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Restart Plan: Get the details.

Student Guide

Together, we can ensure that the Fall 2020 semester is safe and successful. 

BEAR = Be Ethical And Responsible
All returning students will be expected to comply with our SUNY Potsdam BEAR (Be Ethical And Responsible) COVID-19 Pledge. We have strong expectations in order to keep our campus and community safe. If you are concerned about your ability to comply with any of these, you are welcomed and encouraged to complete your studies virtually. 


Pledge Highlights:

  • Complete a 7-day quarantine period at home before coming to campus. If you are unable to do this, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Potsdam. 
  • Be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus. This will be required of both on-campus residential students and off-campus students living locally.
  • Wear a face covering at all times in public spaces, unless you are alone or in your personal residence hall room.
  • Stay in your own space. People who you do not live with should never enter your room or apartment: not to hang out, not to study, not to party. 
  • Complete daily screenings for COVID-19 symptoms and seek medical attention if you have any. 
  • Remain in the North Country region until you return home for Thanksgiving break. 
  • If you are sick or come in contact with someone who has COVID-19, complete a quarantine/isolation period for 10 to 14 days. 

Protect yourself and each other.

Now that our returning students have all completed initial testing and self-quarantine periods, we have to remain vigilant to stop the spread on campus and in our community.

Stay vigilant & safe
Remember not to attend any unsafe social gatherings, always wear your mask in public spaces, frequently wash your hands, disinfect shared surfaces, and respect social distancing spacing. Anyone with concerns can report possible violations of the BEAR COVID-19 Pledge by emailing (and/or, if you are unsure which campus a student is affiliated with).

Surveillance testing
In accordance with SUNY and New York State policies, we will be conducting surveillance testing throughout the remainder of the semester. Partnering with Upstate Medical University, we will now be utilizing a pooled saliva test. COVID-19 testing is mandatory for residential students, non-residential students who live within a 15-mile radius, or any student who has a reason to be on campus. If you do not comply with testing, you will be asked to return home and study virtually, in order to protect the health of the campus community. Our first round of COVID-19 surveillance testing will be held from September 15 to 18. We will test all students who meet the above criteria. Going forward, we will randomly test 50% of on-campus/local students each week. For more information, see here.

Influenza vaccine
To reduce strain on the healthcare system and to protect student health, everyone is strongly urged to get their seasonal influenza vaccine this year. Student Health Services will offer free flu vaccine clinics alongside the COVID-19 surveillance testing in Maxcy Hall on September 16 and 17. You can also make an appointment with Student Health Services to receive a shot.

Symptoms tracker
Students are expected to continue to complete the Symptoms Tracker every day. If you have any symptoms, you should seek medical attention and quarantine yourself immediately.