Important Public Health Information: Temporary Masking Change, COVID-19 Masking Level Now Red – Syracuse University News

Important Public Health Information Temporary Masking Change Covid 19 Masking Level Now Red Syracuse University News
Important Public Health Information Temporary Masking Change Covid 19 Masking Level Now Red Syracuse University News

Campus & Community

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

Late yesterday, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced a notable increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the county. Although the prevalence of new cases on campus remains low, in response to the county’s announcement the University’s public health team has recommended that we take the precautionary action to elevate our campus masking requirement to level RED.

What does this action mean for you?

As of 5 p.m. today, the following masking policy applies on the Syracuse University campus:

  • Masks Required: All students, faculty, staff and visitors (vaccinated and vaccine-exempt) accessing the Syracuse University campus must wear masks indoors at all times, and outdoors when in the presence of others.
  • Masks Not Required: The following masking exceptions are permitted for students, faculty and staff only:
    • Students while in their own residence hall room
    • Vaccinated employees while alone in private offices, personal workstations or when working independently outdoors on campus
    • You may remove your mask when actively eating or drinking
  • Reminder: All individuals—regardless of vaccination status and/or campus alert level—are required by New York State law to wear a mask on public transit (including the Syracuse University Shuttle) and when visiting any health care facility (including the Barnes Health Center and the Kimmel Testing Center).

Why is the masking level changing?

Onondaga County reported an increase in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases in the community that represents a notable departure from prior trends. And while our data does not currently suggest a similar increase in new cases on campus, key to our health and safety decision-making is to acknowledge that we are a university closely connected to our community. Given that, the University’s public health experts have determined that requiring indoor masking at this time, regardless of vaccination status, is an appropriate response to safeguard all members of the campus community.

The University’s COVID Masking Framework was designed to allow us to respond to the evolving public health landscape in a dynamic and measured way. Today’s action is consistent with that intent and is specific to on-campus masking policy only. The University’s public health experts, in consultation with federal, state and local public health officials, will continue daily monitoring of COVID data on campus and in the community, and make recommendations related to future adjustments to our campus masking policy as dictated by data and science.

Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for the latest information.

Stay well,

J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation