COVID-19 information and updates. More Info

Forward Niagara

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Dear members of the Niagara University community,

As we prepare for “Fall Power, Full Power,” and the return of our fully engaging, in-person, living-learning environment, we wanted to provide you with some key updates regarding the fall semester, and the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions.

The fall 2021 academic calendar reflects a “pre-COVID” calendar. Classes begin on Saturday, Aug. 28, (graduate, including Vaughan) and Monday, Aug. 30 (undergraduate). The calendar includes traditional university holidays for Labor Day, a fall break (October), and Thanksgiving, with in-person finals after Thanksgiving.

In New York state, Governor Andrew Cuomo had announced that most pandemic-related restrictions were lifted, and on June 25, he declared an end to the state of emergency in New York. Because there are currently no restrictive guidelines for the operation of colleges and universities in New York state, please note the following updates for the Lewiston campus:

  • Health and Safety. Face masks, social distancing, and daily health screenings are no longer required on campus. However, we ask that you respect the choice of those who continue to wear masks and please respect the social space of those around you. 
  • Vaccinations. Niagara University will continue to strongly encourage vaccinations for students, faculty, staff, and administrators; however, vaccinations will not be mandatory, at this point. It is important to note that specific vaccination requirements for sectors may be necessary and will be issued as applicable (e.g., clinical placements for nursing).  

COVID vaccines are widely available at pharmacies, local health departments, clinics, Federally Qualified Health Centers and other locations across the state. Visit to find appointments near you. If you need help getting to a vaccine location please let the CRT know and we will coordinate transportation.

Additionally, we continue to ask the Niagara community to advocate for an equitable distribution of vaccines in our region, throughout the country and around the world.

Other changes to restrictions:

  • There are no limits on the size of gatherings and dining facilities can resume normal density and hours of operation.
  • Summer camps and gyms/fitness facilities may operate without restrictions.
  • The university will return to its pre-COVID schedule of cleaning and disinfection across campus beginning August 1.

While the lifting of NYS COVID-19 restrictions and limits is welcome news for our campus in Lewiston, the situation in Ontario is progressing at a much slower pace. We anticipate our campus in Vaughan will see a partial reopening this fall, with social distancing, masking, and all other protocols remaining in place, and we will meet or exceed any safety protocols outlined by the Province of Ontario.

The Restart Task Force, Academic Task Force, and Crisis Response Team will meet periodically over the summer to assist in preparations for the fall semester and address any concerns or issues that arise related to COVID-19 from New York state, the CDC, and Canada. 

The past 15 months have been challenging and we extend our deepest appreciation to you for what we have learned, planned, and accomplished during the pandemic. With flexibility and nimbleness at the core, we will continue to follow the guidance, work with our Ontario colleagues to navigate the continuing issues in Canada in anticipation of a safe reopening in Vaughan, and focus on the health and safety of the entire Niagara community.


Debra Colley             Tim Ireland

Forward Niagara Restart co-chairs

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