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Hamilton College plans to operate as close to normal as possible this fall, with in-person classes and on-campus work. COVID-19 cases in the region are low, and students and employees will be vaccinated. We expect to start the semester in Blue status, as described in the College’s Campus Operating Grid. The grid outlines the additional precautions that will be implemented if the situation worsens.
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

Students are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they receive a medical or religious exemption, and must upload their vaccine information to the Student Health Portal before returning to campus. Questions should be directed to the Health Center at 315-859-4111 or healthcenter@hamilton.edu.

Employee Vaccination Requirement

Hamilton faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated by Thursday, Aug. 26, and update their current vaccine status unless they receive a medical or religious exemption. Contract employees who work regularly on the campus and have direct interactions with students and employees are also required to be fully vaccinated. Employees who choose not to be vaccinated may be eligible for up to six weeks of severance pay, depending on their years of service as of Aug. 26. Questions should be directed to the Human Resources Office at 315-859-4302.

COVID-19 Testing and Precautions [REV., Sept. 14]

COVID-19 testingBeginning Thursday, Sept. 9, all vaccinated students, faculty, and staff must test weekly on Thursdays at the on-campus testing center. The small number of students and employees who have received or will receive medical or religious exemptions to Hamilton’s vaccine mandate will test twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. Appointments are required. Testing and other precautions may shift as the pandemic evolves and public health guidance changes.

students fall 20Masking and Distancing [Rev., Sept. 14]

Face coverings must be worn in College buildings except when alone or with roommates in locations with a closed door, such as residence hall rooms, study rooms, or offices, or when attending to personal hygiene or eating and drinking. Face coverings must also be worn in College vehicles carrying more than one person.

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. 

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. Vaccinated students and employees may also choose to wear masks while on campus, and the College will provide masks or other protective equipment to anyone upon request. Please refrain from making judgments when encountering someone on campus who is wearing a mask.

Off-campus performers may be on stage without masks if the distance from Hamilton community members of at least 12 feet is maintained. Performers must wear their masks when not on stage. Hamilton student performers must wear masks unless a specific exemption has been granted for pedagogial or safety reasons.

2019 Orientation LeadersThe Academic Calendar and Student Arrival

The academic calendar has been updated. Most first-year students will start to arrive on Tuesday, Aug. 17. Upperclass students will arrive on Tuesday, Aug. 24, and classes will begin on Thursday, Aug. 26.

Access to Facilities

All campus facilities will be open to students and employees. Vaccinated visitors may also enter campus buildings as normal. Parents who are fully vaccinated may help their students move in, but visitors (including parents) are discouraged from entering residence halls during the semester. 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.

Classrooms and Conference Rooms

All meeting rooms will return to normal occupancy.

aerial view of athletic fieldsAthletics [REV., Sept. 14]

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. At present, parents and spectators who are vaccinated may attend all sporting events; unvaccinated parents and spectators may attend outdoor sporting events, but 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. Masks are required when attending an indoor sporting event.

Gatherings [Rev., Sept. 14]

At the present time, large gatherings (more than 50 people) are permitted for official College functions (this does not include pre- and postgame tailgates for athletic events). Whenever possible, large gatherings should take place outdoors.

Traveling Off Campus

Vaccinated students may travel off campus as needed. Unvaccinated students who need to travel out of the area must review their plans with the Dean of Students Office prior to traveling and may be required to quarantine in a local hotel through two COVID tests on return.

In addition, Hamilton is returning to more normal policies for College-sponsored travel. 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. Hamilton programs in New York City, Washington, D.C., Paris, and Madrid are expected to be operating. Contingency plans are being developed for these locations. 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 Fall 2021 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).

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