Why is the University requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for all faculty, staff and students accessing campus?
Vaccination is the single most important step that we can all take to protect ourselves, loved ones, our campus and community from severe COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death. A widely vaccinated community safeguards the health, wellness and safety of our students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community. Vaccination is a critical factor that will allow Syracuse University to return to more normal operations.
Can I access campus without being vaccinated?
No. To access campus, you must either be fully vaccinated or have a valid medical or religious exemption on file with the Barnes Center. Students with questions about their vaccination status may contact the Barnes Center for further guidance.
If my vaccine is not on the World Health Organization’s list of approved vaccines, can I receive another vaccination in the U.S.?
Yes, you can receive another vaccine 28 days after your previous vaccine was administered.
If I had one dose of a vaccine in my country, can I get a second dose in the U.S.?
If the same vaccine is available, you can receive your second dose in the U.S.
If the vaccine is not available in the U.S., you will need to restart the vaccination series with the new vaccine 28 days after your previous vaccine was administered.
Can I access campus if I am an international student partially or fully vaccinated with a vaccine that is not approved by the WHO?
No. You can plan to receive a WHO-approved vaccine in the U.S. 28 days after your previous vaccine was administered. Students with questions about their vaccination status may contact the Barnes Center for further guidance.
If you are an international student receiving your vaccine on campus, as soon as you have received all recommended doses of an approved vaccine and uploaded documentation into the Student Patient Portal, you can access campus. Please note that you must wear a mask while on campus and participate in weekly COVID-19 screening until two weeks after your final vaccination dose.
I am not on campus this semester, but I plan to return in spring 2022. Am I still required to get a vaccination?
The vaccination requirement will apply to all new and returning students, faculty and staff for the Fall 2021 semester.
Who is required to be vaccinated?
The expectation is that the vast majority of our community will receive a vaccination. The only exception to this requirement will be for individuals who have a medical or religious exemption.
How many students have received a vaccination exemption?
2.1% of the residential student population is attending this semester with an approved medical or religious exemption. In addition, there are a small percentage of international students who could not access a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine in their home county, that the University allowed to return to campus on the condition that they are vaccinated upon arrival. Those students are also currently flagged in Orange Success as requiring masks, but those flags will be removed once these students have received both doses of the vaccine and fourteen days have elapsed since their last dose. Unvaccinated students without an approved exemption will not be allowed on campus under any circumstances.
How many faculty and staff have received a vaccination exemption?
4.6% of faculty and benefits eligible staff have received an approved medical or religious exemption.
In collecting vaccination and exemption information from faculty and staff, why is the University relying on an attestation and not collecting supporting documentation?
The University decided to mandate that all faculty and staff attest/certify their vaccination status or their eligibility for a medical or religious exemption in support of the University mandated vaccine policy. By doing so, the University is balancing faculty and staff privacy interests with ensuring compliance with our public health policy. The University chose to trust that its faculty and staff provide truthful and accurate information to this important University policy. By the responses received from our faculty and staff, our community is taking this obligation very seriously. If the University learns of information that is contrary to the attestation from any faculty and staff, we will investigate and take further appropriate action, if necessary.
What is Syracuse University doing to verify that students’ proof of vaccination is legitimate and not purchased online?
Each year, the medical professionals at the Barnes Center at The Arch review documentation for the vaccinations required by New York state for students at colleges and universities to ensure that it is complete, timely and accurate. If necessary, these medical providers take steps to correlate and verify the legitimacy of each submission – for example, by calling a pharmacy or physician’s office.
Are booster vaccinations available on campus?
The Barnes Center at The Arch will make booster vaccinations available when they are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Stay Safe Pledge
I agreed to the Stay Safe Pledge once before, why do I need to do it again?
The Stay Safe Pledge will be modified to respond to changing pandemic-related conditions as well as health and safety directives from federal, state and local officials. Several changes have been made to the Stay Safe Pledge for Summer 2021, including:
- Providing documentation of COVID-19 vaccination or exemption to the Barnes Center before accessing campus.
- Wearing a mask and maintaining 6 feet of distance from others if not vaccinated and accessing campus with a medical or religious exemption.
- Wearing a mask in certain designated locations, such as the Barnes Center health office or Flanagan Gymnasium health clinic.
- Getting a flu vaccine prior to the start of the Spring 2022 semester.
Why am I required to notify the University of a positive COVID-19 test result if that test was not provided by the University? My medical information is supposed to be confidential!
During a public health emergency, certain aspects of your medical information—including a positive COVID-19 test result—can be required to be shared with public health authorities, including the Barnes Center. Failure to notify Syracuse University of a positive test result may hinder accurate contact tracing and put your close contacts—including roommates, classmates and faculty—at risk of spreading the virus.
Why do I have to participate in contact tracing immediately if I do not have any symptoms of illness?
COVID-19 is often spread by individuals who do not know they are infected and exhibit no symptoms. Timely participation in contact tracing is essential to limiting the spread of the virus.
What testing is the University doing to ensure campus health and safety?
The University requires testing for unvaccinated individuals who have an approved medical or religious exemption once a week. Vaccinated students and employees will also be required to participate in randomized surveillance testing. Testing is available on demand during testing center hours for any student, faculty or staff member or their family members with whom they share a residence. In addition, the University is continuing wastewater surveillance testing.
What is the testing requirement for individuals with an approved medical or religious exemption from the vaccine requirement?
