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Interacting with Your Peers on Campus after Quarantine
After students clear their initial in-room quarantine, they will have flexibility to move around the campus. This Google Map defines what is considered campus and includes Spring Street, the Clark Art Institute, Taconic Golf Club, and any space within the area defined by the map.
Here is a map of the permitted area. Its boundary is somewhat convoluted in order to allow access to businesses along the way, so I encourage you to pay careful attention to the limits.
As of October 5, and as further described in travel car, on-campus students may visit a few designated businesses beyond Spring Street and Williamstown. Students who live on campus still may not visit off-campus houses or apartments, regardless of location. Note that this includes off-campus houses that technically fall within the campus map (e.g., Spring Street and others).
Students within the same pod may socialize within their residential space without masks or social distance.
Beginning on September 14th, students who are not in the same pod are allowed to go inside other students’ spaces and spend time with each other as long as they are wearing masks, engaging in social distancing, and not exceeding the limits of the number of students that can safely be in the space (6 feet apart). As long as any group contains at least 1 member who is not part of the same pod, all participants at indoor gatherings must wear masks.
All students should wear masks during outdoor gatherings, regardless of whether the participants are podmates or not, unless they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
Our size limit for all informal student gatherings is 10 or fewer students (students who have pods that are larger than 10 may gather with all of their pod members, but in this case, no additional guests are permitted). This includes on-campus residence halls, off-campus residences (see below), and any other gathering places — both indoors and outdoors. Please note that while the upward limit is 10 students, this largely applies to outdoor spaces. When gathering in indoor spaces with anyone other than one’s own podmates, you must ensure a minimum 6-foot distance between people at all times, and everyone present at the gathering must wear a mask. Keep in mind that, because of their square footage and furnishings, most residential rooms can only safely accommodate 1-2 guests maximum. Students are responsible for keeping this in mind and honoring the rules in all cases—with no exceptions. Note that pod members are included in the total count of students participating in a gathering.
All students are assigned to one specific residential bathroom, and only one occupant can use the bathroom at a time. Students may not use residential bathrooms other than their own. They can, of course, use public bathrooms on campus (in libraries, classroom buildings, Paresky, etc).
Interacting with Your Peers Off-Campus after Quarantine
Students living off campus must follow the same rules regarding social interactions and gatherings. The only difference is that off campus houses might have larger indoor gathering spaces that can accommodate more than 1-2 non-pod guests. Whether students live on or off campus, the upward limit for gatherings remains a total of 10 individuals (or the number of students who officially live in the house, whichever is higher), assuming that the space allows for 6 feet of separation between students. Students who live in the house count toward the total number in a gathering. Whenever non-pod members are present in a gathering, all participants must wear masks and engage in social distancing.
At this time, off-campus students (including those that live in houses that technically fall within the campus map) may not host any on-campus students in their residence for any reason.
During the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to be aware of the requirements around travel, especially as you leave Massachusetts for other states or countries. To assist you we’ve compiled a list of resources you should use as a starting point for planning your travel. Please note that it is important to be as flexible as possible and to have a backup plan in case your first choice of travel is not available, or you find you are unable to travel during the times you originally planned.
For convenience we’re providing links to web information from the major airlines on traveling during the pandemic, although we encourage you to make sure you look up your specific airlines policies if it is not listed here.
Accommodations Near Albany
These motels offer free airport shuttles.
Tru Blue Hilton Albany
798 Albany Shaker Rd, Albany, NY 12211
Hilton Garden Inn Albany Airport
800 Albany Shaker Rd, Albany, NY 12211
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather to illustrate the importance of being prepared in advance of your travel dates by reviewing the websites and information that is specific to your itinerary. We also encourage you to check those resources regularly, as circumstances in your intended destination may change frequently during the pandemic.
Testing Prior to Campus Departure
Some destinations may require a negative COVID-19 test within a certain period of time prior to your arrival date. Testing will be available on campus through Friday, November 20th. Please schedule accordingly based on any travel requirements you may have.
