Two additional employees test positive for COVID-19 this weekend

Side profile of Wooster Hall on the SUNY New Paltz campus
Side profile of Wooster Hall on the SUNY New Paltz campus

Dear Members of the Campus Community:

Two campus employees reported to the College that they tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend. You may hear unconfirmed reports from individuals that they are assumed to have COVID-19 but have not been tested or their physician does not plan to test them and they are recuperating at home. The College will continue to report only confirmed COVID-19 cases to the campus community.

As we indicated last week, we now are sharing this information at the end of each day in one email update.

  • A political science faculty member has notified us today that her doctor confirmed that her COVID-19 test was positive. She was last on campus to visit her office on Monday, March 16, or Tuesday, March 17, and did not show symptoms until Wednesday, March 18. She was tested on March 19 and the test came back positive today. She has been in self-quarantine at home since the onset of symptoms.  Anyone who has been in JFT and used either elevator between Monday, March 16, and Friday, March 27, should self-quarantine immediately for 14 days from the day they used the elevators and seek guidance from a physician. The faculty member’s office will be cleaned. The entire Faculty Tower was cleaned on Friday, March 27, as part of the campus’s standard enhanced cleaning protocol during flu season. Therefore, JFT will not be closed.
  • A staff member in the Office of Student Financial Services in Wooster Hall tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, March 28. She was last on campus on Thursday, March 12, and showed symptoms on Friday, March 13. She spent time in her office, the breakroom and common areas of the Office of Student Financial Services, as well as the common areas in the Office of Student Accounts. She was also in Resnick Engineering Building. Anyone who visited these three locations between March 11-13, should self-quarantine for 14 days starting the day they visited the office (We recognize this period is already over, however, if you are symptomatic, please continue to self-quarantine and contact your physician). Resnick Engineering Hall will be closed for cleaning consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines by trained cleaners with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Wooster Hall was cleaned on Friday, March 27, as part of the campus’s standard enhanced cleaning protocol during flu season. Therefore, Wooster will not be entirely closed. Student Financial Services and Student Accounts, however, will be closed for enhanced cleaning consistent with the above guidelines.

As of today, we can confirm that seven employees and seven students have tested positive for COVID-19. All are in self-quarantine at home or in the hospital. Some are already feeling better.

We are working closely with the Ulster County Department of Health and the Ulster County Office of Emergency Management to reach out to any students, faculty or staff members who may have come in contact with this individual, and instructing them to immediately self-isolate as per CDC guidelines.

We are activating all necessary protocols and will provide timely updates to all members of the campus community. We remind members of our community that the CDC has advised that there is “No Identifiable Risk” to an individual who walks or briefly shares a room with a COVID-19-positive individual. That guidance can be found in Table 1 of the CDC’s interim guidance for risk assessment related to perceived levels of exposure.

We continue to recommend that members of our community who are experiencing flu-like symptoms practice good public health protocols by resting, drinking lots of fluids, reducing contact with others, restricting their movement around campus, and contacting the Student Health Center or their primary care physician.

Campus leadership is continuing to monitor developments related to COVID-19 with guidance from the CDC and our local and state health departments, as well as SUNY System Administration and the Governor’s Office.

Please continue to monitor campus e-mail for updates. Campus community members can view updates at the Coronavirus Information and Coronavirus FAQs webpages, which are being updated regularly as this situation evolves.

Donald P. Christian