Testing continues to be a central component of our strategy to lessen exposure, transmission and COVID illness on our campus. The University’s testing infrastructure remains prepared to conduct thousands of COVID tests per week on campus. For any unvaccinated member of our campus community, meaning those with approved medical and religious exemptions, you are required to participate in ongoing surveillance testing once per week (every seven days). Individual compliance with this requirement is closely monitored.
- Vaccine-exempt students who do not comply with the weekly testing requirement will be prohibited from attending in-person classes and accessing any campus building, and will lose access to all online and digital resources, including Wi-Fi and Blackboard.
- Vaccine-exempt faculty and staff who do not comply with the weekly testing requirement are subject to disciplinary actions as determined by the University’s chief human resource officer and vice chancellor and provost.
Why is the University requiring vaccinated individuals to participate in surveillance testing?
Given the increasing number of “breakthrough” COVID cases among vaccinated individuals, the SU Public Health Team has recommended that the University initiate a randomized COVID surveillance testing program that includes vaccinated members of the campus community. We will implement this recommendation beginning on Monday, Aug. 30.
Specifically, each week a subset of our on-campus population (inclusive of students, faculty and staff) will receive an email directing them to visit the Testing Center during the week to receive a COVID test. This data will be utilized to better understand the prevalence of breakthrough infection on campus, and in turn inform the most appropriate mitigation strategy.
Is COVID Testing available on campus?
Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff who plan to access campus under a medical or religious exemption are required to participate in routine COVID-19 surveillance testing once per week until further notice. Compliance with this requirement will be monitored regularly..
For all asymptomatic members of our campus community—including family members of our employees—the University will continue to provide convenient access to on-campus testing services.
Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 1, all weekday (Monday-Friday) testing will be performed at the stadium. Sunday testing will continue to be held at Kimmel Dining Hall.
Stadium Testing Hours (enter through Gate N)
- Monday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Tuesday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Wednesday: noon-7 p.m.
- Thursday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Friday: 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Kimmel Testing Hours
- Sunday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
No appointments are required. Please bring your Syracuse University I.D. and refrain from eating, drinking anything (including water), brushing your teeth or using mouthwash, chewing gum or using any tobacco products in the 30 minutes prior to testing.
If a student has test results obtained through another testing option, how do they submit them?
Students can submit COVID-19 test results/documentation by logging into the Student Patient Portal. Log in using your SU NetID and password, click “Upload Forms,” select “COVID-19 Documents” and follow upload instructions.
If someone tests positive who works in a lab, shared office or workspace, how will others working in that space be notified?
Contact tracers will notify anyone who is determined to have been in close contact by someone who tests positive by phone and/or their University email.
How is the University addressing the need for contact tracing?
Working closely with the Onondaga County Department of Health, Syracuse University created our own contact tracing team. Acknowledging the personal nature of this task, the unique attributes of an academic environment and the broad diversity represented across our campus community, we believe that it’s important that the duties and responsibilities associated with contact tracing be performed by culturally competent individuals who themselves represent our community.
How will students, faculty and staff be contacted if they have been in contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19?
Students, faculty and staff will be contacted by phone and via their Syracuse University email. It is critically important that your current local address and phone number are updated in MySlice and we strongly encourage all members of the campus community to ensure that their information is updated and to regularly monitor your University email.
Random Vaccinated Surveillance Testing Program
Are COVID test results from an off-campus provider accepted for the purposes of this program?
No, the University is not able to accept off-campus test results for the purposes of this program. Plan to visit the Testing Center during operating hours.
I am a fully remote employee. Am I required to participate in this program?
No, be sure to update your vaccination attestation through MySlice to reflect your current work location.
I am not working or traveling for University purposes this week, but I was selected to test. Do I need to come to campus?
No, simply test at the Testing Center during operating hours upon your return to campus.
Is this surveillance testing program for vaccinated individuals mandatory?
All vaccinated individuals randomly selected to test through this program are expected to participate. Results of community testing will be utilized to better understand the prevalence of breakthrough infection on campus and, in turn, inform the most appropriate mitigation strategy.
How does contact tracing work?
For each positive case, contact tracers look for potential exposures in the infectious period for COVID-19. This is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as two days before the onset of symptoms or two days before a positive test if the student has no symptoms.
Next, they identify close contacts – someone who was within six feet of the person who tests positive for a total of 15 minutes or more within a 24 hour period during that two-day infectious window, regardless of whether the contact was wearing a mask.
If someone in a class is diagnosed with COVID-19, classmates and instructors are notified only if that individual was present in class during the infectious period. This is why faculty members may receive a notification of a student’s absence in Orange Success, but may not be contacted by staff regarding a potential exposure. Students in your class may also be notified as close contacts who were with the COVID-19 positive individual in settings outside of class, even when the positive student did not attend class during the infectious period.
Out of an abundance of caution, the University does inform all classmates when an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 attended class during the infectious period, even though not all classmates meet the definition of close contact.
Close contacts who are vaccinated are advised to wear a mask at all times and test at the Testing Center. Close contacts with a vaccination exemption are placed in quarantine. Quarantine and isolation protocols are outlined in the COVID-19 Response Checklists.
Is every positive case on campus contact traced?
Yes, every case on campus is contact traced.
Student cases are contact traced by Syracuse University team members, who have completed comprehensive contact tracing training and receive updated training whenever new information becomes available.