If you require a copy of your test results in order to travel, CoVerified has introduced a new feature that allows you to access a PDF copy of a recent test result. On the smartphone app, this will appear as a downloadable attachment at the bottom of the screen that displays test results. This feature is also available on the CoVerified website via the test result history page. Click the “View” button and you should see an option to access and download the test as an attachment.
Beginning Monday, October 5, students living on campus will be permitted to travel off campus in order to obtain groceries, prescriptions, personal care items, and for hair care. Travel will be limited to an area along Route 2 from Williamstown to North Adams, including Wild Oats, Walgreens, Dollar General, and Stop & Shop, and south along Route 8 to Wal-Mart. This corridor also includes several barbers and hair salons. Here is a map of the permitted area. Its boundary is somewhat convoluted in order to allow access to businesses along the way, so I encourage you to pay careful attention to the limits.
Students may only visit businesses within these boundaries for purposes listed above, and may not visit other locations, even along the corridor, including private residences, restaurants (except drive-through), bars, athletics and fitness centers, and other kinds of retail outlets. Students who live on campus still may not visit off-campus houses or apartments, regardless of location.
Students may use personal cars to drive to the permitted locations. You may also transport podmates to these locations in your vehicle, or you may drive yourself and one non-podmate. You may not transport a combination of podmates and non-podmates, or more than one non-podmate. When traveling with passengers, the driver and passengers must be masked at all times. Occupants should be as socially distanced as possible and the windows should be open to increase ventilation, weather permitting.
Students can also use the BTRA public transportation system to get to the permitted locations, provided that you wear a mask and follow all public health guidelines.
This modest expansion of travel is an effort to give students more space to take care of their own needs. However, if the public health outlook shifts in a negative direction, we will reconsider and may have to reinstate the campus quarantine. The community’s safety has to be top priority.
It is also important to note that, while we have agreed to allow limited flexibility outside of campus boundaries, we decided we would not allow students to travel freely throughout Berkshire County. That option was considered, but we ruled it out because of the rise in the state Covid rate and the recognition that too many students are failing to abide by our rules on gatherings, as described in the Sept 30 Williams Record. In light of these facts, a restricted travel option is a safer way to let people meet their fundamental needs without undue risk.
Masks should cover both your mouth and your nose. No bandanas, neck buffs or masks with exhalation valves are acceptable. Students are expected to wear masks in all indoor spaces (with the exception of their own residential space — dorm and common room — when they are alone or with only pod members). Students are also expected to wear masks outdoors whenever they are not able to maintain 6 feet of separation from others (this includes being less than 6 feet from both pod members and non-pod members). As a general rule, you should plan to wear a mask outside unless you are far removed from others (e.g., on a solo walk, run, etc)
You’ll be able to pick up your stored items after you are out of your initial quarantine. Please review this document for a comprehensive overview of how to retrieve stored personal items that have remained on campus in Towne Fieldhouse or items stored with a private moving company. Please reach out to Matt Sheehy with any questions.
Routine COVID Testing
From November 23 through February 1, all students who’ve remained on campus will be tested once per week on Mondays, including the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Testing will take place at the Field House between 9 am and 4 pm unless otherwise specified, and appointments can still be scheduled through the CoVerified app. Please note the dates below when testing will end at 1 pm.
Nov. 23: 9am – 4pm
Nov. 30: 9am – 4pm
Dec 7: 9am – 4pm
Dec 14: 9am – 4pm
Dec 21: 9am – 1pm
Dec 28: 9am – 1pm
Jan. 4: 9am – 1pm
Jan. 11: 9am – 4pm
Jan 14: 12 – 3pm Returning seniors only
Jan 18: 9am – 4pm
Jan 25: 9am – 4pm
Feb. 1: 9am – 4pm
Feb. 8: 9am – 4pm
The schedule following February 8 will be as follows:
- February 10-14: Daily from 12 – 8 pm
- February 15 through the end of the semester: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am – 4pm, closed on Wednesdays.
Contact Karen Brule’ at the Health Center (firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-597-3717) if you have any questions regarding testing.
