Coronavirus

Statement from St. Lawrence County and the Presidents of Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam 

Tuesday, March 25, 2020

The Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department and the St. Lawrence County Board of Health are committed to protecting the health and safety of our students, our employees, and the county’s residents during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. We value the inclusion of everyone who makes the North Country such a special place to live, learn and work. Together, we are implementing the ‘New York State on PAUSE’ Executive Order, taking strong action to contain the growing spread of COVID-19. 

We recognize some community concerns that students on our campuses, especially those who may have returned from beyond St. Lawrence County, could introduce and spread the virus. Using the guidance of New York State, as well as federal and international experts, the universities and the County are closely coordinating efforts to protect everyone’s health and safety. Like anyone who has been in areas impacted by the virus, students are not being allowed back onto the college campuses without fully vetted approvals and are subject to self-isolation measures. Many never left for Spring Break and have remained in St. Lawrence County since January. Those returning from areas where the virus is more prevalent have undertaken self-isolation measures, as recommended by the Public Health Department and federal guidance.

The students living on the four campuses are here because they are international students and cannot travel to their home countries; or they do not have a safe or secure place to live away from campus. St. Lawrence County is their home and the only safe place for them. 

Together, the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, with the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department and the St. Lawrence County Board of Health, will continue to coordinate monitoring, screening, and best practices for isolation to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Signed,

Anthony G. Collins
President
Clarkson University

Kristin G. Esterberg
President
SUNY Potsdam

William L. Fox
President
St. Lawrence University

Zvi Szafran
President
SUNY Canton

Ruth Doyle
County Administrator
St. Lawrence County

Dana McGuire, PhD
Public Health Director
St. Lawrence County
Public Health Department

Andrew Williams, MD, FACP
President
St. Lawrence County
Board of Health


Statement from the Presidents of Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam 

 Tuesday, March 17, 2020

As the presidents of the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, we hold the utmost concern for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff – and for the communities that we are a part of in New York’s North Country.  We depend on our communities, and our communities depend on us. 

We are working together closely among the four Associated Colleges, and also with community organizations such as the Canton and Potsdam Central School Districts, the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), St. Lawrence Health System, and the St. Lawrence County Health Department to coordinate our individual and collective responses to the dynamic and constantly evolving coronavirus pandemic.

During this rapidly changing situation, communication is key. We must rely on reputable information and ensure that we communicate frequently with one another. We recognize that the impacts of the Coronavirus will extend far beyond the infections and cases of COVID-19.  We recognize and share a concern for our local businesses and the childcare needs that will arise from the closure of our local school districts.

As businesses and institutions are forced to suspend operations, as gatherings of people must be avoided, and with the closure of educational institutions, many residents in our area will have a tremendous sense of loss. We are committed to working with our local Chambers of Commerce to support our businesses, and we know we will need to find new ways to do so. We are working to bring a variety of our events online so that individuals will have an outlet. 

At a meeting of the parties mentioned above on Friday, March 13th, much of the discussion focused on the critical community impact of food insecurity and need for childcare.  With school closures we recognize that these will be heightened. In addition, we are exploring ways that we can support the childcare needs of the community with the New York State Education Department and the Office of Children and Family Services. We are committed to working with our partners to help address these concerns. 

In the days ahead we will explore and advance steps to help our community in need. Together we will get through this and come together to sustain each other.

Signed:

Anthony G. Collins
President
Clarkson University

Kristin G. Esterberg
President
SUNY Potsdam

William L. Fox
President
St. Lawrence University

Zvi Szafran
President
SUNY Canton

University Response Pages

Other Resources

Clarkson University

Clarkson is a nationally ranked research university located in Potsdam, New York offering comprehensive programs in business, engineering, arts and sciences and health sciences. As a student-centered institution, Clarkson emphasizes a dynamic collaborative approach to learning through programs that span boundaries across disciplines and outstanding focused research.
www.clarkson.edu

SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton provides an accessible, affordable, high-quality education to students in New York and beyond. With diverse academic programs and a focus on real-world application, our hands-on education SUNY College of Technology at Canton prepares students for successful careers. The College offers 23 bachelor’s degrees, 22 associate degrees, and 7 one-year professional certificate programs. SUNY Canton OnLine offers 8 bachelor’s degrees, and more than 370 courses, fully online, so students can access our outstanding programs from anywhere with internet access. Ranked among the top U.S. Colleges for being military-friendly and environmentally focused, SUNY Canton invests in the potential of each of its students.
www.canton.edu

SUNY Potsdam

The State University of New York at Potsdam prepares students to act as engaged global citizens and to lead lives enriched by critical thought, creativity and discovery. As an inclusive scholarly community rooted in its historic role in providing exemplary teacher and music education and leadership in the fine and performing arts, SUNY Potsdam is committed to the liberal arts and sciences as an academic foundation.
www.potsdam.edu

St. Lawrence University

Founded in 1856, St. Lawrence University is a private, independent liberal arts institution of about 2,400 students. The educational opportunities at St. Lawrence inspire students and prepare them to be critical and creative thinkers, to find a compass for their lives and careers, and to pursue knowledge and understanding for the benefit of themselves, humanity and the planet. Through its focus on active engagement with ideas in and beyond the classroom, a St. Lawrence education leads students to make connections that transform lives and communities, from the local to the global.
www.stlawu.edu