Facebook Ad Pixel What Students Should Know for Spring 2021: COVID-19 and Returning to Campus

What Students Should Know for Spring 2021: COVID-19 and Returning to Campus

As we return to campus in Spring 2021, SUNY Orange’s first priority is the health and safety of our College community, including its students, faculty and staff. The best way to maintain the safest environment possible throughout 2021 and beyond is for each of us to take steps to minimize the risks, not only for ourselves, but for all members of the SUNY community. This includes:

  • wearing face coverings (masks)
  • hand washing
  • social distancing
  • participating in testing and tracing
  • completing daily screenings
  • being mindful of our surroundings and the impact we have

Any of us alone can spread this disease and cause harm to others. But all of us together can build a community that is safe and healthy, where educational success is possible.

Here’s what you need to know and do as SUNY and SUNY Orange welcome students back to campus in 2021:

Stay Informed

The College has established a COVID-19 webpage, accessible from an alert message on all pages of the www.sunyorange.edu website. This section lists timely information and resources for employees, students and community members. Links connect you to student FAQs; student resources; protocols for reporting virus symptoms; testing and screening information, and more. Essential messages from the College will also be distributed internally to students via @sunyorange.edu email accounts, as well as in the Student Grapevine. Content from the Student Grapevine newsletter is also available on the College website as well as on your home tab in MySUNYOrange. As appropriate, updated content will also be posted on the College’s social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), for widest dissemination

Return to Campus Safely – Testing and Isolation Requirements

For two weeks prior to a return to campus, all students who will be participating in in-person, on-campus activities must be pre-screened daily for travel history, COVID-19 history and COVID-19 symptoms Students who will start on-campus instruction on Jan. 25 must begin daily use of the Campus Clear app as of Monday, Jan. 11 (as communicated to in-person students via email on Jan. 8). Students who will start on-campus instruction on Feb. 1 must begin daily use of the Campus Clear app as of Monday, Jan. 18.

Additionally, students must participate in a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to their return to campus. Exceptions will be granted for Health Professions students who are essential workers, students who need to work, students who have already had COVID-19 or who have tested negative for COVID-19 as outlined below.

Before arriving for in-person, on-campus academic instruction on Feb. 1, all participating students must:


  • For Health Professions students, provide documentation of “essential worker” status” to be exempt from precautionary quarantine


  • If employed outside of the College, request exemption to enable work during the quarantine period. To qualify for the exemption, students will need to document the COVID-19 safety protocols of their employers. When not working, the students will be expected to quarantine from others


  • Submit a negative COVID test taken Jan. 29 or later for students returning on Feb. 1 (those nursing or radiologic technology students must submit a negative test result taken Jan. 22 or later). Test results can be uploaded here.


  • Participate in on-campus testing within five days of return to campus (see below)


Get Screened Daily

All students must use the Campus Clear app every day they come to either SUNY Orange campus, and be prepared to show the green “Good to Go” screenshot if asked to do so by faculty or staff.

Get Tested Regularly

Surveillance pooled testing is required of all students who will regularly be on campus as of January 25/ February 1. Testing begins on Monday, February 1.

For the Spring 2021 semester, those students regularly accessing our Middletown and Newburgh campuses for in-person, on-campus instructional activities, work study or other reasons MUST participate in pooled saliva testing ONLY during those weeks that they will be coming to campus. If your class or lab is not meeting in person during a particular week, and you will not be accessing a campus for any other reason, you are exempt from testing for that week only. Therefore any week where your class is to meet on campus, you are expected to be tested.

Pooled testing will tentatively be scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, 4 to 8 p.m., Newburgh campus (Kaplan Hall Great Room)
  • Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Middletown campus (Shepard Center lower level)
  • Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Middletown campus (Shepard Center lower level)
  • Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Newburgh campus (Kaplan Hall Great Room)

You may opt for the most convenient location but you must test every week in which you will be accessing a campus. Those 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. Vaccine recipients shall also be included in surveillance testing.

