Cornell University will require most of their students returning for the fall semester to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The University will allow exemptions for medical and religious reasons, but expects the majority of students on campus to be inoculated, according to an April 2 statement from President Martha Pollack and Provost Michael Kotlikoff. The administrators wrote that they are currently investigating ways to help vaccinate students who are unable to be inoculated prior to their arrival on campus.
The University made this decision following an announcement by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 29 that New York will expand vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older beginning April 6, the New York Post reported.
Rutgers University also announced in late March that it plans on requiring students to be vaccinated for the fall semester. Like Cornell, Rutgers will allow for religious and medical exemptions.
According to the statement, starting April 15, Cornell will require students, faculty, and staff to report their vaccination status using Cornell's Daily Check portal.
Cornell outlined plans for three possible forms of immunity conditions in the fall.
If the University reaches herd immunity, classes will be completely in-person and will operate normally. If there are high levels of immunity—meaning that even though the campus does not meet herd immunity standards, the majority of staff, faculty, and students are vaccinated—classes will be taught mostly in-person with some online options. In the case of low levels of immunity—if less than 50% of students are vaccinated—classes will be a hybrid of online and in-person, similar to what Cornell has done this semester.
Penn will open a vaccination site this month, the University announced in March. The University, however, has not yet made an announcement about whether vaccines will be required for the in-person fall semester.
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