SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — Beginning April 19, Syracuse University is reinstituting a mask policy and transitioning to COVID level “blue” for the final four weeks of the semester. J. Michael Haynie—the school’s Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation wrote in a letter to students and faculty in part:

“Our campus is beginning to experience an uptick in COVID cases, a trend that is consistent with what is occurring across the country and here in Onondaga County. As we approach the end of year activities, including final projects and exams, and Commencement exercises, it is important that we take reasonable action to minimize the impact of COVID infections on academic outcomes and experiences.”

Vaccinated and boosted students, faculty and staff will have to wear a mask when in class and during non-academic events indoors on campus. All vaccine-exempt students, faculty, and staff will have to wear a mask at all times on campus. Masks outdoors are recommended for those who can’t socially distance, and required for the unvaccinated.

Haynie cited the new COVID subvariants as a reason for the decision and for the uptick in cases on campus.

SU also listed the best way to protect yourself and those around you is to continue following good public health practices: 

  • Get tested! Free, on-demand testing continues to be available to all asymptomatic students, faculty, staff, and families at Kimmel Dining Hall. To review hours of operation, please visit the Stay Safe testing webpage
  • Monitor for symptoms: If you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms, stay home. Do not report to work or attend class. For students feeling ill, call (do not physically visit) Barnes Center Health Care at 315.443.8000. Please do not visit the Barnes Center until you’ve spoken with a team member there by phone. Faculty and staff experiencing COVID-like symptoms should stay home and contact their primary care physician. 
  • Know what to do if you test positive: If you are uncertain about what steps you should take if you come down with COVID, please visit the Stay Safe website to review our step-by-step response checklists.