New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared a state of emergency, which went into effect Friday. While COVID-19 policies are continuing as they always have — masks indoors, social distancing when needed, vaccines, etc. — policies are being analyzed at the state level to see how they can be improved. 

At the date of this publication, the University has not formally released a statement addressing the state of emergency or the implementation of new policies as a result of a rise in cases, including the Omicron variant. 

According to the Dec. 1 @Rochester email, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello carried out several new county policies in response to the increase of cases and hospitalizations, particularly in the Monroe County region. The University states it’s in accordance with these guidelines and practices by watching the news closely and corresponding with its county executive, public health commissioner, as well as UR’s own epidemiologists and public health experts. 

UR requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated, with the exception of an approved exemption and offers free vaccines and COVID-19 testing to all employees. Over the summer, the University also added a new remote work policy for its employees. 

At the time of publication, there are a total of 49 positive cases among students, faculty, and staff from Eastman Campus, Medical Campus, and River Campus over the past 14 days. In the past 24 hours, there have been a total of six positive cases, including five on the River Campus even though 99% of students are vaccinated and 94% of faculty and staff are vaccinated. This data is updated frequently on UR’s COVID-19 Dashboard and is up to date with data from Dec. 3. 

The latest COVID-19 messages and updates page is the same message as the @Rochester email as published on Nov. 30. There have been no specific updates since. 

As of this article’s publication, UHS Director Dr. Ralph Manchester has not responded to CT about concerns over the Omicron variant or improvement on policies as the NY state of emergency goes into effect.

Tagged: COVID-19 Omicron

Gaza solidarity encampment: Live updates

The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.

5 students banned from campus for Gaza solidarity encampment

UR has been banning community members from campus since November for on-campus protests, but the first bans for current students were issued this weekend.

Colin’s Review Rundown: Future and Metro Boomin, Lizzy McAlpine, Benson Boone, Civerous

Is it bad? Definitely not! But I found myself continually checking my phone to see how many tracks were left.