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Health and Safety

New guidance announced on relaxing of campus COVID-19 restrictions

On June 16, New York State issued broad guidance that lifted many of the statewide COVID-19 restrictions in place during the pandemic. Based on this news and much improved COVID-19 conditions in the University community and locally, University leaders are now removing many of the COVID-related requirements on many parts of our campuses, effective immediately. CURT and senior leaders have carefully examined how these changes will affect multiple campuses and the needs of the individuals who work, live, visit, study, and receive their health care in these spaces.

Below is the new guidance, effective until further notice. It will be revisited in the future as circumstances warrant, including if the health risks of COVID increase.


The University is re-opening operations and removing certain COVID-19 protocols (mask-wearing, social distancing, etc.) where appropriate and as permitted by New York State. However, in specific spaces, including healthcare, nursing homes, fairs and festivals, and public transportation, the University will continue to adhere to the industry-targeted guidelines still in effect.

The entire Medical Center campus and its offsite locations will continue with current masking and physical distancing guidelines until the logistics between patient care areas and non-patient care areas can be developed. Look for further communications from the Medical Center shortly, and in the meantime, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must continue to wear a surgical mask in clinical health care areas.

Outside of the Medical Center, masks are not required for vaccinated individuals indoors or outdoors; unvaccinated individuals must wear masks indoors. This unmasking guidance applies to faculty, staff, students and campus visitors. Unmasked individuals should be prepared to produce proof of their vaccine status via a copy of their official immunization card, the UR COVID-19 Vaccine Status app (for students), the New York State Excelsior Pass; an optional vaccination sticker on ID badge (for Medical Center), or other proof of vaccination as implemented by the University upon request.

Many in the University community may need or want to continue wearing a mask despite being fully vaccinated and their choice will be respected, supported and welcomed.

Academic life

  • Physical distancing is no longer required on campuses or in classrooms.
  • Offices—including cubicle areas—and research labs can operate at full density. The previous guidance of requiring meeting participants to confirm their vaccination status in order to gather together without a mask no longer applies outside of the Medical Center. Further information will be forthcoming on this topic from the Medical Center.

Being on campus

  • Health screenings (including Dr. Chat Bot) will continue to be required each day for all students who plan to be on campus. Additionally, Dr. Chat Bot reporting is still required for Medical Center employees, and all employees who may enter the Medical Center’s buildings. Everyone else on a University campus, including campus visitors, is encouraged to self-confirm the health screening questions.
  • Dining facilities will resume normal density and hours of operation (with the exception of dining facilities in clinical areas).
  • Summer camps and programs on campus can operate without COVID restrictions, however participants should still complete a daily health screening each day before their camp or program. Masks are not required of fully vaccinated counselors or staff working with youth participants; employees and participants who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors.
  • Gyms can operate without restrictions. This includes the Goergen Athletic Center, but further notification of operational changes will come directly from GAC.
  • Beginning June 1, 2021, visitors and guests have again been allowed on the University’s campuses (clinical areas have special guidance). This visitor policy allows for all individuals regardless of vaccination status to visit campus; everyone who is not fully vaccinated must wear a face mask.
  • All undergraduate residence halls will remain closed to visitors until August 1, however students living in residence halls over the summer will continue to be allowed to host in their room one other student from another residence hall from June 1 until August 1. Beginning August 1, it is expected that there will be no COVID-19-related limits on residence hall visitors; existing Residential Life policies related to guests and visitation will remain in effect.

Events and activities

  • There are no limits on the size of gatherings (outside of large-scale events over 5,000). Beginning August 1, events (gatherings of 10 or more people) no longer need to be approved through the special COVID event approval process.
  • University fairs and festivals (Clothesline Festival, etc.) will continue to follow New York State supplemental guidelines for Fairs & Festivals–masks and physical distancing required for unvaccinated individuals.

Additional details

  • All state restrictions on college athletics are rolled back.
  • University shuttles and group transportation will continue to follow New York State supplemental guidelines for public transportation – masks are required for all individuals on public transportation.
  • Masks will need to be worn at all times in the University Health Service (UHS) building’s clinical areas.

Moving forward

Students, faculty, and staff who want to request an accommodation or exception to this new guidance should contact the applicable office listed below:

Disability, medical or pregnancy accommodations: contact the Office of Disability Resources.

Religion or other accommodation:

  • Students: Contact their dean’s office
  • Faculty, Staff:  Contact the HR business partner assigned to your department

This new guidance does not change the student COVID-19 vaccination requirement, set to go into effect on Aug. 1. Information on the vaccination program for University faculty and staff for the upcoming academic year is forthcoming.

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