Vaccination Requirement—Residential Students
FIT is requiring all students living in campus-operated residence halls to be fully vaccinated prior to occupancy for the fall 2021 term, with limited medical and religious exemptions only as specified below. This is independent of the FDA approval process and goes into effect immediately. Please be sure to upload your vaccination card information to the FIT Health Services portal.
Medical and Religious Exemptions
Students intending to live in campus residence halls who wish to request a medical or religious exemption from the vaccination requirement must submit a petition for exemption to FIT Health Services no later than Wednesday, August 4, 2021. Students must submit the religious or medical exemption to immunization requirements form and provide the required documentation in order to be considered. Decisions regarding exemptions are made by FIT Health Services and are separate from the Residential Life housing process.
Obligations of Unvaccinated Residential Students
Students who are not vaccinated are subject to special obligations to enable them to remain on campus. Such students are required to:
- Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the student’s move-in date and be retested upon arrival by uploading your test results to the FIT Health Services portal prior to move in. Students who arrive without the required test will not be permitted to move in and must be tested off campus prior to rescheduling their move-in date.
- Comply with mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing at least once a week. Surveillance testing will not be available on campus and students will be responsible for obtaining and submitting test results weekly.
- Adhere to social distancing guidelines set forth by FIT and wear a mask at all times the student is indoors except:
- when the student is in their private residential or personal space with only their roommate(s);
- when they are eating meals on campus while seated and social distancing is appropriately enforced; or
- the student is by themself.
FIT reserves the right to reassign exempted unvaccinated students from their current housing assignment. The purpose of such reassignment would be to avoid placing a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated students in the same room or suite.
Surveillance Testing Responsibility/Consequences of Non-Compliance
Students living on campus who are granted medical or religious exemptions from the vaccination requirement must participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing at least once a week. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule and complete testing each week as long as they remain unvaccinated or are not yet fully vaccinated (less than two weeks post-completion of vaccination or vaccination series). Students will be granted one warning for failure to comply. Upon a second missed test, the student will be subject to the Student Conduct process and possible removal from campus housing.
The CDC and New York State Department of Health have recommended that completing a WHO-approved vaccine series is acceptable as proof of being fully vaccinated. The current list of WHO-approved vaccines is available online. A vaccine is approved if "Finalized" appears in the column called "Status of Assessment."
International students who cannot obtain a WHO-approved vaccine prior to coming to campus will be permitted to move into the residence halls and will be required to obtain a vaccine upon their arrival. International students will be required to participate in routine testing until their vaccination course is completed.
Diagnostic Testing and Surveillance Testing
- Resident students who have any symptoms of COVID-19 should contact FIT Health Services during the first day they are ill, even if symptoms are mild. This applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated students. These students can be tested on campus, free of charge. They should isolate until tested.
- Mandatory surveillance testing at least once a week will continue to be required for any person who has a physical presence on campus and who has not been fully vaccinated or who has not shown proof of vaccination.
- The campus may decide to require more frequent surveillance testing of all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, upon consultation with the local health department in response to changes in community health and infection rates.
Isolation and Quarantine Responsibilities
- Fully vaccinated students are not subject to quarantine or testing upon arrival as long as they have submitted their vaccination records.
- Unvaccinated students or students who are not yet fully vaccinated must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the student’s move-in date and be retested upon arrival.
Throughout the Year
- FIT Health Services is responsible for overseeing the testing and care of students exposed to COVID-19. Students should immediately notify FIT Health Services of any symptoms or signs of illness so that prompt care and follow up can be done.
- Symptomatic students are expected to isolate until their test results are known, at which time they will be instructed on next steps. Students living on campus who test positive are required to isolate either at home or in designated spaces on campus, following all instructions and guidelines issued by FIT. COVID-19 positive individuals will be required to isolate for 10 days or until they are cleared by FIT Health Services.
- Vaccinated individuals exposed to COVID-19 positive individuals do not need to quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic. These individuals should self-monitor for symptoms over the next 14 days, with appropriate follow up should symptoms develop.
- Unvaccinated individuals with recent COVID-19 exposure must quarantine for 10 days or until they are cleared by FIT Health Services. If symptoms develop, self-isolation should occur with prompt follow-up with the local public health authority or a healthcare provider. Individuals who find themselves in this circumstance should wear a mask and remain socially distanced until medical evaluation and follow-up instruction has been provided.
- Students must wear masks at all times in common spaces throughout the residence halls regardless of vaccination status.
- Students do not need to wear a mask when eating/drinking or using bathroom facilities but must wear a mask when going to and from such spaces.
- Students do not need to wear a mask in their own room/suite when only their roommate(s) is present or when they are alone in their own room/suite.
- Students must wear a mask in their own room/suite or someone else’s room/suite when with other residents who are not their roommate.
- Fully vaccinated students are not required to test or quarantine when returning to the residence halls.
- Unvaccinated students are required to notify FIT of any travel outside of states contiguous to New York State and will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their return to campus.
Students found to be in violation of any of the policies or procedures listed above will be subject to disciplinary proceedings, which may include immediate removal from the residence halls. FIT Residential Life reserves the right to amend, update, or change these policies at any time due to changes in the campus environment, local conditions, city, state, or federal guidance or ordinance.