Faculty and staff cases are contact traced by the relevant county health department. For more information on what you should do if you receive a positive test or believe you have been exposed to a positive case, please visit the COVID-19 Response Checklists for step-by-step instructions.
I heard a rumor that students are not being cooperative with contact tracers, what is the University doing to address this?
Contact tracers are trained to look for inconsistencies in responses and follow up with students to obtain complete information. Students who provide misinformation or are uncooperative with contact tracing are referred to the Office of Community Standards (formerly the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities) for possible disciplinary action.
Should faculty share with their class that a student in the class has tested positive for COVID-19?
Faculty should not share this information with their class. An individual’s COVID-19 test result is confidential health information, protected under health privacy laws. For that reason, the extent of public notifications related to a given individual’s positive (or negative) test result will be informed and is ultimately at the direction of the Onondaga County Health Department. The nature and extent of those notifications will be determined by the Onondaga County Health Department as a result of case investigation, contact tracing and an assessment of the “compelling public health purpose” that notifications would serve (or not).
Is every case on campus reported to the Public Health team?
Positive cases are reviewed by the Public Health team to determine if there is a pattern of transmission that should be addressed through additional public health measures.
Why doesn’t the University report cases by college or school?
The University does not disclose active cases by college or school, as there is potential for individual identification of positive cases. This would be a violation of employee and student privacy.
Quarantine and Isolation
What is the isolation policy if I test positive?
The isolation requirement for those who test positive for COVID remains unchanged relative to last year. If you test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, you will be directed by a legal order from the Onondaga County Health Department to isolate for a period of 10 days. Similar to last year, the University is fully prepared to provide isolation housing for students living on campus, and for those who cannot safely isolate in their off-campus apartments.
What do I do if I am exposed to a COVID positive individual?
To learn more about quarantine and isolation protocols, please visit the Stay Safe COVID-19 Response Checklists webpage.
To our students, if you find yourself in this situation, there are ample resources and supports available to you. To review how the University will support you if you’re exposed, please review the materials located on the Support Resources for Students in Quarantine or Isolation webpage.
The CDC and Onondaga County Health Department’s quarantine requirements for vaccinated persons exposed to a COVID positive individual have changed relative to last year. Those quarantine guidelines for vaccinated individuals are as follows:
Exposed/Vaccinated, but no symptoms of illness (asymptomatic):
If you have come into close contact (as determined by a contact tracer) you have two options:
- Wear a mask for 14 days from the date of exposure, or
- Test 3-5 days after exposure (and wear a mask, until your test results are available)
If you test positive, you must isolate for 10 days prior to resuming standard prevention measures (this includes wearing a mask, washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, maintaining distance and avoiding contact with sick individuals). Faculty and staff should report a COVID-19 positive test to HR Shared Services.
If you test negative, you may resume standard prevention measures.
If you are not a close contact, you can continue your standard prevention measures; no other action is necessary.
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, you should stay home and test immediately. Only leave your home, apartment or residence hall to be tested.
- If you test positive, you must isolate for 10 days prior to resuming standard prevention measures. Faculty and staff should report a COVID-19 positive test to HR Shared Services.
- If you test negative, you should retest 3-5 days after exposure. At that point, if you test positive, you must isolate for 10 days before resuming standard prevention measures. If you test negative on the second test, you may resume standard prevention measures.
For any unvaccinated individual exposed to someone with COVID-19, the quarantine requirement remains unchanged from last year. Specifically, you will be required by a legal order from the Onondaga County Health Department to quarantine for 10 days. Once you are released from quarantine, you may resume standard prevention measures.
What does it mean when the dashboard shows increased case counts but no increase in students in quarantine?
The New York State Department of Health has adopted, statewide, the most recent CDC guidance as to what is required of a vaccinated individual identified as contact to a known COVID positive case. Those CDC guidelines do not require a vaccinated person, who is identified as a contact to a known COVID positive individual, to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Therefore, the reason our count of quarantined students does not increase in correlation with new positive cases is because 98% of our students are vaccinated, and therefore not required by law to quarantine if identified as a contact.
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, how will the University support that student and safeguard others on campus?
If a student tests positive, the University will deploy its response protocol, which prioritizes the health of the student as well as the safety and well-being of the community. The student will be immediately moved via a Syracuse University medical transport to isolation housing. These rooms will be physically separated from other residential student rooms, have a private bathroom, and be stocked with a thermometer, sanitizing wipes, tissues, soap and hand sanitizer and toiletries. While isolated, the student will be assigned a pod leader to support all academic, health, housing and dining needs.
For those students who are ill or asymptomatically positive, to the degree reasonably feasible, these isolated students will be encouraged to continue academic activities to the extent possible or be provided with academic accommodations due to illness. Professors will be notified of students who have to miss class for an extended period. Students impacted by COVID can continue their studies during the isolation and quarantine period with support from their faculty. Faculty are responsible for helping students keep up with the class so that they may rejoin at the end of their absence. This does not necessarily include remote class participation. Students with severe symptoms that make it impossible to keep up with their classes should contact the Dean of Students Office for additional support at email@example.com or 315.443.4357.
The contact tracing process will identify all close contacts of the positive individual during the timeframe the individual was likely contagious. All those close contacts will be directed to quarantine. Close contacts that have been not fully immunized (14 days from completing vaccine series) or have an exemption will be directed to quarantined. Close contacts that are fully immunized are not required to quarantine but will be provided guidelines to adhere to. Some of those close contacts will likely be others in the class, but not all. If a faculty member tests positive, that faculty member must isolate until a negative test is achieved. Consequently, it follows that this faculty member cannot be in a classroom for that period.
