As SUNY Plattsburgh embarks on another semester, naturally there is concern about how the campus will handle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hopefully, the plan they have in place will keep the spread of infection down, and effectively deal with those who are affected by the virus.

The plan, much like last year, hinges on testing, isolation and quarantine of those who test positive or were in contact with a positive case.

The college once again has dorm space set up for quarantine and isolation. Last year they ran a "literal hotel" for those affected, SUNY President Alexander Enyedi said.

Students who tested positive for coronavirus were in isolation for 10 days, and those who were contract traced were quarantined for 14 days.

The school has also set up a confidential online Student Vaccination Pass, a portal where students, vaccinated and unvaccinated, can upload their vaccine status.

SUNY's administration recently said that with the federal Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer COVID vaccine, the state mandated directive for all students to be vaccinated is now in place for all SUNY campuses.

There is an up to 35-day grace period to allow students to provide proof of vaccination or submit a request for a medical or religious exemption for campus review, the policy says.

That's a good move by SUNY.

Last year, Plattsburgh State did not see any in-classroom transmissions, which is good news.

But college students as we know, are not confined to just dorms and classrooms. They are a part of our community. A big part of our community.

That is why the efforts from those on campus to control the virus are so vital.

College administrators should consider all measures possible in terms of applying restrictions to those on campus in order to keep COVID-19 at bay.

With thousands of students, faculty and staff located in one congregate living area, a mass spread is definitely a possibility and a danger that cannot be taken too seriously.

Of course students need to live and they deserve to have the best college experience possible, but they must also understand that these are unique times and require a bit more sacrifice and discipline.

Hopefully the restrictions in place are enough to keep the spread down, and will allow students some freedom to just be college kids.

We hope they remember their responsibilities as good citizens not only when they are on campus, but when they venture out into the community to bars, restaurants, stores and other public venues. 

On a brighter side, the college experience will be better this year in that college athletics are returning in full to the campus.

Fall and winter sports were scratched last year due to COVID-19, putting a damper on a big part of campus life.

There's nothing like spending a fall Saturday afternoon cheering on your classmates in a soccer match at the Field House or watching other sports at other venues.

Let's hope it is a COVID-free fall on campus.

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