What guidance is the College using in its planning for the semester?
Bard’s plan for the semester is informed by current national, regional, and local conditions and best public health practices. We are following New York State guidance, which includes specific mandates for higher education, and guidance from the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health.
The College has a formal agreement with Nuvance Health, one of the largest health care providers in the region, and with them, is designing and implementing detailed protocols for testing and screening, daily monitoring of symptoms, contact tracing, quarantine practices, and physical distancing in the classroom and across the Bard campus. Bard has also signed a contract with The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for its Safe for School testing program. The Broad Institute has been at the forefront of developing and providing cutting-edge COVID-19 testing and has created this program specifically designed for higher education. Our Health Services Team is following guidance from the American College Health Association and is in close contact with local and regional health officials.
When can I get a vaccination?
As of January 11, in-person college faculty and instructors are eligible to receive vaccinations in New York State. We will notify the Bard community as new eligibility categories, such as students and staff, are added in the coming weeks and months. You can determine your current NY State eligibility by visiting this NYS Department of Health website. If eligible, you can register for vaccination with the New York State COVID-19 Vaccine Form. Demand is still far outstripping supply, but we expect access to vaccination to increase rapidly as the semester progresses.
Once I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?
Yes. The vaccine only helps to protect you from becoming severely ill if you’re infected. It does not prevent you from spreading the virus should you become infected. To protect others in the Bard community and beyond, you must continue to observe all COVID-19 safety protocols, including mask wearing, physical distancing, and frequent handwashing.
Will Citizen Science take place in January?
Yes. Citizen Science will take place January 14–29. We are currently planning for a blended, in-person program.
What are the testing and quarantine protocols for returning to campus in January?
All students not remaining on campus throughout Winter Break will be required to take two COVID tests as part of the protocol for returning to campus.
- Pre-arrival test: Each returning student must take a pre-arrival COVID test within three days before returning to campus. If you receive your test result before returning to Bard, you must submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. PCR or rapid tests are acceptable to be cleared to come to campus as outlined by New York State guidelines. However, students arriving with antigen tests will be tested upon arrival to Bard with a PCR test and those students will shelter in place until test results come back. We will not accept positive antibody tests. If you do not receive your test result before returning, you must be prepared to shelter in place upon arrival at Bard until you receive your result. This pre-arrival test requirement is for all students who are not staying on campus for Winter Break, including those living locally off campus. Arranging for and taking this pre-arrival test is the responsibility of each student. Under current New York State guidance, if you do not have a pre-arrival test, you cannot test out of mandatory 10-day quarantine. Any student unable to obtain a COVID test within the three-day pre-arrival time frame must notify email@example.com in advance of arrival to update your quarantine status. To identify testing locations, please consult your doctor or the federal Department of Health and Human Services’ list of no-cost on-site testing by state. Throughout your time away from Bard, and especially between the time of your pre-arrival test and arriving on campus, it is important that students adhere to safe behaviors: no large gatherings, wear a mask, and practice physical distancing.
- Post-arrival test: Each returning student will be required to take their second COVID test approximately four days after returning to campus. The College will schedule and administer this test to all students—whether they live on or off campus—via the same MIT/Broad Institute testing program that we used throughout the fall semester, and that typically delivers results in less than 24 hours.
All students who live off campus or travel away from campus during Winter Break must observe the testing requirements listed above in order to regain access to campus for class or other activities, even if you remain in the local area over Winter Break. Only students who remain on campus throughout Winter Break are exempt from the pre- and post-arrival testing requirement.
Students traveling to Bard from any noncontiguous state or from overseas are required by New York State Guidelines to quarantine upon arrival in New York, and will immediately enter quarantine after arriving at Bard. (Students who spend the Winter Break in New York State or a contiguous state are not required to quarantine upon return to campus.) The College has arranged quarantine space on campus for all students who need it and reside on campus. Students who live off campus and are required to quarantine must be prepared to do so in their off-campus residence. If you have questions about quarantine, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of the College’s COVID-19 Response website.
