Houghton College’s Response to COVID-19
Houghton continues to act in consultation with county and state health officials and takes into consideration the infection rate, testing capabilities, and other societal issues as we prepare our campus to welcome students for in-person learning this year.
We continue to fulfill our commitment to students in the Houghton Promise by providing flexible-learning options for students to learn remotely who do not yet feel safe to return to in-person learning. We also will continue to share the best information available to students, families, and community members below.
Houghton College strongly encourages all students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated. Vaccination will not be required except for those in off-campus academic programs. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90-days can follow guidance below for vaccinated individuals.
Vaccinated individuals can access all areas of campus, including overnight stays in residence halls.
Vaccinated individuals can access all areas of each location.
Unvaccinated individuals can access the Campus Center and athletic facilities but cannot access other areas unless as a department sponsored visitor.
Unvaccinated individuals can only access nonclassroom facilities.
Vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask.
Unvaccinated individuals need to wear a mask when indoors at all locations unless in their residence hall room.
Fall Campus Arrival
As the campus responds to the realities of COVID-19, the support of every member of the community will be more important than ever. This semester, residential students will get to know their fellow floor, townhouse, or apartment residents on a deeper level as they experience Houghton together.
Our arrival plan for the fall for Houghton and Houghton Buffalo requires that each student either:
1) Provide a negative COVID test result when they arrive on campus.
- Students that are not vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative test taken within the three days prior to their arrival on campus. We will have limited tests available to provide rapid results in the fall, so students are encouraged to arrange this testing prior to coming back to campus.
- Students who are not vaccinated will also need to be tested three days after they return to campus and each time they spend a night off-campus. They will not need to quarantine during this time unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
2) Provide evidence of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
According to the CDC, you are considered “fully vaccinated” if you are 14 days past having received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR 14 days past having received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
What does this mean for…?
These new procedures will inspire many questions. As we await final guidance from New York State, Houghton will continue to provide the best information available concerning those treasured aspects of the Houghton Experience that are impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
We are excited to be able to offer more off-campus study opportunities in the coming year, including our Highlander Wilderness Adventure program this fall and our East Africa and London Honors programs in the spring. While we anticipate fewer challenges in running these programs, we are requiring that students in off-campus academic programs be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition to anticipating this being a requirement of all international travel, we are requiring it for domestic travel for academic programs due to the significant impact contracting COVID-19 can have on a student’s academic progress in these programs and the lack of adequate quarantine and isolation resources in these programs.
Last updated 6/4/2021
We expect to return to full seasons of athletic competition this fall and are working in collaboration with institutions in our Empire 8 Conference, the NCAA, and our local and state Departments of Health. We will be in communication with student athletes and their families about these developments throughout the summer regarding testing, masking, and vaccination requirements and are excited to offer even more opportunities for athletic participation in the upcoming year.
Last updated 4/16/2021
As we continue to await further guidance for higher education institutions for the next year, we are planning for the possibility that campus events will continue to need to take place in venues that permit for appropriate social distancing. Use of fitness and recreational facilities will also need to meet the Big Three measures. Events, activities and groups that cannot be offered in ways which meet the Big Three measures will be re-imagined to take place through virtual platforms.
Last updated 4/16/2021
Official campus visitors are welcome! Those desiring to visit campus should work directly with the office or department that will serve as your host.
Official campus visitors are all those who are non-employees and non-students and are working directly with a host campus office/department. Campus visitors should submit a symptom check survey prior to approval to arrive on campus. Visitors will also be expected to abide by Make Safe Choices guidance: masking, social distancing, and cleanliness. While much of our campus will be accessible to visitors, key areas are reserved only for students and employees, including dining facilities, residence halls, and indoor spaces such as classrooms and offices.
Visitors who may want to use the college’s athletics or fitness facilities and attend home athletics contests can expect changes to access/hours in the coming year. The Department of Athletics is finalizing decisions to ensure the safety of all visitors and students. Visiting teams and athletes will adhere to NCAA and Empire 8 expectations, which will be communicated through the Department of Athletics.
Last updated 7/13/2020
Spiritual Life at Houghton includes giving ourselves over to the rhythm of worship and work, study and rest, prayer and play. We are hoping to provide even more opportunities this fall to meet together as a large campus community, though we continue to work on creative ways to regularly worship together and participate in a host of other service and ministry opportunities within the college community, particularly in the event that state guidance may continue to not allow for large worship gatherings.
Last updated 4/16/2021