Let me start by wishing everyone a Happy New Year, 2020 certainly was challenging, and I’m looking forward to a new year, a new semester and welcoming our students and employees back to a vibrant campus. The campus will undoubtedly look and feel different then last spring. Some of the changes you will see, and others will go unnoticed. I wanted to take this time to update the campus community on the work that Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), along with several other departments, have taken to prepare the campus for a safe opening.
Planning, planning and then some more planning was the theme since the shutdown last March. Members of the Health and Safety Advisory Group and the Public Safety Advisory Group reviewed and provided guidance for the Ithaca College Reopening Plan developed as required by New York State. The planning and successful implementation of the Athletics and Events testing site was a critical component, and we tested an average of 1,200 IC community members per week for 21 weeks during the fall. Planning is now underway to provide a Point of Distribution (POD) for the COVID-19 vaccine, when it becomes available. We will continue to develop and adjust policies and procedures to protect the health and wellness of our college community.
Faculty, staff and students returning this spring received an email notification from Human Resources and EH&S regarding mandatory COVID-19 training. New York State and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all Ithaca College faculty, staff and students approved to access campus for the Spring 2021 semester complete a COVID-19 online training course. This course, “Your Campus and COVID-19: The Road Back,” examines some of the challenges and changes that we are encountering as we resume in-person operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course includes an overview of the virus, common health and safety procedures, and a reminder that we are all in this fight together.