Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Top Coronavirus Questions

Keuka College is working closely with the Yates County and New York State health departments to ensure we are prepared in the event Coronavirus is detected on our campus. 

Each of us is responsible for following good public health practices to minimize the spread of illness. Please practice good handwashing techniques and take frequent advantage of the alcohol-based hand sanitizers located in dispensing units throughout College buildings. 

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., fever, trouble breathing, consistent coughing) to not come to work, “until they are free of fever (100.4° F or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g., cough suppressants).” 

Health, Wellness, and Prevention

Have there been any reported cases of COVID-19 on the Keuka College campus or among its students, faculty, or staff?

No. There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 here at Keuka College (or anywhere in Yates County currently).

Can I travel?

The risk depends on where you  are - and more specifically, whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak unfolding there.

For most people in most locations the risk of catching COVID-19 is still low. However, there are now places around the world (cities or areas) where the disease is spreading. For people living in, or visiting, these areas the risk of catching COVID-19 is higher. Governments and health authorities are taking vigorous action every time a new case of COVID-19 is identified. Be sure to comply with any local restrictions on travel, movement or large gatherings. Cooperating with disease control efforts will reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.

COVID-19 outbreaks can be contained and transmission stopped, as has been shown in China and some other countries. Unfortunately, new outbreaks can emerge rapidly. It’s important to be aware of the situation where you are or intend to go. WHO publishes daily updates on the COVID-19 situation worldwide.

You can see these here.

What are symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. The virus may cause respiratory symptoms such as:

  • Coughing
  • High Fever
  • Breathing problems
  • Shortness of breath

The New York State Department of Health cautions anyone experiencing symptoms to call their healthcare provider before seeking treatment in person.

CDC believes at this time that symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.

For urgent questions and concerns about the virus, call the New York State hotline:

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but now it seems to be spreading from person to person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some diseases are highly contagious (like measles), while other diseases are less so. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading between people. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses click here.

What are prevention best practices?

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the garbage
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Coronavirus preventative flyer

Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low. 

What if I am experiencing symptoms?

All Employees: As a result of the CDC’s recommendation, Keuka College is requiring that any employee who is experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness refrain from coming to work until the symptoms have resolved. Employees who miss time at work should consult their immediate supervisor regarding the use of benefit time. Supervisors are asked to send employees home if they are exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory illness.

Employees experiencing symptoms are encouraged to contact their primary care provider or seek emergency treatment. Those who participate in the College’s health insurance plans can schedule an immediate consultation by accessing MVP MyVisitNow using this link.

Students and Faculty: Students who are experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness should refrain from going to class and limit their contact with others. 

We encourage students who are experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness to immediately make an appointment with the Health Services office by calling (315) 279-5368. 

The Health Services office can provide written excuses for students who they treat, which can be used to address individual faculty’s attendance policies. We ask that faculty consider providing opportunities for students who miss class to engage in alternative educational activities (e.g., assignments through Moodle). 

What other steps has the College taken to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 reaching or spreading on campus?

The New York State Department of Health, Yates County Public Health, and the College request that all students, faculty, and staff who are traveling internationally, regardless of destination, inform the Health Services office of their travel plans. You may do so by emailing [email protected] or calling (315) 279-5368. This is particularly important in light of the upcoming spring break.

As of right now, College-sponsored trips within the United States may continue as planned. Please note that many conferences and events including a large number of participants have been canceled or postponed. Going forward, the College may cancel or change any College-sponsored trips, given the day-to-day changes in numbers of those affected by COVID-19 and associated government warnings and restrictions.

How likely am I to catch COVID-19?

The College has taken the following steps to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 on campus:

  • Ongoing, regular collaboration with community partners, such as Yates County Public Health, the New York State Department of Health, Finger Lakes Health, and the Upstate New York College Collaborative to discuss best practices for COVID-19 identification, monitoring, and containment
  • Training of the Residence Life Senior Team in COVID-19 screening and providing of First Aid kits including disposable thermometers, masks for ill students, and latex gloves
  • Sharing of the New York State school-cleaning protocol with the College’s housekeeping team
  • Tracking of students, staff, and faculty undergoing international travel
  • Enactment of our Infectious Disease Policy in our Health Clinic
  • Refinement of the College Epidemic Policy to further match our current COVID-19 situation

Classes and Academics

How is Keuka College keeping informed of the changing conditions?

Keuka College is working closely with the Yates County and New York State health departments to ensure we are prepared in the event Coronavirus is detected on our campus. 

How will students take (lab, fine art, music, etc.) online?

The College's faculty will be working non-stop over the next two weeks to identify how courses will be taught online and what that experience will look like. We have been working with our peer institutions to identify best practices, and relying heavily on the expertise of our faculty who currently offer online courses. More information about labs, arts courses, etc., will be shared with students as we get closer to the March 30 date when online instruction begins.

We are a small, private, liberal arts college that takes immense pride in the quality of the academics we provide. While this change in format is certainly different, we are going to do everything we can to ensure that we still deliver the education we promised students and their families.

