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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

COVID-19: Next Steps and Recordings from Virtual Town Halls

November 17, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

Thank you to so many who joined us last week for the virtual open forums on the Fall 2020 semester departure and overview of our plans for Spring 2021. The recordings for both sessions are available online.

We continue to work closely with St. Lawrence County Public Health, New York State and SUNY, as we respond and develop plans in light of COVID-19. For those who are interested, the spring semester guidance from SUNY is available online. As of right now, here are some of the main highlights for the Spring 2021 semester:

  • Students will be phased back to campus the week of January 25.
  • All students will be required to do a pre-arrival 7-day precautionary quarantine.
  • All students will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.
  • Surveillance testing will be conducted throughout semester.
  • Classes will begin on February 1.
  • Spring break will not occur, per SUNY guidelines, but the semester will include midweek break days to allow students to rest, while reducing any temptation to travel outside the area or join unsafe gatherings.
  • Students must continue to adhere to the BEAR (Be Ethical and Responsible) COVID-19 Pledge.

More information will become available over the coming weeks. Please know that we will continue to make decisions with our campus community’s health and safety as the number one priority.

As we begin to see a spike in cases both here in St. Lawrence County and throughout the state, I urge you to continue to do your part to stop the spread. Our campus community has been a role model for responsible and caring behavior this semester, and we must all keep up the hard work in the weeks ahead—in all of our home communities, here and elsewhere.

Finally, to you, our students, I have to say: We are so very proud of you. In a letter for our students from our faculty and staff, it states:

“Your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. Your actions have kept everyone in the College community safe. Your actions have kept everyone safe in the surrounding community…We the faculty of SUNY Potsdam will always give you, our students who sacrificed so much this semester, our highest respect for your diligence and perseverance in keeping our community safe. We do not underestimate what you have gone through to pursue your goals and keep everyone safe. In these trying times in our nation and world, you have become an inspiration to what can be done if we work towards a common goal.”

Thank you for doing your part to ensure that our fall semester was safe and successful. We have all done this together, and for that, I am grateful and proud to be a SUNY Potsdam Bear. While many students will return to their families in just a few days, please know that your Potsdam family is always here for you.

We can’t wait to welcome you safely back in the spring!

Please stay healthy.


Kristin G. Esterberg, Ph.D.