September 19, 2020
Dear Students and Colleagues:
It is not my usual practice to send an email on a Saturday, but we have news worth noting and an important reminder.
As we wrap up our first round of student surveillance testing for COVID-19, I want to thank all of you who have worked so hard to protect yourselves and protect others. We tested approximately 1,800 residential and local students this week, using the new pooled saliva testing offered by Upstate Medical University.
So far, the results received have been promising—with no new positive results received as of this writing. Our next round of student testing will begin in two weeks. Each individual student will be tested every other week going forward.
Student Health Services and Kinney Drugs were able to administer hundreds of influenza vaccine shots this week for students and employees, respectively, as well.
Next week, we hope to begin our first round of surveillance testing for eligible on-campus employees. More information will be forthcoming as the details are finalized.
I am grateful for all that you are doing to be responsible and help to contain the spread. You are helping us prove every day that Potsdam is prepared to tackle this challenge, through individual will and collective effort.
As we head further into the weekend, I implore you to keep up the hard work. Don’t let your guard down. Unsafe social gatherings can quickly lead to ballooning case numbers. Wear your face coverings in public spaces at all times. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. By now, you know the drill, but it’s worth repeating.
Also worth repeating: Don’t forget to slow down and pay attention to your personal health and well-being. That’s important on two levels.
First, our county public health officials recently noted that most cases locally involve people who had very mild symptoms. If you are experiencing any symptoms, you should self-quarantine and contact your healthcare provider. This virus is highly contagious and if there is even the slightest chance that you are sick, you have to protect yourself and everyone you come into contact with.
Second, I hope that on your very long to-do lists, you can all prioritize your own personal health and wellness too. There is so much going on in the world, but I hope you can unplug occasionally to take in some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of the fall season. We have to take care of ourselves, as well as each other.
Kristin G. Esterberg, Ph.D.