COVID-19 and College Operations (08.06.21)
Dear Northeast Community,
As COVID-19 infection rates increase both nationwide and in our region, we understand there are concerns about campus safety, as well as rumors about what may or may not be happening with health on our campus. We want to share an update with you to ensure we all have the most current information about COVID-19 and the College's operations.
Since the beginning of 2020, Northeast has worked closely with federal and local agencies to act in full accordance with current Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York state, and county guidance. If and when someone at Northeast is exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, we have a detailed series of steps we immediately put into action. See the end of this article for an outline of this process.
It is true that we have had (and unfortunately will likely experience again) positive COVID diagnoses among members of our community. Currently we have three active positive cases reported across the College, which includes off-site health centers; this afternoon, county officials cleared an additional two previously-positive individuals as recovered and able to resume standard activities. There are also several individuals in preventative quarantine. Upon diagnosis, all positive individuals entered isolation and were instructed to not come to campus. As well, contact tracing was engaged to determine if anyone was in close contact with the COVID-positive individuals; if so, they were directed to begin quarantine and take precautions. (Note that, after thorough investigation, some potentially at-risk individuals may have been cleared from concern and were able to continue their regular routines unchanged.)
Though the steps taken in each of these instances have been carried out discretely to protect individuals' official health information, Northeast College has acted quickly and decisively in every reported instance of positive COVID test results and/or exposure. We are confident that any community member currently diagnosed with or confirmed exposed to COVID-19 is not on campus or in contact with others. In following best practices aligned with -- and often even exceeding -- the CDC's guidelines, we are satisfied that our Community's wellness is protected.
That said, we understand that this ever-changing pandemic is stressful and safety is at the top of everyone's mind. To support all of our health, Northeast will continue to require masks, appropriate physical distancing, and frequent sanitization of surfaces and materials in all in-person finals. If you have additional concerns about safety during finals, please contact your professor(s) to discuss what options might be available.
Thank you for reading this update, for acting from evidence, and for being part of a community that takes health very, very seriously. Together we will safeguard ourselves and one another, now and as we move into fall.
J. Todd Knudsen, D.C., DACBR
Vice President of Stakeholder Engagement
Campus Safety Monitor