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University Operations

No more NYS Orange Zone for the University, but vigilance still needed

On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that most all of the New York State COVID Microcluster Zones have been lifted, meaning that the University is no longer in an Orange Zone, or any NYS Zone. The color-coded zones are levels of restrictions based on the severity of the virus in a region: Red Zones, Orange Zones, and Yellow Zones. The governor’s news is effective immediately and comes as regional and statewide metrics on COVID cases have been improving.

The University no longer being in a New York State Zone means some of the COVID practices and protocols in place within the University community will remain in effect, while others will have more flexibility. It’s important to note, however, that the pandemic is far from over and the University’s safety protocols, including mask wearing, social distancing and completing Dr. Chat Bot every day, are not being relaxed. Adhering to these requirements is even more important now in order to keep the infection rate low and avoid a surge of the virus that could lead to a return of zone restrictions.

Dr. Chat Bot participation is required for everyone who is physically on any University campus or property at any time of day or night, including for students living in residence halls. Especially in flu season, the daily self-monitoring and reporting of symptoms is critical to properly managing and treating illness.

Here are some of the “no Zone” changes now in effect until further notice:

  • All non-academic indoor and outdoor campus events and gatherings will allow up to 50 individuals/participants, or the proper occupancy guidelines for a particular space. Student Activities will be adjusting their protocols accordingly.
    • Student group events: Student groups in AS&E, Eastman School, Simon School, and Warner School must complete this event proposal form. Schools that are part of the University’s Medical Center campus should contact their respective dean’s offices for approvals.
    • Departmental/unit events: Any person or organization in any school or administrative area requesting to host an event must complete this event proposal form. River Campus non-student (or department-sponsored) events need to use this process for any gathering that isn’t class-related.
  • The Goergen Athletic Center’s tennis courts, pool, fitness center and some additional exercise areas remain open to full-time students. See FAQ for occupancies and hours.
  • Research activities will continue as normal. River Campus Libraries will continue with the social distancing seating arrangements currently in place and continue to use the Occuspace technology to monitor the density of the spaces. The Blue Stacks have also reopened.
  • Campus Dining is shifting to allow up to four students at a table and all tables will be 6 feet apart; chairs and furniture cannot be moved. Several additional multipurpose campus spaces have been established to accommodate students who need to eat a meal or snack on campus. All tables in these multipurpose spaces will be 6 feet apart and have occupancy and cleaning guidelines. When it comes to students eating a meal in their residence halls, campus apartments, and houses, the four-person maximum is in effect, and eating in indoor campus spaces requires students to wear a mask up to the point of starting to eat a meal and to immediately putting it back on after the meal is done.
  • Interfaith Chapel religious services will continue with 33 percent maximum occupancy.
  • Information on the status of the Eastman Community Music School will be posted on the ESM website.
  • For the latest updates and policies at the Medical Center and clinical care facilities, visit this URMC website.

If you have symptoms or concerns that you may have been exposed to the virus, here’s what to do. As a reminder, University students, faculty, and staff who observe that an individual or group is not acting responsibly with regard to COVID-19 should report these incidents through the COVID-19 Concern Report.

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