SU returns to ‘BLUE’ masking level with effect from Tuesday amid rising COVID-19 cases
SU returns to ‘BLUE’ masking level with effect from Tuesday amid rising COVID-19 cases

SU returns to ‘BLUE’ masking level with effect from Tuesday amid rising COVID-19 cases

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Syracuse University will return to the “BLUE” COVID-19 alert level with effect from April 19, according to an entire campus email from Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie Monday morning.

The decision comes amid a rise in cases on campus and in Onondaga County in an effort to minimize risk at the end of the semester exams, activities and commencement, the email reads.

SU moved to the “YELLOW” COVID-19 alarm level on March 8th.

Masks will be required during academic instruction and at other selected locations, including libraries, along with selected activities that will be indicated with signage.

Masks will continue to be highly recommended indoors across campus and outdoors when in the presence of others, but individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to mask at all times in these situations.

The recommendations come as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified Onondaga County among several counties in central New York that have seen an increase in cases due to new subvariants of COVID-19.

Although these subvariants do not appear to cause elevated disease levels in vaccinated humans, they are more contagious, according to the CDC. Haynie wrote that this is probably why there has been one increase in cases on campus over the past 10 days, even though there has not been an elevated symptomatic disease level for students or staff at SU.

The mandatory five-day isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 according to New York guidelines has led to increased disruption to the academic experience due to the increase in cases, the email continues.

All asymptomatic students, staff and families at the university can get tested for COVID-19 in the Kimmel Dining Hall test center.

Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms are advised to stay home and call the Barnes Center at The Arch at 315-443-8000 before visiting to receive care. Employees who experience symptoms of COVID-19 are also advised to stay home and contact their primary care physician.

The next steps for people who test positive for COVID-19 are available at the university “Take care of yourself” website.

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