Last updated September 24, 2021
COVID-19 Resources for Employees
Visit the Office of Human Resources main COVID-19 page for guidance about working on campus, as well as information about payroll, benefits, and office procedures during the pandemic.
Will Bard be a fully vaccinated campus by the fall 2021 semester?
Yes. Thanks to our vaccination mandate, Bard College is now considered a “fully vaccinated campus” by CDC standards. This is a special status that enables the College, and our peer institutions that have achieved fully vaccinated status, to return to full capacity in-person learning, in accordance with CDC’s Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People and New York State requirements. Vaccines have been shown to be very effective at preventing illness, including from the Delta variant.
For the fall 2021 semester, all students, faculty, and staff are required to provide proof of vaccination, bringing us to a vaccination level of over 99%. The fewer than 1% of students and employees who remain unvaccinated through the semester have received prior approval for medical or religious reasons. Any unvaccinated student or employee, for as long as they are not fully vaccinated, must continue to follow the same protocols that kept our community safe last year when we were all unvaccinated, including masking and physical distancing at all times indoors or in group settings on campus.
In order to maintain our campus as fully vaccinated, for the fall semester the College will require all visitors to show proof of vaccination before being approved for access to College facilities.
Once fully vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask on or off campus?
Last month we announced an indoor mask mandate for the first two weeks of the semester. All students, faculty, and staff are required to mask in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Having carefully reviewed CDC guidance and consulted with local public health authorities during this time, we have determined that the mandate for mask wearing indoors on campus will remain in effect until further notice. Please see the Mask Policy page for details.
We ask members of the Bard community to be mindful of your behavior off campus, where rates of COVID continue to be significant and vaccination rates are much lower than on campus. Mask-wearing is strongly encouraged in all indoor settings including public transportation, as are all of the familiar protocols, such as frequent hand washing and avoiding large crowds, particularly in areas where vaccination levels are low. Act judiciously, wear a mask and practice physical distancing where directed and recommended, and remember that our collective efforts support campus health.
Are fully vaccinated individuals still at risk for getting a COVID infection?
It is important to remember that vaccination is not a guarantee against infection. The purpose and power of vaccines comes from their ability to teach and strengthen our immune systems to more effectively identify and fight viruses, in this case the virus that causes COVID, thereby avoiding serious illness despite potential exposure. While there have been some reports of cases among vaccinated people outside of this area, they are rare. Vaccination, particularly as a fully vaccinated campus, is the best way to minimize exposure and prevent serious illness and community spread.
If I have received a College-approved exemption from vaccination, what are the protocols I must follow?
Any student or employee with a College-approved exemption from vaccination, or who is not yet fully vaccinated, must be masked at all times and remain physically distanced.
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19 or think I've been exposed?
Faculty and staff experiencing symptoms should stay home, contact their physician, and/or make an appointment to get tested. Employees experiencing symptoms, or those who have tested positive, should not come to work and should contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or at either 845-752-4931 or 845-750-5812. A representative from Human Resources will then initiate contact tracing. For more information about testing, isolation, and contact tracing protocols, visit the Testing FAQ.
Since every situation is different, faculty are encouraged to consult as needed with their program director, divisional chair, and the Dean of the College to develop a plan of support and to provide for continuity of instruction. Human Resources is also prepared to assist with all such queries.
Will testing be available on campus this semester?
The College does not provide on-demand COVID-19 testing for employees. Please consult your primary care physician, urgent care, or other testing entity to receive a COVID test.
Some testing options include:
I have cold or allergy-like symptoms. Should I get a COVID-19 test?
Please do not dismiss cold or flu-like symptoms. If you experience cold or allergy-like symptoms that are not typical for you for the season, please consult your physician to be evaluated and possibly tested for COVID.
Campus Life + Facilities
What is Bard doing to help keep employees safe?
Bard College has an Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, which was created in response to the New York HERO Act. The purpose of this plan is to protect employees against exposure and disease during an airborne infectious disease outbreak.
What is the College policy for hosting visitors and organizing events on campus?
For the fall semester, our aim is to keep our community safe by maintaining the College as a fully vaccinated campus. Guests remaining outdoors do not need to register in advance, but any essential visitors needing access to College facilities, including guest lecturers and all conference participants, must be approved in advance by the Response Team and must be vaccinated to enter any College facility. Any Bard employee may apply to host individual visitors by using this form.
Bardians interested in organizing a large group event such as a conference should contact the Response Team for additional guidance. Visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination and complete a health screening prior to arrival on campus in order to have access to any College facility. The Response Team will consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis in extraordinary circumstances. For conferences and other group events, it will be the responsibility of event organizers to obtain proof of vaccination from all attendees in advance.
Can I plan in-person activities with other members of the campus community?
Campus community members may now begin to plan small, COVID-safe in-person activities. All proposed events must adhere to COVID safety protocols as outlined in the COVID-19 Student Handbook Addendum, as well as any additional protocols needed for each specific event. Students should contact SPARC through the Office of Student Activities by emailing email@example.com. Employees wishing to hold events may apply by filling out the form here.
How do I reach out to the Response Team?
Every Tuesday from noon to 1PM, the Response Team holds open office hours over Zoom. No appointment is necessary; if you have a question or want to discuss anything, please drop by using the Zoom link and passcode from your Bard email. If that timing does nt work for you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Is the Bard campus open to the public?
Yes, the main Bard College campus grounds in Annandale are now open to the community. External groups that wish to hold outdoor gatherings on campus grounds should contact email@example.com to discuss relevant restrictions and required approvals. Please note that indoor access is still restricted only to approved visitors. For the fall semester the College will require all visitors to show proof of vaccination before being approved for access to College facilities.
Is the Stevenson Athletic Center open?
The Stevenson Athletic Center is currently open to students and staff, with hours posted on bardathletics.com. Users should present their Bard ID at the front desk when entering the building. The pool is available for lap swim on a reservation basis. Please visit the website for more information.
Athletics and Recreation Staff, in consultation with the Response Team, will continue to evaluate the potential return of community use to the Stevenson Athletic Center, starting with family of faculty and staff. Details will be posted to bardathletics.com when dates and requirements are finalized; however, all gym patrons will be required to show vaccination status to have access to the building.
All fans at indoor sporting events will also be required to show proof of vaccination to be allowed entry to the building.