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Hamilton’s pandemic protocols are based on consultations with experts in infectious disease, review of the latest studies and scientific developments, modeling of different scenarios, discussions with peer institutions, and our own recent past experience. Of necessity, our protocols will be modified as conditions change, but our goal is to provide our students with the best possible education and residential experience, while keeping our community safe and whole.
The Campus Operating Grid outlines the precautions that will be implemented for each designated alert level. Effective May 11, the College is in Blue status with face coverings required indoors.
Effective May 9:
  • The Testing Center will be open on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Thursday, May 19, for optional testing.
  • Rapid tests will continue to be available at the Health Center for symptomatic students. Employees who need rapid tests should obtain them from their health care providers or local pharmacies.
  • Visitors for commencement and reunion events are encouraged to test at home before coming to campus. Masks will be required at indoor events.
 
 
Everyone on Campus Must Self-Monitor Daily for COVID-19 Symptoms

germPeople with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe illness. The CDC reports the following symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus:

• Chills, feeling feverish, or temperature at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
• Cough
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Fatigue
• Muscle or body aches
• Headache
• New loss of taste or smell
• Sore throat
• Congestion or runny nose
• Nausea or vomiting
• Diarrhea

Students who have symptoms should call the Health Center to schedule a test. Employees who have symptoms should contact their health provider. Hamilton's Human Resources Office can also provide information about facilities in the region where employees can obtain a COVID-19 test. Authorization from a health provider may be required by the testing site.

Student Vaccination Requirement [REV., Dec. 15]

Students are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including a booster within 30 days of becoming eligible, unless they receive a medical or religious exemption, and must upload their vaccine information to the Student Health Portal before returning to campus. Please upload a photo of the vaccination card showing receipt of the booster by January 15. Questions should be directed to the Health Center at 315-859-4111 or healthcenter@hamilton.edu.

Employee Vaccination Requirement [REV., Dec. 15]

Hamilton faculty and staff members must be fully vaccinated, including a booster within 30 days of becoming eligible, unless they receive a medical or religious exemption, and must update their current vaccine status by January 15. Employees who have not uploaded proof of having received the vaccine and booster are required to do so immediately. The College will take steps to enforce this mandate for anyone who is not in full compliance as of February 10. Contract employees who work regularly on the campus and have direct interactions with students and employees are also required to be fully vaccinated and have received the booster. Questions should be directed to the Human Resources Office at 315-859-4302.

COVID-19 Testing and Precautions [REV., MAY 8]

COVID-19 testing

Testing and other precautions may shift as the pandemic evolves and public health guidance changes. Monday, May 9 is the final date of required testing. Please visit the Testing Center page to reserve a time. Thereafter:

  • The Testing Center will be open on Mondays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Thursday, May 19, for optional testing.
  • Rapid tests will continue to be available at the Health Center for symptomatic students. Employees who need rapid tests should obtain them from their health care providers or local pharmacies.
  • Visitors for commencement and reunion events are encouraged to test at home before coming to campus. Masks will be required at indoor events.

students fall 20Masking and Distancing [Rev., MAY 11]

Effective Wednesday, May 11, Hamilton is in Blue status with masks still required indoors in addition to the locations and situations listed below.

Masks are still required in the following campus spaces and situations:

  • In classes, labs, or studios while class is in session, unless the instructor specifies that masks are not necessary
  • Unvaccinated students and employees should continue to wear masks while indoors
  • In the Testing Center
  • In the Health Center and Athletics Training Center
  • At large gatherings, if requested by the organizer(s)
  • Faculty members who wish to lift the mask requirement in their classes should notify their students in advance.

Hamilton remains a mask-friendly campus, and many individuals may choose to wear masks in spaces where they are not required or may ask you to wear a mask when in close proximity. Please carry a mask with you when indoors and be respectful of such requests.

Masks should be positioned to completely cover the person’s nose and mouth, be affixed before entering any campus building, and must be worn appropriately for the entire time (with the exceptions noted above) a person is inside the building. Effective January 5, only surgical or KN95 masks are acceptable; cloth masks are not acceptable. If you have skin sensitivity to disposable masks, try wearing a cloth one underneath.

In addition, all unvaccinated people (i.e., those who receive a medical or religious exemption) on the Hamilton campus must wear a face covering when within six feet of another person when outdoors. 

