Ithaca College is relaxing some COVID-19-related restrictions due to a low positivity rate on campus.
Students were notified of the changes in an email sent Feb. 17 from Rosanna Ferro, vice president of the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, and Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty. There were approximately 3,900 on- and off-campus students who moved in between Jan. 7 and Feb. 14, according to the email. There were only 23 positive cases upon arrival during that time period, which is a positivity rate of .58%. During the same period, nine cases were found through surveillance testing. Only one of those nine occurred after the start of in-person classes.
Students are required to get tested twice a week through a saliva self-collection process on a recommended schedule of either Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays.
As of Feb. 18, there are four active cases at the college — one residential student, two staff members and one faculty member. There are three students in public health quarantine and isolation and four students in travel advisory quarantine.
As part of the IC Community Agreement, students are not able to visit other residence halls and other rooms within their residence hall. As long as cases remain low, students will be allowed to visit other rooms on their floor starting March 1. There is a limit of one guest per resident, and students should talk with their roommate about if they are comfortable letting others into their room.
When visiting other rooms, students should remain 6 feet apart and wear a mask.
Students will be allowed to visit rooms on different floors of their residence hall starting March 15. Guidelines are subject to change based on the positivity rate on campus, according to the email.
Across campus, there are 19 spaces available for students to use, as long as students stay 6 feet apart.
Club and intramural sports will begin a phased start period that will focus on individualized and pods of activity, according to the email. The Fitness Center also has opportunities for in-person activities, and students can swim in the pool in the Athletics and Events Center.
The college is also introducing Public Health Ambassadors who will be around campus to help ensure students follow public health guidelines as well as help with peer-to-peer education.