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Connecticut and Long Island universities set guidelines to return following the surge in COVID-19

university classroom
Alice Keeler

Universities across the region are reopening for the spring 2022 semester following an outbreak due to the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Hundreds of U.S. colleges have announced new guidelines to avoid an uptick in virus cases with most requiring a PCR test 72-hours before arrival to campus and a booster dose for students, faculty and staff.

Below are guidelines established by our local universities.


Fairfield University

  • Fairfield has not mandated the booster shot, but is planning on holding a vaccination booster clinic. 
  • Fairfield has also not mandated the COVID-19 vaccine, but strongly recommends it. 

Quinnipiac University

  • All students, faculty and staff must receive a COVID-19 booster shot by February 15. Previous vaccine exemptions remain valid through the end of the spring semester.
  • All students, faculty and staff must submit a negative COVID-19 test before returning to campus. Rapid at-home tests can be used for the pre-arrival test that is required before returning to campus. 
  • Booster clinics will be held on campus January 31 and February 1. 

Sacred Heart University

  • Students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated, including booster shots before returning to campus. Exemptions were submitted in August.
  • All students, faculty and staff are required to have a PCR test within 72 hours before returning to campus after Christmas break regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Masks are required indoors until further notice.
  • Classes will be fully on ground. 

Sacred Heart University is the licensee of WSHU Public Radio.

Southern Connecticut State University

  • University officials are “strongly encouraging” everyone who is eligible to get a booster, but at the moment there is no booster mandate for students or employees.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

  • A COVID-19 vaccine is mandated for all military members, unless the member falls within an approved exception. The requirement to be fully vaccinated constitutes a lawful general order. 
  • The Coast Guard Academy campus is temporarily closed to most visitors. 

University of Bridgeport

  • University of Bridgeport has no changes to its reopening plans, though university officials “strongly encourage students” and faculty to return to campus with boosters.

University of Connecticut

  • The first two weeks of classes for the spring 2022 semester will be online only. Residential move-in for the Storrs and Stamford campuses will be moved back by two weeks.
  • The University will announce in the near future that vaccine booster shots will be required for eligible students. Discussions are also occurring regarding requiring the same for eligible faculty and staff. 
  • Unvaccinated, exempted students are not eligible to return to university housing prior to January 29th. 

University of New Haven

  • University officials have announced a vaccine booster will be required by the end of January. The University of New Haven also requires the COVID-19 vaccine for all students and employees who will be on campus for the Spring 2022 semester. 
  • Arrival testing for the Spring 2022 semester is required for all students who are fully vaccinated without a booster dose. 
  • Residents and commuter students that have received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine do not need to provide pre-arrival testing or obtain an arrival test on-campus. 
  • Resident students who are exempted from the vaccine must upload a pre-arrival PCR or viral antigen test within 72 hours prior to arrival date. They must undergo arrival tests by Health Services on campus, and must adhere to a 10-day campus quarantine while undergoing PCR tests on Day 5 and Day 7. Weekly testing will continue throughout the semester or until fully vaccinated. 
  • All students, faculty, and staff must follow the Face Covering Policy. 

Yale University

  • All students who are eligible will be required to receive the booster dose before the start of the spring semester. All faculty and staff are expected to receive boosters as soon as they become eligible. 
  • All faculty, staff, and students are required to be fully vaccinated. 
  • For undergraduates and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences spring semester classes will be moved online for the first few weeks. To accommodate the one-week delay, spring break will be shortened by one week in March. 
  • Starting on February 7, in-person teaching will resume. 
  • Masks are required indoors. 

Long Island

Adelphi University

  • All students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated including a booster dose. Weekly testing requirements for unvaccinated individuals began the first week of January.  
  • Individuals who are not yet eligible to receive the booster must receive the shot within seven days of becoming eligible. 
  • Any community members previously approved for a medical or religious exemption will continue to be exempt from their requirement.
  • Masks continue to be required at Adelphi for all individuals. 

Hofstra University

  • A COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose will be required for all students, faculty and staff. 

Stony Brook University

  • A COVID-19 vaccine and booster dose will be required for all students, faculty and staff who will be on-campus as soon as they are eligible for the booster, along with a negative COVID test before returning to campus. 
  • Surveillance testing will continue during the semester with updated quarantine and isolation protocols following the new CDC guidelines. 
  • Those with approved medical or religious exemption for the vaccine will not have to obtain a booster, but must test weekly. 
  • Vaccinated residential, commuter and off-campus students will participate in on-campus surveillance testing every other week to once a month. 
  • Regardless of vaccination status, a face mask/covering is required inside all buildings on campus.

Suffolk County Community College

  • All SUNY students must be fully vaccinated, including a booster shot for those who are eligible, before returning to campus for the spring 2022 semester. 
  • All students, regardless of vaccination status, must be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus for the spring semester.
  • Masks must be worn at all times indoors on campus. 
  • Campuses will develop a surveillance testing plan for every campus community member, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Weekly testing will be required for those who have an approved exemption from the vaccine.
Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.