoing safety of residential students and the staff, neither visitors (visitors are defined as any residential student who resides in another SUNY Cobleskill Residence Hall) nor guests (guests are defined as individuals who do not reside on campus) will be permitted in the residence halls until further notice.
  • Any violations of the T&C policy may result in immediate residence hall removal and banning. 
  • The residential move-in process will begin on Monday, August 10 (7 days before the start of classes). Move-in windows will be staggered to prevent overlap. Students will receive their move-in date and time the week of July 27 from the Office of Residential Life.
  • All campus arrivals (including family members) will participate in screening at a designated centralized location. Students will be permitted to bring one person inside the building to assist. Wrist bands will be worn by those approved to go into the residence halls (student + one helper). 
  • Elevators will be secured but will be made accessible to families that need assistance. Only one student and one assistant will be permitted at a time.  
  • All parties will be required to comply with six-foot social distancing and wear appropriate PPE. All rules will be enforced, and violators may be subject to removal. 

PPE requirements:

  • All students and employees must wear face coverings (as stipulated in the campus social distancing policy in all areas outside of their room: hallways, stairwells, elevators, common areas, etc.  
  • Common Areas 
  • All nonessential common areas, such as lounges and fitness areas, will be closed until further notice. 
  • Other common areas, such as kitchens and laundry rooms, will be limited and have controls in place. Gatherings will be limited based upon NYS guidelines (10 – 25). 
  • Stairwells will be one way. 
  • Elevators will remain closed for general use. Students with special accommodations will be able to apply for an elevator key with the AccessABILITY Resources & Transition Office. 

Special Considerations for students with health concerns: 

  • Any student who has a documented hardship (medical, financial, other) can apply to be released from their housing obligation. 
  • Students may apply for medical singles via the AccessABILITY Resources & Transition Office for review by the committee. The number of medical singles has been increased in anticipation of increased demand. 

Provisions have been made to house students should it become necessary to implement quarantine or isolation procedures. 

  • One Residence Hall will be reserved for quarantine use
  • One Town Home will be reserved for isolation use

CAS will be operating and will provide food service to all students and employees. Initially, the following locations will be open: Prentice, Twisted Whiskers, and Farm Fresh Café. Limited seating will be available; pre-orders for takeout will be available through a new app being launched by CAS.

  • To promote the safest environment, and until further notice, student programs and events will be conducted online via Microsoft Teams. This includes meetings and events for all student programs including, but not limited, to: SGA, clubs and organizations, CELs, CASE Tutors, Peer Educators, Residence Life/RAs, APAs, Greeks, Student Leadership, Career Development. See the next sub-section for Athletics, Intramurals, club sports, and applied learning clubs. 
  • Special written online permission by the Vice President for Student Development, or designee, must be sought for programs where students will meet in a group; group size will be limited. This will commence after the initial four weeks of operation. 
  • Special programs must include everyone wearing a face covering, social distancing, and disinfecting the area before and after.  
  • Transportation for co-curricular activities off-campus will not be permitted for at least the first four weeks of the semester. After that, it will be reviewed to determine if, when, and how safe off-campus transportation can be provided and what the policies and procedures will be. 
  • Co-curricular activities will be reviewed based on a soon-to-be developed template for intramurals, club sports, and "applied learning" clubs to ensure students will adhere to the protocols 
  • The travelers will be required to complete a form attesting to following safety, cleaning, and proper maintenance protocol while in possession of the vehicle. A checklist will be provided for completion at the end of their trip. 
  • This protocol will also be used for academic field trips. 
  • Programs that promote small group development and support will be particularly encouraged to provide a more personalized environment. "Intentional conversations" are highly encouraged to ensure student persistence and support; this includes the successful "Chat Room Team" used in the Spring. 
  • Commuters will be able to participate in co-curricular online programs. Programs for commuters are developed by our Associate Director of Student Leadership, in collaboration with other staff members.  
  • Performer contracts will include an online presentation mode. 
  • Social media and the Blast will be used to educate about new policies and procedures and to advertise programs.  