What is the current protocol for checking in on students’ health and well-being in quarantine and especially in isolation? How frequent are check-ins? What do they consist of? Are symptomatic students receiving medical attention or routine checking of vitals? How frequently can students in isolation get outdoors for fresh air?
Students in quarantine and isolation are contacted by their pod leader, normally a student services staff member, and provided with their email and cell phone number. Pod leaders are responding to emails and texts with requests and concerns from students almost 24/7. They are responsible for facilitating all student services needs including facilities, food services, academic and logistical assistance (e.g. comfort items, how to get packages and deliveries, the process for being cleared by the health department and the COVID office for release). Students can obtain health and counseling services by calling the Barnes Center, and if they need to be seen in person they are provided with transportation to and from the Barnes Center from the quarantine or isolation site.
Rooms are pre-stocked with shelf-stable snacks, drinks, condiments and plastic utensils. Meals are delivered to each isolation location and labeled with the student’s name. Students can order food for delivery, as long as they use a contactless payment method. Students can also have pharmacy items delivered by the Barnes Center pharmacy and the Bookstore.
Students in isolation (those who have tested positive whether asymptomatic or symptomatic) will receive periodic communication from a Barnes Center healthcare provider who monitors their symptoms and vitals. A Syracuse University contact tracer also reaches out to students in quarantine regularly, and students may also be contacted by the Onondaga County Health Department.
Students in quarantine and isolation in Skyhalls or South Campus apartments are allowed to leave their rooms to do laundry, pick up food or deliveries from designated areas, to visit health care providers and for daily scheduled outdoor time. A mask must be worn when leaving your room, regardless of the current on campus COVID Alert level. Students quarantining in the Sheratonlocal hotels must remain in their rooms.
All students in quarantine or isolation are provided a detailed guide from their pod leader that includes:
- Contact information
- What to pack
- Quarantine or isolation procedures and policies
- Health, Wellness and Pharmacy information
- Food Services and outside food delivery information
- Laundry services and schedules, if applicable
- Facilities information, if applicable
- Academic information
- Information about engagement and activities
- Package drop-off and delivery
- Additional information about COVID-19
If a student who is fully immunized tests positive for COVID-19 do they have to isolate?
Per CDC Guidelines, any student who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, will be put into a mandatory 10 day isolation period.
If a student who is fully immunized is exposed to a person who has tested positive for COIVD-19 what are the protocols? Do they have to quarantine?
Per CDC Guidelines, any fully immunized student who is deemed a close contact of someone that tested positive for COVID-19 will not have to quarantine. Students will need to follow additional guidance such as monitoring symptoms and contacting the Barnes Center if they become ill, test at our surveillance testing center 3-5 days after exposure, and wear a mask until a negative test is received. All fully immunized students exposed are encouraged to wear a mask for a full 14 days regardless of negative test.
I am concerned that students are not being honest with contact tracers. What is the University doing to address this?
Contact tracing staff have been trained to effectively interview students to assess close contacts. Staff look for inconsistencies in responses and follow-up with students to obtain complete information. Students identified as lying to contact tracers and those violating quarantine and isolation orders face disciplinary charges under the Code of Student Conduct. Barnes Center peer educators developed a public health campaign underscoring the importance of fully and honestly participating in the contact tracing process. Full and honest participation in contact tracing is also identified as an expectation in the Stay Safe Pledge.
If I am experiencing financial hardship, is there financial assistance available for COVID-19-related expenses?
The pandemic has created financial hardship for many in our community. Please know there may be financial assistance available.
- Please review information about emergency funding and complete the financial appeal for U.S. citizens/permanent residents or financial appeal for international students to apply.
- These requests will be reviewed quickly. Decisions are based on financial need and/or hardship.
Why isn’t the University recommending masking for all when indoors, regardless of the COVID level?
Syracuse University’s policy regarding masking is consistent with CDC guidance that varies, based on the level of community transmission in a local area. Currently, the CDC recommends indoor masking for everyone (vaccinated and unvaccinated) in areas with substantial or high transmission rate. Given the local level of transmission at this time, the University’s policy is consistent with this guidance.
These recommendations may change based on the rate of transmission in Onondaga County and consultation with the Onondaga County Department of Public Health. Syracuse’s masking policy may, at times, exceed the CDC requirements given low rates of transmission on campus.
The current masking framework recognizes that the risk of COVID-19 transmission can vary in indoor spaces. Syracuse University’s campus includes indoor classrooms, libraries, gyms, dining halls, residence halls, common areas, conference rooms, open offices and private offices. Each space is associated with different levels of risk. The university is utilizing the most up-to-date understanding of how different indoor spaces and behaviors in those spaces constitute a significant risk of transmission and responding accordingly.
In addition, public health and community infection control ultimately requires the goodwill of members of the community. Without that goodwill, individuals will disregard public health mandates and guidance. The four-level masking policy seeks to be responsive to current transmission levels on campus and in the greater community and therefore to strengthen the trust of the community that our public health response is appropriate for the level of risk we face at a given time.
How is the Public Health Team managing pressures from University stakeholders seeking to influence public health guidelines on campus?
