There are currently six active cases of COVID-19 in our campus community. Five are students, and one is an employee. All six are isolating off campus.
97% of students and 79% of employees have provided proof of vaccination. All New Paltz students are currently in compliance with SUNY’s vaccine policy (meaning they are either fully vaccinated, approved for an exemption, or are taking a fully online course schedule and have attested to having no campus presence).
Our testing providers have processed results for 9,954 on-campus COVID-19 tests conducted since Aug. 23, 2021, with a positivity rate of 1%.
Our COVID-19 Dashboard now reports on-campus tests conducted and positivity rate for the most recent Monday-Sunday period. From Oct. 18 – 24, there were 1,009 tests conducted on campus, with a positivity rate of 0.1%.
Ulster County’s current seven-day testing positivity rate is 2.8%, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).
The College is conducting surveillance testing Monday – Friday during the fall 2021 semester. This includes periodic testing of vaccinated members of our community, to help us detect “breakthrough” cases of COVID-19, as well as weekly testing of unvaccinated employees and students with approved religious or medical exemptions.
All recorded cases in fall 2021 have exhibited only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. We are not aware of any COVID-19-related hospitalizations among students, faculty or staff this semester.
When the Student Health Service receives a student’s positive test result, they begin a proactive contact tracing process to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
First, they direct the student to isolate. Students who live on campus can isolate in Awosting Hall. Then, members of our campus Contact Tracing team interview the student about any close contacts (defined as contacts within six feet for 10 minutes or more) that occurred within 48 hours prior to the positive test result.
Next, contact tracers reach out to each identified close contact. These individuals are notified of the possible exposure and are asked about their symptoms, vaccination status, and whether they have been tested recently. They are given further instructions based on their vaccination status.
Our contact tracers also review students’ course schedules to analyze trends and investigate possible clustering within specific course sections. To date, the College has found no evidence of “clustering” or classroom transmission of the virus since the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.
In most cases, professors and classmates will not be considered “close contacts” when a student in one of their courses tests positive. Classroom teaching conditions, where everyone is masked and the majority are vaccinated, do not meet CDC definitions for “close contact.”