Union College students begin returning to campus; Out-of-state students start quarantine

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Categories: Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — Union College students started to arrive on campus Monday in what will be a phased return of students and staff to campus for the school’s planned Sept. 9 start to fall classes.

The first groups of out-of-state students requiring a 14-day quarantine were scheduled to come to Schenectady on Monday under the college’s reopening plan. More students are scheduled to return to campus over the next couple of weeks as the school aims to stagger the arrival and move-in of students.

The first students arriving on campus were primarily international students and those traveling from states under New York travel advisory, which requires people coming to New York from high-infection states to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, Union spokesperson Phil Wajda said on Monday. He said just over 50 students are expected to arrive this week.

The students will be directed to a COVID-19 testing site established at the school’s Memorial Field House before receiving a kit of masks and a digital thermometer on their way to isolation. Wajda said the students will be quarantined primarily at two local hotels and the College Park Hall on campus.

“Union will provide support to students during this quarantine period, including working with GrubHub for meal delivery from local restaurants,” Wajda said. “Student Activities (Department) will also offer a number of virtual events to students in quarantine, including trivia night, bingo and movie watch and discussions.”

Other students who need to quarantine prior to the start of the school year are scheduled to arrive next week.

Union has one of the later starts to the fall term, so is among the last campuses in the area to begin welcoming students to campus. Skidmore, Siena and other area colleges started quarantining students earlier this month and plan to start school as early as next week.

The college on Friday also issued a message asking all students to get tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival on campus. The college also plans to test students and staff arriving to campus and regularly throughout the school year. Students who aren’t required to quarantine under the state travel advisory will still need to isolate for a shorter period of time as they await the results of their first on-campus testing.

All Union students had the opportunity to opt for a fully-virtual fall term, but  about 80 percent of the college’s roughly 2,200 students are expected to return to campus this fall, Wajda said.

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