Universities

NYC colleges and universities reinstate mask mandates

Some New York colleges and universities have reinstated mask mandates amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Columbia University, affiliated Barnard College and Pace University have all resumed requiring masks in at least some indoor settings.

Columbia reinstated mask rules on Monday “based on the current situation and with great caution,” according to school communications obtained by The Post.

The policy, which requires students to wear non-cloth masks, is expected to remain in place for the final weeks of the spring semester.

However, instructors always have the option of removing their masks during teaching.

The Ivy League school had canceled the requirement on March 14, only to bring it back less than a month later.

Partner school Barnard College has also temporarily reinstated the requirement in classrooms, dining halls, libraries and other indoor spaces, according to the student newspaper.

Pace University, meanwhile, has decided to reenforce its mask mandate in all public spaces on its Big Apple campus beginning Monday. Its Westchester facilities, which officials said have remained at “low-risk status”, will not be affected by the new rules.

The move by several schools to reinstate mask mandates comes after Mayor Eric Adams tested positive for COVID-19.
Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In an internal letter obtained by The Post, Pace officials said events can continue as planned and dining areas will remain open, but masks are required when not actively eating.

High-quality masks have been required at New York University wherever in-person attendance is mandatory and extended, such as in classrooms and meetings, according to its website.

“The good news is that those vaccinated are at very low risk of serious infection even if they test positive,” wrote Brian Anderson, executive director of emergency management and environmental health and safety. “But our hope is to keep case rates as low as possible to protect everyone in our community.”

New York University students are required to wear high-caliber masks during class.
New York University students are required to wear high-caliber masks during class.
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A person walks past Pace University in Lower Manhattan during Phase 4 of the reopening following restrictions imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on August 2, 2020 in New York, New York.
Students are now required to wear masks in public areas at Pace University.
Rob Kim/Getty Images

A CUNY spokesperson told the Post that masks are optional on its campuses and offices, although many people continue to wear them.

“The University is monitoring CDC guidelines and consulting regularly with our state and city health officials,” he said. “If circumstances require a review of this or any other policy, changes necessary to keep the CUNY community safe will be made.”

Fordham and St. John’s universities are still optional for vaccinated students.