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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

COVID-19 Update: Adjustments to campus restrictions and case update

February 27, 2021

Dear Students,

This week, we conducted more than 2,000 tests and while we are still waiting on a handful of individual tests, our SUNY rolling 14-day positivity rate is .66%. These results are encouraging. The student cooperation with contact tracing and quick action by our Student Health Services team was critical in helping to stop the spread.

Students, we know that this has been an incredibly difficult few weeks, but you have continued to show your resilience. This health pandemic has impacted our lives for nearly a year and things constantly seem to change. I want to thank you for putting everyone’s health and safety first in your actions.

With case numbers returning to low levels, our goal is to slowly and safely phase in more in-person out-of-class opportunities. We will start to phase in and pilot this expansion of activities beginning today.

The general public health guidelines will still remain in place, per our BEAR (Be Ethical And Responsible) COVID-19 Pledge, and violations will continue to be handled through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Again, it is critical for you to continue to properly wear your face coverings, avoid large gatherings, track your symptoms, use good hand hygiene, and comply with testing, tracing and any quarantine/isolation measures.

Lifted Restrictions starting Saturday, February 27

  • Dining Halls will now be open for in-person student seating, beginning immediately. Lehman Hall will be closed until further notice and dining schedules can be found online.
  • Residence Life will begin to allow residential students to visit each other’s rooms (with specific restrictions on numbers) beginning today. Please watch for a message from Residence Life with more specifics.
  • On-campus events and activities may begin in-person in accordance with the Event Facilities Guidelines, with limitations on numbers. Masks, social distancing and tracking of attendance will continue to be required. To find activities, look on the Get Involved website.
  • Lougheed Learning Commons will continue to be open. More information is available online
  • Crane and Crumb Library operating hours are available online
  • The Sheard Literacy Center will be open Monday through Thursday. 
  • Athletic practices may begin, and for some teams, SUNYAC has approved spring competition (for more information, the full announcement is available here). Please watch for emails from your coaches and from athletic staff with more information for each team.

We will continue to assess our progress each week and hope that we will continue to be able to lift more restrictions as we continue to have low numbers of positive cases.  Restrictions can also be put back into place should we start to increase again.

Questions and Comments

We know that there are still many questions and concerns. We encourage you to use the online question or comment form that will be routed directly to the appropriate individual for a response.

In addition, on Tuesday, March 2, there will be a live question and answer session for students, hosted by Interim Dean of Students Eric Duchscherer, Environmental Health and Safety Director Patrick O’Brien and Chief of Staff Nicole Feml. The session will be from 12 to 1:30 p.m., and we will send out the Zoom link in advance of this event.

I cannot stress this enough: Even though this week’s testing results show an improvement from previous weeks, we must all continue to work together to stop the spread.

Thank you for your ongoing efforts. We will continue to update you weekly on our continued public health measures as we strive to keep our semester both safe and successful for everyone.


Kristin G. Esterberg, Ph.D.