Dear Students, Families, Supporters, Faculty and Staff:
With the steep increase in the number of new positive COVID-19 cases in recent days being reported nationally as well as here in Tompkins County, effective immediately, Ithaca College is reinstituting a mandatory face covering policy for all indoor campus spaces for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Data released by the county health department includes eight new positive cases among the IC student body. All eight students reside off campus.
Individuals are not required to wear a face covering indoors when in an office or workspace alone, in a residence hall room or apartment with roommates, or when seated in a designated dining area while eating and/or drinking (face coverings should be replaced immediately when finished).
Campus signage will reflect the reinstatement of the face covering policy and the college has relaunched its COVID Dashboard with weekly updates to keep the community informed on the status of active and recovered cases. Physical distancing protocols remain required for all unvaccinated individuals and are strongly encouraged, when possible, for all other individuals to ensure the continued health and well-being of our campus and local communities.
At this time, the college is not altering its instruction and residency plans for the fall semester.
The college continues to strongly encourage individuals, regardless of age, to take immediate action to be vaccinated. Vaccination will significantly reduce your risk for developing severe illness. The vaccine webpage is a great place to start to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, how to secure a vaccine near you with or without a prior appointment, as well as information on how to submit your completed COVID-19 vaccine documentation to Ithaca College. Any unvaccinated individual must continue to follow enhanced COVID protocols, including testing, face covering, and physical distancing.
Although we do not anticipate any changes to our campus opening plans for the fall semester, this rise in cases is a stark reminder of our collective responsibility to help ensure a vibrant and engaging community this year. This applies to the choices that we make about our behaviors both on and off campus. In addition, widespread participation in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by members of our campus community continues to be the best way to mitigate the most severe impacts of the pandemic.
We will continue to monitor the local situation, as informed by state and federal guidelines, and may consider implementing further precautionary protocols, as needed. The health and safety of our students, employees, and neighbors is our top priority. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us meet this objective.
La Jerne Terry Cornish
Provost and Executive Vice President
Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life
Vice President for Human Resources and Planning
Assistant Director for Emergency Preparedness and Response