As states, school districts and universities across the country begin to roll back indoor mask mandates, Ithaca College is following suit. On Tuesday, Ithaca College announced that on Friday it would allow all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to forgo face coverings in indoor locations unless told otherwise by I.C. officials.
On Feb. 27, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.) announced the end of New York State’s mask mandate in schools starting March 2. The CDC has also relaxed mask guidelines in areas with low to medium risk of COVID-19.
In a statement to the campus community, Ithaca College assistant director of emergency preparedness and response Samm Swarts said that the mask policy was updated to reflect changes in guidance by the Tompkins County Health Department, which announced on Monday, Feb. 28 that the indoor mask advisory in the greater Ithaca area would be lifted.
Swarts’ statement noted that masks would still be required in certain areas, including the Hammond Health Center, and that masking in classrooms would be up to the discretion of faculty members. Additionally, Ithaca College students will still be required to complete a COVID-19 test prior to returning from Spring Break.
In a statement to The Sun, Provost Michael Kotlikoff said that Cornell will continue to base masking policy on scientific criteria and risk factors that are specific to the Cornell community.
“We expect to obtain more data about the prevalence of symptomatic infections on campus following re-entry testing of our student population after the February break,” Kotlikoff wrote in a statement to The Sun. “We plan to reassess our mask policy in mid-March using [this] data, as well as estimates of the risk of infection in various university activities if the mandatory indoor mask policy is modified.”