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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

March 2: Campus update: Novel Coronavirus / COVID-19

To the campus community:

President Esterberg has convened a team of SUNY Potsdam faculty and staff representing important areas of campus to monitor and respond to the international spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in keeping with our Infectious Disease Plan. The College is in daily contact with the New York State Department of Health and SUNY System Administration, and our response group is meeting regularly to track the situation.

At this time, no SUNY Potsdam students, faculty or staff members have been diagnosed with COVID-19, to our knowledge.

We have developed a page on the SUNY Potsdam website that will be updated frequently, as we have more information. Please visit the page regularly to find more detailed information:

What you need to know

Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms may appear within 2 to 14 days of exposure, and can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pneumonia

If you are experiencing symptoms, and have recently traveled to areas of concern, either internationally or in the U.S., or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, you should call ahead to your healthcare provider before seeking treatment in person.

If you have any of these symptoms, but have not traveled to areas of concern and not been (to your knowledge) in contact with someone who has, seek medical attention immediately.

Student Health Services will continue to screen any student who has a fever for COVID-19, along with seasonal influenza and other illnesses.

To help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses, you should always:

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Stay home if you have a fever.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then discard it.


International travel

SUNY Potsdam’s President’s Council made the decision today to cancel all College-sponsored international travel courses and short-term programs for the Spring 2020 semester. As conditions are constantly changing, we felt that we must be cautious and that it would be most prudent to cancel these programs now, as in many cases making alternate arrangements either would not be possible, or would raise new risks.

SUNY Potsdam is in close contact with all students who are currently studying abroad, both through our programs or through other campuses, regarding the need to make arrangements for return travel if required. More information on international travel will be shared in the coming days, as we follow guidance from SUNY, and federal and state health officials.


Upcoming communications

SUNY Potsdam will continue to update campus about COVID-19 precautions in the coming days and weeks. In particular, faculty should expect to receive advisory information to share with students, as well as guidance on making arrangements for sick students and recommendations on travel. The College is also expanding our outreach efforts to encourage good hygiene practices and raise awareness in the campus community about avoiding infection. We are also in close contact with our community partners, including the St. Lawrence County Department of Health and our fellow Associated Colleges, regarding local efforts.

For more information on COVID-19, visit:

To schedule an appointment or contact Student Health Services at SUNY Potsdam, visit: