Is the Bard campus open to the public?
Yes, the main Bard College campus grounds in Annandale are now open to the community. Please be aware that, due to Bard Summerscape rehearsals and performances at Montgomery Place, public access to the Montgomery Place campus will be restricted throughout the summer; please consult the Montgomery Place website for details. 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, and one-way traffic flow inside buildings and related signage are being discontinued/removed.
Can I host outside visitors on campus?
The main Bard College campus grounds are now open to the public, with COVID-19 safety protocols still in place. Please note that no visitors of any kind are permitted inside buildings or facilities unless they have been approved in advance. Employees must request approval from the Response Team via the Essential Visitor Request Form (below). Students, please contact the Dean of Student Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to request visitor approval. All visitors must be accompanied at all times by their Bard host and must follow all masking and physical distancing requirements.
- Other 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.
- 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 facilities 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 the public?
Montgomery Place is open to the public from dawn to dusk on Mondays only through August 13 (closed July 5) to accommodate Bard SummerScape programming. Mansion tours are currently suspended. Visit the Montgomery Place website for more information.
Has the College provided guidance for summer travel?
Yes. The College has updated its travel guidelines to reflect improving public health conditions and rising vaccination rates. While we ask that all members of our community exercise caution when undertaking higher risk activities such as travel, official College travel is no longer restricted. Please take relevant CDC and U.S. State Department travel advisories into account.
Will Bard College require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the fall 2021 semester?
Yes. Bard College will require all students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021–22 academic year, and strongly encourages all employees to be vaccinated as well.
Public health experts advise that universal vaccination is the surest basis for a normal campus experience, including expanded in-person instruction, campus activities, athletics, performances, and gatherings in the fall. In addition, the American College Health Association has recommended that colleges require COVID-19 vaccination for all on-campus students for the fall 2021 semester. Over 200 other colleges and universities have announced such a requirement. As the ACHA notes, pre-matriculation vaccination requirements for students attending institutions of higher education in the United States are not new.
Will COVID-19 testing still be available on campus over the summer?
Yes. The College’s COVID-19 testing program will continue into the summer as we welcome summer cohorts of students and conduct surveillance testing of employees. We will continue to administer the same highly accurate PCR test through the MIT/Broad Institute program that has served us well all year and often delivers results in less than 24 hours.
Once I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?
Not generally. Bard’s mask mandate, already lifted for outdoor activities for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, has also been lifted for vaccinated individuals inside campus facilities. This new guidance applies only to vaccinated individuals; any unvaccinated individuals must still wear masks indoors. Please note that some facilities and activities may still require masking. Your supervisor or program director will advise you if your facility or program requires special protocols due to its specific circumstances. Please see the College's full mask guidelines for details.
When can I get a vaccination?
As of April 6, everyone in New York age 16 and over is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. That means the entire Bard College community is now eligible, and we encourage all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Please use this tool on the New York State website to find a nearby vaccination site and make an individual appointment.
What guidance is the College using in its planning for the new academic year?
Bard’s COVID-19 response plan 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 has created 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 also has 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.
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.
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.
Is the Stevenson gym open to employees and students?
The Stevenson Athletic Center and Stevenson Pool are now open to Bard students, faculty, and staff, as well as to non-remote graduate students who live on campus or in Dutchess, Columbia, Greene or Ulster counties. Reservations are required: visit bardathletics.com for access and protocols. Please note the facility remains closed to the public.
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.
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.
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 are unable to attend classes in person in Annandale, due to travel restrictions and challenges obtaining visas. We have developed 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 offering 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.