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COVID-19 surveillance testing to end for vaccinated students

Ithaca+College+will+not+be+making+any+changes+to+its+mask+guidelines+for+the+remainder+of+the+spring+semester.
Kate Wolfel/The Ithacan
Ithaca College will not be making any changes to its mask guidelines for the remainder of the spring semester.

Ithaca College students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not have to participate in surveillance testing after April 23.

In an email to students April 15, Christina Moylan, director of public health emergency preparedness, said students who are two weeks out from their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are allowed to stop testing after April 23. The same applies for students who are two weeks out from their Johnson & Johnson vaccine if they received it before the administration of doses was paused. However, athletes must continue their twice per week surveillance testing even if they are fully vaccinated. This is in compliance with Liberty League and returnto-sport guidelines. If students have been vaccinated with an internationally approved vaccine that is not approved in the United States, like AstraZeneca, they must continue their testing. Students must also be asymptomatic to discontinue testing and must continue the Daily Health Screening.

Students have to turn in their immunization cards to the Hammond Health Center so the college knows who has and has not been vaccinated. Photos of vaccination cards can be sent to [email protected]. Students’ health badges will be adjusted once they hit the two-week mark after their vaccination. 

Moylan said the college does not anticipate an increase in positive cases, but students should be prepared for surveillance testing to be reinstated for everyone.

“The pandemic is not over, and we still need to maintain many of our public health protocols,” Moylan said.

Students still have to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing measures and practice good hand hygiene. Students should still not participate in large gatherings and instead should choose to have small gatherings with members of their bubble in outdoor areas rather than indoors. Moylan said she encourages students to take advantage of the outdoors as the weather gets warmer in Ithaca, but students should still be cautious of COVID-19 guidelines as students can still potentially spread COVID-19 even when vaccinated.

As of April 16, 39.6% of New Yorkers have received the first vaccine dose, and 26.4% have received both doses. Ithaca College currently has six active cases — four residential students and two staff members. 

Testing at Ithaca College is done through a saliva self-collection process. Samples can be dropped off by 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday at the Athletics and Events Center, the Campus Center and Terrace 13. Symptomatic members of the campus community cannot access campus and should seek testing at The Shops at Ithaca Mall sampling site, the downtown sampling site or the Cayuga Medical Center testing site.

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About the Contributor
Caitlin Holtzman
Caitlin Holtzman, Editor in Chief
Caitlin Holtzman was The Ithacan's editor in chief in 2022-23
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