Press release from Tompkins Cortland Community College.
With the FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID vaccine this week, Tompkins Cortland Community College will now require vaccinations for all students living on campus, taking in-person classes, or utilizing any in-person services on the main campus in Dryden or either extension center in Ithaca or Cortland. The College is following a mandate from SUNY that requires students complete their vaccination shots before September 27. Students that fail to provide proof of vaccination by September 27 will be removed from on-campus housing and in-person classes. Requests for medical or religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate must be submitted to the College with documentation by September 1.
In a message to the College community, Provost and Administrator in Charge Paul Reifenheiser explained the new requirement follows expert guidance. “Since the start of the pandemic, TC3 has successfully maintained a productive environment for teaching and learning, while prioritizing the health of our students, staff, and faculty,” wrote Reifenheiser. “We have relied on the Tompkins County Health Department to help us ensure that our protocols are in line with county, state, and federal guidance. That guidance tells us that the key to ending this pandemic lies in widespread vaccinations.”
Students who are not vaccinated can still start classes in person when the semester opens August 30, but they must be vaccinated by September 27. To assist students reach that requirement, the Tompkins County Health Department will hold vaccination clinics on-campus for September 1 and 2, with the follow-up doses on September 22 and 23. The on-campus clinics are free and open to the entire community. Registration is available at bit.ly/covid19-popup, but walk-ins will also be accepted.
“We recognize that there has been much misinformation and skepticism about the vaccines, but the position of TC3, SUNY, the State of New York, and the CDC is clear: vaccines are our best option to ending this deadly pandemic,” said Reifenheiser. “The vaccine requirement and mask mandates are vital to keep our campus safe for the academic year.