The University continuously monitors public health guidance about recommended protections that should be taken to guard against the spread of COVID-19. This week, Governor Cuomo announced that beginning Wednesday, May 19, 2021, New York State will adopt the CDC’s revised mask and social distancing guidance for fully vaccinated people. For many organizations, this change in guidance happened quickly without time to fully evaluate strategies for implementation, especially since the guidelines impact fully vaccinated individuals differently from those who are unvaccinated. St. John’s is evaluating the impact this new guidance will have to health and safety protocols that are in place on campus.
Effective immediately, fully vaccinated members of our campus community will no longer be required to wear face coverings while outdoors. In addition, during in-person meetings if all participants are fully vaccinated, face coverings are not required. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear face coverings while on campus, including while outdoors.
The decision to wear a face covering remains a personal choice and no one should be pressured, directly or indirectly, to remove their face coverings. Indeed, vaccinated individuals with compromised immune systems should consult with their physician before deciding to stop wearing a face covering.
We strongly encourage all members of our University community to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
We expect to announce other changes soon as we evaluate the best way to safely implement the new federal, state and local public health guidance. In the interim, we encourage everyone to continue to exercise appropriate vigilance in safeguarding against the spread of COVID-19.