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Potsdam Prepared: COVID-19 Updates

SUNY Potsdam Announces Restart Plans for the Fall

July 3, 2020
Classes Scheduled to Resume on Aug. 31 with Strict Protocols for COVID-19

SUNY Potsdam has developed a Restart Plan for the Fall 2020 semester in line with all New York Forward higher education regulations and SUNY requirements, and in consultation with public health officials and community leaders. The North Country has one of the lowest incidences of COVID-19 in New York State and SUNY Potsdam is committed keeping that trend its highest priority as the College prepares to open this fall.

Classes are scheduled to resume on Monday, Aug. 31 with a mix of on-campus, virtual and hybrid learning experiences, while adhering to strict protocols to ensure the safety of all returning students, faculty and staff. The academic calendar will be compressed. Students will return home at Thanksgiving break, at which point all remaining instruction and finals will be completed online.

In the event that conditions and regulations change, SUNY Potsdam is prepared to ramp down on-campus operations as required. Faculty are preparing in the event that they need to go to remote learning at any time.

As the semester gets underway, SUNY Potsdam will require and will conduct COVID-19 tests of returning students, based on final guidance and approval of the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department. The College is still finalizing our testing approach as we monitor the rapidly changing guidance. SUNY Potsdam currently has certified contact tracers on campus, who are prepared to assist the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department with tracing related to our students or employees as needed.

All residential students reporting to work on campus will be required to complete periodic health screenings, and employees will be required to complete daily health screenings. Face masks will be provided for all students and employees. Personal protective equipment will also be provided where applicable to approved employees. SUNY Potsdam will continue to clean facilities that are in use more frequently and keep high-touch areas sanitized.

“Our final Restart Plan reflects the utmost care and concern for our campus community,” said President Kristin G. Esterberg. "The most important element in making this semester safe and successful is our commitment to one another.”

Inspired by our Potsdam Pledge, every SUNY Potsdam student and employee returning to campus will be asked to adhere to strict protocols recommended by public health. Students, faculty and staff will commit to protect each other’s health and safety by:

  • Always wearing a mask in all common areas (unless you are alone in an individual office or your dorm room).
  • Completing a health screening online and/or using a new smartphone app. Anyone with health symptoms consistent with or possible exposure to COVID-19 will be asked to quarantine and be tested.
  • Adhere to restrictions on social gatherings, and maintain social (physical) distancing in the presence of others in all campus spaces.
  • Agreeing to complete quarantine or isolation periods when required. Violations of these requirements would be taken very seriously and would be handled under the student conduct system.
  • Practicing good hygiene, through frequent handwashing and disinfection of shared surfaces.
  • Be considerate of others, especially those at high risk.

For SUNY Potsdam’s full Restart Plan visit:

About SUNY Potsdam:
Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

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