Since the start of the pandemic, the University’s public health and safety protocols have been informed by the University’s Public Health Team, in consultation with local, New York State and federal experts. This team relies on significant input from faculty who are experts in public health, epidemiology, medicine and biology. Faculty input has also been sought from experts in relevant fields such as indoor air quality.
Decisions related to the University’s approach to masking, testing, and other prevention measures based on data and other factors specific to our campus community, and the unique living and learning environment that is a college campus.
Control of any infectious disease requires cooperation and trust from the community. Evidence-based studies demonstrate that public health overreach has great potential to harm public trust, and we are seeking to avoid that. For example, a universal indoor masking requirement that is not justified by transmission data would be detrimental to that trust. Our surveillance testing, wastewater testing and other data gathering programs will allow us to be confident in our assessment of COVID-19 transmission. Therefore, the masking policy and other public health guidelines will be responsive to the dynamic transmission risk.
We have and will continue to resist any effort to situate our decision making in anything other than data and science.
Are the University’s masking and public health requirements consistent with peer institutions’ approach to managing masking this academic year?
Yes. Syracuse University’s requirements are comparable to or more stringent than most of our peer institutions in terms of masking, vaccination and other COVID management practices.
What are the COVID levels and how do I know if I am required to wear a mask?
Please visit our COVID Level page for a full explanation of each COVID level and accompanying requirements.
Are there situations where all individuals will be required to wear a mask regardless of the public health situation and current alert level?
Yes. All individuals – regardless of vaccination status – are required by NYS law to wear a mask on public transit (including the Syracuse University Shuttle) and when visiting any healthcare facility (including the Barnes Center and Kimmel COVID Testing Center). This requirement applies regardless of what alert category the University has announced. In addition, the above framework does not apply to events held at the Syracuse University Stadium, where masking and other COVID prevention policies will be prescribed based on local and state public health orders.
What are the specific criteria that trigger changes in the four-level masking policy at SU?
The Syracuse University Public Health Team, in collaboration with local and New York State public health officials, will recommend adjustments to the campus COVID alert level. Adjustments are based on their ongoing assessment of campus and community testing data, contact tracing information, and other factors indicative of COVID prevalence and transmission within the campus community.
The Public Health Team has not instituted absolute cutoffs for changing the mask policy, so that the university can be flexible in responding to how transmission is happening on campus. The team also considers how transmission is dispersed and the intensity of transmission on campus and in the community. For example, the appropriate measures to mitigate cases that arise from a single exposure event or may be very different than steps we take to exposures that are completely unrelated.
Why is the University implementing this system?
We anticipate that public health conditions will remain dynamic throughout this academic year. The COVID Level system provides an easily-understood framework for our community to understand what precautions are required on campus, based on the latest information.
How is the University enforcing mask wearing?
Under the red masking designation, all students--regardless of vaccination status-- are required to wear masks all times indoors and outdoors when in groups. Campus and building signage reminds students of masking expectations and staff and faculty in these spaces (Schine Student Center, Bird Library, Barnes Center, etc.) remind students who are not wearing masks and/or not wearing masks properly to wear a mask properly. Student Living staff including Resident Advisors and Resident Directors are addressing masking concerns in the residence halls. Academic Affairs has created guidelines for faculty when addressing masking concerns in classrooms and other instructional spaces. The Barnes Center Health Hub is positioned around campus to remind students of public health messaging including mask wearing. Student Community Ambassadors are distributing door hangers with public health messaging in the East Neighborhood and on South Campus. The Stay Safe Pledge articulates the expectation that students follow masking directives. Students violating the Pledge may be referred to the Community Standards office and may face disciplinary action.
Does this policy apply to visitors and contractors?
Yes, any visitor to our campus – including guests and contractors – must follow the guidelines outlined for the COVID levels when on campus.
What is the University doing to discourage large, unmasked gatherings?
Fraternity and Sorority Affairs leadership has worked with Greek Council leadership to develop protocols for safe gatherings and to ensure safe practices during new member recruitment. Student Activities staff are working closely with student organizations planning events to ensure safe practices are followed. Barnes Center intramural and Club Sport teams are required to wear masks outdoors and will engage in regular COVID testing in addition to the University’s random testing process. Teams are being advised on safe gathering practices, as well. All fraternities, sororities, recognized student organizations, and intramural and Club Sport teams received a message from Vice President and Dean of Students Rob Hradsky reminding them of safe public health practices and their responsibility to adhere to University expectations.
How will the University community be notified of a change to the COVID level?
The University’s COVID level and associated masking policy will be announced via the University’s emergency broadcast notification system and will carry the notice Mask Guidance Update. Moving forward, changes to the COVID level and associated masking policy will be announced the same way. If you haven’t done so already, please log into your MySlice account to be sure your Orange Alert settings are up to date prior to the start of the semester. In addition, when masking guidance changes, our community will also be notified through:
- campus email;
- text message;
- Twitter: @SUCampus and @SyracuseUNews
- Facebook: @SUCampus and @SyracuseUniversityNews
- Instagram Stories: @SyracuseU
- Syracuse.edu/staysafe and news.syr.edu
How often will the University’s Public Health Team reassess the current COVID level?
The Syracuse University Public Health Team assesses the current COVID level each weekday. The SU COVID Dashboard is also updated each weekday.
Who are the members of the University’s Public Health Team for the 2021-22 academic year?
A complete list of the Syracuse University Public Health Team can be found on the Stay Safe website.
I supervise faculty and staff. How will I know if someone on my team is required to wear a mask on campus?
