Salisbury University students will be required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot to live in campus residence halls and University Park Apartments during the spring semester, according to a recent Stay Informed email.
On-campus residents, as well as those living in UP, must receive their booster shot prior to moving in for the spring semester or within two weeks after becoming eligible, per the email.
The new booster requirement will not apply to students who previously received exemptions to the University System of Maryland’s vaccination mandate.
The USM, which issued the requirement for all its institutions in a press release Friday, cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicating reduced COVID-19 case severity from booster shots to combat potential spread of the virus in residence halls.
“We recognize that individuals in congregate housing are at the greatest risk for contracting the coronavirus, particularly the highly transmissible omicron variant,” the press release read.
SU previously mandated all students and employees to receive a booster shot or test twice-weekly, once eligible, to maintain access to campus facilities in the spring, including classrooms.
Students, faculty and staff will also need to be tested on their first day returning to campus to maintain access, which may be scheduled here.
Those without a return test on file will be restricted from all SU academic and residential buildings beginning Monday.
All campus community members are “strongly encouraged” to use a take-home COVID-19 test kit before arriving to campus in addition to the mandated return test, according to the email.
Students, faculty and staff are also now required to wear KN95 masks inside all classrooms and instructional settings as SU tightens its campus-wide face mask mandate.
Despite indications of a potential relaxation of the policy prior to winter break, face masks will continue to be required inside all university facilities through the winter semester and into the spring, with KN95 masks “strongly encouraged at all times,” per the email.
Free KN95 masks are available for pick up in the Great Hall of Holloway Hall every weekday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
University members will be limited to 10 free KN95 masks per person, with each intended to be “reusable for an extended period of time,” according to SU’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Resources.
KN95 masks must not be washed and should be discarded when dirty or damaged in accordance with CDC recommendations.
For more information on SU’s vaccination protocols or to view the latest university COVID-19 test results, visit https://www.salisbury.edu/coronavirus/testing-info.aspx.
By JAKOB TODD
Featured image courtesy of Ben Lausch.