The Office of the President
August 6, 2020

Dear faculty, staff and administrators,

As we prepare for our safe return to campus, I want to share several updates to our Oswego Forward Plan and provide additional information about the important role you have in helping our campus community stay healthy and safe. If together we fully support and encourage wearing masks, good hygiene, appropriate physical distancing, necessary testing and daily screening we have a very good chance of stopping community spread of COVID-19 and staying together for a successful semester.

I know that so many of you have stayed involved and engaged, mostly virtually, and you have already been great facilitators of health and safety.  Thank you, sincerely, for the hard work, effort and insight you have been contributing to benefit our entire campus community.

While some of our essential employees have been physically on campus for several months, I know that many of you are now preparing to make your return to the office in the coming days and weeks. As more of our employees plan their return to campus this week, later this month or at some point this fall, the following are some key items of interest that will guide you forward.

  • Oswego Forward Pledge:  We are encouraging all employees to read and agree to the Oswego Forward Pledge.  This fall, you will play a critical role in helping to safeguard the health and safety of yourself and those in our greater community. Faculty and staff who agree to take this pledge will let us know that you are joining our students in making a choice to be mindful of your actions and how they truly affect the very lives of others.  View the Oswego Forward Pledge.

  • Daily Health Screen:  We are requiring all employees (excluding undergraduate student employees and Graduate Assistant employees who must complete a daily student screening) to complete a daily COVID-19 health screening BEFORE coming to campus for work.  As shared in a July 17 email from Human Resources, the screening is available online via the Oswego Forward website and requires all employees to attest, prior to coming to campus each day, that they are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.  NOTE: employees are not required to complete a pre-arrival health screening questionnaire 7 days prior to their specified or desired date of arriving on campus, nor do they need to quarantine for 7 days at home prior to arriving/returning to campus.  

  • Traveling internationally or from any of New York State's restricted states:  If you have traveled internationally or out-of-state and are returning from one of the designated restricted states with significant community spread, you must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York before coming to campus. Per New York State directive, if you are returning to NYS from one of the restricted states within the last 14 days, you must complete the New York State online traveler health form.  

  • COVID-19 Baseline Testing:  We are finalizing plans with SUNY Upstate Medical University to use highly reliable, pooled saliva testing for each student who plans to be on campus this fall. The baseline test will be performed on campus, and then provided to Upstate Medical University for processing.  As we've indicated in our Oswego Forward plan, the campus will also underwrite an individual, baseline saliva test for employees if we are able to timely procure the test kits from SUNY Upstate Medical University.  If you are interested in participating in this testing, please complete this online form by next Friday, Aug. 14, and a test kit will be mailed to you.  Employees will be responsible for self-administering the test and mailing the sample directly to Upstate.  Accordingly, your test results will be made available only to you within 24 hours of receipt by Upstate.

  • Face Coverings & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Face masks are a big deal; use them!  We will be providing all employees with two free face coverings (cloth masks) but we ask you to bring and wear your own personal mask(s) upon your initial arrival to campus.  Face coverings have been purchased and secured by the college for our students and employees, and our Environmental Health & Safety Office is currently distributing them to each department’s mailbox this week.  Please consult with your supervisor or administrative staff to be sure you have the appropriate PPE.  We have also implemented a replacement PPE ordering process, via an online form, where employees can request additional personal protective equipment for themselves and/or the department. This online PPE request form, located under the Employee Resources tab on the Oswego Forward website, is to be used for items needed beyond the two face masks and the hand/surface sanitizing kit (paper towels, small and large bottles of sanitizer) that have already been placed in offices and classrooms throughout campus.

  • Our Commitment to Health and Safety on Campus:  Our Facilities Services staff have been working throughout the summer on classroom, office and building preparations – reducing density of office spaces and classrooms to ensure that employees and students will have six feet of distance between them; sanitizing surfaces; preparing our HVAC systems and increasing air circulation/filtration; and installing plexiglass in reception and high-traffic areas to create protective barriers.  They have also been coordinating efforts with our Communications and Marketing team to design and place appropriate signage throughout campus promoting the importance of social distancing while traversing about campus, and reminding all of the face coverings requirement.  We have also developed a Health and Safety Toolkit on our Oswego Forward website, which contains pertinent signage that employees may view and print for their own personal, office or departmental use.  The Toolkit also provides a link to the PPE request form and videos featuring Governor Cuomo's "Mask up America" campaign. 

  • COVID-19 Training Video: All employees are required to complete a 12-minute training video entitled “New York State COVID-19 Response: Return to Work.”  All employees should have already received this week a training assignment email from Thomson Reuters Compliance Learning on behalf of the Human Resources Office. Thank you in advance for completing this important training that prepares all of us to best support health and safety in the workplace, while remaining committed to student success and academic and creative excellence.

I hope you find this information helpful as you plan for the upcoming fall semester.  We will provide updates over the next several weeks if there are any changes to our reopening plans or if we receive additional health department and State guidelines.  Until then, please visit the Oswego Forward website for the latest update of the Plan.  Enjoy the rest of your summers and stay safe; our students will be here in the coming days!

Warmest Regards,

Deborah F. Stanley

Office of the President
706 Culkin Hall
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