Hartwick College announced Monday it will return to offering face-to-face as well as remote instruction on Wednesday, Sept. 16, after a voluntary and precautionary two-week, remote-only period.

According to a media release, the decision to go to remote-only instruction was made by the college upon learning of an outbreak of infections at SUNY Oneonta. As of noon Monday, there were seven active cases of COVID-19 among Hartwick students and no active cases among Hartwick faculty and staff, the release said. All active cases are in isolation with oversight provided by the Department of Health. The number of active cases represents an infection rate of less than one percent of the campus community.

“Face-to-face, personal instruction is a pillar of Hartwick’s educational mission, as it has been for 223 years,” Hartwick President Margaret Drugovich said in the release. “Our students have made it clear that they want to return to the classroom, and the vast majority have demonstrated they can and will honor the rules we’ve put in place to control the spread of COVID-19."

Drugovich said Hartwick's ability to continue in-person instruction "is dependent on every member of our community taking responsibility for themselves and others by following our comprehensive guidelines."

She said the college has "articulated a bright line for what behavior is acceptable for our community and what is not," and said the college will continue to hold everyone accountable.

"We believe there is a direct relationship between the exemplary behavior of nearly all members of our community and our infection rate of less than one percent,” she said.

Most Hartwick students remained on campus during the two-week period of remote-only instruction, the release said. Students who chose to study off campus for the two weeks will be invited to return on an appointment-only basis from Sept. 16 through Sept. 23

Returning students will be required to complete a pre-arrival form, provide proof of a negative COVID test result from a test taken within 72 hours prior to their arrival, and be tested again upon arrival. Those students who chose to spend the remote-only period in a New York-designated “hot spot” state will not be allowed to return to campus this semester, the release said.

All students studying on-campus, and all faculty and staff working on campus, are required to complete SARS COV2 PCR testing every other week through Nov. 20. The testing is conducted on campus.

“Hartwick made the decision to return to in-person instruction after careful consideration of the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and the greater Oneonta community,” Drugovich said. “We look forward to taking this next step forward together in a way that maintains and respects college and community health. Our success depends on the good choices that each of us make.”

Details of the Hartwick College Re-opening Plan can be found at https://www.hartwick.edu/about-us/reopening-our-campus/

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