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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Campus community members test positive for COVID-19

Dear members of the SUNY Potsdam Community,

SUNY Potsdam’s Student Health Services has been notified that five of the College’s residential students have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

  • To respect the privacy of the individuals, they will remain anonymous.
  • The students arrived on campus between March 14 and March 20.
  • SUNY Potsdam has put in place precautionary measures to ensure social distancing. As a result, the students had already been in quarantine.
  • The affected students have already been placed in single bedrooms with single bathrooms to practice self-isolation. They will remain in isolation until cleared by the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department.
  • As a reminder, all approved residential students who have recently traveled to campus from areas with a high incidence of COVID-19 have been required to complete a 14-day self-quarantine period. They all were given tests by Student Health Services, in conjunction with the Public Health Department.
  • Of those who tested positive, four individuals were completely asymptomatic and one had mild cold symptoms.
  • The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department will notify students, faculty and staff who may have been exposed to the individuals who have tested positive.
  • Those notified should contact their primary care physician for guidance.
  • All other members of the community should continue to abide by social distancing and other preventive measures.
  • Affected physical spaces will receive deep cleaning and be disinfected, consistent with public health guidelines.

We are taking all necessary precautions to help slow the spread of COVID-19 on our campus and in our community, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local and state health departments, and in keeping with all new federal and state regulations.

What to do if you start to experience symptoms (CDC guidelines)

If you are experiencing symptoms (including fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or respiratory infection/distress), and suspect you may have COVID-19, do NOT enter a healthcare facility before speaking with a medical professional. You risk exposing others to the virus.

  • Faculty and staff who experience symptoms should contact their primary care physician or local health facility. Separately, they should notify their supervisor. If you are on campus and experiencing symptoms, you should immediately go home. If you are already working from home, stay at home and self-quarantine as a precaution while you seek medical attention.
  • Students who experience symptoms may contact their medical care provider or call Student Health Services at (315) 267-2377 during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to set up a telehealth appointment. After business hours or over the weekend, call ahead to the Urgent Care Clinic at (315) 261-5525 or the Canton-Potsdam Hospital Emergency Department at (315) 265-3300.

Please continue to monitor your campus email for updates. All updates will continue to be posted comprehensively at

In keeping with our Potsdam Pledge, I would ask each of us to remember to treat all members of our campus and our communities with the dignity and respect we all deserve during this difficult period. The scope of this pandemic is unprecedented in our time, and I know we are all fearful and concerned for ourselves, our families, our loved ones and one another. Through our collective actions and with a focused intention, we can all help to protect each other and maintain our wellbeing, by sharing hope, doing our part, and supporting each other. Thank you for your critical efforts.


Kristin G. Esterberg, Ph.D.
SUNY Potsdam