New York State has updated its quarantine requirement to enable travelers to test out of quarantine if they submit negative pre- and post-arrival COVID tests, reducing quarantine time to approximately four days. Any student who is required to quarantine but does not take a pre-arrival COVID test must quarantine upon arrival in New York State. Individuals can end their quarantine after 10 days as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. Students not required to quarantine will be expected to refrain from any group interactions during the time between their arrival on campus and their post-arrival test. Only once you’ve received negative results from both your pre-arrival and post-arrival tests will you be able to return to campus activities and in-person classes.
When should I arrive on campus for Citizen Science and the spring 2021 semester?
Below are arrival dates and times for students returning for Citizen Science and the spring semester. It is very important that you plan to arrive on the day that corresponds to your situation. Please note that you must plan to arrive between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Because of the complexities of the check-in process under COVID, the College cannot accommodate student check-ins outside of those hours. Whether you live on or off campus, student access to campus facilities after Winter Break is contingent upon complying with the return-to-campus check-in process, including pre- and post-arrival testing and quarantine as required.
- Early arrivals: pre-approved student workers, seniors, and graduate students:
Monday, January 4 and Wednesday, January 6 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
All early arrivals must be pre-approved by Senior Project advisors, work supervisors or, in the case of graduate students, their program directors. These students also must observe the testing protocols listed above, and quarantine as necessary depending on where they are traveling from. If you intend to arrive early and have not already been in touch with your advisor, supervisor, or program director, please contact them as soon as possible to make appropriate arrangements.
- Students taking Citizen Science who are not required to quarantine:
Tuesday, January 12 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Students who spend the Winter Break in New York State or in a state that borders New York are not required to quarantine. These students must observe the testing requirements listed above, and refrain from group activities until receiving their test results.
- Students taking Citizen Science who are required to quarantine:
Wednesday, January 13 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Students who spend the Winter Break anywhere other than New York State or a state bordering New York are required to quarantine. These students also must observe the testing protocols listed above. Students who reside off campus must be prepared to quarantine in their off-campus residence.
- Students arriving from international destinations who live on campus:
Friday, January 15 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
All students arriving from outside the United States are required to quarantine. These students also must observe the testing protocols listed above.
- Upper College/new transfer/graduate students who live on campus and are required to quarantine:
Friday, January 22 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Students who spend the Winter Break anywhere other than New York State or a state bordering New York are required to quarantine. These students also must observe the testing protocols listed above.
- New transfer students who live on campus and do not need to quarantine:
Tuesday, January 26 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Under current guidance, students who spend the Winter Break in New York State or in a state that borders New York are not required to quarantine. These students must observe the testing requirements listed above, and refrain from group activities until receiving their test results.
- Upper College/new transfer/graduate students who live off campus:
January 27, 28, and 29 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. each day)
The Dean of Student Affairs Office will send instructions in the coming days to students in this category, so they can sign up for a specific date and time to arrive on campus during this three-day check-in period. Off-campus students who are required to quarantine, including any students arriving from international destinations, must be prepared to do so in their off-campus residence.
- Upper College and graduate students who live on campus and do not need to quarantine:
Friday, January 29 (9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)
Students who spend the holiday break in New York State or in a state that borders New York are not required to quarantine. These students must observe the testing requirements listed above, and refrain from group activities until receiving their test results.
How many people can I bring with me for move-in day?
New students are allowed two people to accompany them when they arrive to move in, and we ask that returning students bring just one person to help them move in. Physical distancing protocols will be in place and everyone must wear a face mask.
Will there be a Spring Recess?
No. Spring Recess will be observed as six separate “respite days” throughout the semester: March 8, March 11, March 16, March 19, March 24, and March 27.
Where will students quarantine if they need to?
In consultation with Nuvance Health, we have set aside appropriate spaces on campus for quarantine and self-isolation as needed. Students living on campus will quarantine in one of the spaces Bard is arranging. Students living off campus will need to quarantine off campus. We will be in close contact with all students about specific plans and requirements.
Who do I contact with questions about quarantining?
Questions regarding individual plans for quarantine can be directed to Darnell Pierce, assistant dean of students and director of the first-year experience, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just found out I had contact with someone with COVID-19. What quarantine protocol should I follow?
