The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Four years post pandemic: medical policies still in play

A student wearing their mask in the computer lab. /Photo courtesy of Chakradhar Palli, Layout Editor

Though the four-year anniversary of the initial spread of COVID-19 is coming up in March, Utica University is still taking precautionary measures to prioritize the health of students, faculty and staff.


During the Fall 2023 semester, 58 cases were reported and there have currently been nine cases reported since the beginning of the Spring 2024 semester, according to Dawn DeGironemo, staff nurse at the Health and Wellness Center.


If a student tests positive, they are encouraged to report it to the Health and Wellness Center.


“Currently students should be calling the Student Health Center if they test positive to review their isolation dates and precautions that need to take place and also we can give guidance on how they can treat their symptoms they are experiencing,” DeGironimo said.


Under the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 positive students must quarantine for five days before returning to classes with a mask.


“You must isolate for five  full days then on day six you can return to classes as long as your symptoms are improved, intermittent or gone,” DeGironimo said. “But you must mask through day 10 and then on day 11 you do not need to mask anymore.”


Students reporting to the Student Health Center, which is located in Strebel Center next to WPNR, are required to wear a mask if they are exhibiting any symptoms of respiratory illness, like the flu or COVID.


This decision is made by the Medical Director at the behest of the New York State Department of Health and the rising cases of COVID, flu and RSV. The waiting room is also used for all patients and it is a courtesy to others to mitigate the spread of germs.


According to DeGironimo, there are many ways students can limit the spread of germs and keep themselves healthy for the spring semester:

  • First and foremost a person should stay home or out of classes if they feel ill. 
  • Cover your sneezes and coughs. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. 
  • Open windows if possible to let some air flow into your space. 


DeGironimo also encouraged students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated every fall with updated flu and COVID vaccines.

“It will prevent you from really getting ill, if you are vaccinated as opposed to someone who might have not been vaccinated,” DeGironimo said. “No vaccines are 100% but it will reduce the burden of disease/illness and possibly keep you out of the hospital.”


If you are feeling ill, the HWC has a nurse practitioner on Monday’s and Tuesday’s 8:00a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and the medical director on Wednesday’s at 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Thursday’s 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. You can call the Student Health Center at 315-792-3094 if you have any other questions for the office.

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