There will be no conference contests or championships in any Fall 2020 sport. Please refer to our athletics page for more information.

 

Each office will coordinate with Facilities Management to assess their individual staffing capacity to comply with the social distancing policy and submit plans for administrative approval. Each plan is to account for maximum capacity at any given time, considering space restrictions. 

Work will be accomplished remotely and using technology as much as possible to reduce campus density, following the continuity plans and protocols established during our highly effective and successful remote work program instituted in March. For situations that do not allow for technology use, individualized meetings will be set up where proper protocol will be used (PPE, social distancing, etc.). These activities include new hire on-boarding, training, requested meetings, etc.

Offices that require in-person operations, but have the inability to properly social distance, will use alternating work schedules or adjust schedules to stagger times in the office. 

Individuals considered to be part of an at-risk population will be allowed to telecommute for as long as possible, as long as telecommuting is successful. If telecommuting is not successful, the employee and supervisor will work out a schedule and assignment that is mutually beneficial for as long as feasible. 

For any necessary in-person interactions, appointments should be made. Drop-in visits are highly discouraged. 

  • All buildings have remained open, with doors locked and with social distancing protocols posted, since the campus moved to remote operations, and no extraordinary measures are necessary to return to regular operations. Routine and enhanced (summer) cleaning has continued, as well as regular maintenance and planned essential rehabilitation and repair projects. 
  • Facilities staff will continue their normal and enhanced cleaning protocols.  
  • Any cleaning/sanitization needed beyond the normal routine and enhanced cleaning protocols will become the responsibility of the individual(s) – employees and students – including personal hand hygiene (for example, public-use computer keyboards: the user must take their own precautions; custodians will not be able to clean and disinfect every keyboard on campus between every user). 
  • Hand sanitizers were added to many locations around campus in March 

 

Routine cleaning shall be continued according to custodial departmental standards and includes actions such as: 

  • Cleaning high contact surfaces that are touched by many different people, such as light switches, handrails, and doorknobs/handles. 
  • The frequency of certain routine cleaning standards may be relaxed, as directed by the custodial supervisor, to allow for greater focus on high-risk locations. Cleaning measures such as vacuuming, removing trash, sweeping, or cleaning walls may be performed less frequently to allow for increased cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.  

Frequently touched surfaces in common use areas of occupied buildings are cleaned and disinfected daily by the custodial department using a disinfectant listed on EPA's List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Examples of frequently touched surfaces include: 

  • Door handles and push plates  
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Kitchen and bathroom faucets and fixtures 
  • Light switches 
  • Handles on equipment  
  • Buttons on vending machines and elevators 
  • Water fountains 

Cleaning and disinfection logs listing the date, time, location, scope of cleaning and name of person cleaning will be maintained. Custodial employee cleaning guidance is available at:

https://livecobleskill.sharepoint.com/Employees/Lists/Official%20%20Administrative%20Announcements/DispForm.aspx?ID=1135&e=cdWx6U

 

Upon notification of the first confirmed positive student case, the campus will begin serious discussions about shutting down. Our limited quarantine and isolation space can rapidly be depleted. Guidance will be sought from the local health department and System Administration.

Should the campus move to remote operations:  

  • All instruction will move to remote delivery, with a one-week transition period. 
  • The semester will be extended to December 11. 
  • Only essential personnel will be working on-site if the campus returns to remote operations; telecommuting will be reinstated. The determination of essential personnel will be a combined effort from Administration and departmental managers as the situation fluctuates. The designation of essential status is subject to change based on the needs of the College. 

A plan has been developed if the campus should need to close early for COVID-19 related reasons. A similar process to spring move-out will be used. Details will be shared as necessary.

Faculty and staff with questions about this plan should consult with their respective cabinet member.

Further details and links to materials referenced in this plan will be shared with the campus community as soon as they are available.