Human Resources will notify supervisors and department heads if faculty or staff in their unit are required to wear a mask on campus.
How frequently will the University update the COVID-19 Dashboard?
The SU COVID Dashboard is updated each weekday. The University’s COVID-19 Dashboard is where members of our campus community can access data and statistics regarding the COVID situation on campus.
Why does the dashboard show so few people in quarantine when there are so many more active cases?
According to updated CDC guidance, only unvaccinated/vaccine-exempt individuals are subject to a quarantine order if determined to be a close contact by a contact tracer. Because the vast majority of our students (98%) are vaccinated, quarantine numbers may appear low as compared to last academic year.
I am vaccinated but I still want to wear a mask. Is that acceptable?
Yes, even if the current COVID level doesn’t require vaccinated individuals to wear a mask, any person may opt to wear a mask on campus for any reason.
Can I have guests in my residence hall / South Campus apartment?
You may have other Syracuse University students as guests in your residence hall and/or South Campus apartment. However, external guests are not permitted into residential facilities at this time.
If I move into my on-campus housing and then decide to move back home because I don’t feel safe, will I be able to receive a refund on my room and board?
Yes, you will be able to receive a prorated room and board credit dated to the week you left your on-campus housing assignment, provided that you move all of your belongings out of your residence, follow check-out procedures as instructed, and return your key before you leave.
What if I need special accommodations due to pre-existing conditions that may be exacerbated by the pandemic?
You would first need to register with the Center for Disability Resources (CDR - formerly the Office of Disability Services). If approved, the CDR will alert you that you are eligible to participate in the COVID Medical Consideration process, and will be able to request a housing relocation or accommodation.
Can I live off campus even if I have not fulfilled my two-year housing requirement?
First- and second-year students are required to reside on campus. Third-year students and above do not have a housing requirement and can therefore seek off-campus housing after they have completed their on-campus requirement. Off-Campus and Commuter Services is a good resource for students living off campus.
Can students in a residence hall interact with students on different floors in the same building?
Yes, at this time, students may visit other floors in their building.
Can students who live in residence halls or off-campus visit other students in South Campus apartments?
Yes, students may visit other students in South Campus apartments.
Can students quarantine in their South Campus apartment if they contract COVID-19?
No, students will be moved to isolation housing.
Are guests permitted on campus, for example if family members wish to visit after move-in ends this week?
Yes, but all short-term visitors on campus must comply with the current COVID Alert requirements.
Stadium Athletic Events
Why were people in the Dome not wearing a wristband to prove they were checked for vaccination or proof of a recent negative test?
Wristbands were only issued to individuals who participated in pre-screening as a means of expediting their entry into the stadium at the gates. Pre-screening tent locations around the stadium were set up to confirm proof of vaccination and negative test results prior entering the gates. For fans who did not participate in pre-screening, their proof of vaccination and negative test results were confirmed directly at the stadium gates and therefore they did not receive a wristband.
Why are children under age 12 required to get a negative test before each game they attend?
Children 12 and under are unfortunately not yet eligible to be vaccinated. As such, and in alignment with guidance from the Onondaga County Health Department, all children ages four to 12 must demonstrate proof of a recent negative test result. This includes either a negative PCR test within 72 hours of game time or a negative antigen test within 6 hours of game time. We will continue to coordinate with Onondaga County and monitor public health conditions and communicate any changes to our entry requirements.
Why were patrons not wearing masks inside the building?
Masks are required by all fans, ages four and older, at all times at the stadium except when actively eating or drinking. This requirement was communicated directly to ticket purchasers and broadly across the University’s websites, social media, news media, and during the game via the public address, video messages and signage. For everyone’s safety, we ask our patrons to take responsibility to follow these policies.
To encourage mask compliance, we are installing additional signage around the interior and exterior of the building as a reminder to fans. Stadium staff are aware of the mask requirements as well and will be as diligent as possible on enforcing the rules.
It’s on all of us to ensure a safe and enjoyable fan experience. If any patrons experience an issue with guests not adhering to mask guidelines, we encourage them to speak with an usher or our guest services located at section 107.
If I see fans sitting near me who are refusing to wear their masks when required, may I move to another location that is more open?
While we hope this doesn't happen again, in the event it does, please feel free to visit our Guest Services desk which is located by aisle 107 on the lower-level concourse to discuss seating options. If you would prefer for one of our Guest Services staff members to come to your seat, you may send a text message to 315-599-3663 with your issue and seat location and we will respond accordingly.
Why was it difficult to hear some of the audio from the new sound system?
The new sound system is fully programmable and requires fine-tuning adjustments to be fully commissioned. This process can only be achieved during game conditions with an audience in the stands. Adjustments were made during the first game on Saturday and will continue over the next several games to completely tune the entire building.
Can we add building signage reminding students to mask?
We have installed signage across campus and in buildings reminding students, faculty, and staff to wear masks as required by our masking policy. If an individual feels that additional signage is needed in a particular building, please contact your building manager.
What is the University doing to enhance cleaning and sanitation of common areas, residence halls and other high-traffic spaces?
