COVID-19 Public Health Update: Effective Monday, Feb. 21, Masking at Level Blue

Linda Rider

Dear College students, School, Team and Families:

Thank you for your ongoing motivation to safeguarding the well being and nicely-getting of our local community in the course of the COVID pandemic. As you are aware, soon following the commence of the slide semester, the University’s COVID stage was elevated to “Red” centered on growing COVID cases, hospitalizations and check positivity rates on campus, in Central New York and throughout New York condition. The University’s COVID stage has remained at “Red” since Aug. 28. Nevertheless, today I am crafting to tell you that efficient Monday, Feb. 21, our campus will transition to level “Blue.”

What does this motion mean for you?

As outlined by our COVID framework, stage “Blue” implies an elevated degree of transmission risk on campus. “Blue” campus masking pointers signify:

  • For all learners, school and employees who are vaccinated and boosted:
    • Masks Strongly Advised:
      • When indoors on campus, and outdoors in the existence of other folks.
    • Masks Demanded at All Periods:
      • Throughout educational instruction (inclusive of classrooms, laboratories, libraries, studios and lecture venues) and
      • All through non-tutorial situations and in specific services (these kinds of as the Barnes Center), as established by a public wellness threat assessment. These exceptions will be communicated specifically as proper, to contain the set up of signage as needed.
  • For vaccine-exempt folks (accepted religious or health care exemption), or if you have not still been given a booster dose of the COVID vaccine:
    • Masks are needed at all occasions and in all facilities although on campus, and outdoor when in the presence of other individuals.

Why did the University make this selection?

On Thursday, Feb. 10, the New York Point out Division of Health authorized its present statewide indoor masking purchase to expire, and the Onondaga County Health and fitness Office did the exact same. This motion was in reaction to significantly declining COVID instances across the state and listed here in Onondaga County. Locally, the Onondaga County Well being Department is reporting that the weekly average range of new circumstances in the county has declined by 85% given that mid-January, and hospitalizations have lessened by 58%.

In addition, as a campus group we are extraordinarily perfectly-protected from the possible destructive health and fitness implications affiliated with the COVID ailment. I’m delighted to share that as of these days, 100% of eligible college and 99% of qualified staff members are compliant with the University’s COVID vaccine and booster demands. Considerably less than 2.3% of learners are not however compliant with our booster plan, and we are performing with that team of learners to deliver them into compliance as quickly as feasible. Even further, even though new case information continues to fluctuate on a every day basis, the pattern has been a reliable decrease in new scenarios relative to January’s figures. In addition, surveillance testing info has returned consistently very low rates of test positivity on campus. Previous week’s check positivity stemming from our random surveillance system was 1% (down from 2% the past week and 2.2% the 7 days prior).

New policy improvements linked with indoor masking for vaccinated persons introduced by the New York Condition Office of Wellbeing and Onondaga County Health Department—combined with the incredible vaccination and booster compliance among learners, faculty and staff and also information suggesting declining stages of campus transmission—have knowledgeable this action.

Are masks essential at the stadium?

At this time, Syracuse College will proceed to require masks at occasions in the stadium, besides when patrons are actively ingesting or drinking. However, we are currently engaged with general public wellness officials and other big location operators across New York state to assess possible changes to our current stadium masking requirements for vaccinated people. Specified all those conversations and our continued monitoring of nearby problems, we will connect any expected adjustments to the masking coverage.

These adjustments indicate enhanced autonomy to vaccinated individuals related to indoor masking on campus. At the same time, it is also significant to observe that several between us will pick out to go on masking even though on campus. We thoroughly support these people today and ask that as a local community, we continue on to exhibit respect, grace and empathy towards each other as individuals and households continue to navigate the every day issues linked with COVID.

Thank you to everybody in our group for your ongoing cooperation and adherence to the University’s community overall health tips, and for your ongoing dedication to a safe and sound and balanced campus.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

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