April 8, 2021
Through this week’s testing, SUNY Potsdam has so far identified an additional 17 positive student cases, for a total of 59 current active student cases. There are 3 employees who are also positive, and we are waiting on some final pooled surveillance testing results for faculty and staff.
Urgent need for caution
The continued rise in cases remains a concern, and a reminder that COVID-19 still poses a risk to our campus and community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the more virulent British B.1.1.7 strain of the virus is now the most dominant strain in the United States. This strain has been identified as being very easily transmitted from person to person. So it is more important now than ever to be extra cautious and follow all of the guidelines in the BEAR COVID-19 Pledge.
In particular, we have been made aware of unsafe gatherings that do not adhere to safety restrictions. Remember, such violations of COVID restrictions are taken very seriously under the uniform SUNY sanctions. Even in small groups outdoors, you should still be wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing by keeping to very small groups. Our existing campus restrictions will remain in place.
Vaccination appointments coming up
At testing this week, we were encouraged to learn how many students have already received the first and/or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. For those who want to be vaccinated but have not scheduled an appointment, there are hundreds of appointments available over the coming days right here at SUNY Potsdam. We encourage you to sign up for an appointment online: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov. Please note that if you sign up through this site, you will likely receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, which will require a second dose in either 3 or 4 weeks.
In addition, SUNY has secured free vaccine doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for our students, to be administered on a first-come, first-served basis in the coming days. These are the one-time Johnson & Johnson vaccine, so you will not need to schedule a second appointment. Students have to register in advance in order to receive the vaccine.
To help with this, registration tables will be set up at student testing in the Barrington Student Union Fireside Lounge on Monday, April 12, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please bring your health insurance card (if you have one) with you to testing that day if you are interested in this opportunity to help with the registration process. If you are planning on signing up on Monday, please make sure that you give yourself an extra 15 to 20 minutes, so that you can do this in addition to your test.
We strongly encourage all students to schedule their vaccine appointment(s) before the semester ends and to do their part to protect themselves, their families, and their communities, both here and at home. We know you want to open our campus and the community to the maximum extent possible and vaccinations will help us achieve that goal.
If you still have questions, you can learn more about the vaccines and New York’s vaccination efforts at covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov. You can also find answers to commonly asked questions about the vaccines at the #KnowYourVax video series, featuring SUNY experts.