What about the quality of online learning?

We are a small, private, liberal arts college that takes immense pride in the quality of the academics we provide. While this change in format is certainly different, we are going to do everything we can to ensure that we still deliver the education we promised students and their families.

I’m an international student and have restrictions around taking online classes. How does this affect me?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) has waived the requirement for international students, allowing them to continue to study fully online. They must continue to reside on campus to do so.

I require disability services, how will that work?

Students who require disability services are encouraged to contact their professors to determine what online delivery methods will be used and what, if any, additional services may be necessary. Students can then request services through the Student Success Office & Disability Services. Accommodations should be requested by e-mail to Dr. Chris Alterio at [email protected].

How will ASL be conducted?

While instructional strategies are still being finalized, American Sign Language and ASL/English Interpreting instruction will likely be delivered using Microsoft Teams. Additional information will be forthcoming to students.

Will the online classes that are currently in progress continue to run over the break?

Yes. Online classes will continue to run over the break.

Can I still get access to tutoring services? Writing center services?

The Writing Center will be offering online writing support to all students. We will review papers and send feedback via email. We can also call or video conference. Students should email [email protected]  or

  • Go to
  • Create an account, if you don’t already have one
  • Log in with your new account information
  • Choose “AOE Writing Help” and select any open (white) slot.
  • Fill out the appointment form and attach your paper to the form.

You will receive feedback on your paper within 48 business hours.

What if I have books checked out of Lightner Library?

  • If you no longer need the book, turn it in before you leave. 
  • If you still need the book, take it with you. Mail it back to the library when you are done. 
  • To request a renewal email: [email protected]

How will this impact graduation?

Students who are on track to graduate at the end of this semester will continue to be on track to graduate. The Spring semester will not be any longer because of the two-week Spring Break or the change to online classes.

Commencement, scheduled for May 16, and related ceremonies such as the Baccalaureate Service

Is the Emerging College Leaders training session planned for March 27 still on?

The work and business of the faculty continues to move forward, with faculty committee meetings, division meetings, Academic Council, and full faculty meetings in April, May, and June continuing to take place as scheduled. The emerging leaders training session will also take place as scheduled.

Do I need a special type of computer/software to take part in online learning?

Any computer with a modern web browser will allow students to utilize and access instruction delivered through Moodle. For Online Live-Synchronous Classes, students should have a computer equipped with a microphone and webcam.

I don’t have access to wifi at home, what are my options?

If you have DSL or higher-speed internet service at home, you’ll be able to access online instruction. If you have satellite internet, normal online instruction will be accessible but Online Live-Synchronous Classes will likely be more difficult to stream. If you need internet service, public libraries are a great resource for wifi.

Will I need to log onto the College’s VPN (virtual private network) for online instruction?

VPN is required only for Faculty, who need it to access the College’s Colleague user-interface (UI) system.

Housing and Residence Life

Should students move out completely on Friday?

We are hoping that this move to online learning will not have to be for the remainder of the semester. We are preparing for the worst, yet hoping for the best. 

Students are encouraged to remain home at the conclusion of Spring Break. We understand that some resident students will need to continue living on campus (e.g., student teaching, nursing students, travel plans, etc.). If you need to stay on campus, please use this link to let us know and request accommodations. The College will continue to provide limited dining options to those on campus. Other essential services (e.g., health and counseling) will remain available. 

Jon Accardi, our dean of students, sent out an email to all students Thursday, March 12, with additional details. Among his recommendations:

  • When leaving for break, bring home essential items (e.g., laptop, books, clothes, medications, etc.). If you can’t bring additional belongings, don’t worry. Your belongings will be safe in your room. We are still hopeful that we can return to face-to-face instruction later this semester.

Are the residence halls closed?

No. Although we are attempting to limit the population density and encouraging students to study from home, the residence halls are open.

Will international students or other students who are unable to return home need to leave campus?

The College realizes that some students may not be able to return home. Students requiring residential accommodations must use this link to let us know. Those who leave for Spring Break and elect to return to live on campus while they take online classes may be subject to COVID-19 testing and/or quarantine. We will make every effort to accommodate your needs, but please be aware that services such as dining may be reduced to limit large gatherings. 

What will room & board reimbursements look like?

We know that many of our residential students and their families have questions with respect to room and board expenses. We have prioritized our planning efforts in this rapidly evolving time to focus on the College’s academic mission. However, we will provide information regarding room and board in the near future after giving full consideration to College and federal regulations and guidelines.

What should students do if they need to retrieve something from their residence hall room after March 13?

Students can call (315) 279-5215 at least 24 hours in advance to make arrangements to access their residence hall and room.

Can I return to live on campus after Spring Break?