The University has already built out the infrastructure to comply with all Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-mandated cleaning and sanitation protocols, including increased cleaning of public spaces, bathrooms, HVAC systems and other components. Specifically, these include enhanced cleaning and sanitation of classrooms, laboratories, studios and performance venues, libraries, residence halls, dining halls, recreation spaces, gathering spaces and other high-traffic areas. The University utilizes disinfectants that have been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as appropriate to eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 virus (cause of COVID-19). For information on cleaning and disinfecting efforts in work areas, please visit ehss.syr.edu/about/covid-19-information/work-area-cleaning-and-disinfecting/
What, in particular, is the University doing to mitigate risk in public restrooms?
In addition to daily cleaning, public restrooms are being monitored multiple times throughout the day to ensure cleanliness. Several times each day, staff disinfect high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs and sink faucets using disinfectants identified by the EPA as qualified for use against the COVID-19 virus. In addition, all electric forced-air hand dryers have been removed from restrooms to avoid spreading airborne particles.
How are you ensuring that University buildings will be properly ventilated?
The University closely monitored CDC and other public health guidance to prepare campus buildings for increased indoor ventilation during the COVID-19 health crisis. Where possible, modifications to ventilation systems were made to follow the most current guidance, including increasing air flow, retrofitting systems with MERV 13 filters, providing UV-C lighting in the air handling system of health care facilities, operating exhaust fans in all restrooms 24/7, and providing mobile UV-C air cleaning systems in classrooms and labs that have reduced air flow. Over the summer, building ventilation systems were reviewed to both perform preventative maintenance and verify that systems were operating properly.
Can air purifiers or small localized air cleaning devices be used by individuals on campus?
Localized cleaning devices may be used, but any localized air cleaning or purification device brought onto campus for individual use must meet the following criteria:
- Device must be UL or ETL listed and able to be plugged into a standard 115 V outlet.
- Device must be mechanical filtration device (device with removable/replaceable filters) with an AHAM rating.
- Devices relying on electrical fields/ions/sorbents/photocatalytic oxidation are not acceptable due to inconsistent data on effectiveness and must not be used.
- Ozone generating devices are unacceptable due to negative health effects and must not be used.
The individual or department procuring and bringing the device onto campus will be responsible for maintaining the device.
Health Promotion and Prevention
How does the University encourage healthy behaviors among members of our campus community?
All students are required to affirm that they will abide by all actions required by the updated Stay Safe Pledge.
Students are also required to abide by all directives from state and local public health authorities and to follow any and all guidelines of the New York State Travel and Quarantine Advisory prior to returning to campus.
How will students be informed and educated about steps and behaviors most appropriate to mitigate the likelihood of exposure to the virus?
Students will participate in an educational program prior to their return to campus focused on health and wellness issues and actions most appropriate during and beyond the COVID-19 health emergency. Further, as a condition of returning to campus, students will be required to affirmatively commit to a social compact statement (that is currently being finalized) that defines expectations related to behaviors and actions appropriate to protect their health and the health of those around them.
How does the University plan to enforce social distancing and health/safety protocols?
First, it is important for all members of our community to understand that enforcing social distancing standards and other measures of prevention is everyone’s responsibility. It is a shared expectation that all students, faculty and staff will not only themselves adhere to the directives and policies in place to safeguard public health—but also remind others to do the same when necessary. As a condition of returning to campus, students will be required to affirmatively commit to the updated Stay Safe Pledge. Students who are identified to have acted with disregard for their health and the health of those around them will be referred to the student judicial process for a violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
For Faculty and Instructors
What is the threshold metric for moving to online instruction as a public health measure?
In terms of moving to online instruction as a public health measure, we will follow the county guidelines if the need arises for a temporary pause or a full move to online instruction.
Unlike last year, there is not a planned metric – like that imposed by the New York State – for going online. Our community, both on and off-campus, enjoys a very high vaccination rate, which significantly changes the risk for in-person instruction.
Please note that the University has a process in place to provide flexible working arrangements for immunocompromised individuals.
For the designated COVID levels below Red, what is the public health rationale for not requiring masking in indoor settings where students gather for long periods of time while simultaneously requiring masking for some or all students during academic instruction?
The University will not reduce the COVID level below Red unless the actual and measurable transmission level warrants such an action. COVID levels below Red are dependent on evidence of a minimal levels of transmission, and our ability to trace each and every case back to a known exposure. In situations where levels of transmission are minimal and known infections are traceable to an exposure source, the university would like to be as open to the vaccinated population as the risk warrants. From the student perspective, libraries and other voluntary indoor spaces are quite different from classrooms with regard to the opportunity for distancing, and duration of time an individual may be in close contact with others. All individuals are welcome to wear masks regardless of the current COVID level.
Why aren’t we requiring social distancing in classrooms this year?
Currently, public health officials are not recommending specific social distancing guidelines. The situation is fundamentally different from last year. Almost 98 percent of students are fully vaccinated and are wearing masks in classrooms when campus is under Red and Blue COVID Levels. Unvaccinated students must wear masks at all times, during all COVID levels, when on campus. We are conducting random surveillance testing of vaccinated individuals and require unvaccinated individuals to test weekly.
How can faculty and staff get tested for COVID-19?
Faculty and staff may be tested at the Kimmel Dining Hall Testing Center during operating hours. No appointment is necessary.
Faculty and staff can also find one of the many testing sites in Onondaga County that is most convenient for them by visiting the New York State COVID-19 Test Site Finder, where you can search by zip code.
The faculty and staff health plan covers COVID-19 testing conducted at other testing sites.
I am a faculty member or instructor, how will I know if a student in my class is required to wear a mask?
