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As Syracuse University closes its fall 2021 semester, questions remain about the future of the university’s COVID-19 policies, including masking and vaccine mandates. Here is an overview of all the procedures in effect when students return from the winter break.
Governor Kathy Hochul on Friday reinstated the mask mandate in New York’s public areas after an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the overall average weekly infection rate. This mandate will expire on January 15, 2022, when it will enter an evaluation period for the spring semester. If the order is extended, SU has pledged to follow all government guidelines, including new mask mandates.
SU is under “RED” masking, which requires all students to wear masks indoors and out at all times when other people are present. The university has been below this level since August 28 and has not wavered despite fluctuations in campus COVID-19 cases.
The SU’s masking policy is dictated not only by on-campus data, but also by active cases in Onondaga County, which has been criticized by students.
New York discovered 19 cases of ommicron variants on Thursday. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all eligible people receive a COVID-19 booster shot, and SU requires all eligible students, faculty, and staff to receive their COVID-19 booster shot before returning to the campus for the spring semester.
The only waiver from the booster shot requirement is an approved medical or religious waiver registered with the Barnes Center at The Arch, according to a campus-wide email on Friday. Students who already have an exemption for the COVID-19 vaccination do not need to take any further action, the email says.
The SU faculty must submit proof of their vaccine status to the university. The SU Office of Human Resources is working with other university offices to formulate a process to validate faculty documents submitted, including religious and medical waivers.
Students must submit their booster papers, along with other immunization records, to their patient portal.
Flu vaccines are also required by the spring of 2022. SU held on-campus flu shot clinics for students and faculty in the fall.
As of December 10, there are 69 active COVID-19 cases on campus, with a 0.4% positivity rate. Five students are in quarantine.
Published on December 12, 2021 at 21:25
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