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ITHACA, NY -- Ithaca College has announced its spring semester will begin with online instruction for the week of Jan. 24-28, and move-in for residential students will be extended an additional week and will take place in phases from Jan. 18-30. This is in response to the increase of COVID cases both locally and around the country.

Residential students were notified on Jan. 10 with their move-in date and time, and all students, regardless of whether or not they’re living on campus, are required to go through check in procedures on campus during the move-in period. Students will have to show proof of a negative test (PCR test preferred, but antigen tests accepted) taken prior to arrival at check-in. Students will also need to take a rapid antigen test at arrival check-in. The PCR test must be performed by a licensed pharmacy or testing site within 72 hours of arrival, and the rapid antigen test must be performed by a licensed pharmacy or testing site within 24 hours of arrival.

If a residential student tests positive for COVID-19 at arrival testing, they will be encouraged to return home to their permanent residence to complete their mandatory isolation period if they are reasonably able to do so. The college will then find a new move-in time once their isolation period has ended. Students who are not able to return home will be housed in Emerson Hall, or other suitable on-campus locations and provided full care during their isolation period.

Off-campus students who test positive at arrival testing will complete isolation at their off-campus residence and must refrain from accessing campus until their isolation period has ended.

The college is also discouraging anyone who is in the midst of an isolation period due to a positive COVID-19 test from returning to campus before their isolation is up.

All students, unless they have received a previously approved exemption, are required to receive a COVID-19 booster and are encouraged to do it before returning to campus. The college noted that New York state guidance only considers individuals fully vaccinated if they have completed both the original vaccine series and a booster dose if eligible. This means if you are not fully vaccinated by the state’s standards and are identified as a close contact of a positive case, you will have to quarantine.

When the school opens for the semester it will be operating at level yellow, which means low-to-moderate risk. This allows for much to remain intact, including face-to-face instruction beginning Jan. 31, intercollegiate athletics and normal operations for campus resources and facilities. Limitations include restrictions on non-academic social functions and discouraging visitation between residence hall communities.

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