A college in the Hudson Valley is now closed to the public due to coronavirus concerns.

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On Monday, despite no confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus, Bard College announced the college is now officially closed to the public.

"Access to the campus by members of the surrounding communities and casual visitors is prohibited. A person who does not live, work, or study at Bard will be not be allowed access to campus without prior approval from the College," Bard College President Leon Botstein said in letter to the community. "Local government leaders have been notified that this is a precautionary measure in light of regional upticks in COVID-19 cases."

Previously the college was operating on a restricted campus with limitations on visitors to the campus.

"Through diligent adherence to COVID-19 protocols, Bard has been able to maintain campus safety and in-person teaching. However, the number of cases is rising nationally and regionally. Our medical consultants have advised the College to redouble its efforts and tighten the protocols regarding campus access," Botsetin added. "This new measure should not be viewed with alarm or considered punitive. It is not a response to something now taking place within the Bard community. It is a precautionary measure, based on recommendations from our consultants at Nuvance. It is intended solely to preserve the health and safety of the Bard community. Combined with our travel restrictions and other safety protocols, this new measure will help us to maintain our strong and hard-won health and safety record on campus that the community has worked so hard to achieve."

Starting Monday:

  • Bard College campus, including all of the grounds, facilities, and Montgomery Place, will be closed to the public.
  • In-person admission tours and athletics recruitment visits - which have been limited to one family per day and remained entirely outdoors - will have to be virtual until further notice.
  • We strongly encourage all members of the campus community to utilize online ordering and avoid unnecessary shopping trips and in-person dining off campus.
  • Unauthorized visits to campus by friends or family are not permitted. Although this is not a change from our previous policy, Bard's Response Team has asked the College to reaffirm that we are unable to welcome friends or family to campus.
  • Unauthorized visitors will be escorted from campus immediately.

"By working together and maintaining our vigilance, we have been able to sustain the health of the campus community and in-person teaching through to the midpoint of the semester. In order to continue with in-person classes and operate the spring semester with in-person teaching, we must stay attuned to the evolving public health conditions, and, when necessary, adjust our policies accordingly. Let us hope that good news will come our way, and that in the months ahead the dangers will recede more rapidly than the current circumstances suggest," Botstein said.