February 4 message from President Kolison

Dear Fredonia community: 

I want to welcome you back to a new semester!  I hope you had a restful break and you and your families are well.

We received feedback during the fall semester that showed people appreciated regular, consistent communication as we continue to deal with COVID-19. Hence, we will continue weekly messages about where we are in terms of positive cases, testing, and any other issues that arise. These messages will be delivered to you each Thursday, and will also be shared on our Spring 2021 webpage.

Pre-arrival testing: Thank you, students, for arranging your pre-arrival testing. We are pleased that you abided by the SUNY-mandated protocol either to receive a test in your hometown or to participate in surveillance testing as soon as you arrived

The campus conducted over 1,700 tests last weekend as part of move-in, and only three positive results were returned. Thank you, employees, for the tremendous planning and teamwork necessary to bring our students back safely. It feels so good to see students interacting and learning as our campus comes alive again!

Please be aware that SUNY decided that pre-arrival testing will NOT count towards the 100 active case threshold for “pausing” in-person classes. Again, this is not a concern given the low numbers from move-in weekend. Still, that metric will not take effect until we start weekly campus testing beginning on February 8. The COVID-19 dashboard is updated daily to keep track of our cases.

Weekly testing: We have communicated extensively over the break, but it is worth saying another time; we will be conducting weekly testing of all students, faculty, and staff who utilize the campus for any reason.  I know that this will be a challenge, but it is very important for the safety of our campus and for our ability to remain open.  You will receive emails this semester with the subject “Alert: COVID Test (date of your test)” a couple of days before your scheduled test. You can also refer to the weekly testing schedule to find your testing day each week. 

Surveillance testing and vaccinations: One question we are receiving concerns the need to participate in pool testing once you receive the vaccinations. The answer is, yes, you should continue to participate. The vaccines have been proven effective in fighting the disease, but it is possible a vaccinated person could still be infected and spread the virus. So the pooled testing will allow for the identification of individuals who are positive for the virus and could potentially infect others. 

I am sure many of you may be tired of social distancing, wearing masks and everything else we have to do to stay safe.  I want to encourage you to stay the course.  I believe that we are not too far from the finish line.

I will update you again next Thursday, or sooner if needed. I hope you have an excellent start to your semester!  Again, welcome to a new semester.  Stay warm.

Very truly yours,
Dr. K.

Stephen H. Kolison, Jr., Ph.D.

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