2019 Orientation Leaders

Isolation for Positive Results [REV., APR. 19]

In the interest of efficiency, Hamilton has automated some aspects of the notification process. If a student tests positive, they will receive an automated email message with instructions about what to do. Their faculty and coaches will be automatically notified. Students will also have a form to report their close contacts on campus and those contacts will be notified.

New York State (NYS) just adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of a reduced isolation period for fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Effective immediately, students, faculty, and staff who are fully vaccinated and test positive will need to isolate for a minimum of five days (instead of 10 days), with Day 0 “the day of symptom onset or (if asymptomatic) the day of collection of the first positive specimen.” Hamilton will also require a negative COVID-19 test to exit isolation.

Specifically, you may leave isolation and resume regular activities if you:

  • Are asymptomatic throughout the isolation period, or, if you have residual symptoms, then all symptoms are improving
  • Test negative on day six; if still positive on day six, remain in isolation and wait 48 hours to retest
  • Strictly abide by the face covering policy on campus, wearing a disposable, non-woven mask, preferably a KN95 mask (no cloth masks)
  • Take precautions to help protect others by practicing social distancing
  • Self-monitor for symptoms and seek re-evaluation from the Health Center if symptoms recur or worsen

While in isolation students must stay in their rooms, which may be at a local hotel. A staff member will check in with you daily, but it is your responsibility to contact your professors for help with missed classwork. Employees must isolate at home.

Effective April 19:

  • Students who test positive and live in single rooms, or who have a roommate who previously had COVID-19 this semester, will isolate in their rooms. Students isolating on campus may not leave their rooms except to use the bathrooms and to pick up meals, as explained below. Bathroom protocols will be put into place for each residence hall.
  • Other students who test positive will be moved to hotels, but there may be a delay, even overnight, until we can locate more rooms. While waiting, these students should isolate in their rooms.

Access to Facilities [REV., APR. 5]

Effective February 1, visitors who are vaccinated and have received the booster (as eligible) for COVID-19 may enter public spaces in campus buildings; masks are required. This includes indoor athletics events, the library, the bookstore, the museum, and all other College buildings. 

 Unvaccinated parents and other unvaccinated visitors to campus may not enter campus buildings and should wear a mask whenever they are within six feet of others outdoors (these are Hamilton policies that supersede NYS guidance).

Admission tours may enter certain buildings on a formal route. 

All meeting rooms will return to normal occupancy. 

aerial view of athletic fieldsAthletics [REV., FEB. 2]

Practices will be held as usual for intercollegiate teams and club sports.  Competitions will be planned and occur under whatever NESCAC guidelines are in place at the time. Unvaccinated parents and spectators should wear masks whenever they are within six feet of others. 

Team gatherings or receptions with family and friends at home or away competitions, including pre- and postgame tailgates, are not permitted until further notice. 

Visitors [Rev., FEB. 23]

Effective February 1, visitors who have been fully vaccinated and received a booster (when eligible) are allowed inside campus buildings. Questions may be directed to the COVID-19 Steering Committee by emailing Karen Leach.

Prospective Students and Families: The Admission Office is currently open for in-person visitors and tours. All admission visitors are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible, and abide by all of the College's COVID-19 protocols.

Overnight guests:  Students are allowed to host overnight guests who are vaccinated and boosted. 

Gatherings [Rev., MAY 11]

Social gatherings are not limited while the campus is in Blue operating status.

Traveling Off Campus

Students may travel on and off campus, but please be aware of local COVID-19 transmission rates and mask requirements.

Standard policies for College-sponsored travel are in effect. Service work and field trips for courses are permitted, and students performing service work should take precautions (e.g., wear a mask) when they are interacting with unvaccinated people. Professional travel for employees and visits to campus by job candidates may resume for vaccinated individuals.

Communication [REv., Sept. 14]

The COVID-19 Steering Committee will only notify the campus about positive cases if there is a significant risk of exposure or if the campus operating status changes. Please consult the FAQs for answers to common questions. The COVID-19 Dashboard is refreshed weekly on Saturdays. You may email questions to Karen Leach, chair of the COVID-19 Task Force (kleach@hamilton.edu).

If a student tests positive, they will receive an automated email message with instructions about what to do. Their faculty and coaches will be automatically notified. Students will also have a form to report their close contacts on campus and those contacts will be notified.

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