The Office of the President
March 4, 2022

Dear Members of the SUNY Oswego Campus Community,

Based on guidance from the CDC, the Oswego County Health Department, and the declining number of COVID-19 cases on campus and in the region, we have made the decision to make masking optional on our campus. Effective immediately, SUNY Oswego will be mask optional* for fully vaccinated and boosted individuals.

*This decision is subject to change at any time depending on evolving metrics and conditions. If infection numbers increase, we may reinstate the mask mandate on campus.

Beginning today, March 4, 2022, SUNY Oswego will no longer require those who are fully vaccinated and boosted to wear masks on campus except under certain circumstances as outlined below.

If you are fully vaccinated and have received your booster shot, you are no longer required to wear a mask, except if/when:

  • in an instructional setting when required by the instructor
  • in an office where required
  • in a healthcare setting (e.g., Mary Walker Health Center, COVID-19 testing center, on-campus vaccination clinic, etc.)
  • while riding on Centro buses and public transportation
  • in an indoor gathering of 5,000 or more individuals
  • you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In this case, you are required to wear a mask, get tested immediately and quarantine while you await results.
  • you are in quarantine or isolation (e.g., you will also be required to mask for five days after ending isolation, days 6-10).

If you are unvaccinated or if you have not yet received your booster (if eligible), you are responsible for continuing to wear masks on campus and should, where practicable, continue to observe social distancing in indoor settings, such as instructional space (e.g., classrooms, laboratories, studios).

Please Respect Others
It is important to remember that some members of the campus community (students, faculty, staff, and visitors/guests) may choose to continue wearing face masks for any number of reasons. For example, some people have found that masking reduces allergies. Other individuals value masking as a way to remain healthy and prevent other respiratory illnesses. Some may just feel more comfortable wearing a mask. In addition, a mask should not be interpreted as a symbol of vaccination status. Welcoming and accepting those who wear masks on campus is an important part of being a caring and respectful community.

In addition, and as mentioned in the bulleted list above, individual faculty retain the right to mandate masks in their classroom, and do not need to offer a justification, as discussion of such factors could raise privacy concerns. Reasons could include health concerns of faculty or students in the class, or those who have vulnerable family members. Please note that current penalties for violations of the mask mandate will apply to violations of classroom mask mandates and other areas where masks are required.

SUNY Oswego’s policies have evolved many times over the course of the pandemic. Making masks optional on our highly vaccinated, low-transmission campus is the next step toward learning to live with the virus. We will continue to require our students to be fully vaccinated and boosted and expect all unvaccinated individuals, including those who have received medical or religious exemptions, to continue to test weekly and those who are vaccinated but not yet boosted to test monthly.

It is thanks to your diligence and efforts to keep SUNY Oswego safe that we have reached this point. Please continue to be vigilant about COVID-19 safety on our campus and in the community as we continue to move #OswegoForward.

Thank you,

Mary C. Toale, Ed.D.
Officer in Charge

Office of the President
706 Culkin Hall
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