Isolation and Quarantine During the Semester
Any student who tests positive for COVID will be moved temporarily to ‘isolation housing.’ We will be using Tyler Annex and the CDE residence hall for this purpose. If you are placed in isolation, you will have your meals delivered, and you will be in regular contact with our Health Center staff. If you are feeling well enough, you can continue your class work remotely.
Any student who is identified as a “close contact” of a student who tests positive will shelter in place or moved temporarily to ‘quarantine housing.’ We will be using Dodd, Hubbell, Parsons, & Sewall for this purpose. Once again, you will have meals delivered to your residence, and you will be in daily contact with the health center.
Implementation of Our Public Health Guidelines
It is our intention for all members of the community to hold themselves and each other accountable to these guidelines. Please do your part by behaving responsibly. The health commitment is being put in place to create an environment that keeps us all healthy so that we can complete a full semester on campus and protect those of us at risk in the community. If you see someone else behaving in ways that violate these guidelines, we encourage you to remind them — civilly and respectfully — that public health is a collective endeavor. Friendly reminders expressed between peers, colleagues, and community members will go a long way. Indeed, it is our hope that community members will serve as the primary corrective mechanism for addressing situations in which individuals make mistakes or ill-advised choices. Having honest conversations about safety can feel uncomfortable, but when those conversations are initiated with respect, generosity, and genuine concern for the community, they can have an outsized impact. It is this community-based orientation toward public health — rather than a disciplinary one — that will give us our best chance for success. This includes, but is not limited to: faculty and staff addressing concerns in their classrooms and other campus spaces; RSO advisors addressing concerns with their student groups and individual student members; athletic coaches addressing concerns with their athletes; and students responding to each other in the moment. These corrective actions need not involve contacting the Dean’s Office, Campus Safety, or other administrative offices.
While we do not intend to frame our health initiatives around discipline, we recognize that some students are concerned about how the college will respond when students violate the guidelines and behave in ways that put the broader community at risk — even after being provided with peer-feedback, reminders, and conversations. We will implement a progressive model of corrective action.
What happens when students continue to violate the health guidelines after the steps taken above?
For the behaviors described below, continued incidents in which students do not respond to the corrective mechanisms described above will result in an educational meeting with a dean and/or residential life staff member. While these meetings are considered non-disciplinary, it is important to note that any subsequent violations will likely result in removal from campus and a requirement that the student transition into a remote learning model (for more information, see below). Repeated violations could also lead to a formal disciplinary process, which could result in probation, suspension, or expulsion.
- Not wearing a mask as required
- Masks should cover both your mouth and your nose. No bandanas, neck buffs or masks with exhalation valves are acceptable.
- All students will be provided with 3 masks. Students are also welcome to wear their won masks as long as they meet the criteria described above
- Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces (except in your dorm or common room with pod members)]
- Masks should be worn In all outdoor spaces in which you are in close contact (less than 6 feet) with others — including podmates and non-podmates.
- Not adhering to social distancing rules (at least 6 feet between you and all others except those in your pod)
- First incidence of not adhering to the virus testing protocol in a timely manner
- Minor violation of size/space limits for group gatherings outside your pod:
- Note that we have set an upward limit for all informal student gatherings at 10 or fewer students.
- This includes on-campus residence halls, off-campus residences, and any other gathering places. Face coverings or masks must be worn at all times at any such gatherings that include non-pod members.
- Please note that while the upward limit is 10 students, this largely applies to outdoor spaces. When gathering in indoor spaces with anyone other than one’s own pod mates, you must ensure a minimum 6-foot distance between people at all times, and everyone present must wear a mask. Keep in mind that, because of their square footage and furnishings, most residential rooms can only safely accommodate 1-2 guests maximum. Students are responsible for keeping this in mind and honoring the rules in all cases—with no exceptions.
- Please note that pod members count in the total tally of people within a space when non-pod members are present.
