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Friday, August 6, Return to campus - Fall 2021

Dear Students,

Preparations are well underway to have a safe, healthy fall semester that looks and feels more like the typical Keene State College experience.

Simply put, we cannot wait to have you back on campus this fall!

The reality right now is that we are facing new risks including the delta variant and breakthrough infections. Many have asked about the impact of these realities on the fall semester. This message provides an update on how we are planning for and responding to the current conditions.

Town Hall

We know there are a lot of questions regarding the fall semester. Please continue to check the FAQs on our COVID-19 website which will continue to be updated. In addition, we invite you to join a virtual student and family town hall on August 11 at 6 p.m. Please see the information on how to connect that was sent to you by Jennifer Ferrell, Associate Vice President, Student Engagement.

Vaccinations

The vaccine is working. When you are vaccinated, you have a reduced risk of being infected. There is strong evidence that when vaccinated, people have milder symptoms, are rarely hospitalized, and almost never die from the disease.

  • If you have not uploaded your vaccination information to the health portal, it will be assumed that you are not vaccinated, and you will need to quarantine if exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID.

  • When you are vaccinated and you choose to upload proof, you will not need to quarantine but will be asked to monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, and then participate in surveillance testing 3-5 days after exposure.

Please consider uploading your vaccination proof to the health portal.

Masks

The CDC recently provided updated recommendations that even vaccinated individuals should wear masks when in areas with substantial transmission. We are beginning to see an increase in cases in our region. Effective on Monday, August 9, masks are to be worn indoors by anyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status. We ask that you bring a mask back with you to campus.

This policy is in place until we all have returned to campus, and initial COVID testing is complete, and conditions are known. After that point, we will transition to our trigger point matrix for decisions about precautions.

Return to Campus Information

We are pleased to announce that students may be joined with up to 3 guests to assist with their move back to campus. We ask that all guests wear a mask during the move-in process regardless of vaccination status. In addition, we strongly encourage students and their guests to have a pre-arrival COVID test to avoid potential quarantine or isolation in the event we have a positive case.

The chart below indicates the arrival date and testing times for all students. Community Living will be emailing on-campus students via your Keene State email address on Thursday, August 12, with designated arrival times and further details on what to expect.

Testing

All students regardless of vaccination status will participate in a COVID-19 test upon arrival as indicated below.

We know that wearing masks, physical distancing, and surveillance testing can help to quickly identify and stop potential spread. We will share with you in the coming weeks how we will approach surveillance testing – there will be some level of testing for everyone this fall.

Student Population Arrival date Arrival testing time Where do I go?
Approved Early Arrivals You will receive a separate email pertaining to your move in and arrival testing in the coming days. Please check your email in the coming days for this information. Please check your email in the coming days for this information.
Off-campus students *Arrive at any point during one of the following days to be tested: Friday, August 27 between 8:00am and 6:00pm or Sunday, August 29 between 9:00am and 1:00pm Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery
First Year Students (Also, those Transfer Students that have arranged to participate in Welcome Days) Wednesday, August 25 8:00am – 12:00pm* *Note: Students will receive a designated time within this window Krif Road Athletic Complex to complete test collection and receive an access pass to campus
Sophomore Students (Students who arrived at KSC Fall 2020 or Spring 2021) Saturday, August 28 8:00am – 12:00pm* *Note: Students will receive a designated time within this window Krif Road Athletic Complex to complete test collection and receive an access pass to campus
Juniors/Seniors Sunday, August 29 9:00am – 1:00pm* *Note: Students can arrive at any point during this timeframe The on-campus Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery to complete test collection

You will receive regular updates via email from covidinfo@keene.edu alerting our community of our risk matrix status and safety protocols. We ask that all questions or concerns related to COVID-19 be sent to covidinfo@keene.edu.

Thank you for carefully following these protocols and guidance. We are confident that our community will have a great year together!