Saturday, November 14, 2020
A Message about Thanksgiving Break and Post-Thanksgiving Campus Access
A COVID-19 UpdateTo the Bard College community:
Topics in this update:
- Thanksgiving holiday departure guidelines
- Pre-departure testing
- New state guidance and celebrating Thanksgiving
- Important Thanksgiving guidance for employees
- Post-Thanksgiving campus access
Thanksgiving holiday departure guidelines
For those of you who are planning to leave campus for Thanksgiving, we wish you safe travels and encourage you to consult the CDC’s travel recommendations and your state’s Department of Health website for specific requirements.
The campus remains closed to unauthorized visitors. This will limit how family members or friends can assist with student departure. No more than 2 family members or friends will be allowed to drive onto campus for the purpose of picking up a student departing for the holiday. These family members or friends must stay inside their car or in its immediate vicinity, and must be masked. There will be absolutely no admittance to residence halls or any other campus facility.
In accordance with New York State guidance, we are providing COVID tests to all students who have informed us of their intention to leave the campus for the Thanksgiving holiday. These students will receive email notification of their selection for testing, and will be offered several days and times for taking their test prior to departing.
New state guidance and celebrating Thanksgiving
This week, New York State issued new restrictions on small gatherings, mandating that indoor and outdoor gatherings in residences must not exceed ten people. This applies to every member of the Bard community. Even spaces large enough to accommodate more than ten people with physical distancing, such as larger common rooms on campus, must limit use to no more than ten people. (Classrooms and academic meetings are not included in the new mandate.) Students who live off campus, as well as faculty and staff, are also required by this New York State mandate to limit any gatherings in their homes to ten people.
We recommend that all members of the Bard community review the CDC’s guidelines for holiday celebrations and small gatherings.
Closer to the holiday, the Dean of Students Office will announce Thanksgiving activities and food options for those remaining on campus. We look forward to celebrating a unique Thanksgiving with those of you who will be here.
Important Thanksgiving Guidance for Employees
Employees who have family members returning home from a restricted state over Thanksgiving break should not return to campus until those household members have tested negative twice per NYS guidelines (once pre-departure, again 4 days post-arrival) or the employee has quarantined for 14 days after the family member’s arrival home. Employees should discuss specific work schedules following the holiday with their supervisor or department chair, and contact HR with any questions or concerns.
Faculty and staff are also required to abide by the previously mentioned new state regulations about maximum gathering size and consider the level of risk associated with hosting and attending holiday gatherings.
All employees must continue to submit a daily health screening each day before coming to campus. Our Employee Covid Coordinator will follow up with any employee who is not cleared to return to on-campus work.
Post-Thanksgiving campus access
Those students who plan to remain in campus residence halls beyond Thanksgiving must stay on campus for the holiday. You will immediately forfeit your access to on-campus housing if you leave campus over Thanksgiving to attend gatherings elsewhere. We are establishing a monitoring protocol to ensure adherence to this policy and will share details about the process as we get closer to the holiday. Please know that these measures are not intended to be punitive. They are necessary for the safety and health of our community in the midst of a worsening public health emergency.
After Thanksgiving and through the end of the semester, we will resume our surveillance testing program for all students remaining on campus and employees who opted into the program. If you are an employee who opted in but will not be here to continue participating after Thanksgiving, please inform Nancy Smith at email@example.com.
Students who remain on campus over Thanksgiving will have access to campus facilities including labs, practice rooms, studios, and study spaces until the end of the semester, and should coordinate with their professors and program coordinators to facilitate access. After Thanksgiving, on-campus students must continue to participate in the surveillance testing program and submit a daily health screening via Involvio. Dining services and Kline will be open through dinner on Wednesday 11/25 and will reopen for dinner service on Sunday 11/29. Student Government, the International Students Organization, our dining contractor Parkhurst, and other campus organizations are organizing snacks and meals for each day of the Thanksgiving recess. In addition, the Down the Road cafe will be open 11/27-11/29 for retail purchases (not on the meal plan), where flex spending can be utilized. Following the Thanksgiving Break, dining hall services will resume semester hours until the final day of fall semester on 12/18. Between December 19 and January 4, access to campus facilities other than residence halls will be limited so spaces can be readied for Citizen Science and the spring semester.
Instead of holding Response Team office hours next week, we are scheduling pre-Thanksgiving town halls to give members of the community the opportunity to ask specific questions. We will announce those town halls early next week.
Bard College COVID-19 Response Team
Coleen Alexander Murphy, Vice President for Administration
Kimberly Alexander, Director, Human Resources
Jonathan Becker, Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Barbara Jean Briskey, Director, Health Services
Erin Cannan, Vice President Student Affairs/Dean for Civic Engagement
Deirdre d'Albertis, Dean of the College
Malia Du Mont, Chief of Staff, President's Office/Vice President for Strategy and Policy
Brooke Jude, Associate Professor of Biology
John Gomez, Director, Safety and Security
Emily McLaughlin, Associate Dean of the College
Jennifer Murray, Dean of International Studies
Bethany Nohlgren, Dean of Students
Kahan Sablo, Dean for Inclusive Excellence
David Shein, Associate VP for Academic Affairs/Dean of Studies
Éric Trudel, Chair, Faculty Senate
For more information, call 845-758-6822.