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Leadership Messages

COVID-19 preparations and guidance for Fall 2022

This message was sent via email to the University community on August 11, 2022

Dear University Community Members,

We are looking forward to the fall 2022 semester and have prepared the COVID guidance that will help ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone. We are encouraged by the data showing low rates of COVID infections and hospitalizations in Monroe County, but we continue to keep in mind that COVID is still among us and still a health concern. We believe this guidance ensures safe and manageable methods to address positive cases on campus.

Face Masks

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors should check the campus digital screens, @Rochester, and the COVID-19 Resource Center to know what the COVID tier is and whether face masks are optional (low), strongly encouraged (medium), or required indoors (high) on campus. The CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level for Monroe County is currently “low,” meaning that wearing a mask indoors is currently optional. As always, students, faculty, and staff should feel comfortable and supported in their decision to wear a face mask absent a University requirement.

It’s important to remember that masks are still required in our medical, patient-facing facilities (or “Blue Zone”). Please visit the URMC Intranet for more information (login credentials required).

Student COVID Vaccination Requirements

The University now treats COVID vaccinations like other immunization requirements, and the University Health Service (UHS) website provides updated information on immunization and vaccination requirements for students. Students new to campus should upload their proof of COVID vaccination into the UHSConnect system before traveling to campus and checking into their room; full instructions are available here. Returning students who completed this upload process last year do not need to do it again. Nurses will be available at UHS on August 22 and 23 to administer the Pfizer vaccine (not including boosters) to any new student who needs it. Students who receive a vaccination upon arrival do not need to isolate before moving into their residence.

While the COVID-19 booster is not a current requirement, it is encouraged for any student who is eligible. Students who have not had a booster shot will be required to quarantine after an exposure, according to current CDC guidelines.

Please note: Medical, dental, and nursing students must follow the COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Vaccination Policy, which adheres to specific New York State regulations. More information is available here.

Health Screening

Beginning in the fall semester, Dr. Chat Bot will only be used by students, faculty, and staff entering the Medical Center campus. Dr. Chat Bot is no longer being used as a tool for students to report COVID symptoms to UHS; instead, students experiencing COVID symptoms should call UHS at (585) 755-2662.

COVID Isolation for Students

In accordance with guidance from the Monroe County Health Department and consistent with the practices of many peer schools, if an on-campus student tests positive for COVID-19, they will isolate in place (in their room and in their residence hall) wearing a mask in all spaces for five full days following their positive test. A healthy roommate will have the option of moving to a University-reserved hotel room for their roommate’s isolation period of five days, if they choose, and there is no additional charge for this hotel option.

It is important to note, however, that hotel space is limited, so there is no guarantee of this option. UHS will check in with COVID-positive students while they are in isolation and will grant official approval when they can end isolation. Additional information is available here.

COVID Self-Tests for Students

Prior to arrival on campus, all students are asked to take a COVID-19 at-home test 24 hours in advance. If a student tests positive before arriving, they should delay their move-in by at least five days and notify UHS of their illness. Additionally, students can pick up a self-test kit at UHS this semester if they want to test themselves. It is also recommended that students bring a few self-test kits with them from home to have on-hand. Any student who receives a positive test needs to notify UHS by calling (585) 755-2662.

Plan for Monitoring and Responding to COVID Increases

The University will continue to follow CDC, New York State, and Monroe County guidance throughout the year, and University senior leaders and health officials will coordinate University planning. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to check the COVID Resource Center for the most current information.

Sincerely,

David Figlio
Provost and Gordon Fyfe Professor of Economics and Education

Liz Milavec
Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer

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