Check the SUNY COVID-19 Dashboard

SUNY maintains a comprehensive dashboard of COVID-19 testing and infection rate status across the system and at each campus. SUNY Orange will report daily COVID-related information to the SUNY COVID-19 Tracker in accordance with guidelines set forth by SUNY. The College community, along with external partners and community members, will be directed to the SUNY COVID-19 Tracker for data related to SUNY Orange.

Be Responsible – It’s Easy to Do Your Part

Each of us can take small steps to protect ourselves and the campus community. Because COVID-19 is highly contagious, these simple measures apply both on and off-campus:

  • All students, employees and visitors are required to wear a mask or face covering over nose and mouth at all times when indoors on either campus, including in classrooms, conference rooms and other spaces, even when six-feet social distancing exists. Exceptions to mask wearing include when students are eating meals on campus while seated and social distancing is appropriately enforced, or by themselves. Faculty and staff are likewise exempt when alone in their office or other space.
  • Masks must be worn on outdoor campus grounds if social distancing cannot be maintained, but it is recommended to wear masks at all times, even when social distancing can be maintained.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer where soap and water are not available.
  • Stay home when you are sick or have potentially been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Practice social distancing at all times to reduce transmission.

If Exposed, Complete Mandatory Quarantine and Isolation

Students who test positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to individuals who tested positive for COVID-19, or are informed by a state or local health department, or medical or campus official that they are “at risk” for having COVID-19 may be required to quarantine or isolate. This may include taking classes remotely, and not accessing campus facilities.

The College will assist the local and state Health Departments with tracing, tracking and reporting of cases, and those notified through the contact tracing process will be asked to:

  • Self-quarantine at home, in accordance with timelines established by the Orange County Department of Health (OCDOH), is required for any employee/student who has a confirmed exposure to a positive COVID-19 individual per OCDOH protocols. They will be notified by the OCDOH. For instances where a student or employee resides outside of Orange County, the College will work with the health department in the home jurisdiction of that individual.

The SUNY Orange Wellness Center will be notified by the Orange County DOH of all confirmed student cases that have been on campus during their infectious period per contact tracing investigation.

SUNY Orange liaison’s designated to maintain communication with the OCDOH as follows:

  • Student Contact: Susan Corbett, RN
    Wellness Center (845) 341-4870
  • Employee Contact: Iris Davis- Martinez AVP of Human Resources
    Title IX Coordinator (845) 341-4662

Follow the Rules or Face Disciplinary Action

When SUNY Orange learns of a violation of the rules associated with COVID-19 safety, students may lose access to campus facilities. Other disciplinary actions may be taken by the Student Conduct and/or Human Resources Offices. Student conduct is governed by the SUNY Orange Student Code of Conduct. Minimum sanctions, as set by the Chancellor for the entire SUNY system, are outlined in the Uniform Sanctioning in Response to COVID-19 Student Violations. Consistent with SUNY policy, students who are partially or completely removed from the institution due to a violation are not eligible for refunds.

Take Care of Yourself – Physically and Mentally

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 infection control procedures. Mental health efforts will be aligned with ACHA COVID-19 reopening guidelines. Mental health resources will be shifted to tele-mental health and wellness programming.

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).

Understand What’s Being Offered On-Campus and Online

For the Spring 2021 semester, SUNY Orange will offer instruction in the following course formats:

  • Remote Synchronous (RS): Remote learning with synchronous (real time) instruction at the designated days/times indicated on the schedule. Please note, to participate in the class, students will need to use a device with a microphone and camera.
  • Virtual Campus (V): Distance learning within a flexible time frame (0% real time instruction required; asynchronous). Please note, to participate in the class, students may need to use a device with a microphone and camera.
  • Blended (BL): Remote learning that integrates some synchronous instruction at the designated days/times indicated on the schedule and some asynchronous instruction. Please note, to participate in the class, students will need to use a device with a microphone and camera.
  • Middletown Campus (M): Some in-person, on-campus instruction is required on the Middletown campus.
  • Newburgh Campus (N): Some in-person, on-campus instruction is required on the Newburgh campus.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, SUNY Orange plans to offer 15 percent of courses in a face-to-face (M or N) format. The remaining 85% of courses will be offered in remote formats (RS, V, and BL).

