Ithaca College has released new summer COVID-19 guidelines, like loosened travel and visitor restrictions, changes to mask requirements for vaccinated students and new disinfecting policies.
In a May 7 email to the college community, Christina Moylan, director of public health emergency preparedness, and Ellyn Sellers-Selin, physician and medical services director for the Center for Counseling Health and Wellness, shared updates to the college’s COVID-19 guidelines.
Students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to campus in the fall, except if they have medical or religious exemptions. Beginning May 24, fully vaccinated students will not have to wear face coverings when outside. Face coverings will still be required indoors, except when eating or in students’ residence hall rooms or apartments, and unvaccinated students are required to wear face coverings when six feet of distance cannot be maintained. Students are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or two weeks after the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Students must submit their vaccination cards to the Hammond Health Center so their health badges can be updated to recognize vaccination
Starting May 24, fully vaccinated students will be allowed to travel outside of Tompkins County. For the spring semester, students were not allowed to leave the county, except in special circumstances that needed to be approved by the college. Students in the process of being vaccinated are not allowed to travel, and unvaccinated students without an exemption must get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to returning to Ithaca.
The visitor and guest policy within residence halls and apartments is also being relaxed for the summer. Only Ithaca College students will be allowed to travel between residence halls and apartments. Previously, students could only visit other rooms on their floors or in their building.
Also beginning May 24, the college will not be providing disinfecting wipes in all academic classrooms due to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance stating that surface transmission of COVID-19 is low. However, wipes will continue to be required in certain lab spaces, clinics and practice rooms. Hand sanitizer wall mounts will still be available across campus, and facilities will continue to disinfect high contact public areas, including residence hall bathrooms.
Starting May 17, students who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to participate in surveillance testing twice a week. Only students allowed to access campus over the summer will be allowed to participate in on-campus surveillance testing. Students must be tested on campus as the college will no longer be accepting test results from Cayuga Health System testing sites. During the summer, unvaccinated students must be tested weekly.
Testing will continue to be done through the saliva self-collection process. However, tests may only be dropped off on Tuesday and Thursday. Drop-off bins will be located in Campus Center or the Athletics and Events Center. Other drop-off bins will be closed during the summer.