Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:
With the 2021-22 academic year officially behind us, I want to again express my gratitude for the cooperation and flexibility of our students, faculty and staff, who committed to the public health safeguards necessary to maintain a robust residential academic experience over the past year. It has taken a dedicated community effort to get us to this point, and I’m extremely proud of all we’ve accomplished together.
Looking ahead, I write to share updates to public health protocols for summer 2022, as the University continues to align its policies and recommendations with best practices for endemic management. Importantly, these updates pertain specifically to summer operations and do not necessarily reflect policies or procedures in place for the Fall 2022 semester. We will share additional public health updates as we head toward the next academic year, applicable to the fall semester and beyond.
Today’s update includes information on the following topics:
- Testing Services and Requirements
- COVID Level Masking Framework
- Isolation/Quarantine Housing on Campus
- Vaccine Requirements
- Updated Travel Policy
- Staffing Changes for COVID Support Functions
- COVID-19 Dashboard Updates
Testing Services and Requirements
Effective Monday, May 23, the University will suspend on-campus testing operations. Testing services will not be available at the stadium or Kimmel during the summer months. Symptomatic students in need of COVID testing services can make an appointment at the Barnes Center by calling 315.443.8000. Faculty and staff requiring a COVID test are encouraged to utilize a community provider, your primary care physician or an at-home COVID test. At-home tests are currently available free of charge from the federal government.
Given the above, it follows that effective May 23 the University will also suspend the random surveillance testing program for vaccinated students, faculty and staff, and the weekly testing requirement for vaccine-exempt community members. The University’s COVID-19 wastewater surveillance testing program will continue throughout the summer, specifically tailored to monitor campus facilities in use during summer programs.
COVID Level Masking Framework
The COVID Level framework that currently outlines masking requirements on campus will remain in place throughout the summer. As is current practice, the Syracuse University Public Health Team will continually evaluate and recommend any changes to the COVID Level and associated masking guidance as needed based on conditions on campus and in the surrounding community. Any changes to the COVID Level will be communicated campuswide via email, text message, social media and the Syracuse.edu/staysafe and news.syr.edu websites.
Isolation/Quarantine Housing on Campus
Effective Monday, May 23, on-campus isolation and quarantine housing will be provided only to students living in Syracuse University housing, including residence halls and apartments. The University will continue to reserve a number of South Campus apartments for this purpose over the summer. Students who live off campus will be responsible for securing their own isolation and quarantine housing, if required, at their own expense.
Incoming residential Syracuse University students will be subject to the same COVID-19 and flu vaccine requirements that were in place for the 2021-22 academic year. For COVID, full immunization is defined as a full course of the initial COVID vaccine plus a booster dose, although this definition is subject to change based on evolving vaccination guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New Student and Family Programs will communicate directly with incoming students about the requirements.
Updated Travel Policy
Effective Monday, May 23, travel for University purposes may freely resume, subject to usual approval processes. All travelers must continue to register their travel at travelregistry.syr.edu. Faculty and staff travelers are strongly encouraged to plan for the possibility of contracting COVID-19 and the need to isolate with consequent travel disruption. Departments or units sponsoring student travel must have a plan to accommodate any student required to isolate or quarantine during travel and be prepared to support the traveler during any confinement. All costs associated with COVID-19 isolation while traveling are the responsibility of the sponsoring department. International travel that includes students is subject to the University’s Travel Safety policy. As a reminder, student travel to destinations rated as a Level 3 or 4 by the U.S. Department of State is considered high risk and is subject to review by the University. Those with questions about travel safety issues may contact Seth Tucker, director of global safety and support, at [email protected] or 315.443.1968.
Staffing Updates for COVID Support Functions
Effective Monday, May 23, the University’s COVID Project Management Office (PMO), which has been operational for more than two years during the pandemic, will stand down. COVID-related questions and concerns moving forward should be directed to the Barnes Center (students) or Human Resources Shared Services (faculty/staff). Contact tracing will transition to the self-disclosure method currently in place throughout New York state. The Syracuse University Public Health Team will continue to meet and advise leadership on COVID-related matters.
COVID-19 Dashboard Updates
Friday, May 20, will be the last update to the COVID-19 Dashboard for the summer months. Public health information will continue to be shared as appropriate, and community members are encouraged to continue visiting Syracuse.edu/staysafe as the primary source of information and the latest updates about the University’s COVID-19 response.
Thank you for taking the time to read this important message and for your continued commitment to each other and to the larger Syracuse community. Best of luck to all our graduates and wishing you all a safe, healthy, restful and productive summer.
J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation