COVID-19 Read & Act: Golden Knights Getting Ready for Fall 2021 Semester 

In this communication:

  • Campus Vaccination Update
  • St. Lawrence County COVID-19 Transmission Rising
  • Mask Policy and Latest CDC Guidance
  • Classroom Practices & Instruction
  • Academic Calendar
  • Building Access & Room Reservations
  • Symptoms/ Feeling Sick
  • Testing
  • FAQs and Contingency Planning

Golden Knights Community, 

The health and safety of our community remains a University priority coupled with our full commitment to in-person learning and giving all students the opportunity to maximize their Clarkson experience and do the things they love.

Campus Vaccination Update  

  • On campus, you will be part of a largely vaccinated community:  99% of all employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and over 4,000 students have submitted their documentation for Fall term classes with more than 97.5% already fully vaccinated.    

St. Lawrence County COVID-19 Transmission Rates Rising

  • In the greater Potsdam community, however, local public health representatives estimate only 1 of every 2 people you will encounter in stores, restaurants and public venues are currently fully vaccinated.  This is inclusive of students from other local campuses.  This week St. Lawrence County has reached a substantial level of COVID-19 transmission according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is experiencing a rising-level of cases.  
  • While County officials report that the most serious cases are among the unvaccinated, there are still breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals capable of transmitting the disease to others.  Please remember that you have fellow Golden Knights with medical and religious exemptions as well as Golden Knights who go home to their children who are not yet age-eligible for vaccination and/or persons with compromised immune systems.
  • With exposure to a positive case, both unvaccinated and  vaccinated individuals will still be subject to public health contact tracing and potential quarantine practices in New York State

Clarkson Mask Policy and Latest CDC Guidance:

Clarkson’s posted mask policy remains in effect: 

  • Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask indoors. (Unless they are in their own room with only roommates present and the door closed.)
  • All vaccinated individuals continue to carry a mask with them and will wear one when asked. Even among groups of all vaccinated individuals, we should confirm mask wearing to show mutual respect for one another and the decisions we make to protect others. 

Mask wearing is strongly encouraged as an added safety precaution on and off campus — especially when around individuals external to Clarkson and venues off-campus.  The latest CDC guidance advises individuals to wear a mask indoors in public in order to reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant or possibly spreading it to others.  

If New York State or local authorities mandate masks be worn in classrooms and laboratories, we will enforce the mandate. All current compliance is based on the honor system, with known violations subject to a code of conduct inquiry. 

Classroom Practices & Instruction:  

  • Classrooms and laboratories have been reverted to pre-COVID-19 norms.  
  • Class instructors can ask that all students wear a mask while in class and any student can request the same of the class through their instructor or through the Office of Accessibility Services.  
  • We will not share vaccination status of individuals.
  • We are committed to in person learning.  Any accommodations for temporary remote access will need to be requested through the Dean of Students, following the pre-COVID practices of the University.  

Academic Calendar.

Building Access

  • All faculty, staff and students have access to campus buildings.  The Room Reservation system is back to pre-COVID norms.  
  • If you bring a guest (including temporary workers, contractors, speakers and vendors) to campus, you are responsible for ensuring they follow all posted information for masks as well as campus regulations.  If visitors are sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should not be on campus.  Please refer to University policy on Vaccine requirements for visitors. 

Symptoms/ Feeling Sick

  • As always, if you begin experiencing symptoms or feel sick, do not come to class or work and go get tested. Students who have concerns about potential COVID-19 related symptoms or exposure, should  contact Clarkson’s Student Health & Counseling (SHAC),  for guidance on next steps and how to proceed.  Employees should seek counsel from their own medical providers.
  • All members of the community are expected to cooperate with Public Health officials when a positive COVID-19 case is identified and support contact tracing.   Quarantine and isolation space will be limited on campus with most students returning home to complete.  We are not currently planning to send announcements each time a new COVID-19 case is reported:  everyone should maintain personal diligence in protecting themselves and their community every day.  


  • Clarkson students with COVID-19 vaccination exemptions and those who are not fully vaccinated yet will submit a negative COVID-19 PCR-based test from a sample taken three days before arrival on campus.
  • Given the apparent national increase in break-through cases and the vaccination rates in the greater Potsdam population, testing among all exempted/unvaccinated individuals and a random sample among vaccinated individuals will be done weekly starting at the beginning of the semester.  Throughout the semester, we will consider updates to this decision dependent upon the prevalence of COVID-19 in the campus and greater community. 
  • On your own, you can also get tested through local testing sites. Testing is by appointment only. Please call the hotline numbers below: 
    • St. Lawrence Health System: 315-261-6240 
    • Claxton Hepburn Medical Center: 315-713-6655
    • Clifton-Fine Hospital: 315-848-8049 
    • Community Health Center of the North Country: 315-379-8132

FAQs and Contingency Planning

  • The administration is monitoring regulation and policy changes from federal, state and local resources and continues to work closely with St. Lawrence County Public Health and  the St. Lawrence County Board of Health and assesses best practices in a statewide network of higher education institutions. 
  • Updates to protocols will be posted via campus announcements to the campus community.   

Questions from parents and students should be directed to and employees should reach out to  Thank you for being Golden Knights that respect all community members. We appreciate your  cooperation in protecting ourselves and each other.


Kelly Chezum, MBA ‘04 

VP for External RelationsCOVID-19 Response Communications

Kelly Chezum, MBA ‘04 
VP for External Relations
COVID-19 Response Communications

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