College Lifts Indoor Mask Requirement On Campus

unmasking banner announcement
Student unmasks

Signaling a turning point in pandemic management on campus, SUNY Oneonta has lifted most indoor mask restrictions, effective Saturday, March 26. 

Masks are welcomed and encouraged on campus but are no longer required in the majority of indoor spaces for students, employees, or visitors, including those attending meetings, events or athletic competitions, or visiting storefronts like Starbucks. 

President Alberto Cardelle indicated that a review of local and campus conditions over the past several weeks signified that most indoor mask restrictions could safely be lifted. The college purposefully waited to alter the mask guidance, and was among the last SUNY institutions to do so, to ensure careful attention and consideration was given to all circumstances and stakeholders. The college had its spring break from March 14-18 and intentionally sustained the indoor mask rule for the full week after returning.

“Historically, we have experienced a slight increase in positive cases when we reconvene after a break, so we decided to exercise an abundance of caution related to unmasking,” President Cardelle said.

“However, testing this week returned good results, and our 14-day positivity rate continues to remain below one percent. With the overwhelming majority of our campus population vaccinated and over 93% of eligible students having received their boosters, we are now in a place where we can transition to focusing on long-term COVID management and operationalizing our response accordingly.”

Though most mask restrictions have been lifted, masks will still be required on campus in the Counseling, Health and Wellness Center, COVID testing center, and during days 6-10 after leaving isolation for anyone who may test positive for COVID. 

The college has made it clear that masks are welcome on campus, and KN95, cloth and surgical masks are readily available to students and employees for free. Messaging to the college community reminds everyone to continue to act with kindness and respect each other’s choices regarding mask-wearing.

The presence of COVID on campus will continue to be monitored through surveillance testing, symptomatic testing, and wastewater monitoring, and the college will adjust its COVID guidance as necessary depending on the results.

“I am proud of how conscientious the students and employees have been in regard to our health and safety protocol, and as a result we are taking a big step toward life on campus with fewer pandemic restrictions,” said President Cardelle.

“As we transition to this new phase of the pandemic, we will continue to work with our city and county partners in both monitoring and managing COVID-19 in the greater Oneonta community.”

Back to top