Ithaca College will require all students to complete COVID-19 testing prior to the start of the fall semester.
In a July 27 email sent to the campus community, Samm Swarts, assistant director of Emergency Preparedness and Response, provided updates for COVID-19 procedures and policies for the upcoming semester.
All students will be required to be tested for COVID-19 before arriving on campus for move-in. Students can elect to take a PCR test, which they will need to complete within 72 hours of returning to campus, or an antigen test, which will need to be completed within 24 hours of returning. During check-in prior to move-in, students will be required to show proof of a negative test result, which could be from a printed or electronic lab result, pictures or physical copy of test kits that show a clear result.
For students who are unable to get a test before arrival, testing will be available during the move-in process. Off-campus students do not need to go through the check-in process but are still required to test and email their results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The college no longer requires surveillance testing for any individuals, including those that are unvaccinated. Campus community members who experience COVID-19 symptoms during the semester can receive a free, rapid antigen test at Boothroyd Hall.
PCR testing is no longer offered on campus and will only be accessible at the Cayuga Heath testing site at the Shops at Ithaca Mall or local urgent care centers.
All incoming students are required to be fully vaccinated for the upcoming academic year. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received a second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, like Moderna or Pfizer, or two weeks after receiving a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Individuals seeking medical or religious exemptions from the vaccine must submit a form to the college.
The college strongly encourages faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19, although it is not required. Students, faculty and staff are required to stay up to date on booster shots.
The college does not require masks across most of campuses. Face coverings are required in health care settings, including Hammond Health Center, PT and OT labs and Physician Assistant Program locations.
“We continue to encourage that individuals wear face coverings based on personal comfort levels,” Swarts said in the email.
Boothroyd Hall will now serve as the quarantine and isolation center for students in the fall semester instead of Emerson Hall. Any residential student who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate in Boothroyd, while any unvaccinated students who are deemed a close contact of a known positive case must quarantine in Boothroyd. The college will continue to offer wrap-around care to any students in quarantine or isolation.
Swarts said in the email that the college is closely monitoring the spread of monkeypox. Tompkins County recently identified its first case of monkeypox July 19. According to the New York State Health Department, there are 1,168 cases of monkeypox in the state as of July 26.
“Policies and procedures are currently being developed and will be shared with the campus community when available,” Swarts said. “Many of the things outlined above will mirror the look and feel of policies that we had in the Spring 2022 semester. While we are still being cautious for the upcoming semester, I am extremely hopeful for a positive semester ahead.”