Those who leave for Spring Break and elect to return to live on campus while they take online classes may be subject to COVID-19 testing and/or quarantine. In addition, will be confined to their residence halls or apartments for a minimum period of 14 days, with the exception of access to essential (e.g., meals, restrooms, laundry, health and counseling) or academic (e.g., the library, clinical placement, etc.) services. Additional policies will include:

  • No outside (non-resident students) visitors will be permitted in the residence halls.
  • All common areas, including residence hall lounges, will be closed.
  • Gatherings of more than five students in residence halls will be prohibited.
  • Alcohol is prohibited in the residence halls and apartments for all students until further notice. 

How will work-study students be affected?

Work-study will continue uninterrupted through the end of the day Friday, March 13. Students who plan to work over Spring Break should contact their supervisors. Work-study arrangements following Spring Break continue to be assessed and additional information will be forthcoming.

What’s the status of the College’s athletics teams?

Keuka College has canceled its spring athletics seasons. No further competitions or practices will take place for traditional and non-traditional sports with the exception of baseball and softball. Those two teams are out of state and will complete their trips prior to the conclusion of their seasons upon their return.


What services are available to students remaining on campus?

Food and Meals

  • Dining Services will resume beginning with dinner on Sunday, March 22. Meals will be boxed and available in the Phillips Lounge of the Dahlstrom Student Center. Lunch will be available from noon to 1 p.m. daily. Dinner will be boxed with breakfast items for the next day and will be available from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. daily.
  • Food Pantry - If you need meals and don’t have the money or the ability to go into town for groceries, please visit the food pantry in the Commuter Lounge of Dahlstrom. Please be respectful and take only what you need.


  • Keuka Taxi - Campus Safety has Keuka Taxi vouchers available in their office (good until Sunday, March 22). If you need a ride to and from campus for this week, please contact Campus Safety at (315) 279-5250.
  • Yates Transit will return to their normal Keuka College-town shuttle schedule starting Monday, March 23. For information, call (315) 694-7700.

Mail and Package Pickup

  • To retrieve packages from the mailroom, please call ahead at (315) 279-5466 to coordinate a curbside pick-up time and location.

Medical Services

Counseling services

  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital: (315) 531-2000.
  • Ulife counseling service for college students: Visit online at or call (800) 273-8255 or Text "GO" to 741-741
  • Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Mobile Hotspots

  • The College is working to establish remote mobile hotspots for students who stayed on campus due to lack of internet access at home. If you’d like to return home if we could provide you a mobile hotspot (free of charge) for remote learning, please contact Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jon Accardi at [email protected] or (315) 279-5215.

My reason for staying on campus changed. What should I do if I’ve decided to go home?

If you were staying for Nursing, Practicum, student teaching, or Field Period® experience, and you no longer need to remain on campus, please email [email protected] or Administrative Assistant Student Affairs Teri Spor at [email protected] with your departure date and time. We strongly encourage students to leave campus if they no longer have an extenuating circumstance for remaining.

Travel and Study Abroad

What if I have to travel for spring break?

Those who intend on traveling overseas must be aware of the following:

  • You may be subject to involuntary quarantine by the United States and/or New York State governments upon returning to the United States. This applies regardless of your travel destination, and is contingent upon the government’s evaluation of public health risk. This includes those traveling on foreign and U.S. passports.
  • Those who travel internationally, particularly during the upcoming spring break, may not be able to return to the United States as a result of federal travel restrictions or quarantines imposed by U.S. or foreign governments. While there is evidence that the United States government has been repatriating citizens quarantined overseas, there is no guarantee of expediency, and these costs are generally not covered by the government.
  • College health officials may require that those who have traveled to certain countries impose a 14-day self-quarantine prior to returning to campus.
  • The College cannot provide accommodations for students or employees who miss significant work or class time as a result of travel quarantine or restrictions. Please be aware of this risk if you opt to travel internationally in the near future.
  • As always, we advise that all travel tickets be purchased with appropriate insurance to cover trip cancellation, disruption, and emergency medical issues. The College will not cover the cost of change fees.

What about travel to our China partner universities?

All College-sponsored travel to and from partner universities in China is suspended until further notice. The College will continue monitoring governmental suggestions with respect to travel to China and will amend this policy as appropriate.

Is the Alternative Spring Break still happening?

The College’s Alternative Spring Break planned for Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, will continue as planned.  

Separate Fact From Fiction

Fact 1: Disease doesn’t target specific races or ethnicities

COVID-19 does not target people of Asian descent more than any other race or ethnicity. Being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.

Fact 2: You can reduce your risk of getting COVID-19

Reduce the spread of COVID-19 by washing your hands as frequently as possible with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, the CDC says. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; stay home from work when you are sick; and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Fact 3: Flu is having a larger impact on the U.S. population than COVID-19

Since October 1, the flu has infected as many as 45 million Americans, caused at least 300,000 hospitalizations and up to 46,000 deaths, according to the CDC. Influenza can have a greater impact on children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.

Fact 4: The virus will likely spread person-to-person through many communities

The CDC reports that everyone should prepare for the possibility that COVID-19 will spread to their community at some point. Person-to-person contact is the most likely way the virus spreads, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

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