Facebook Ad Pixel Fall 2021 Semester Plan, SUNY Orange

Fall 2021 COVID-19 Response Plan

Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange) is using this Fall 2021 COVID-19 Response Plan to create a safe teaching and learning environment for this Fall semester. This plan has been informed by COVID-19 pandemic trends and input from various constituencies within the College community, as well as guidance from a variety of partners to include New York State, the State University of New York (SUNY) and the Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH). SUNY Orange reserves the right to amend this plan in response to changing COVID-19 pandemic trends, public health guidance, or legal requirements.

as of 10/24/21

Pre-Semester Testing

At a minimum, unvaccinated SUNY Orange students must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the five days prior to arriving on campus at the start of their semester/term.Test results must be provided to the Wellness Center and can be uploaded at this link.

COVID-19 Testing and Monitoring

Weekly COVID-19 testing is required for unvaccinated in-person students and employees, as well as those who have not provided proof of vaccination. Opportunities for unvaccinated in-person students and employees to test will be made available on both the Middletown and Newburgh campuses. Given NYS and SUNY policy to return to pre-pandemic activity, coupled with the requirement for in-person students to be vaccinated, testing dates and times will be less prevalent than in 2020-21. Employees and students not participating in weekly testing or providing evidence of an acceptable negative test result performed elsewhere will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

The weekly Fall 2021 semester pooled testing schedule (effective Monday, Oct. 25 and continuing through the end of the semester) is as follows:

  • Newburgh campus (Orange Bank and Trust Great Room, Kaplan Hall): Mondays from 9 a.m. to  2 p.m.
  • Middletown campus (Lower Level, Shepard Student Center): Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You may utilize the most convenient testing location but you must test every week in which you will be accessing a campus. Those unvaccinated members of the College community who have had a positive PCR test should not participate in surveillance testing for 90 days from the date of their positive test. Upon conclusion of the 90 days, you should begin participating in regular surveillance testing.

Any student, faculty, or staff testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate in accordance with Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH) guidelines. All individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to submit a health clearance before they can return to either campus. Students submit their form to the Wellness Center (wellnesscenter@sunyorange.edu) while employees submit their form to the Human Resources Office (occchr@sunyorange.edu).

Online and remote learning support and resources will be communicated to students via video, live Zoom sessions, and through a Student Success Toolkit in the Blackboard Learning Management System, in which all students are enrolled. 

In the event that a student must be quarantined, student supports will be accessible and delivered remotely.  College services and offices will be accessible to quarantined students by phone, email, and via live Zoom calls.  All student services, academic support, library services, tutoring, technology support, accessibility services, wellness support, business office functions, and financial aid services will be accessible remotely to students under quarantine.

SUNY Orange will continue to report testing results to the SUNY Health Portal.

Daily Health Screenings

Daily health screenings are no longer required for vaccinated individuals. SUNY guidance indicates that institutions may continue to screen all individuals for COVID-19 symptoms, recent close contacts, and recent positive COVID-19 test results, regardless of individual vaccination status. Screening at SUNY Orange will be performed via signage. Students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to perform daily self-health screenings for infectious illnesses, including COVID-19.  Anyone with signs or symptoms of infectious illness should stay home when sick and/or seek medical care.

For the Fall 2021 semester, the College recommends using the CDC Coronavirus Self-Checker available online.

Mandatory Vaccination for Students and Vaccination Management System

The State of New York and the SUNY Board of Trustees directed that public colleges and universities mandate COVID vaccinations for students participating in in-person, on-campus instruction, and activities. This requirement takes effect upon at least one COVID-19 vaccination receiving full FDA approval.

System Administration is developing a System-wide technology solution for all campuses to track verified vaccination status of SUNY students. Campuses will be required to utilize this system which will be driven by student consent and will use available authoritative sources such as the NYS and NYC immunization systems to verify vaccination status. Students vaccinated outside the State of New York will be required to submit appropriate documentation to the campus.

System administration will work with institutions to integrate any existing systems into the new centralized vaccination management system.

Masks and Distancing

Pursuant to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. According to the CDC, multiple factors should be considered for managing environments where 100 percent of the population is not fully vaccinated.