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced updated quarantine guidelines for New York that are consistent with the latest Centers for Disease Control guidance. Under the new guidelines, individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end their quarantine after 10 days without a testing requirement as long as no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. After day 10 is reached, individuals must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change and determine if they should seek testing. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all recommended safe behaviors to stop the spread—wearing masks, socially distancing, and avoiding gatherings.
If it is confirmed that a student has been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 within the previous 14 days, that student will either self-isolate or quarantine. In many cases, students will be able to self-isolate in their rooms adhering to Department of Health guidance. In some cases, students may be relocated to other housing. Students in isolation or quarantine will be supported by health, counseling, wellness, our COVID-19 Contact Team, and Residential Life staff. Meals will be provided along with digital check-ins. Academic support will be provided by academic advisers and the deans in the Center for Student Life and Advising.
What are the requirements for traveling to or in New York State?
We ask that you abide by all state requirements when traveling to or in New York. For more information about New York State’s approach to reopening, please check the New York Forward website.
Will classes be online this semester?
We will offer a combination of online, in-person, and blended learning this semester.
How can I find out which classes will be taught online?
We encourage all students to review the current course list where fully remote courses are clearly identified, and be in touch with their advisers and professors with any questions.
Can I continue with remote-only learning if I want to?
Only as an exception. The College is finalizing a system for students to apply for exceptional remote learning status through the academic executive committee. Our primary concern is that students follow a course of study that makes sense for their academic progress. Faculty advising and the support of the deans in the Center for Student Life and Advising are critical to ensuring students have a successful and productive semester. Online learning in undergraduate education at Bard is a path of last resort.
If a student gets ill or returns home, they will be able to continue learning remotely. We will not penalize students for having to move online. Students will still be expected to continue to fully engage in their classes.
International students who cannot travel to Bard for the start of the semester may enroll in Bard’s online courses from their home countries.
If a student gets ill or returns home, will they be able to continue learning remotely?
Yes. We will not penalize students for having to move online. Students will still be expected to continue to fully engage in their classes.
What measures are in place for health and safety in campus facilities?
Environmental Services has implemented cleaning and disinfecting protocols across campus in accordance with CDC guidelines and OSHA guidelines. All employees who return to work on campus are trained and supplied with EPA-approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies to use in their personal and shared spaces. Over 100 new sanitizing stations have been installed on campus.
Bard’s HVAC department is cleaning and/or replacing all air filters in campus filtration systems as scheduled. The plumbing department has flushed water systems in all buildings, checked HVAC systems and replaced filters, made sure safety systems are fully operational, and ensured all systems are in good working order.
Will there be intercollegiate sports this winter?
No. The Liberty League, of which Bard is a member, has announced it is canceling winter sports competition and championships due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Sports impacted include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s squash, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field.
Are Bard facilities open to the public?
Effective October 20, 2020, Bard will be operating as a closed campus. Access to the campus by members of the surrounding communities and casual visitors is prohibited. A person who does not live, work, or study at Bard will not be allowed access to campus without prior approval from the College, except in the case of essential civic activities such as elections. New signage will be posted at campus access points to alert the Bard and wider community of this change in policy. Local government leaders have been notified that this is a precautionary measure in light of regional upticks in COVID-19 cases, and is intended solely to preserve the health and safety of the Bard community. Access to residence hall dormitories continues to be limited to those who reside there, and students living off campus should limit campus visits to classes and outdoor spaces.
Can I host visitors on campus?
Only requests for urgent and/or essential visitors will be approved until further notice.
- Third-party visitor requests will only be approved in exceptional cases and for essential civic activities such as elections, where visitors will be directed to closely controlled facilities operated and cleaned in keeping with New York State and CDC approved COVID-19 protocols. Do not submit a request unless it is urgent or essential to the welfare of our community.
- For the health and safety of our campus community, supervisors must request permission and receive approval for any non-Bard, third-party visitor to campus at this time. This is not required for visitors going into private residences.
- Once approval is received, the authorized visitor will be sent an email from the COVID Check-In Coordinator with a link to the health screening form, which they must complete prior to their arrival on campus.
Is Montgomery Place open to outside visitors?
Montgomery Place is temporarily closed to the public. We look forward to welcoming visitors back. Please visit the Montgomery Place website for updates and digital exhibitions.
Are there restrictions on travel during the semester?
