Spring 2022

Spring 2022 Updates

Check back here frequently for the latest updates about Spring 2022. Policies are subject to change based on New York State, SUNY, or St. Lawrence County Department of Health requirements.

Spring 2022 Testing Schedule

COVID-19 testing calendar: unvaccinated and undisclosed individuals test every week. Vaccinated individuals test once a month.

Testing occurs in Miller Campus Center 212-214

Testing Hours

Unvaccinated/ Undisclosed/ Exempted Testing Weeks

Mondays: 12 PM - 4 PM

Everyone Testing Weeks

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

Testing Protocol Changes

Since the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has proven to be more contagious but less deadly than previous variants, there have been some significant changes in local and State public health policies. The basic premise is that as the new variant is affecting larger numbers of people, we are all now being called upon to take greater individual responsibility for monitoring our own symptoms, testing results, and quarantine/isolation follow-up.

The NYS Department of Health and our local Public Health Department have ceased formal contact tracing and have significantly changed the way isolation and quarantine should be treated. Reflecting these changes, we will be handling our on-campus testing results in the following ways:

  • We expect you to monitor your email for notification that your test result is ready. You will receive an email when your test result is ready. Your test result will now simply say “negative” or “positive”. We will no longer place individuals in precautionary quarantine if they are in a positive pool.
  • If your test result is positive, you should immediately isolate yourself from others to the greatest extent possible. You will receive a phone call the next business day or sooner with further instructions. In general:
    • If you are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, mandatory isolation is 5 days.
    • If you are symptomatic or not fully vaccinated, mandatory isolation is 10 days.
  • Only individuals identified as “close contacts” will be quarantined based on individual circumstances. Close contacts are determined by significant and prolonged close contact. We will no longer be routinely requesting attendance rosters or seating charts from classes or labs since evidence shows that minimal virus spread occurred in those settings.

If Your Result Indicates You Are Positive for COVID-19


A staff person will contact you during business hours Monday-Friday (or during the daytime on weekend days) to discuss your isolation plans, symptoms, and any way we can provide support to you.

We require you to self-isolate until you receive a phone call from a staff member.  This means that you should not leave your home/residence hall room for any reason other than to use the bathroom. You should not attend class, socialize, attend athletic practices/competitions, or go to the dining hall. Once a staff person has contacted you, if you are planning to isolate on campus, they will discuss your isolation housing assignment in Smith Hall, meal delivery, and any further details related to your isolation.

Please check out this webpage the COVID-19 Support webpage for more information and supportive resources.

If you have an emergency, after-hours medical need, you may contact University Police at 315-386-7777. For emergency questions about on-campus isolation housing outside of business hours, please email isolationhousing@canton.edu.


We require you to self-isolate until you receive a phone call from Human Resources. This means that you should not come to work until you are released from isolation.

Human Resources will contact you to discuss your isolation plans, symptoms, and any way we can provide support to you.

  • If you are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, mandatory isolation is 5 days. After 5 days you must wear a well-fitted mask at all times - surgical, KN95, or N95. Cloth masks are not acceptable.
  • If you are symptomatic or not fully vaccinated, mandatory isolation is 10 days.

COVID-19 Policies

Vaccines and Boosters

Are students required to be vaccinated?

All students living on campus, taking in-person classes, or using on-campus services are required:

  • To be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination to the Davis Health Center (healthcenter@canton.edu) at least two weeks before the start of classes. (Please note, if you submitted your vaccine record in the Fall 2021 semester, you do not need to resubmit it).
  • To receive a COVID-19 booster by February 1, 2022 if you are already eligible for the booster or within 30 days of eligibility if you are not yet eligible. Eligibility is determined as:
    • 2 months after the last Johnson & Johnson dose
    • 5 months after the last Pfizer or Moderna dose
  • Students who do not get boosted by the appropriate deadline (February 1 for those who are already eligible and 30 days after your eligibility for those not yet eligible), you will be suspended living on campus, taking in-person classes, and will be restricted from entering the campus. You will not receive a refund at that time for room or meals, and will be required to immediately move off-campus at your own expense.
  • If you wish to apply for a religious or medical exemption from these requirements, please email healthcenter@canton.edu to request the required forms. The deadline for submission of applications and all necessary documentation/support letters is Friday, February 4 by 4:00 p.m. EST.  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered, all supporting materials, including the exemption request form, must be received by the aforementioned deadline to be reviewed.
  • Please note: If you already have a religious or medical exemption at SUNY Canton for the COVID-19 vaccine, you do not need to apply again; this will carry over to this semester and also exempts you from the booster.
  • We will be hosting at least one COVID booster clinic on campus, and will share out the dates and times to the campus listserv as soon as they are confirmed.