- An initial violation that involves 3 or fewer additional people beyond what the guidelines allow will result in a dean’s meeting. Any subsequent violation, and any initial violation involving more than 3 additional people, will be treated as an egregious violation (see below)
There are some situations where one egregious act can lead to immediate removal from campus (i.e., transition to remote learning mode) and a referral to the formal student discipline system, which can result in probation, suspension, or expulsion. Egregious violations include, but are not limited to:
- not following all rules of quarantine or isolation when required to do so by health professionals
- not adhering to travel restrictions
- Missing more than 1 testing session
- hosting or attending a gathering that exceeds guidelines (see above)
- inviting/hosting individuals who are not members of the Williams community onto campus (this includes friends, relatives, Williams students who are not currently enrolled for the semester, and anybody else who is not a current Williams student)
- purposefully exposing others to or threatening others with the fear of contagion (e.g., deliberately touching, coughing or sneezing on another with the clear purpose of transmitting germs or creating fear of transmission)
- Not wearing a mask as required
Students who engage in violations of the public health guidelines that are egregious or repeated will lose the privilege to continue the academic year as an on-campus student. This will be considered a non-disciplinary response (it will not be noted on students’ disciplinary record), and students will be able to continue their coursework remotely. Decisions about removal from campus will be made jointly by the Senior Associate Dean of Students and the Senior Associate Dean of Campus Life after gathering the relevant information, including providing the student with notice of and an opportunity to respond to the alleged violation. Students will have the opportunity to appeal this decision to the Dean of the College. Appeal decisions will be final.
As noted above, in some cases removal from campus and transition to remote learning may be accompanied by a formal disciplinary process.
Students’ whose violations of the public health guidelines result in a formal disciplinary process can learn more about the process here.
Our Amnesty Policy
While we take our public health guidelines seriously, we also want to ensure that students don’t sacrifice their personal safety to avoid consequences of a potential health guideline violation. Please note that any student who seeks medical attention or crisis support for themselves or for another due to a medical or personal emergency (e.g., alcohol or drug overuse, health crisis, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, or other emergency situation where amnesty applies) in the context of a situation that violates our public health guidelines will not be referred to the student conduct process. Additionally, no information that is acquired through the contact tracing process will be shared with the Dean’s Office for the purpose of referring a student to the student conduct system for any violation.
Whether you’re attending on-campus or remotely, we recommend shopping for your books on the Bookstore website once you’ve registered for classes. Click here for information about ordering, payment, accessing the book grant, and more.
Ongoing Campus Services
After quarantine, Driscoll and Whitman’s dining halls will offer a served buffet, as well as prepackaged meals for students to grab on the go. New hot and cold air screens installed will allow a variety of prepackaged meal items such as Fruit Cups, Yogurt Cups, Breakfast Sandwiches, Grain Bowls, Pasta Bowls, Deli Sandwiches, Garden Salads with and without protein & vegan options, etc.
The Snack Bar, 82 Grill, and Fresh-N-Go will be mobile ordering only through the new GET App. There will be designated pick up locations, using hot and cold air screens to keep food at the proper temp with the students’ names on the item for pick up.
Eco will serve lunch only from 11:30 am till 2:00 pm.
Whitman’s Late-Night will be closed for the semester so that staff members can assist with the new served vs. self-serve model in the dining halls.
Snack Bar will be providing food for lunch and mid-day only.
The ’82 Grill will offer lunch and extended dinner.
Mission Park will be closed for student dining and become our production kitchen, this will allow for the new service style, fresh production, and social distancing amongst staff.
The Health and Wellness center will be open this fall. One important change is that rather than walking in, you need to make an appointment in advance. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206, to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care. Many appointments are available the same or next day.
The Health Center will be relying heavily on telemedicine this semester. If a provider feels that a student needs to be seen face to face and feels it is safe to do so, the student will be scheduled an appointment. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.
All mental health services (both IWS and Talkspace) are being offered via distance methods. IWS will offer therapy via video or phone. Talkspace will provide live video, as well as video/audio/text messaging. (telehealth video and phone – IWS; live video and video, audio and text messaging – Talkspace.)
State laws require that for psychotherapy services clinicians are licensed in the state in which the client is residing. For the 2020-2021 academic year, all students returning to campus can access psychotherapy services through IWS or Talkspace, while students studying remotely who pursue psychotherapy will access Talkspace. All students (whether on campus or remote) can participate in IWS psychoeducation groups, workshops and supportive offerings.