While the University cannot tell faculty about the vaccination or exemption status of individual students, you will be able to know which students in your classes are required to wear masks while on campus through a notation in Orange Success. This information will be updated throughout the semester. Any vaccinated student or instructor may choose to wear a mask in class if they wish. At the beginning of the semester, you may see students flagged in Orange Success as required to wear a mask because they have not yet received their second dose of vaccine or because 14 days have not elapsed since their final dose.
What do I do if a student forgets to bring a mask to class?
In support of the University’s focus on protecting the health and well-being of our campus community, please remember that an ample supply of masks and cleaning products is available to you.
Departments, schools and colleges can continue to request these supplies using the COVID-19 Supply Request Form. The requested supplies will be delivered directly to you, generally within 24 hours of the request. The items available include, but are not limited to, cloth and disposable masks, Clorox wipes, sanitizing wipes, disinfectant spray and hand sanitizers. These supplies continue to be provided at no cost to you for use on campus.
For more information on COVID-19 supplies, please contact Environmental Health and Safety Services (EHSS) at EHSS@syr.edu.
If a student refuses to wear a mask in the classroom, what recourse do I have as an instructor?
Instructors and teaching assistants are invited to review updated tips from the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and the Office of the Dean of Students for setting and managing expectations in instructional spaces, managing difficult behavior and awareness of the role that stress or trauma may play in that behavior. Instructors may ask students to leave their class and should report any belligerent, aggressive or violent behavior to Community Standards (formerly the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can I call to clean my classroom or office space?
Each classroom and department has been supplied with cleaning products so that students and faculty can sanitize their areas (desk or podium) when they arrive in the classroom. Hand sanitizing stations and disinfectant wipes are available immediately outside the classrooms and technology sanitizing supplies are available near the teaching areas.
Departments, schools and colleges can continue to request these supplies using the COVID-19 Supply Request Form. The requested supplies will be delivered directly to you, generally within 24 hours of the request. The items available include, but are not limited to, cloth and disposable masks, Clorox wipes, sanitizing wipes, disinfectant spray and hand sanitizers. These supplies continue to be provided at no cost to you for use on campus.
For more information on COVID-19 supplies, please contact Environmental Health and Safety Services (EHSS) at EHSS@syr.edu.
What should I do if I am concerned about ventilation or air quality in a classroom?”
We have reviewed the ventilation system for each classroom on campus. Each classroom is unique and we have implemented the most viable strategies to safely manage the ventilation in each building. The ventilation strategies include:
- Installing MERV 13 or higher filters whenever possible in building air handlers using return air from occupied spaces.
- Increasing outdoor air ventilation rates where possible and when outdoor air conditions are favorable.
- Deploying mobile combination UV-C and/or HEPA air cleaning systems in classrooms that have reduced air flow.
If you have specific concerns regarding the operation or maintenance of the HVAC system please contact your Building Supervisor.
What am I required to do to accommodate students in quarantine or isolation?
Instructors with one or more students who cannot attend class due to COVID-related restrictions are required to assist those students so that they can resume participation in the class when their absence ends. Instructors are not required to provide remote instruction (hybrid participation) to these students, though they can if they want to. Instructors can record their classes if they wish, or they can provide course materials, assignments, etc. via e-mail and periodically check in with the students.
What should I do as a faculty member or instructor if I test positive?
Requirements for quarantine or isolation vary based on whether you are vaccinated or are experiencing symptoms. For detailed instructions, see the updated COVID-19 Response Checklists. If you can not teach due to illness, quarantine or isolation, you should make arrangements for continuity in your course as you would for any health issue. This may include, but is not limited to, teaching remotely, finding a substitute to meet class, inviting a guest speaker relevant to the course, or arranging alternative activities for students – faculty are best positioned to know what course of action is most appropriate for their courses and students.
What should departments do to cover classes if faculty need to miss class due to illness?
Faculty who cannot teach in person because of isolation requirements may teach their courses online if they feel well enough. If they don’t feel well enough to teach, then deans and department chairs should employ the approaches they have always used when faculty become incapacitated.
I teach a subject where teaching in a mask is an impediment to learning. What should I do?
The masking guidelines in the COVID Alert Framework apply to both students and instructional staff. Therefore, in BLUE and RED conditions, instructors are expected to wear masks in the classroom. We understand, however, that there are certain types of courses in which there is a firm pedagogical reason for an instructor to be unmasked. In these instances, we ask that you communicate your plan to your department chair.
If you are in a large lecture space with a designated teaching area (i.e., a lectern or a smart teaching station), you may remove your mask. Please use your best judgement, however, if you intend to move about the space and come into close proximity to students. Instructors should not come into close contact with students without a mask when masks are required in instructional spaces.
Where can the current guidance on University-sponsored travel be found?
The most recent update can be found here.
How do I reserve a tent?
Tents may be reserved on the 25Live classroom management system. Please contact your departmental class scheduler, who can assist you in this process.
Should we be recommending assigned seating to faculty to assist with contact tracing?
Assigned seating is encouraged but not required. Practically speaking, in larger classes that meet in auditorium style rooms, it is difficult to record a seating chart and nearly impossible to ensure compliance over the course of the semester. In smaller classrooms, it is more manageable and we encourage faculty to consider implementing assigned seating.
To what extent is the Stadium being utilized to accommodate large enrollment courses?
The opportunity to use the stadium for classes is more complicated this year than last because we are hosting the full complement of intercollegiate athletic contests and other events, which will be open to the public.