State University of New York Chancellor Jim Malatras has announced SUNY campuses will adopt the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to ease outdoor mask requirements for vaccinated individuals.

According to a SUNY media release, students, faculty and staff on SUNY’s campuses who are fully vaccinated (two weeks following the final dose of any vaccine regimen) may gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues. The guidance is effective immediately for the final weeks of the spring semester and any upcoming summer classes on campus.

People who are not yet fully vaccinated must continue to mask up on campus, with the following exceptions:

• In private residential or personal spaces;

• When eating meals on campus while seated and social distancing is appropriately enforced;

• When by themselves.

Masking is still required for all classroom settings and commencements.

As more vaccination options are made available, SUNY is urging students to get vaccinated so that campuses may lift restrictions for more students this fall. SUNY has launched a #DoTheRightThing campaign for students on the updated guidance, as well as to "reaffirm health and safety protocols," the release said.

"The last 14 months have been an all-hands-on-deck effort to control the spread of COVID, including weekly testing, masks, and limited in-person contact with classmates, professors, and friends," Malatras said. "With vaccination rates increasing, easing mask requirements outdoors represents a first step toward restoring more normalcy on our campuses."

"SUNY campuses have been or are currently conducting exit COVID testing for the semester so students may go home knowing that they won’t be bringing the virus with them," the release said.

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