Spring Guidance '22

March 25, 2022

Binghamton University is lifting the temporary mask mandate that has been in place during much of the pandemic, effective Saturday, March 26, 2022. This decision is based on low COVID-19 transmission rates in Broome County and campus. Those who wish to continue wearing masks in any setting are welcome to do so, but wearing a mask is no longer required in most campus locations.

However, staying in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), masks are still required on OCCT and BCCT buses and in healthcare facilities (e.g., Decker Student Health Services Center, University Counseling Center, surveillance and satellite testing sites).

Faculty in classrooms or staff in other areas may still ask students to wear masks during class or while in certain areas of campus as a courtesy. Students who choose not to wear a mask in these instances will not be penalized; however, we hope that they will comply with these requests as a way to show respect and compassion for individuals who may have underlying health issues or have vulnerable family members. It is a minor inconvenience that promotes the sense of community that has always characterized our University. 

The University will continue to monitor transmission rates and consult with public health officials if transmission rates rise to levels that require reconsideration of a mask mandate.

January 2022
Spring 2022 semester

Boosters

Any student with a regular on-campus presence, which includes off-campus students attending classes, is now required to have a booster shot by Jan. 20, or within 30 days of becoming eligible for a booster if that date falls after Jan. 20. To be eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot, it must be five months after completing the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine series or two months after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

  • For example, students moving in on Jan. 20 who completed the Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series on or before Aug. 20, 2021, or the J&J vaccine on or before Nov. 20, 2021, will be required to have a booster. 

The University is using current CDC guidelines to determine when an individual is eligible to be boosted following a COVID-19 infection. These guidelines state that individuals with known COVID-19 infection are eligible to get their booster after recovery from the acute illness, if symptoms were present, and when criteria to discontinue isolation has been met. Binghamton University considers acute symptoms to include fever/chills, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion/runny nose, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and diarrhea. 

Therefore, students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 will not be eligible to receive a booster at a New York state-run vaccination site until 10 days after their diagnosis; if this takes them beyond the Jan. 20 deadline, they will have 30 days after this date to get the booster.

The following reasons will not be accepted as reasons to avoid a vaccine/booster:

  • having had COVID-19 within the past 90 days
  • having a blood test that is positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies
  • "long-haul" COVID-19
  • persistent headache
  • persistent muscle/joint aches
  • persistent fatigue
  • inability to taste or smell

Students with a previous University-approved medical or religious exemption will not need to get a booster; however, they must follow the existing weekly testing protocols and University guidelines. Students already vaccinated are not eligible to apply for a medical or religious exemption to the booster requirement, with the sole exception being an individual who has had a change in medical condition that contraindicates further vaccination doses. 

Criteria for booster compliance

  • J&J (any date) vaccination with J&J/Pfizer/Moderna booster shot given more than two months later = compliant
  • Pfizer or Moderna vaccination with J&J/Pfizer/Moderna booster shot given more than five months later = compliant

Residential students and boosters

  • Residence hall occupancy will be rescinded without refund for students who do not receive a booster shot by Jan. 20, or within 30 days of becoming eligible for one.

Providing proof of booster shots

Students will not be able to attend class or move into their residence hall until proof of a booster shot is uploaded to the Decker Student Health Services portal. 

All booster shot documentation must be uploaded into the portal at binghamton.medicatconnect.com/  

To upload documentation, follow these instructions:

  • Indicate you are from Binghamton University.
  • Sign in using your Binghamton University login ID username and password.
  • Go to the Uploads section of the portal.
  • Upload a copy of your immunization to COVID Immunizations.

Where to go for a booster shot

To find a COVID-19 vaccination site near you, visit vaccines.gov where you can enter your zip code and you will be provided a list of all local vaccine sites.

In New York state, you can get your booster at various state-run COVID-19 vaccine sites

BC Transit Route #57 has a drop-off at Davis College on Riverside Drive in Johnson City for students who make appointments at the New York state-run COVID vaccine site operated there. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Make an appointment on the web. Off-campus students can enter their starting point and destination to find the correct BC Transit route online.

Additional locations off campus with the busses that will get you there:

OCCT schedules can be found online, as can BC Transit schedules.

On-Going Surveillance Testing

  • All students irrespective of vaccination status will be required to undergo surveillance testing approximately once per month if they have any on-campus presence.
  • The University will continue to operate the Surveillance Testing Center in The Union with the same hours as last semester. 

Enforcement

  • In the past, the University has imposed substantial penalties for non-compliance with pandemic policies and procedures including:
    • removal from campus housing without refund
    • deregistration from classes without refund
    • barring access to campus
  • The campus community now has three semesters of experience following pandemic policies and protocols. We expect compliance from our community without having to continually resort to sanctioning non-compliance or regularly reminding individuals who are negligent of their obligations.
  • The University will closely monitor compliance with surveillance testing requirements and boosters. It is our hope and expectation that community compliance will remain high for the duration of the semester.
  • Nonetheless, if, in the University’s judgment, compliance with COVID mandates is not maintained, sanctions could include the following:
    • Any students who have already missed a test or deadline will be warned that they (a) cannot miss more required testing for the term and/or (b) must complete their booster requirement by a fixed date.
    • Failure to comply with the terms of the warning will include the following responses by the University:
      • A graduating student who has been non-compliant may not participate in Commencement exercises.
      • A returning student will have fall 2022 registration rescinded or blocked and will not be authorized to register for fall 2022 classes until the end of summer, placing them at a disadvantage for seats.

Questions?

During this time of intense preparation and to coordinate responses, direct all questions to spring2022@binghamton.edu. Your questions will be answered as soon as possible. 

Additional COVID Guidance