- Beginning Friday, March 4, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, will not be required to wear face coverings in indoor locations unless clearly marked and communicated otherwise. This new policy is applicable to students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors.
- Locations that will still REQUIRE face coverings include Emerson Hall, Hammond Health Center, and health professions clinics.
- Face coverings in classroom settings will be left up to the discretion of the faculty member. It is recommended that faculty members provide clear guidance to students on their classroom's face covering policy as soon as possible.
- Students are still expected to complete a COVID-19 test prior to their return to campus following Spring Break.
Dear Ithaca College Community,
I share this message with you today to provide an update to Ithaca College’s face covering policy in light of the Tompkins County Health Department's (TCHD) recent announcement on Monday, February 28, that it has lifted its mask advisory for the greater Ithaca area. Due to this new guidance, in consultation with the senior leadership team, I am announcing that Ithaca College is modifying the current face covering policy to be consistent with TCHD guidance.
Effective Friday, March 4, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, WILL NOT BE REQUIRED to wear face coverings in any indoor spaces unless clearly marked and communicated otherwise. This guidance applies to students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors.
Please be advised that face coverings will still be required in health care settings. Some locations where face coverings will still be required on campus include Emerson Residence Hall, Hammond Health Center, and our health professions clinics.
Additionally, some faculty and some staff who are charged with oversight of student activities (such as athletic coaches) may choose to require face coverings in their classrooms and/or areas of oversight (this requirement should be consistent for faculty, staff, and students in the space). I recommend that those who choose to impose such a requirement provide clear guidance to students on face covering expectations as soon as possible. Those who plan to maintain a face covering requirement in their area of oversight should communicate this with clearly marked signage.
Students are still expected to complete a COVID-19 test prior to their return to campus after Spring Break, in accordance with the previous message shared on Thursday, February 24.
While this new guidance is encouraging and welcomed news for many, I would like to recognize that this update might also spur some anxiety as well. This change will once again require us to recalibrate as a campus community and be supportive of differing tolerance for the risks associated with COVID-19. There are many members of our campus community who are ready to remove their face coverings, but there are also many who may not be ready just yet to give them up and will use them in their daily activities. Consistent with TCHD policy, I note that the use of face coverings, in combination with vaccination and a booster dose, remains recommended as a highly effective strategy to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
I commend the efforts of our campus community in helping us maintain Green: Lower Risk operating status thus far this semester. However, let me be clear, if positive COVID-19 case numbers rise dramatically and there is significant evidence of higher levels of community transmission, face-covering mandates and modifications to our operating status may become necessary again, regardless of TCHD guidance for elsewhere in the local community. I urge our IC community to continue remaining vigilant and committed to responsible behaviors and good public health practices that we know work!
Assistant Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response