Updated COVID Policies for Spring 2022

As of 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 18th, masks are no longer required on the Alfred University campus with only a few exceptions. For more information on this new guidance, please read our Masking FAQs.

Masking FAQs

How is the virus spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).

What are the best practices to protect against contracting or spreading COVID-19?

The best protection against contracting or spreading COVID-19 is by wearing a well-fitting mask whenever you are or are likely to be within 6 feet others. The Centers for Disease Control recommends N95 or KN95 masks because they offer the greatest degree of protection against COVID.

As with many health risks, frequent handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

What are Alfred University’s COVID requirements and policies based on?

Alfred University follows the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) regularly updated guidance in determining the safest practices to require or recommend. In addition, the State of New York Department of Health (NYDOH) regularly issues guidance and mandates that state organizations must follow.  NYDOH COVID pages can be found at health.ny.gov.

COVID symptoms

COVID symptoms include the following: headache, cough, muscle or joint aches, elevated temperature, or other flu-like symptoms. If you experience an onset of any of these, students should call the Wellness Center (607-871-2400), and employees should administer a home test, call their private health provider or visit an urgent care facility.


All students who are present on campus at any time during the week for classes or participating in any Alfred University-sponsored activities must have a full series of vaccinations (1 Johnson & Johnson vaccine or 2 Moderna or Pfizer vaccines), unless an exemption on medical grounds or strongly held religious beliefs is applied for and approved by the Wellness Center. 

All employees (faculty or staff members) are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated, and to get a booster when eligible.


The Centers for Disease Control strongly recommends getting a booster shot following a full series of vaccines and is currently considering a change in its guidance referring to “fully vaccinated” to include receipt of a booster. Research study data suggests a booster increases resistance to serious cases of COVID (ones which results in hospitalization and/or death).  We strongly encourage students, staff and faculty to get a COVID booster when eligible. 

Mask use on campus

Students, staff and faculty are no longer required to wear masks on campus except in the following locations:

  • The Wellness Center
  • The Athletic Training Room
  • The COVID testing site
  • In any class in which the instructor requires masks to be worn while in that class

For those who elect to continue to wear masks, the University will continue to provide replacement masks at Herrick or Scholes library.

Are visitors to campus required to wear masks?

Visitors to campus do not have to wear a mask during their visit.

Are students required to be vaccinated to attend Alfred University?

All students who attend classes on campus are required to be vaccinated, or to have been approved by the Wellness Center for an exemption. Vaccines accepted are the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines (2 doses) and Johnson and Johnson vaccine (1 dose). Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged as well to be vaccinated and to get a booster when eligible. Students receiving a vaccination outside of an Alfred University vaccine clinic must upload a scan or photo of their vaccine cards to our HealthDocs system.

Vaccines are available at these locations.

What is contact tracing?

Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have been in close contact with anyone that has tested positive for COVID. Potentially exposed contacts who are not fully vaccinated and boosted are required to quarantine in a residence hall allocated for quarantine or at home following exposure, and to self-monitor their symptoms. 

Contact tracing among students for COVID-19 typically involves:

  • Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone with whom they had close contact during the time they may have been infectious,
  • Notifying contacts of their potential exposure,
  • Referring contacts for testing,
  • Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and
  • Connecting contacts with services they might need during the self-quarantine period.

Contact tracing during the semester

The Wellness Center will conduct contact tracing related to any student that tests positive during the semester.  Those who are identified as having been in contact with a positive student will be required to follow the quarantine procedure outlined above.

The Wellness Center does not perform contact tracing for faculty and staff at Alfred University.  All contact tracing for faculty and staff is performed by the local health department in which the member resides.   

Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?

For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.

When are individuals required to isolate or be quarantined?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID must isolate for 5 days following receipt of the test result. Following the 5th full day of isolation, if symptoms are no longer present the individual may be released from isolation but must wear a mask for at least 5 days following release.

