Keeping up with the latest pandemic recommendations and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be confusing and even stressful.
The scientific understanding continues to develop but new variants challenge what we think we knew about the coronavirus outbreak. Adelphi University continues to follow CDC best practices and strives to ensure that the latest information is available to the whole campus community through the COVID-19 Dashboard, linked at the top of the Adelphi website.
But knowing what to expect—and what’s expected of you—can still be difficult. Newly appointed Vice President of University Wellness, Safety and Administration Gene Palma took some time from his schedule to address some of the questions that might arise as we prepare to return for the fall semester.
Do students have to be vaccinated before going to class?
We are currently requiring all students to be fully vaccinated before returning to Adelphi for the start of the fall semester. Adelphi has continued to monitor the data regarding the spread of COVID-19. Our decision is based on the currently rising number of cases and variants, scientific evidence that supports the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, and helping prevent further spread of the virus. All students were required to upload their proof of vaccination to the Health Portal by August 11, 2021, unless granted an exception by University Health Services.
Data confirmed by K.C. Rondello, MD, University epidemiologist, clinical associate professor and special adviser to the Office of University Health and Wellness, shows that 97 percent of all hospital admissions from COVID-19 are among unvaccinated persons. Scientific evidence shows the benefits of vaccination and supports the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines to protect those who are vaccinated, and to help prevent further spread of the virus. Adelphi is committed to following the science and maintaining a learning environment that’s safe for everyone.
Can students still take classes online?
Adelphi offered a variety of online course options even before the 2020 lockdown. Not all classes are available remotely, though. The best thing to do is contact your professor directly and see if virtual sessions are an option or if arrangements can be made.
Do students have to wear masks on campus?
With new case numbers again on the rise, Adelphi has reinstated its masking mandate. All individuals must wear an acceptable face covering or mask while on campus. This policy applies to everyone at the Garden City campus and the Manhattan, Hudson Valley and Hauppauge centers, as well as to anyone using the Panther Shuttle transportation.
This decision to reinstate the mask requirement was based on new CDC recommendations to mitigate the transmission of the Delta variant, even among vaccinated individuals. Over the summer, areas surrounding Adelphi locations continued to climb to “substantial” and “high” levels of risk. Scientific data shows that fully vaccinated individuals can become infected with the Delta variant and unknowingly spread the virus while asymptomatic.
How long is the mask requirement in effect?
As the public health situation evolves, we will amend our protocols as appropriate. Adelphi continues to follow the advice of public health experts and all orders and requirements of New York state. Should transmission levels change in our region, we will update our mask policy again. The University continues to provide masks free of charge to anyone who needs one at any of these Adelphi mask pickup locations.
As was the case last year, there are special environments and instances when you can take your mask off. They include outdoors when socially distanced, in your residence hall room or when you’re actively eating or drinking. Following National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) guidelines, student-athletes are not required to wear masks while training or competing, but masks are required for all other in-person interaction, including team travel.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and evolving, Adelphi’s priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our community, coupled with our commitment to a world-class academic experience. We are looking forward to a full and safe return to in-person instruction, activities and campus life experiences for the Fall semester. Anyone who has questions about COVID-19 protocols is welcome to contact our Health and Wellness team for guidance.