Fall 2021

Fall 2021 Updates

Check back here for the latest updates about Fall 2021.

FDA Approves Pfizer Vaccine

The FDA has fully authorized the Pfizer/ Comirnaty vaccine as of Monday, August 23, 2021.

Over the summer, students were notified that when the FDA fully authorized one of the COVID vaccines, all students at SUNY campuses would be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to have a physical presence on campus. The authority for this requirement comes from the State University of New York (SUNY) policy, coupled with the New York State mandate issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

See new vaccine requirements and deadlines.

Fall 2021 Testing Schedule

COVID-19 testing calendar: unvaccinated and undisclosed individuals test every week. Vaccinated individuals test every 1st and 3rd week.

Testing occurs in Miller Campus Center 212-214

Testing Hours

Unvaccinated/Undisclosed/Exempted Testing Weeks

Mondays: 12 PM - 4 PM, Tuesdays: 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Everyone Testing Weeks

Mondays: 9 AM - 4 PM, Tuesdays: 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

COVID-19 Policies


Are students required to be vaccinated?

The FDA has fully authorized the Pfizer/ Comirnaty vaccine as of Monday, August 23, 2021.

Over the summer, students were notified that when the FDA fully authorized one of the COVID vaccines, all students at SUNY campuses would be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to have a physical presence on campus. The authority for this requirement comes from the State University of New York (SUNY) policy, coupled with the New York State mandate issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

If you’re fully vaccinated for COVID-19:

  • If you have already submitted your vaccination records to the Davis Health Center, you’re all set!
  • If you haven’t done so, please submit them by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 27 by uploading them into the Medicat Health Portal

If you’re PARTIALLY vaccinated for COVID-19:

  • If you have already received one COVID-19 shot and are awaiting the second one, please make sure you get your second shot and submit your full vaccination records before September 27 into the Medicat Health Portal

If you are NOT currently vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • If you are living on campus, taking in-person classes, or using any in-person campus services (the Fitness Center, the Southworth Library Learning Commons, dining facilities, tutoring, etc.), you are now required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.  We have built in a grace period to allow you to begin this process, if you are not already vaccinated, which means you must be fully vaccinated within thirty-five (35) days, which is by 4 p.m. on Monday, September 27.  Please upload your vaccine records into the Medicat Health Portal.
  • If you do not receive your full vaccination and provide the requisite documentation showing that you have completed your vaccination by 4 p.m. on Monday, September 27, you will be immediately suspended from the campus, will be required to complete your studies online/remote, and will NOT receive any refunds for housing, meals, or tuition. You will be restricted from entering the campus for any reason until that suspension is lifted in writing by the Vice President for Student Affairs. This suspension means you would not be able to live on campus, take in-person classes, or receive in-person services.

  • You can also find a local vaccination site.

  • If you wish to provide documentation to support a medical or religious exemption for us to consider, please email the Davis Health Center at healthcenter@canton.edu for the applicable forms and more information. Please note that all exemption requests will be reviewed and you will be notified of the determination, and that the exemption is not official until you have received confirmation in writing of that decision from the Davis Health Center. If you are provided an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine, you will still be required to attend weekly campus COVID-19 testing, wear a face-covering at all times other than in personal spaces, and may be required to immediately leave the campus if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs. You will be provided information about this if you are provided an exemption.

Are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated?

We are NOT currently requiring faculty and staff to be vaccinated, though we strongly encourage them to get vaccinated. Whether faculty and staff will be required to be vaccinated once one or more of the vaccines have been approved for non-emergency use by the FDA will depend on the outcome of discussions between the State of New York, SUNY, and their relevant unions.

Can we get a vaccine on campus?

Yes! SUNY Canton is offering a vaccine clinics periodically on campus, open to all students and employees. For more information and to register, click here. We will continue to work with the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department and provide vaccine-related information to the campus community.

Can I ask a student their vaccination status?

No. Individuals are not required to provide vaccination status. All faculty, staff, and students who are unvaccinated or prefer not to disclose are required to be tested for COVID weekly, wear a mask at all times (unless seated and eating in a social-distanced dining facility, in their personal office, or in their residence hall room) and observe social distancing whenever possible.

Surveillance Testing

Will there be continuing surveillance testing during the semester?

All unvaccinated individuals, or those who do not disclose their vaccination status or have been provided a religious/medical exemption by the College, are required to test weekly throughout the 2021-2022 academic year for COVID-19. Fully vaccinated individuals will be required to participate in periodic testing as outlined by the campus on a monthly basis.

Testing will be offered on a weekly basis (see schedule above) and students are required to be tested on campus. If students miss a COVID test, the following sanctions will be administered:

  • One missed test: Student will receive a written warning indicating that they are at risk of being restricted from campus.
  • Two missed tests: Student will be immediately restricted from the campus until they provide documentation of an off-campus PCR nasal swab test.
  • Three missed tests: Student will be put on immediate interim suspension and will be forwarded to the student conduct office for suspension for the remainder of the term.

PLEASE NOTE: On testing day, for 1 hour before you test you are not permitted to brush your teeth or use mouthwash, and for 30 minutes before the test, you should not consume anything or take anything by mouth, including water, gum, cigarettes/vape, food, etc.

What happens if I miss a test?

All faculty, staff, and students are expected to be tested at the specified intervals above, with limited exceptions.

  • Employees out on scheduled vacation/paid time off, or home sick, may email Lenore VanderZee (vanderzeel@canton.edu) to request to be tested during an alternate week.
  • If an employee misses a weekly test without a valid excuse, an email will be sent to the employee, the employee’s supervisor, the employee’s area Vice President, and Human Resources. In the case of two or more unexcused missed tests, additional action may be taken.


Is masking required in classrooms and laboratory facilities?