Those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive and have not had a full vaccine series and a booster must quarantine for 5 days. Those who have had a full vaccine series and a booster are not required to quarantine but should check for symptoms after exposure.

Alfred University policies related to isolation and quarantine are based on guidance issued by the State of New York Department of Health and by the local (Allegany County) health department.

Daily health screenings

Daily health screenings are no longer required for students, staff and faculty.  Students who experience COVID or flu-like symptoms should call the Wellness Center for a consultation over the phone regarding their symptoms.

Faculty and staff who test positive for COVID must report the test results to Mark Guinan in the Human Resources department.


Mask use is no longer required by athletes. 

Athletes who are fully vaccinated are not required to undergo COVID testing regardless of their booster status. Athletes who have not received a full vaccine series or who have a vaccine exemption must undergo COVID testing 3 times per week, and within 48 hours of each away competition. Any athlete testing positive is required to isolate for at least 5 days. Any athlete who has a full series of vaccines but not a booster is required to quarantine for at least 5 days following close contact with someone who tests positive.

COVID dashboard

The Alfred University COVID Dashboard is updated each weekday, and on weekends if student testing is conducted or employee positives are reported.

Flu vaccines

From time to time, Alfred University Wellness Center administers flu vaccine clinics. All students are encouraged to get a flu shot annually where they live or to take advantage of the Wellness Center clinics when available.

Sanctions process

Sanctions for noncompliance with the requirements described above are contained in links on the Student Policies page on MyAU.

  • Are masks still required on campus?
    • As of 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 18th, masks are no longer required on the Alfred University campus with 4 exceptions:
      • The Wellness Center
      • The Athletic Training Room
      • The COVID test site where weekly testing is administered for vaccine exempt students
      • During the class time of a class in which the instructor has specified that masks are required
  • Is it possible we may have to wear masks before the semester ends?
    • We will continue to monitor applicable guidance and transmission rates for Allegany County and the Alfred University campus environment
  • What conditions will determine whether mask use is required again between now and the end of the semester?
    • Applicable guidance and/or a mandate from New York State or the Allegany County Departments of Health recommending or requiring resumption of mask use
    • A prolonged “spike” in student COVID cases on campus; the COVID Team is developing recommendations for the minimum length of time and the threshold number of cases that would result in resumption of use
  • Will anyone who wants to wear a mask on campus be able to do so?
    • We encourage anyone who feels safer wearing a mask to continue to do so and we support their choice
  • Are campus guests still required to wear a mask while on campus?
    • Campus guests will not have to wear masks while on campus
  • Can instructors establish a mask policy for their own classrooms?
    • Yes, with support from the Alfred University Administration
  • Will athletes continue to be tested?
    • Yes, consistent with conference policies, unvaccinated athletes will continue to be tested prior to competitions or in response to onset of COVID symptoms
  • Will surveillance testing be implemented?
    • Surveillance testing will not be resumed; however, if the rate of COVID transmission “spikes” before the semester ends, the Cabinet will consider whether remedial action is needed to address the condition
  • Can instructors be given the tools needed to open windows in buildings like Olin (where windows are typically kept shut)?
    • Facilities will be available to help improve ventilation in those rooms where windows cannot be opened
  • Will air filtration systems be available in rooms with poor ventilation?
    • Need input from Facilities
  • Will unvaccinated students continue to be tested?
    • Yes, mandatory weekly testing for unvaccinated students will continue
  • Will isolation measures be continued for those who test positive and quarantine measures continue for those identified through contact tracing?
    • Yes, however those who are fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine following exposure to someone testing positive, based on current guidance from the CDC, New York State and the Allegany County Department of Health
  • The University has provided KN95 masks during the semester; will it continue to do so for those who continue to wear masks?
    • Yes, while our current supply lasts

Related Information

COVID-19 Dashboard

This COVID-19 dashboard is used to help better assess current campus practices & protocols and how to modify them if needed to...

Testing & Vaccination Sites

A list of area providers offering various options for same-day and non-rapid coronavirus testing as well as vaccinations is available for students.