All members of the Siena community are required to wear facial coverings for the nose and mouth at all times, except for the following:
- When alone, or with roommate(s), inside their personal residence hall room, suite, or townhouse
- When alone inside their own office or other private space
- When actively eating (once a meal is finished, facial covering must be put on, even if remaining at the dining table) Physical distancing should still be observed and seats may not be moved in designated dining areas
- When alone and stationary outside and away from walkways and gathering areas (e.g., seated outside by yourself in an area away from public spaces)
All community members are expected to have a facial covering with them at all times.
Effective March 8, 2021, gaiters will not be considered adequate facial covering on campus. Students and employees in need of an approved facial covering are encouraged to stop by the Sarazen Student Union information desk to obtain a Siena mask (the supply is limited). This change in policy was recommended by the Siena Student COVID-19 Committee, discussed and approved by the Ops Center Team, and endorsed by President Gibson.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol based.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Students, faculty and staff are required to complete a daily symptom check if on campus (students through the Campus Clear app and employees through the College’s Employee Daily Health Screening).
Please see the Student Life & Athletics section for details about student and employee use of the workout facilities.
HEALTH SCREENING, TESTING FREQUENCY, TRACING AND ISOLATION/QUARANTINE
- All students should have downloaded Siena’s COVID-19 Campus CLear daily health screening app.
iOS (Apple) https://apps.apple.com/app/campusclear/id1516163872
Web Interface https://web.ivy.ai/app/campusclear
- Diagnostic and surveillance testing are available through Siena College Health Services, an affiliate of St. Peter’s Health Partners. Students will be screened by the triage nurse and given a telehealth appointment with the Health Services nurse practitioner for symptom assessment, testing and treatment as appropriate. At least 10 percent of the student body will be randomly selected to participate in Siena's surveillance testing program each week.
- If a student presents COVID-19 symptoms or is identified as a direct contact of a confirmed COVID-19 positive case, the student should contact Health Services to be further triaged. The provider will make arrangements for the symptomatic student to be evaluated and COVID-19 tested as appropriate.
- Symptomatic students tested for COVID-19 will be required to isolate awaiting test results. Students placed in isolation on campus and quarantined at the local hotel will be monitored by the College’s Care Team.
- Should a student test positive for COVID-19, the student will be expected to participate in contact tracing by providing a list of recent close and proximate contacts as required by the Albany County Department of Health in coordination with Siena’s Director of Health Services. The College will assist the local health departments with contact tracing efforts and monitoring of positive COVID-19 cases for students as needed. Anyone receiving a call from "NYS Contact Tracing" (518-387-9993), must take the call.
- While Siena’s isolation and quarantine space has been increased for the spring semester, students who live within driving distance from the College and are able to safely isolate/quarantine at home are strongly encouraged to do so. Depending on the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus, the College must ensure rooms remain available for those who medically need them most. Our experience is that students choose to return home, as most often this option provides the most comfortable environment to complete their isolation/quarantine. The College’s priority is to reserve isolation space to ensure students with extenuating circumstances (severe symptoms, immunocompromised family members, do not live within driving distance from Siena) have the ability to be medically accommodated and isolate on campus. As long as capacity remains and circumstances allow, the College can provide students options to isolate on campus (if testing positive) or quarantine at a local hotel (if designated as a close contact to a positive case) or to return home. Students who test positive during the College’s reentry testing will be required to return home to complete their isolation barring extenuating circumstances.
sanitization and cleaning
- Wall mounted hand sanitizer stations are available at building entrances as well as office spaces and classroom spaces. Smaller dispensers have been placed in locations where there is shared equipment such as copiers, printers, etc.
- Thorough cleaning of all classrooms by our custodial staff will occur in the early morning hours each day.
- Sanitizing kits will be available for faculty and students to use on their desks, tables, podiums, etc. between classes.
- Signs with information about safety protocols have been posted throughout the Siena campus, including all buildings and public areas.
- We have increased the volume of fresh/outside air that our central ventilation systems circulate throughout our academic spaces. Higher efficiency filters have also been added to all of the campus air handling equipment that can accommodate the higher grade filters. Portable air filtration units are being used in a number of classrooms and other spaces where the options for modifying building air systems were limited.
- A re-orientation packet and training were developed by the Office of Student Life to assist all students in learning the new protocols.
- The College continues to hire additional facilities staff to perform all elements of our campus cleaning protocols including sanitation of all common spaces twice a day.
- Protective shielding and equipment have been installed in a number of campus locations including dining halls, computer labs, athletic facilities, offices and administrative areas.
- In the event an individual is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, the College will provide for the cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces, in compliance with NYS Phase IV guidance and CDC guidelines on "Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility."
Frequently asked questions
Will masks and social distancing still be required this spring?
Yes. Masks, social distancing and enhanced hygiene will continue to be required for the foreseeable future. They are scientifically proven to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Will I still need to do a health screening every day?
Yes. Students must screen each day via the Campus Clear app to show they are symptom free. Employees are required to screen each day before coming to campus.
Is deep cleaning being done throughout campus?
Yes. Deep cleaning, especially in heavily trafficked areas, will be done to help reduce the spread of the virus.
How will Siena alert the campus about an increase in cases?
Siena has a new color-coded alert system that will help assess and communicate the COVID-19 alert threat level on campus.
Where do I go if I have to isolate/quarantine this semester?
While Siena’s isolation and quarantine space has been increased for the spring semester, students who live within driving distance from the College and are medically determined to safely isolate/quarantine at home are strongly encouraged to do so.
Depending on the prevalence of COVID-19 on campus, the College must ensure rooms remain available for those who medically need them most. Our experience is that students choose to return home, as most often this option provides the most comfortable environment to complete their isolation/quarantine. The College’s priority is to reserve isolation space to ensure students with extenuating circumstances (severe symptoms, immunocompromised family members, do not live within driving distance from Siena) have the ability to be medically accommodated and isolate on campus.
As long as capacity remains and circumstances allow, the College can provide students options to isolate on campus (if testing positive) or quarantine at a local hotel (if designated as a close contact to a positive case) or to return home. Students who test positive during the College’s reentry testing will be required to return home to complete their isolation barring extenuating circumstances.
Will students be able to request a COVID test on campus, whether or not they are symptomatic?
Yes. We’re working toward being able to offer some rapid antigen on-campus testing. Students will be able to sign up for these tests weekly as supply allows.
What percentage of the campus population will be tested weekly?
At least 10 percent of the campus will participate in surveillance PCR testing each week, an increase over last semester. Wastewater testing will also be expanded to help us target where surveillance testing is most needed.
Have any members of the Siena community received the COVID vaccine yet?
Yes. In-person faculty, public safety officers, pre-med and nursing students, and many friars are currently receiving their vaccines, along with community members 65 and older as part of New York's State's Phase 1B vaccination distribution plan.
Will Siena be offering the vaccine on campus for students and staff?
Planning is underway to prepare for the on-campus distribution of the vaccine to students and employees, depending on approval of these groups by the state and selection by the state of Siena as a vaccination site. We expect to hear back about this designation in the coming weeks.
Will students be required to get the vaccine once it becomes available for them?
At this time, we are strongly encouraging all members of the Siena community to receive the vaccine once it becomes available for their group.