The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced April 27 that fully vaccinated people are not required to wear masks outdoors except in crowded settings and venues. However, mask requirements at Ithaca College will not change.
Christina Moylan, director of public health emergency preparedness, said the college will not be making any changes to its mask guidelines for the remainder of the spring semester. The CDC sets national guidelines, but the college is bound by the New York State Forward Higher Education COVID Guidelines, Moylan said. These guidelines do not make any exceptions for vaccinated individuals concerning face coverings.
“The CDC put parameters around unmasking and vaccination that are challenging to meet on a college campus where not everyone is vaccinated, so removing our face coverings would be premature at this time,” she said via email. “We greatly appreciate everyone continuing to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status.”
The college announced in an email April 7 that vaccinations will be required for all students and faculty for the Fall 2021 semester. Moylan said all students should be vaccinated to protect their health and the health of others. The college currently still has a high percentage of unvaccinated students on campus, she said.
Moylan said the definition of fully vaccinated is very important, as it includes a 14–day period after a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 14 days after a one-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Students and faculty who have only received their first dose should keep their masks on, even when outside.