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Syracuse University to require mask wearing for academic instruction beginning Tuesday

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

Date:

Citing an uptick in COVID-19 cases on campus, Syracuse University on Tuesday announced it is again requiring mask wearing for all students, faculty, and staff during academic instruction in all venues on campus. (Photo credit: zoeyadvertising.com)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Beginning Tuesday, Syracuse University is again requiring masks at all times for all students, faculty and staff during academic instruction in classrooms, laboratories, libraries, and lecture venues.

Masks will also be required during non-academic events and in certain facilities, as determined by a public-health risk assessment. Syracuse University will communicate the exceptions “directly as appropriate,” to include the installation of signage as required.

The school also says masks are “strongly recommended” when indoors on campus, and outdoors in the presence of others.

That’s according to a letter to students, faculty, staff, and families from J. Michael Haynie, Syracuse vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation, which was posted Monday on the university’s news website.

The mask wearing is part of the protocols for what the school calls COVID level “Blue,” per the letter.

“With less than four weeks to go in the spring semester, 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,” Haynie wrote.

He went on to say that “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.”

Haynie said Syracuse University made its decision after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late last week expanded its recommendation for indoor masking from Onondaga and Oswego counties to include an additional eight counties across Central New York.

“This elevated masking recommendation stems from an increasing number of new COVID cases across the region, likely resulting from subvariants of the omicron strain of the COVID virus. These subvariants were first identified in Onondaga County several weeks ago,” Haynie wrote.

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