New York State continues to reduce public health guidelines while Cornell rules remain virtually unchanged

New York State continues to reduce public health guidelines while Cornell rules remain virtually unchanged

As of June 1, over a month after the CDC decided that mask wearing outdoors was no longer required, the University announced that all faculty and staff members no longer have to wear face coverings outdoors on campus. Indoors, unvaccinated individuals must continue to mask up.  Leaderboard 2 The University no longer requires vaccinated staff members to receive surveillance tests, although they must continue to complete the Daily Check each day. 

After a full school year of the entire campus wearing masks and adhering to physical distancing, despite laxer CDC guidelines in early April, the University adapted its policies on June 1 to align more closely, but not completely, with more lenient CDC guidelines.  “It does make sense to start with a smaller group, older, perhaps known to be on extreme cautiousness in how they treat the pandemic,” Minca wrote in a statement to the Sun. “Also, this group –– for the most part –– lives locally in the Ithaca area, which has always had a low number of cases.”

“I do emphasize that relaxation should be gradual, and potential exposure (e.g. through travel) to variants of concern will become an issue worth monitoring,” Minca wrote.  Prof. Andreea Minca, operations research and information engineering, explained the public health benefits of lowering requirements only for faculty and staff before extending those policies to the entire community. 

The University amended public health requirements for Ithaca-based students on June 1 as well. In early May, the CDC lifted indoor mask-wearing requirements, but vaccinated students must continue to mask up in classrooms and residence hall common areas. They must also maintain physical distance in campus classrooms or dining halls. However, vaccinated students may engage in labs and outdoor gatherings without masks. Similar to vaccinated faculty, they must complete the Daily Check, but the University does not require their participation in surveillance testing.  As of June 13, 16,170 students and 9,736 faculty and staff members — 86 percent of the on-campus population — had reported their vaccinated status according to the COVID-19 dashboard. 

Newsletter Signup In order to be considered “vaccinated,” faculty and staff members must have reached the required two week point since their concluding dose and upload proof of their vaccination to the Daily Check website. 

The News Highlights

  • New York State continues to reduce public health guidelines while Cornell rules remain virtually unchanged
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