Are faculty and staff required to be vaccinated?

The Governor announced that there will be a mandate that all faculty (not staff) will be required to be fully vaccinated. Full details of the mandate have not yet been announced, as details are being negotiated between UUP and the Governor. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.

Staff are not subject to this requirement, but are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible. 

Can we get a vaccine or booster on campus?

Yes! The Davis Health Center has partnered with the St. Lawrence County Department of Health to offer a FREE booster clinic at SUNY Canton. Space is limited.

DATE: Thursday, February 24
TIME: Slots available between 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
SIGN UP: Please sign up here the NYS DOH website
COST: Free

BOOSTER TYPE AVAILABLE:  Pfizer (and yes, you can get the Pfizer booster if you have received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson)

If you have any questions, you can reach out to the Davis Health Center at healthcenter@canton.edu and they’d be glad to assist you.

St. Lawrence County is also offering vaccination and booster clinics this winter. Please check their website for additional details.

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

What is the COVID Testing Policy and what are the sanctions when I miss a test?

All unvaccinated individuals (including those with medical or religious exemptions) 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 (Mondays from 12:00-4:00 p.m. and Tuesdays from 8:30-11:30 a.m. – hours are subject to change, with notice) and students are required to be tested on campus.

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.

If students miss a COVID test, the following sanctions will be administered:

  • One missed test: Student will receive an email warning that they missed a scheduled test, and the letter will state the next date that they have to test to stay in compliance.
  • Two missed tests: A student will meet with a member of the conduct office. They will receive a College warning for a year and will be required to take a $30 Online Decision Making Module.
  • Three missed tests: A student will be placed on on-campus suspension, which will allow them to continue classes online but will prevent them from being on campus for any reason.

    Note: Your notification about your judicial sanctions will come to your SUNY Canton email through Maxient, our judicial software. Questions about sanctions can be directed to Kristen Roberts, Director of Student Conduct, at robertsk@canton.edu.

If employees miss a COVID test, the following will occur:

  • 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?

Masking will be optional in classrooms and labs. Masks will continue to be required in the Davis Health Center and in the COVID testing space while testing is taking place. Please continue to carry a mask with you at all times. There are members of our campus community that may be immunocompromised, live with young children that cannot yet be vaccinated, or regularly be in touch with others who are at higher risk for complications from COVID. If someone asks you to mask – including faculty and staff in their offices or classrooms, students in their living or study space, etc. – please mask up. We will continue to have disposable masks available at kiosks around campus. 

Is masking required elsewhere on campus?

No. Masks are now optional within all indoor locations on campus (exceptions below). Masks are still encouraged, especially in large gatherings. Masks will continue to be required for all unvaccinated, undisclosed, or exempted individuals in all indoor locations.

Masks are still required in the following locations:

  • Davis Health Center
  • COVID Testing Center

Please carry a mask with you at all times. Individuals may request that you wear a mask in their office space or residence hall room. Please be courteous and respectful if they do. A printable sign is available to post on your door if you would like guests to wear a mask.

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

Yes. Roospond with courtesy and wear a mask when asked. 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. Everyone is required to carry a mask with them in case they are asked to mask.

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 ten (10) days from the last date of exposure.

Isolation: Students in isolation are those who have tested positive for COVID. Isolation typically starts from either the positive test or when symptoms started.

  • If you are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, mandatory isolation is 5 days.
  • If you are symptomatic or not fully vaccinated, mandatory isolation is 10 days.

Important to note: Only individuals identified as “close contacts” will be quarantined based on individual circumstances. Close contacts are determined by significant and prolonged close contact. We will no longer be routinely requesting attendance rosters or seating charts from classes or labs since evidence shows that minimal virus spread occurred in those settings.

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: BOOSTERS - Do I have to wait a period of time after I was positive for COVID-19 before getting my booster?

A: No. At this time, there is no waiting period, and you are eligible to get your booster anytime after leaving isolation.

Q: COVID-TESTING - I tested positive in the last 90 days; am I still exempted from COVID Opening Week & semester testing?

A: Yes, at this time you are exempt from Opening Week and semester testing until after your 90 days are up, as long as we have a copy of your positive test or isolation letter on file in the Health Center.

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


View more about face coverings at the CDC's Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 website.