Williams expanded the Talkspace offerings to include 4 live video sessions with the student’s licensed therapist per month (weekly sessions) in addition to unlimited messaging services. All students, whether studying on campus or remotely, will have access to IWS practice and psychoeducational group offerings, workshops and supportive offerings (a schedule of these groups and offerings will be posted on the IWS website as the semester begins). Beginning August 1, 2020, students can register for Talkspace and begin services immediately. You need only your Williams email to register.
For students on campus, IWS will provide crisis response, individual and group psychotherapy, psychoeducational and practice groups (all students), psychiatric evaluation and treatment. All of these offerings will be provided remotely via videoconferencing or phone. IWS will also continue to provide psychiatric services to students on campus. Dr. Aillon-Sohl is a Diplomat of the Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and certified in Adult Psychiatry. Dr. Aillon-Sohl has provided psychiatric services to Williams College students since 2014 and she will continue to provide this service via telemedicine until the current public health circumstances allow for a return to in-person assessments. State licensing laws prohibit Dr. Aillon-Sohl from providing services to students outside of Massachusetts, however, Dr. Aillon-Sohl and the IWS team can assist students in locating a psychiatrist in the student’s home state via student health insurance as needed. Dr. Aillon-Sohl can provide adult psychiatric assessment and medication treatment management for most psychiatric conditions, including: Depression, Anxiety & Panic Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Psychotic Disorders. While Dr. Aillon-Sohl does provide some basic supportive therapy and can teach some basic Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques during appointments, the primary focus is on psychiatric medication management. During your course of treatment with Dr. Aillon-Sohl, she may recommend individual psychotherapy with your own dedicated therapist.
Dr. Aillon-Sohl will not be able to provide new treatment with a controlled substance via telepsychiatry given the constraints of federal law. Federal law (Ryan Haight Act) prohibits prescribing of any controlled medications (benzodiazepines, ADHD stimulants, and some sleep medications) over telemedicine without an in-person yearly assessment. If Dr. Aillon-Sohl had previously prescribed one of these medications to an established patient, and the current public health circumstances allow for an annual in-person assessment, then it may be possible for this treatment to continue. If this is not possible, Dr. Aillon-Sohl will work with you to identify a new provider. Additionally, some conditions require a higher level of care than can be safely provided via telepsychiatry, such as: actively having thoughts or urges to self-harm or attempt suicide, actively having thoughts or urges to harm someone else, eating disorders (anorexia, binging/purging), alcohol or drug addiction/abuse and any other condition or set of symptoms deemed by Dr. Aillon-Sohl at any point to be severe enough to need a higher level of care.
For on-campus students seeking to make an appointment with an IWS therapist, email [email protected] subject line – “Appointment Request” to Kim Tremblay or Jessica Russell. If you have a preference about which IWS therapist you are placed with, please let IWS know and they will do their best to accommodate your requests. The IWS staff is a multidisciplinary, diverse group of clinicians with broad experiences and training treating a wide range of issues. Students can also self-schedule their own appointments via the patient portal at health.williams.edu. Once you log in, look for IWS Self Schedule sessions and you can select a time and clinician based on availability. In addition to scheduled appointments, on-call crisis services are available to students 24/7 throughout the semester by calling 413-597-2353 and selecting option 2 or calling campus safety at 4444 and requesting the therapist on call.
Students enrolled on campus and students enrolled remotely are eligible to meet with a therapist for live sessions (4 times per month), or engage in unlimited messaging, via Talkspace. If you are interested in being matched with a therapist of a specific identity, language or other factor, you can speak with a Talkspace support representative who will assist you in finding a therapist to suit your needs.
If you are unsure of what kind of support you need, whether on campus or off, please email email@example.com and request an appointment for a meeting with a therapist so we can help you assess your needs and select appropriate options.
Please note that all campus resources remain open remotely. This includes the Dean’s Office, the Chaplains’ Office, OSL, the Davis Center, Academic Resources, the Career Center, Accessible Education, Study Away, Fellowships, the Registrar’s Office, Special Academic Programs, OIDEI and more Please reach out to individual offices to learn more about how to connect and access resources.