COVID-19 Read & Act:  Follow Up to 12/22 Communication Requiring Vaccination Booster, Testing Prior to Return to Campus & Related Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Clarkson students, families, faculty and staff,

Please review this long message diligently, as it includes follow up information from our December 22  emails by constituent group regarding COVID-19 vaccination/boosters and testing requirements that are relevant to all students and employees of our residential campus community in Potsdam and our other University campus locations.   A Q&A is also posted at

We recognize that the accelerated national rise in active COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the month — coupled with dynamic changes related to vaccination definitions, requirements and measures by multiple agencies — can be challenging.  Thank you for your patience and we truly appreciate the commitment from all Golden Knights to safeguard the health and safety of the Clarkson community as we work together to continue an in person learning experience for the 2022 Spring Semester.

In this communication:

  • Clarkson’s COVID-19 Vaccination Booster Requirement 
    • Timing of booster shots based on primary dose brand
    • Timing based on recently testing positive for COVID-19 
    • Vaccine Booster Locations
    • Submitting Your Documentation of Booster/ Exemption
    • Clarkson Meeting Federal / White House Vaccine Orders
  • COVID-19 Testing Prior to Return to Work / Return to your Clarkson Family Unit  
    • Timing and Type of Test 
      • Objectives:  Come Back to Campus without a Case of COVID-19
      • If You Tested Positive in Last 90 Days
      • FDA Approved Tests
    • Where to Get Tested
    • Where to Submit Documentation

Clarkson’s COVID-19 Vaccination Booster Requirement 

As shared on December 22, Clarkson is requiring all eligible students and employees who access any Clarkson University campus location or facility to receive a booster if they are eligible for one before returning to work/ beginning the spring semester, or as soon as they become eligible.

Individuals eligible for being boosted are those who:

  • Received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination at least six months ago.
  • Received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccination at least two months ago.
  • Individuals who previously received other World Health Organization-approved vaccinations should receive a Pfizer booster dose if they received their initial vaccine series at least six months ago, in accordance with CDC guidance.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last ninety days and have been cleared by Public Health to leave isolation, please consult with your medical provider about getting vaccinated /boosted based on the recommendations by the CDC and request a medical exemption to be submitted to Clarkson as appropriate at:

Vaccine booster locations: 

Submitting Your Documentation of Booster/ Exemption

Your documentation for primary vaccination, booster shots, extensions due to recently testing positive for COVID-19 and new exemptions need to be submitted below.   If you have a previously approved exemption, those will remain in place, subject to Federal and State regulations.

We encourage anyone who has questions about COVID-19 vaccines to speak to their medical provider.  That would be where you would go to initiate the process of requesting an exemption if they determine you are at risk for complications.  With the assistance of medical advice and/or legal counsel as needed, a determination of the reasonableness and appropriateness of the requested accommodation will be made.

Clarkson Meeting White House Vaccine Orders for Federal Contractors
Per White House orders initiated in November and being further defined in regulations, Federal contractors with 100+ employees must comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines issued by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (SFWTF). These guidelines require that federal contractors mandate vaccines for covered employees – which include student employees — (and subject to medical or religious exemptions), and review proof of vaccine status in the form of a COVID-19 vaccination card or other official medical documentation.  By nature of research and certain aid grants, Clarkson is considered a federal contractor and by law must comply with the vaccination and verification requirements of the SFWTF guidelines by Jan. 18, 2022.

Negative COVID-19 Test Required Before Returning to Work / Your Clarkson Family Unit
Following best practices in higher education communities and to re-engage with your “Clarkson family unit safely,” we are requiring all students and employees to submit a negative test result prior to their return to campus in January.  

Timing and Type of Test

Requirement:  All students and employees will be required to submit a PCR test (preferred for all and mandated for international travelers) no more than 72 hours before they return to campus or an antigen test no more than 24 hours before they return to campus.  If the antigen test is an at-home test, you will need to take a picture of the test with your full name and the date and time it was taken.  Do not enter the residence halls, class or participate in co-curricular/extra-curricular activities until you have a negative test result or are a past positive in the last 90 days.  

COVID-19 Positive Testers in Last 90 Days:  If you have had a positive COVID-19 test result in the last 90 days and have been cleared by Public Health to leave isolation, you will need to submit your public health release authorization form or documentation from your medical provider.     

Meet the Testing Objectives/ When to get tested: Testing is not necessarily based on the first day of class.  The objective for testing is that everyone returns to their Clarkson family unit and to their campus community without an active case of COVID-19. Therefore, the test and the timing of the test whether PCR (specimen taken 72 hours) or antigen (24 hours) should be confirmed negative before returning to be with the campus community/ your Clarkson family unit.  This is the same for employees and students so this makes the test date dependent upon the date each person plans to make that return to Potsdam/ to work. Example: Some athletic teams for winter sports are returning earlier so they will do their COVID-19 tests before they move back and participate in team activities. 

Where to Get Tested and What brands of at-home tests are approved?: This link takes you to the national site for where to get COVID-19 testing –   This website shows places to schedule appointments to get tested in New York State.  In Potsdam, testing is scheduled a week out with St. Lawrence Health System in Potsdam, Canton, Massena and Gouverneur: and other St. Lawrence County medical care systems have hotlines to schedule testing: Claxton Hepburn Medical Center: 315-713-6655; Clifton-Fine Hospital: 315-848-8049; Community Health Center of the North Country: 315-379-8132.

The FDA has approved the use of 41 different at-home tests. These can be found at

Submitting Negative Test Results:  Students submit their negative test result by logging into their myCU and navigating to Tasks and Holds.   Employees submit to  

What is needed to provide proof of my home antigen test if I do this instead of using a public testing site or PCR-based test?  We are Golden Knights.  Golden Knights do the right thing by their community.   Send us a photo of the result with the date/ time it is taken.   If your at home test says you are positive, do the right thing and follow up with your medical provider to report your positive case and do not return until cleared by public health.  If you have symptoms or are sick even if you test negative, wait to return to campus.   As always, for any student who needs to miss class, report this to the Dean of Students, 

Daily Screening Tool – Per the University Safety Plan, we have a Daily Screening tool at which is an ongoing reminder to look for symptoms of COVID-19 and to take the appropriate precautions and follow up steps based on your responses.  

Masks:  Keep wearing masks over your mouth and nose. Please limit your family unit to those you share an immediate overnight room or home.

Thank you for making it all the way to the end of this communication and more importantly, for making a difference at Clarkson.  We know this is A LOT to cover and A LOT to absorb.  We are committed to each student’s personal achievement and completion of a degree that prepares Clarkson graduates to be difference makers for the public and societal good.  

 Wishing you all a happy and healthy remainder of this holiday season and we’ll see you in January 2022.  

COVID-19 Response Team 

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