SUNY adopts CDC guidance on outdoor masks requirements | Local News

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State University of New York campuses will adopt the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to ease outdoor mask requirements for vaccinated individuals.

Students, faculty, and staff on SUNY’s campuses who are fully vaccinated – two weeks following the final dose of any vaccine regimen – may now gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.

The guidance is effective immediately for the final weeks of the spring semester and any upcoming summer classes on campus, said SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras.

The updated guidance includes:

n People who are not yet fully vaccinated must continue to mask up on campus. Exceptions include in private residential or personal spaces, when eating meals on campus while seated and social distancing is appropriately enforced, and when by themselves.

n Masking is still required for all classroom settings and commencements.

As more vaccination options are made available across New York State, SUNY is urging students to get vaccinated so that campuses may lift restrictions for more students this fall.

“The last 14 months have been an all-hands-on-deck effort to control the spread of COVID, including weekly testing, masks, and limited in-person contact with classmates, professors, and friends,” Malatras said in a statement. “With vaccination rates increasing, easing mask requirements outdoors represents a first step toward restoring more normalcy on our campuses. As we set our sights on the fall semester — and reopening our campuses, we hope to be able to lift many more COVID-related restrictions in the weeks and months to come. The extent of those changes will depend largely on our students, faculty, and staff and their willingness to get the vaccine. We urge everyone in our SUNY community to take advantage of expanding opportunities to get the vaccine, so that we can continue to move toward a more normal fall semester.”

SUNY campuses have been or are currently conducting exit COVID testing for the semester so that students may go home knowing that they won’t be bringing the virus with them.

To date through the 2020-2021 academic year, SUNY has conducted nearly 2.2 million COVID-19 tests with a low positivity rate of 0.42 percent. The 7-day rolling average at SUNY is 0.18 percent versus 2 percent statewide.

At SUNY Geneseo, 56,099 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, with more than 55,000 of them pool or batch tested compared to 1,071 point of care tests and 12 PCR tests, according to SUNY’s COVID-19 tracker.

SUNY reports that SUNY Geneseo has had a total of 477 positive tests, and a positivity rate of 0.82 percent since the pandemic began. The 7-day rolling average is 0.42 percent.

Among students, SUNY Geneseo has had 403 positive tests, a rate of 1.09 percent since the pandemic began. The 7-day rolling average is 0.21 percent among students, according to the SUNY tracker.

There have been 6,169 tests conducted at Genesee Community College, with more than 5,600 of them pool or batch testing. The results have been 13 positives for a positivity rate of 0.21 percent, according to the SUNY tracker. GCC’s 7-day rolling average is 0.39 percent.

Among students, GCC has had 8 positive tests, a rate of 0.19 percent since the pandemic began. The 7-day rolling average is 0.40 percent among students, according to the SUNY tracker.

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