Hamilton is taking the steps necessary to bring our community back together safely and with as much as possible of the richness and breadth that distinguishes a residential liberal arts education. Inevitably, some limitations will have to be imposed to protect our students, faculty, and staff, and to comply with local and state guidelines.

Our objective is to reopen the campus on time with full enrollment, and we have developed a three-phased plan that gradually and cautiously begins to increase the number of employees on campus in anticipation of students’ arrival in August. Our planning considers modifications to instruction, the academic calendar, housing, dining, cleaning, social interaction, campus visits, and other activities.

Updated information will be shared as soon as it is available and posted to this website.

Latest Updates

COVID-19 Test Kits Delayed (Aug. 6): We have reports that a number of COVID-19 test kits from “Let’s Get Checked” did not arrive at student addresses as planned on Tuesday, Aug. 4, due to the effects of the recent hurricane. The kits have been mailed and should arrive soon. Students who must leave their current location because they need to quarantine in another state before arriving on campus should contact kleach@hamilton.edu so another kit can be mailed to their new location. We apologize for any inconvenience.

COVID-19 Testing Plan for Employees (August 6)
Updated Guidelines: Physical Distancing, Group Gatherings, Advisor Meetings (August 5)
New Return to Campus Guide for Employees  [view as webpage or PDF] (July 30)
New Return to Campus Guide for Students [view as webpage or PDF] (July 20)
Traveling to Campus from Out of State (July 16)

Hamilton’s Operating Guide

The Plan for Return to Campus

Hamilton will begin phasing employees back to on-campus work starting June 15, 2020, moving from Minimal Operations Status back to Reduced Operations Status. To limit risk, the College’s plan lags behind the NYS reopening plan by at least two weeks. Hamilton’s plan is subject to change, and reverting to a previous operating status is possible if circumstances in the region or on campus do not evolve as anticipated or New York State changes its guidance.

Not everyone will return to campus at once. Employees who can successfully work from home should continue doing so. The targets for on-campus staffing levels listed below are maximums for the campus as a whole. Some departments may be able to continue accomplishing their work remotely. Each department will need to evaluate its operational needs while minimizing on-campus office staffing. Departmental plans should be developed in consultation with the appropriate vice president who will develop a plan for the division. 

Hamilton hopes to resume in-person instruction on schedule and with full on-campus attendance by students in August. The College is doing everything possible to achieve that goal, but must be guided by advice from public health experts and directives from state officials. Accordingly, the College will continue studying alternatives and making contingency plans for other scenarios. 

Hamilton will continue paying all benefits-eligible employees according to their normal schedule through at least July 31 and will continue providing regular updates on this status.

Phase One: Minimal Operations Status (June 1-14)

  • Phase One: June 1-14Campus Safety staff, as appropriate
  • Facilities Management staff, as appropriate to maintain buildings and grounds and to support students moving out of the residence halls
  • Limited LITS staff for support of remote learning
  • Limited access to administrative offices for essential functions

Phase Two: Reduced Operations Status (June 15-July 26)

  • Phase Two: June 15-July 26Administrative, academic, and athletics departments may increase on-site staffing to no more than 25 percent of normal office staffing per building
  • Facilities Management staffing may increase to support residence hall turnover and preparation

Phase Three: Modified Operations Status (July 27-August 14)

  • Phase Three: July 27-August 14Administrative, academic, and athletics departments may increase on-site staffing to no more than 50 percent of normal office staffing; the right balance will depend on the operational needs of the department, the physical layout of the department, and whether the office can stagger schedules to prevent close contact between employees

Phase Four: Move to COVID Normal Operations Status (August 15-ongoing)

  • On-site staffing will be increased as necessary to support in-residence operations. Employees may be allowed to work remotely, according to the divisional staffing plan, if their roles do not directly support essential campus services. Faculty have the option to teach in person or online.

Health, Safety and Protection

Putting Safety First

Unfortunately, returning to work in these phases will not be “business as usual.” Changes include: 

  • Offices must limit contact risk, which might include restricting hours in the office, mandatory face coverings, and installing protective barriers in areas where close contact is likely
  • Group meetings should continue to be held virtually via Zoom and not in person
  • Non-essential travel will continue to be restricted 
  • Planning and implementation by departments must adhere to the Employee Safety Plan

Employees who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 according to CDC guidance, or who are concerned about returning to work, should talk with their physician or consult with their supervisor and Human Resources about the possibility of working from home.

Personal Protection on Campus

  • face coveringFace coverings are required indoors at all times, except when alone in an office, a personal residence hall room, or while eating a meal while physically distanced. Face coverings are also required outdoors unless you are able to keep a distance of six feet from others.
  • The College will offer up to two cloth masks for each employee; employees may use their own work-appropriate face covering
  • Surgical masks are available for each employee and will be distributed by Facilities Management upon request
  • small gatherings iconIndoor gatherings on Hamilton College property may not exceed 10 people and outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 or fewer.
  • handwashing iconEmployees must maintain rigorous hygiene practices, especially frequent hand washing and cough etiquette, on campus

Caring for Yourself and Protecting Others: Guidance for Employees

  • Employees must perform daily self-checks for any symptoms of illness and must not come to work when sick. The College is exploring a self-screen survey tool and may require submission of a daily health survey starting at some point this summer (more information will follow). 
  • Employees who come in contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 should plan to quarantine at home for 14 days and speak with their supervisor about working from home during that period. 
  • Hamilton recognizes that these can be stressful times. Employees seeking support are encouraged to talk with their supervisor, Human Resources, or visit the Hamilton Employee Assistance Program webpage.

COVID-19 Symptoms

People 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 contact the Health Center. 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. 

Building Hours and Access

Through August 14

  • All dining halls and cafés are closed for the summer; dining services are limited to meal delivery for the few students residing on campus 

  • Limited Mail Center hours continue; office mail deliveries occur on Thursdays and will increase as appropriate to support Reduced and Modified operations 

  • The Wellin Museum, Burke Library, and the College Bookstore remain closed; the College Bookstore will continue online sales 

  • Athletics facilities, including the Blood Fitness Center, remain closed. The outdoor tennis courts are available to faculty, staff, and emeriti effective June 1, but those using the courts must maintain physical distancing at all times. The Simon Golf Center may be used with physical distancing 

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