Get Instructional and Technology Help

SUNY Orange provides a number of sources for instructional and technological support.

  • Blackboard Help: The SUNY Online Help Desk is available to students and faculty for assistance with Blackboard distance learning questions at http://www.sunyorange.edu/ol\ or via phone at 1-844-673-6786 (1-844-OPENSUNY)
  • SUNY Orange Technical Help: For help with MySUNYOrange, college email, Banner, or other related services, students can access phone support at 1-845-341-4749 or through chat support available 24/7 at https://itservice.sunyorange.edu  
  • Center for Student Success (CSS): The College’s CSS provides a range of online support options for students. For help with coursework, study skills, and staying organized, students can schedule a time with a tutor by filling out the Application for Scheduled Tutoring, or by going to the Student Services/Resources tab on your sunyorange.edu and clicking on “Apply for Scheduled Tutoring.” For a complete list of services and resources available as well as locations and hours, visit sunyorange.edu/css or email us at studentsuccess@sunyorange.edu.  
  • Library: The College Library services are available remotely to assist our students! For questions and information on accessing materials, resources, and the student Chromebook lending program, visit the SUNY Orange Library web site.
  • Student Success Toolkit: SUNY Orange students can access a full list of resources and helpful information through the College’s Student Success Toolkit, located on the Blackboard landing page under “Student Success.” Find live chat options, department contact information, Blackboard help, academic and technical resources, and many more!
  • Request Accommodations for Disabilities: Students who wish to disclose covered disabilities and receive reasonable accommodations for their disabilities should contact the Office of Accessibility Services at accessibilityservices@sunyorange.edu or (845) 341-4642. The steps to requesting Accessibility Services are; applying for Services Online Application for Accessibility Services, submitting appropriate documentation of a disability and scheduling a remote intake appointment with OAS staff. All of the steps must be completed before students can receive any academic accommodations if they are deemed eligible. Documentation and accommodation requests may be submitted at any time of the semester.

If We Have to PAUSE, Follow These Rules

In the event of a PAUSE, all in-person, on-campus instruction will move to remote formats for the duration of the PAUSE.  Student support services will continue to be available in remote formats. 

If We Have to Pivot to Remote Instruction, Follow This Plan

All faculty teaching in-person, on-campus courses will communicate to students their plans for pivoting to remote instruction (should the need arise), in their course syllabus.

Changes and Updates

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic creates a fluid situation that may require unexpected changes in our response. Updates to scientific knowledge, public health guidance, or laws and regulations may mean SUNY and SUNY Orange have to make changes to our standards and rules, including those indicated above. SUNY and SUNY Orange will try to minimize these changes and their impact. We will keep you informed of new developments.

Thank you in advance for everything you are doing and will do to make 2021 safe for you, your fellow students, and the campus community and beyond.

Additional Resources and Information

Building Access

  • Directional signs are posted to maintain social distancing throughout buildings
  • Only designated building entrances and exits should be used
  • For your safety, follow all directions given by College personnel
  • Buildings and locations not designated for on campus instruction remain closed to all but essential personnel
  • Students should not congregate in hallways and should exit the instructional space immediately after the end of class to help ensure social distancing.

Student IDs and Parking Permits

  • Your course schedule will serve as your student ID
  • NO parking permits are required to use designated Middletown campus student parking lots or the Parking Garage in Newburgh

College Services

  • Most College staff and faculty will be working remotely this semester
  • All Student and Academic Services offices are reachable by phone during business hours
  • Access information on services through MySUNYOrange
  • Check your SUNYOrange email daily to stay informed

Staying Connected 

Cleaning Protocols

  • High-touch surfaces in all active instructional spaces will be disinfected between groups of students.
  • Hand sanitizer will be located throughout buildings