The staff and faculty at Alfred State College are doing everything we can to keep students safe when you return and to prepare as best as possible for any unexpected or unknown developments. Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Additional Q&A are available at the Main COVID FAQ Page.
What will classrooms look like in the fall?
Each classroom will have socially distanced seating (6 feet apart) and there will be markings for students to see where they can sit. Extra furnishings will also be removed from classrooms to prevent exceeding the allowable capacity for the space. At the front of each classroom, there will be an approximately 4-foot-by-4-foot piece of plastic, which will serve as a partition between faculty and students. Each classroom will also be equipped with a combined document camera and web camera, which will allow filming of instruction or classroom as needed. In addition, all faculty and students will be required to wear masks and will be supplied with a refillable sanitizer bottle and a microfiber cloth that they can use to clean their immediate area.
How will the classroom preparations be accomplished? What will happen to classes that cannot fit in their classrooms?
College administrators are currently working on the course room and time scheduling. The goal is to provide as much face-to-face instruction as possible, with highest priority for first-year students. Classrooms and class times may be changed to accommodate face-to-face instruction, with classes spread out from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Because of space restrictions, some classes may be delivered in an alternative format.
How will instruction continue if faculty or students are quarantined or sick?
The web camera will allow both faculty members and students to participate when out of the classroom due to quarantine.
What measures will Alfred State College take to clean and sanitize classrooms and public spaces?
There will be a nightly deep cleaning of classrooms and public spaces. Cleaning protocols surpass the recommended levels put forth by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some cleaning measures outlined for reopening (Phase IV Opening) require cleaning logs, two disinfections of public bathrooms daily, and heightened cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas. Everyone on campus will have some responsibility for keeping the areas they occupy and use clean and disinfected so that the cleaning staff stays focused on the busiest areas and those most susceptible to transmission. The most significant piece of the deep clean is first cleaning the classrooms and public spaces, but then allowing for the disinfecting (spray down) using CDC and EPA approved disinfecting solutions so employees and students enter sanitized spaces at the start of the next day.
What are the responsibilities of students to wear face masks and to help sanitize laboratory stations?
For the health of the entire Alfred State community, all students and employees will be expected to wear multi-layered face coverings or masks when inside campus buildings, including entryways, hallways, restrooms, and classrooms. Students are required to wear masks when seated or at laboratory stations. Exceptions include when student are seated at meals for limited-capacity dining and when students are inside their own residence hall rooms. Also, students will be expected to clean the surfaces of laboratory stations, including computer stations, both prior to and after use. All labs will have cleaning supplies such as disinfecting wipes and self-cleaning spray bottles on hand to sanitize equipment.
Will eating be permitted in campus buildings and spaces not designated for meals?
Because eating requires pulling down masks, students may only eat in buildings and spaces designated for meals.
What are the consequences for students refusing to wear a mask?
As an addendum to the Student Code of Conduct, all students will agree to new behavioral expectations upon returning to campus, including COVID-19 safety measures. If a student does not have a face mask, faculty members will first offer a disposable face mask to the student. If the student continues to refuse to comply, faculty members can leave the classroom and request UPD response to escort the student from the area. In all cases that a student is non-compliant, the faculty member may document the student’s behavior and submit a report to the Office of Student Conduct.
Will students be asked to self-quarantine before returning to campus? What about students from high-risk states?
All students will be requested to self-quarantine for seven days prior to returning to campus. Students from states that are required to quarantine when arriving in New York State will be asked to arrive early and stay in quarantine on campus.
How will student health be monitored? How will symptomatic students be tested?
Just as faculty and staff are required to do, students will need to fill out daily documentation on their health, likely through the SUNY screening app. Students that indicate any symptoms will be assessed by Health and Wellness Services. We have advanced the purchase of an Antigen Testing unit that will allow rapid testing and screening as an additional diagnostic tool. The results of the test will then determine if the student needs to be sent for additional PCR testing or if other actions need to be taken.
Where will students who need to quarantine go? Where will sick students go?
Getman Hall has been designated as a dedicated quarantine space. All students who need to quarantine during the semester will temporarily move to that space. Students who test positive will either be sent home or be placed in isolation housing that is currently in the townhouses.
How will students who are sick or quarantined be able to complete their classes?
There will be webcams in every classroom to help accommodate students that may become sick or need to quarantine so they can continue with their classes online until they are able to return to class. Faculty will be working with students on an individual basis to decide how and when students can complete their requirements, including required face-to-face instruction. For example, students from the spring semester that could not complete their required face-to-face instruction are returning early in August to complete outstanding work. It is an unprecedented time and what we know changes daily. If a student becomes too ill to complete classwork, like previous semesters, they should consider taking an incomplete.
How has the fall calendar changed?
Classes for the fall semester will begin on Monday, Aug. 24 for both Alfred and Wellsville campuses. The current plan is to have most classes meet face-to-face until Wednesday, Nov. 25. On Nov. 30, all classes will resume online until the end of the semester. There will be no fall mini-break. Classes will end on Friday, Dec. 4 on the Alfred campus. Final exams may continue for Alfred campus students until Friday, Dec. 11. All classes will end on the Wellsville campus on Friday, Dec. 11.
For the COVID Care Pack for students, what’s included?
Each student will be provided a drawstring Alfred State bag containing several items to help them be safe:
- Personal digital thermometer – allows each student to take their own temperature each day to assist with their attestations
- Two cloth masks with plastic sealable bag – three-layered, cotton blended face coverings meeting the Department of Health’s and SUNY’s recommended criteria
- A 2 oz. bottle of hand-sanitizer – 80 percent alcohol solution in a refillable bottle to be used as needed for hand sanitization and also as a supplemental self-disinfecting solution for individual areas. Refill stations will be located around campus.
- Microfiber cloth with plastic sealable bag – used in combination with the sanitizer solution to disinfect as needed when other options aren’t available or as a measure to put the ability to disinfect surfaces in the individual’s hands
- Antimicrobial door opener – a zinc alloy key chain tool that can be used to pull open public-use doors, push elevator buttons, select vending machine options, etc.
- Literature from multiple campus offices regarding expectations for students, reference information, and available resources.