Fordham Lifts Mask Restrictions for Fall Semester

Vaccinated students, faculty and staff will no longer have to wear masks on campus

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JILL RICE

Fordham has stated that fully vaccinated students and employees are no longer required to wear masks indoors or outdoors on both campuses, following state and national guidelines.

The state of New York lifted several COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, June 15. In accordance with these changes and the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, Fordham no longer requires vaccinated students, faculty and staff to wear masks indoors or outdoors. 

According to a June 18 email from Marco A. Valera, vice president for administration and COVID-19 coordinator, Fordham is planning on returning to a full capacity campus, with all interior spaces no longer requiring social distancing. 

“I think it’s a bit ridiculous,” Alana Ramsammy, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’22, said. “Of course I’m ready for all of this to be over but, I’d still like some precaution – especially coming from out of state… I’d just like for us to still regard this as a serious event!” 

Casey Schwarz, FCLC ’24, felt similarly: “It’s just scary to think about how fast we all had to adapt to our reality which is covid so to take back what we had to learn so quickly seems sudden.

“Although, I think it is a necessary step to take in the progression of things. It may take some getting used (to, just) like how it did initially,” she added.

In compliance with campus policy, faculty and staff will also be required to be fully vaccinated by August 1 in order to return to campus. Like students, faculty and staff have the option to request a vaccine exemption for medical or religious reasons. 

However, all approved unvaccinated individuals “must continue to wear masks indoors and maintain social distancing, if possible, consistent with their activities.” They will also be required to be tested weekly with rapid antigen tests, rather than the PCR tests that Fordham used for the 2020-21 school year. 

Asymptomatic individuals traveling from another country or U.S. state are no longer required to test or quarantine according to the CDC and New York state guidelines.

All faculty, students and staff, no matter their vaccination status, are still expected to be registered with VitalCheck so that the university can monitor COVID-19 cases. Vaccinated students must upload their vaccination records in order to begin receiving daily notifications from VitalCheck.

Asymptomatic individuals traveling from another country or U.S. state are no longer required to test or quarantine according to the CDC and New York state guidelines. International students may be vaccinated with FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccines and must fill out a Google Form. “Students living overseas who are not vaccinated before they arrive in the U.S. will be required to notify Fordham in advance so they can be vaccinated upon arrival,” the email read. 

University-sponsored travel will resume, which includes academic or business-related trips that are administered by Fordham. Regardless of vaccination status, travelers must wear masks on all forms of transportation per CDC guidelines. International travel, such as study abroad, will require faculty, staff and students to seek approval from their dean or vice president. 

Both campuses will remain closed to non-Fordham individuals for the fall semester, with some exceptions for approved vendors and event attendees, as well as Fordham Prep students and staff.