UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — Although there are vaccines and there’s been talk of booster shots, schools like SUNY Poly aren’t totally in the clear. The school is enforcing a number of safety protocol heading into this school year.

“SUNY system administration passed a resolution, actually, in June of 2021 that required all students to be vaccinated for the fall semester,” explained chief operating officer Michael Frame.

Prior to August 23 when the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the FDA, the rule applied to students living on campus, now it impacts everyone.

Frame said, “For classes, or utilizing the library, participating in inter-collegiate athletics, any student who is on campus is required to be vaccinated.” The school has limited exceptions for students looking to opt-out of the vaccine requirement.

An indoor mask mandate, physical distancing where possible, improved air filtration systems and a surveillance testing program, are also in play.

“Everyone will test every other week to start the semester with the delta variant right now, and we’ll analyze that over the next month or so to see if we’ll continue that for the rest of the fall semester,” Frame said. Weekly testing is mandatory for students exempt from the vaccine requirement.

At today’s move-in students were enthusiastic about being on campus. Senior Danny Macdonald said, “I really miss the campus environment. I really miss all my friends. I miss the community of this place, so I’m really thrilled to be back after all this time.” Brittany Mendoza who is also a senior at SUNY Poly said, “Last year was pretty difficult with not being able to see anybody, but with everyone here and all the energy from move-in it’s really exciting.”

SUNY Poly will continue to monitor local transmission and positivity rates and make any necessary changes as the semester goes on.