Forward Niagara

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This summer, we welcomed hundreds of incoming students and their families to our campus for Summer Orientation, as well as children and others during several camps and conferences, while also preparing for the start of the semester on our Vaughan campus As we look forward to the start of the fall academic semester, our Forward Niagara team continues to follow guidance and protocols provided by the leading health agencies and elected officials in New York state and in the Province of Ontario to ensure that our policies are aligned with their most up-to-date recommendations. The team is also monitoring what is happening on campus and in the community so that we can respond quickly if the risk of transmission increases on our Niagara University campus and/or within the respective regions.

Our community COVID-19 levels have remained low during the past several months, and we are continuing to focus on promoting healthy habits such as proper hand washing, masking, and social distancing as necessary, as well as the specific protocols. The following protocols apply to the Lewiston campus—protocols and information specific to Niagara’s Vaughan campus will be posted
separately. 

Vaccines
Our current vaccine mandate remains in place for the 2022-23 academic year. 

All new employees and students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or to have received an approved religious or medical exemption. It is also strongly recommended that all employees and students receive a COVID-19 booster when eligible. Boosters are proven to reduce individual and community risk related to COVID-19 infection. Refer to the CDC for additional information on booster eligibility. 

Niagara University will offer the following flu and COVID vaccine clinics hosted by Wegmans Pharmacy, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Gallagher Center MPR. No appointment is necessary:

  • Monday, Sept. 12
  • Thursday, Sept. 29
  • Wednesday, Oct. 12
In addition, a variety of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters can be found at local pharmacies. Vaccine availability information can be found at Vaccines.gov.

Masks
Masks are optional on campus, both in indoor and outdoor settings. However, people are welcome to wear masks at any time, and we ask that you respect their personal decision. In addition, individual faculty members may require masking within their classes for a variety of different reasons. University leadership fully supports faculty decision-making regarding masks in classes, and students refusing to comply with faculty expectations may be referred to the student conduct board.

Masks are still required on campus for anyone released from isolation or quarantine for an additional five days based on the CDC and New York State Department of Health guidelines.

Testing
Free rapid antigen COVID-19 tests will be available on a walk-in basis to all Niagara University members at Health Services during regular office hours. Surveillance testing of students has been suspended, but will resume if the risk of transmission on campus becomes significant.

Quarantine
Quarantine is for individuals who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus but have not tested positive for COVID-19 and do not have symptoms.
  • Employees who are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines do not need to quarantine, but should wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days after close contact and test on day 6 or as soon as symptoms arise.
  • Employees who have received an exemption or are not up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines are required to quarantine off campus for five days, and to wear a well-fitting mask for an additional five days when back on campus.
  • Students are allowed to participate in essential university life as long as they are asymptomatic and wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure to COVID-19.
  • Students may quarantine in their residence, including residence halls.
  • Students may not eat in public spaces, but can get food from the Dining Commons or Gallagher to take back to their room.
  • Students must test on the morning of day 6 or as soon as symptoms arise.
  • Please see these charts for more detailed information.
Isolation
Isolation is for individuals who have been infected with COVID-19, even if they don't have symptoms.
  • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 (regardless of vaccination status) are required to isolate for 5-10 days, depending on symptoms, with day 0 being the first day of symptoms or when the sample for the positive test was taken, whichever occurred first.
  • Students who reside on campus in a residence hall and live within 175 miles of campus are required to isolate at their home residence. On-campus resident students who live outside of 175 miles from campus are required to relocate to a university-specific isolation residence floor during isolation. Meals will be delivered by Residence Life staff to students isolating on campus.
  • Students in isolation may not participate in any form of university life, including attending in-person classes.
  • Employees and students may end isolation when they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).
  • As with all absences from class, students are encouraged to work with professors in terms of the course requirements and expectations for attendance.
Visitors
Proof of vaccination is not required for visitors to campus. Visitors may, but are not required to, wear masks. Individual programs and events may have specific requirements that augment university protocols.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and flexibility in following our protocols to ensure the health and safety of our campus community.

If you have questions, please contact us.

New York State Department of Health

Niagara University continues to follow guidance from leading health organizations, including the New York State Department of Health.

Niagara County Department of Health Vaccine Information

Use this site to determine eligibility and to schedule an appointment (required) at a New York State-run vaccination site. Niagara County Department of Health