April 2, 2020
SUNY Potsdam is continuing to work closely with the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department, as it tracks, traces and reports positive cases of COVID-19 that impact our campus community.
In order to encourage transparency and the flow of information, SUNY Potsdam is publicly posting the numbers of tests conducted on campus and the results, which will include both students and employees who have recently been on campus. Because of the new state restrictions, many of our faculty and staff have not been on campus since March 17.
We want to be very clear about what information we have, and what we can share, for off-campus cases. Employees are required to notify the College if they are being tested. For off-campus students, unless they utilize Student Health Services for testing, we will not be aware of tests that are conducted by outside healthcare providers. We will continue to update and track these numbers as we have the information, and will send messages if there is a potential broader risk because the affected individuals have been physically present on campus within the last 14 days.
You will note one new case in our numbers as of today. Student Health Services has been notified that a student who resides off campus has a confirmed case of COVID-19. At this time, there is no known risk to the campus. In addition, out of the 22 tests that have been conducted for on-campus students, 13 have come back negative and we are waiting on results for 4.
Please note that all community cases of COVID-19 are being comprehensively tracked and reported by the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department and public health departments across the state. Public Health conducts contact tracing for every single case, and will notify anyone who may have come into contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 so that they can take the appropriate steps.
Here is the bottom line. We must do everything in our power to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Lives depend on it. SUNY Potsdam took extra steps to quarantine students coming from high-risk areas, and then our Student Health Services conducted precautionary tests, even though most were asymptomatic. These tests were not required, but they were the right thing to do. The students who tested positive were isolated until released the Public Health Department. Any people they have come into contact with have been quarantined now as well.
We know based on that experience that there are many people walking around who may appear to be healthy, but are actually contagious. So, please, do everything you can to protect yourself and protect others.
What you can do
We cannot emphasize enough how vital it is for everyone to practice social distancing. You can be contagious and not even have symptoms. Stay at home, as much as possible. Don’t gather with others. Don’t travel unless it is truly essential. Practice good hygiene and disinfect frequently used surfaces. Keep a distance from others in public. Monitor your symptoms and self-quarantine at the first sign of illness. Call your healthcare provider if you are concerned. Take steps to protect the most vulnerable among us.
Finally, take care of yourself. Take time to destress. Connect with others digitally, especially those who are more isolated, like the elderly and people with preexisting conditions or compromised immune systems. Try to make time for fitness and to get fresh air, as long as you are keeping your distance from others. More resources from the College Counseling Center are available here. Students are also invited to take part in virtual activities through Campus Life.
As always, for the most up-to-date information from our campus, keep checking http://www.potsdam.edu/covid19.