Colgate University Parent and Family Newsletter
Colgate University Parent & Family Newsletter Summer 2020

Parent & Family Update


Public health

Icons for face coverings, hand washing, commitment, distancing, and cleaning

Gates of Reopening Update

Many students, staff, and faculty have worked so hard for us to be together this semester. We want to be successful all the way to Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, based on the direction of the dashboard metrics and the number of violations to the Commitment to Community Health this past weekend, the Task Force on Reopening recommended we remain in Gate 1 this week. Gatherings will continue to be in groups of 10 or fewer with no permission to visit friends in other residence halls or hang out in bedrooms. We want our community to be social while keeping the number of close contacts to a minimum. This video explains the Gate 1 guidelines. You can help your student keep a good perspective on this; we are doing this for each other, not to them.

Clarification on Testing

We have received a few questions about our testing strategy, so we asked Dr. Ellen Larson ’94, University physician, to provide some clarification.

Student being tested

Close Contacts

Students who have been identified by the Department of Health as close contacts of someone with a positive COVID-19 test will be tested per CDC guidelines. Testing of close contacts is currently 5 to 10 days after their last contact (because it takes time for a positive test to develop if it is going to). Plans for testing of contacts may change as CDC guidance changes. Close contacts who test negative will still complete the 14-day quarantine due to the incubation period of the virus.

Secondary Contacts

For those having been in contact with someone identified as a close contact (called secondary contacts), quarantine or testing are not recommended. The reason to move a close contact to quarantine is to separate them from others before they become symptomatic or contagious. The chances of that contact — who is asymptomatic and whose last exposure was 1 to 2 days prior — being contagious is very low, and so there are no other special recommendations for the secondary contacts. We have discussed with some that they can certainly self-monitor (which means to check their temperature twice a day and monitor for symptoms daily) but they do not need to limit their activities or actions (other than per University guidelines). Students who become symptomatic should contact Student Health Services for evaluation and testing.

Optional Testing

Many people ask if they can be tested just for peace of mind. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to do screening testing outside of the 6 percent random weekly screening. We understand that for many people, this is still stressful and they are still interested in screening testing. Here are some alternatives:

  • NYS Department of Health. Free testing is available. Access may be a 45-minute drive away. Turn-around time is 3-5 days. Call 1-888-364-3065.
  • Well Now Urgent Care. In Oneida, N.Y., about 30 minutes away. Turn-around time is 3 to 5 days. Would be billed to insurance.
  • Primary Urgent Care. In Utica N.Y., about 35 minutes away. Offering rapid testing (15 minutes) on Saturdays and Sundays by appointment. Would be billed to insurance.

Flu Shots

Starting September 28, flu shot clinics will be conducted by appointment twice per week throughout the semester. A shot this fall will protect students during the entire winter flu season, and it’s never been more important. Participation through Colgate or any other provider can help prevent the flu from spreading through the community while we are addressing the threat of COVID-19. It can reduce the burden on an already overtaxed healthcare system and its caregivers. Students will be sent registration and location information this week. They will need their insurance card, and, as always to wear a mask.


Updates from Campus

Finding Their Place

Is your student looking for more opportunities to meet people and get involved?
There are many opportunities! Point them to these resources:

You@Colgate: Wellness Resources for Your Student

You@Colgate screenshot

The Shaw Wellness Institute’s online wellness platform, You@Colgate, serves as students’ campus well-being hub. It provides articles, videos, tips, and information on campus resources that help students thrive and succeed. Students can personalize their home page with Interests, Goals, and Self-checks front and center, and they can explore well-being topics tailored to their interests. Encourage your student to take advantage of this helpful resource!

Mailing Perishables

Mail services and their trusty volunteers continue sorting and delivering a huge volume of packages daily. The inevitable backlog presents challenges for anyone sending perishables. If you are sending your student a tasty meal, a sweet treat, or surprise birthday cupcakes, consider ordering delivery or a gift certificate to one of Hamilton’s local businesses rather than sending packages.

Shop Hamilton


Final Thoughts

College Ready 2020 logoCollege Ready: A Podcast for Parents & Families

Academic Expecations

The Academic Expectations episode explores how college students and their parents can get on the same page regarding their expectations for academic achievement.

College Ready 2020 is a free podcast series for parents and family members hosted by award-winning broadcast journalist Andrea McCarren. Each episode helps parents of college students prepare for the logistical challenges and the emotional rollercoaster ahead, whether or not their student is going to college for the first time or returning for their senior year.


How to reach us
Rebecca Downing
Senior Director, Communications and Parent Initiatives

Parent and family resources

For urgent concerns
→ Concern about a student’s well-being
→ Campus safety Emergency: 1-315-228-7333

Parents and Family Newsletter

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