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New guidance announced on relaxing of campus COVID-19 restrictions

Updated August 9, 2021

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.

Updated 8/9 Updates to masking requirements were announced on August 9, 2021. Please visit the Face Mask Policies page to see the most up-to-date face mask guidelines.

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.

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.
    • Updated 8/9 As announced, unvaccinated faculty and staff will be required to complete Dr. Chat Bot daily.
  • 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. Please visit the Face Mask Policies page to see the most up-to-date guidelines.
  • 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. Please visit the Face Mask Policies page to see the most up-to-date guidelines for masking requirements.
  • 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. Please visit the Face Mask Policies page to see the most up-to-date masking guidelines for both vaccinated and 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 was announced on August 2.

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