BREAKING: Fordham Updates Return Protocol for the Beginning of the Spring Semester

As a part of the updated procedures for the return to campus in the spring, the university is modifying its protocol for indoor spaces and events



Fordham will not have spectators at athletic events until further notice. Food and drink are not allowed in classrooms or other study spaces such as the library.


Following a rise in COVID-19 cases in New York City alongside the surge of the omicron variant, Fordham announced updated protocols for the return of students, faculty and staff to campus after winter break in a Jan. 3 email from Vice President for Administration and COVID-19 Coordinator Marco Valera. 

Right before the end of the semester on Dec. 22, the university saw a spike in cases, with a high of 120 cases at the Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) campus and 239 at Fordham Rose Hill (FRH). Between Dec. 20 and Jan. 2, there were 48 cases at FLC and 131 at FRH. 

In the email, Valera said Fordham will be performing surveillance testing on campus until the positivity rate reaches below an acceptable level. This level is to be determined by the university’s epidemiologist and public health officials. The logistics for this surveillance testing is expected to be announced in the following weeks. 

Charlie Friedlander, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’22, believes that Fordham’s initiatives to provide testing for students is an effective strategy.

“If Fordham makes testing readily available and accessible to students then it’s a policy that makes sense,” he said.

“I’m glad they’re taking it seriously, but I’m not sure how realistic it is to expect that students don’t drink water in libraries.” Charlie Friedlander, FCLC ’22

Fordham also updated its policies for eating and drinking in spaces on campus. Eating or drinking will be prohibited at athletic events until further notice. Food and drink are not allowed in classrooms and instructional spaces such as libraries or laboratories. Throughout the month of January, eating and drinking will also not be permitted at any events or meetings. Additionally, the university canceled all indoor events scheduled for January where food or beverages were to be served.

In regard to attendance at sporting events and other outdoor activities, he feels that if social distancing is permissible, then spectators should be allowed. 

Friedlander acknowledged the administration’s mitigation efforts while also considering the effectiveness of certain protocols, such as prohibiting students from drinking water indoors.

“I’m glad they’re taking it seriously, but I’m not sure how realistic it is to expect that students don’t drink water in libraries,” he said. “Personally, I do really prefer in-person classes, but it feels like they should’ve just made the first two weeks or so online – especially if they’re expecting people to get boosters and regular testing.” 

Dining services will also be updated. Grab n’ go meals will be offered in addition to limited dining. Indoor dining will be available in spaces that permit adequate social distancing, and no indoor dining will be permitted in spaces that are too small. 

Valera said that the university will “consider expanding the use of other indoor spaces (such as lounge areas) for casual dining.”

Aside from dining, Fordham also announced changes for athletics. No spectators will be allowed to attend athletic competitions until further notice. Additionally, all fitness centers will be closed through Jan. 31. 

The email also restated the previously announced procedures of required testing upon return to campus. Tests must be taken no more than 72 hours before, or five days after return to campus. All those returning to campus are also required to receive their booster shots as soon as possible according to the guidelines. 

Testing and booster shots will be available on campus and can be scheduled on the COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Resources page

Public Safety will also be providing free KN95 masks to any individual who desires greater protection.