The College prohibits nonemergency travel for students outside of our local area (Dutchess, Ulster, Greene, and Columbia counties), and prohibits all work travel and nonemergency travel for our employees. Traveling to visit friends, shop, or even visit family on a nonemergency basis is considered higher-risk behavior. Among the most common vectors for the spread of COVID-19 are pre- and nonsymptomatic individuals. Unnecessary travel and contact with people outside of the Bard community constitute an ongoing threat to campus safety. Any student who needs to undertake emergency travel should be in touch with the Dean of Students office to work out a travel plan.
International Students and Scholars
I’m an international student and I plan to take courses remotely. How will online classes affect my I-20 and visa status?
Many of our international students will be unable to attend classes in person in Annandale, due to travel restrictions and challenges obtaining visas. We have been working hard to develop options for these students to continue with their Bard education from their overseas locations.
For students in Europe who are able to travel to Berlin, we are offering places at Bard College Berlin. For students in China, we are finalizing options with some Chinese universities so that students can take a mix of online courses through Bard and in-person courses on site in China. Through the Bard network and the Open Society University Network, we have partner institutions on five continents, and we will work individually with each student on a plan that preserves their visa status and gives them the best possible access to the Bard experience. We hope to welcome all international students back to Annandale as soon as circumstances allow.
Who should I contact for information on travel restrictions to the United States?
We are closely monitoring current travel restrictions to the United States, and advise students to check the website of the U.S. Consulate in their home countries for updates on exceptions for student travel to the United States. In the meantime, we will strive to keep all of our students connected around the world. Students and families with questions should contact International Student Adviser Manishka Kalupahana (email@example.com or 845-758-7328) or Dean of International Studies Jennifer Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-758-6822 x7387).
Will taking all classes remotely jeopardize my US visa status?
On July 14, 2020, the Trump administration dropped its much criticized plan to require international college students to leave the United States unless they were enrolled in at least one face-to-face class. International students enrolled in US colleges and universities may now take a full online course load without risking their visa status.
Contact Tracing FAQs
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a tool used to prevent the spread of disease by identifying those who are sick and the people with whom they have come into close contact. Health departments usually do this work, and at Bard we have a volunteer group that is helping to support and accelerate the process.
Why do we need contact tracing?
Since a person may have COVID-19 and be contagious before exhibiting symptoms, or may not exhibit any symptoms at all, it is important that people who may have been exposed move quickly into quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus.
What can I expect from contact tracing if I have been diagnosed with COVID-19?
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a contact tracer will call you to check-in on your health, discuss who you’ve been in contact with, and ask where you spent time while you may have been infectious and able to spread COVID-19 to others.
It is important to know that we will respect your privacy, and your name will not be revealed to those you may have exposed, even if they ask.
This call may take 15–30 minutes, perhaps longer or shorter, and it is important that you be truthful and thorough with all information in order to keep you and others on our campus safe and healthy.
What can I expect from contact tracing if I am a close contact of somebody with COVID-19?
If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, a contact tracer might contact you to inform you that you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
You should stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the last day you were possibly exposed to COVID-19. This person will help identify the dates of your self-quarantine, and provide you with information on some of the resources we have available to those in quarantine on campus.
How is “close contact” defined?
Per the CDC, a “close contact” for COVID-19 is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, with considerations for whether or not face masks were worn or if the interactions took place indoors or outdoors. Simply passing by someone who later tests positive does not constitute close contact.
What if I was exposed to somebody with COVID-19 but it wasn’t a “close contact”?
According to our medical consultants and state public health officials, the risk of transmission is low if you were not a close contact and if you were wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing. You should carefully monitor your health and submit a daily self screening. If you are concerned about potential exposure to COVID, but you do not receive a phone call from a contact tracer, students should contact the Bard Health Service at 845-758-7433. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician.
How can I learn more about contact tracing?
If you would like to learn more about Contact Tracing in general, there are a number of online resources on the topic, including on the CDC website.
If you have questions about contact tracing at Bard, please contact David Lindholm at email@example.com or via cell at 845-802-4246.
If you are ill or having symptoms of COVID-19, or have any medical questions, contact Health Services at x7433. For emergencies, call 911 immediately.