SUNY Orange will embrace the stance: “I Mask - Don’t Ask” for the Fall 2021 semester. All individuals, regardless of vaccination status must mask up upon entering any building and remain masked, unless eating or drinking, in all common areas, including classrooms, lounges, hallways, etc. Classrooms will be operating at reduced capacity. Furniture placement and spacing, markings on furniture, signage and other indicators will cue and assist individuals in how to observe social distancing indoors, but especially in classroom and laboratory settings.

All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may be unmasked on the external grounds of the campuses (outside of campus buildings, in parking lots, etc.), but must maintain safe social distancing at all times during all on-campus activities, both inside and outside. Special attention to social distancing is expected while eating or drinking.

Faculty and staff are permitted to remove masks when alone inside of private offices or restricted area workspaces such as cubicles. Employees are required to mask up as soon as another individual enters the immediate area and to maintain social distancing.

Pursuant to the CDC, “A person with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.)” may submit a request to the College for consideration of an exemption from mask wearing based on a medical accommodation, regardless of vaccination status. Employee requests for accommodations should be submitted to the Human Resources office (occchr@sunyorange.edu) while student requests should be submitted to the Office of Accessibility Services (accessibilityservices@sunyorange.edu). 

Additional requirements may be imposed by the College or SUNY System Administration based upon the increasing COVID-19 transmission rates on a campus.

Uniform Sanctioning Compliance Guidance

SUNY’s system-wide Uniform Sanctioning Compliance Guidance, issued on September 25, 2020, was sunset and is no longer in effect. SUNY Orange will return to using its Student Code of Conduct to address issues of student behavior related to COVID-19.

Modes of Instruction

Modalities for individual Fall 2021 courses can be found in the “Search Courses” section of Self Service Banner, accessible via the College website and within MySUNYOrange. The College will offer instruction in the following course formats: 

  • Virtual Campus (V): Fully remote/online learning with asynchronous instruction (on your own time). There are no designated days/times for real time instruction. Please note, to participate in the class, students may need to use a device with a microphone and camera.
  • Remote Synchronous (RS): Remote/online learning with real time instruction at the designated day/time indicated on the schedule. Please note, to participate in the class, students will need to use a device with a microphone and camera.
  • Blended (BL): Remote/online learning that integrates some synchronous (real time) instruction at the designated days/times indicated on the schedule and some asynchronous instruction (on your own time). Please note, to participate in the class, students will need to use a device with a microphone and camera.
  • Middletown Campus (M): Plan to attend class at the Middletown campus at the designated days and times. Some remote/online instruction may be required during the scheduled days and times on the schedule.
  • Newburgh Campus (N): Plan to attend class at the Newburgh campus at the designated days and times. Some remote/online instruction may be required during scheduled days and times on the schedule.

Academic Calendar

SUNY Orange’s Fall 2021 Semester academic calendar is posted online.

Dual Enrollment

Students in concurrent enrollment programs must follow the health and safety guidelines and protocols of the location at which they receive instruction. If the course is delivered at their high school, they must follow the local school district guidelines. If a student takes a course on a SUNY Orange campus, they must follow the guidelines set forth in this plan (as well as updates and amendments to the plan communicated as situations change). However, high school students will only be subject to vaccine and testing requirements as designated by New York State local health departments and guidelines provided by local school districts.

Cleaning Protocols

The New York State mandatory cleaning and disinfection protocols are no longer in effect. However, College spaces scheduled for use during the Fall semester will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected (instructional spaces, labs, restrooms, hallways, handrails, doorknobs, light switches, stairwells, etc.) prior to the start of the Fall semester.

Once the Fall semester begins, cleaning and disinfection schedules will follow CDC guidelines. Classrooms and commonspaces will be cleaned once per day with high-touch areas being done more frequently. Custodial staff will be available to address un-scheduled clean-up situations that may arise. Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be available in all classrooms.

Ventilaton and Air Filtration

In accordance with SUNY guidance, SUNY Orange has increased outdoor airflow and ventilation rates in indoor settings to the extent compatible with individual comfort and safety. All building systems have been improved and interior rooms have been outfitted with additional filtration systems.