Yes. All faculty, staff, and students must wear an appropriate mask in classroom and laboratory facilities at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Social distancing should be practiced whenever possible and practical. Face shields worn alone, or masks that do not completely cover the mouth and nose, are not appropriate face coverings. Please refer to the COVID-19 Updates section for the latest on masking and testing.

Is masking required elsewhere on campus?

Yes. Masks are now required for all individuals, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, in all indoor locations. The only exceptions are:

  • Personal offices.
  • Residence hall rooms.
  • Dining facilities while eating. Masks are required upon entry until seated.
  • Or students competing in a varsity sport or exercising in the fitness center.

We strongly encourage everyone to wear mask outdoors if you are in a crowded setting. Please refer to the COVID-19 Updates section for the latest on masking and testing.

If a student or colleague is unmasked in areas where masking is required, can I ask them to mask?

Yes. If the student doesn’t comply, the VP for Student Affairs should be notified. If the faculty or staff member doesn’t comply, the Director of HR should be notified. While everyone should carry a mask with them, it would be prudent to have some disposable ones available.

Sickness, Quarantine, and Isolation

What if I have COVID-related symptoms on a day I’m supposed to come to campus?

  • Faculty and staff should NOT report to campus if they are experiencing COVID-related symptoms. All employees should contact Human Resources for further steps, Faculty should also contact their Chair or Dean so that someone can cover their class(es) if possible.
  • Students should NOT report to campus if they are experiencing COVID-related symptoms. They should contact the Davis Health Center for further steps, and notify their professors that they will not be in class.

What should I do if a colleague or student on campus shows signs of COVID-related symptoms?

You should advise students to contact the Davis Health Center and faculty/staff to contact Human Resources immediately.

What should I do if a student contacts me about needing to miss class due to COVID-related symptoms, quarantine, or positive COVID test?

Faculty should work with the student to inform them of assignments and to make necessary materials available online or by email. If the student’s condition is severe enough to make them unable to complete assignments, you should make reasonable arrangements so that they can catch up when possible, without loss of credit.

Quarantine and Isolation Information for Faculty

What is the difference between Quarantine and Isolation?

  • Quarantine: Students in quarantine are those who are a close contact to a person who is COVID-positive. Quarantine typically lasts for fourteen (14) days from the last date of exposure.
  • Isolation: Students in isolation are those who have tested positive for COVID. Isolation typically lasts for ten (10) days from either the positive test or when symptoms started.
  • Important to note: Individuals in quarantine/isolation are placed there by Public Health and are given specific direction on their quarantine/isolation dates. These are not decisions made on a campus-level, and we are not able to override Public Health’s determination.

What is the campus process?

  • Students who are COVID-positive or close contacts to a positive case are placed in isolation or quarantine, respectively, under the direction of Public Health.
  • We have dedicated quarantine and isolation space in Smith Residence Hall on campus, and provide the appropriate assistance for them through their stay in the space including:
  • Daily check-ins by professional staff members, including health-care checks
  • A care-kit, provided to them as they move in, which contains wellness and comfort items, snacks, and information
  • A contact person (that we call a “Quarantine Buddy”) who they can contact if they need someone to talk to/need assistance outside of their daily health checks
  • Unique, fully online programming to give them something engaging to do while they are isolating/quarantining

How are coursework and academic needs met?

  • Students in quarantine and isolation are expected to continue all online/remote courses unless they are very ill (in which case, we will notify faculty)
  • Students who have in-person classes are expected to make up all work they miss during quarantine/isolation and we appreciate any reasonable support faculty can give them in continuing their coursework while in quarantine/isolation or upon their return to the class/lab.
  • The College is able to notify individual faculty information about students in quarantine/isolation with permission from the student themselves, but the Dean of Student Affairs personally reaches out to each student in quarantine/isolation to discuss and coordinate this with them.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: Do students “test out” of isolation?
  • A: No. People who were positive for COVID can test positive for up to 90 days and Public Health does not recommend testing out of isolation. (This is true for all individuals who tested positive for COVID, not just for SUNY Canton students). Once the 10 day isolation period has been completed, the student is permitted to return to in-person activities and courses.
  • Q: If a student says they have COVID symptoms, what should I do?
  • A: Please direct them to contact the Davis Health Center (315-386-7333) or email (healthcenter@canton.edu). We do offer COVID testing in-house, in addition to the pooled surveillance testing that the College offers weekly. Students who are symptomatic should not attend class and should consult with the Health Center for next steps.

COVID-19 Updates

View all COVID-19 Updates

Social Distancing and PPE

Roody with maskSocial distancing, or the more accurate term physical distancing, will be integrated into campus life. Classes and hands-on labs that are offered in person will be divided in half, so students and faculty will be spread apart:

  • All classes will require students and instructors to wear masks.
  • The College will be providing reusable masks to students, faculty, and staff. Disposable masks may be provided on a case-by-case basis.
  • To reduce density where possible, students on campus will live in either a double or single room.
  • Most areas on campus currently use MERV-15 (minimum efficiency reporting value) ventilation filters, which filters out the COVID-19 virus. This exceeds the MERV-13 state requirement for malls.

While there are still many unknowns about the virus, we do know that masks help slow the spread of germs and increasing your distance from someone decreases the ability to spread (or shed) the virus. We want to make sure that we do everything we can to protect ourselves and those around us.

Two people wearing face coverings during COVID-19 outbreak.


Masks must fully cover your mouth and nose and fit snugly in line with the guidelines for best practices from the CDC. While face shields are permitted, they can only be worn with a mask underneath that meets the aforementioned guidelines. Laundering masks between each use is strongly encouraged. Please check out the CDC link for some excellent tips for finding a great face covering.

Proper and Improper Mask Wearing