Personal Protective Equipment

SUNY Orange will follow CDC, State DOH, and local health department recommendations regarding the use of personal protective equipment. See section “Guidance on Mask Compliance” above. Distribution of PPE, as needed, will be through a work order process specifically for this purpose. PPE will also be available via the Safety and Security Offices (for ad-hoc pickup by students and employees as needed). The College delivery van will also maintain a stockpile of PPE for response to emergent needs as it makes its rounds on campus).

The College maintains an inventory of soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, masks, gloves, aprons, face shields, and other commonly used PPE.


While SUNY Orange looks forward to welcoming visitors back to campus for approved activities in Fall 2021, all indoor spaces will be prioritized for courses and student use. Visitors are broadly defined as individuals who are not employees, credit students, or non-credit students of the College.

In Fall 2021, approved activities of the College are ones that have a defined sponsor and that are clearly fixed in time and space. Examples include but are certainly not limited to: Cultural Affairs public events, admissions appointments and campus tours for prospective students; and external group reservations of a meeting space if sponsored by a specific employee/department. Visitors are permitted on campus for a specific purpose, for a set period of time, and must adhere to the College’s self-screening requirements. All campus visits will be by appointment/registration to facilitate contact tracing should this become necessary.  Employees may also welcome individual visitors to campus to conduct business, such as vendors, professional colleagues, speakers, and similar. All visitors must comply with masking, social distancing, and other campus health and safety protocols.

Indoor visitors to our campuses without a reservation, corresponding event, or sponsoring employee/department cannot be accommodated during the Fall semester. Access to campus libraries, micro-markets and associated dining areas, lounges and public areas shall be accessible only to current SUNY Orange students and employees.

Examples of activities not approved for visitors include, but are not limited to: public library use, use of micro-marts & associated dining areas, use of computer kiosks, use of waiting areas.  Outdoor visitors without a clearly defined activity (walkers, those reading on benches, those waiting for a friend, etc) are welcome.  

Campus Safety Monitor

Each college is required by SUNY to appoint a member of its staff as the role of Campus Safety Monitor. The CSM will have the responsibility of coordinating the ongoing campus compliance with all COVID-19 related guidance. SUNY Orange’s Campus Safety Monitor is Paul Martland, vice president for administration and finance.


SUNY Orange will follow the New York State Department of Health guidance on testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements related to travel.

Transportation Services

The College will operate its shuttle bus service between the Newburgh and Middletown campuses during the Fall semester. The schedule, once determined, will be posted to the College website. In accordance with New York State guidelines for public transportation, riders must wear face coverings throughout their entire journey.

Wellness Center Services and Mental Health Supports

The Wellness Center is open to all students, free of charge. Its programs are designed to promote health education and wellness for our campus community. The College’s mental health and nursing services are also available to all students. 

The Wellness Center will follow and monitor the guidance of the American College Health Association, CDC, the New York State Department of Health, SUNY, and the local health department. The Wellness Center will provide multiple means of educating the College community on how to stay safe and on evolving guidance related to infection control procedures.

Students and employees are also encouraged to utilize community-based mental health resources, including: ReachOut SUNY. Thriving Campus and Middle Earth (from the University at Albany). The New York State Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting GOT5 to 741741. Free online QPR suicide prevention training for students, faculty, and staff (contact visit the Wellness Center website for more information).

Communication and Outreach

The College has established a COVID-19 webpage, accessible from an alert message on all pages of the www.sunyorange.edu website, which houses timely information and resources for employees, students and community members. Essential messages from the College will also be distributed internally to employees and students via @sunyorange.edu email accounts, as well as in two internal email newsletters (Campus Grapevine for employees and Student Grapevine for students) that are shared via email each Tuesday and Thursday morning. Content from the two Grapevine newsletters is also available on the College website.

As appropriate, updated content will also be posted on the College’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), for widest dissemination, and also circulated to local and regional media outlets in the form of press releases and announcements (as needed). COVID-specific videos (from sources such as the CDC and other health organizations) will be placed within the MySUNYOrange portal, as appropriate, for additional outreach to students and employees regarding healthy practices and proper social distancing techniques.

Mandatory Pause Requirements

The NYS requirements for a mandatory pause are no longer in effect. However, SUNY System Administration retains the authority to pause campus activities in cases of increased community transmission. SUNY Orange will rely upon its relationship with OCDOH to determine if a pause is prudent based on local conditions.