We are excited to be planning for a Fall 2021 semester that feels very close to normal, with fully in-person instruction, bustling residence halls, and vibrant campuses. We’re confident we’ll be able to do that because the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is proceeding so robustly in New York and throughout the country. As you know, New York State opened vaccine eligibility to all adults on April 6, and by April 19 all adults were eligible nationwide.
To ensure that we’ll be able to reopen our campuses as planned, we will require all students coming to campus to be vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning with the Fall 2021 semester. This includes both residential and commuter students who come to campus, except for those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons. Fully online students will not be subject to this requirement.
You will be able to upload proof of vaccination to the confidential Patient Portal. We’ll have more information soon on how to do that.
For our international students, we expect that proof of vaccination in your home country will be sufficient, even with a vaccine not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We are investigating how to make this work. If you have not been vaccinated in your home country, we will help you to get the vaccine upon your arrival in the United States.
We also strongly urge all faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the Fall 2021 semester. We expect that all Pace employees will choose to get vaccinated, and we are investigating the possibility of making this a requirement at a later date.
We will continue to follow all public health guidance on our campuses this fall. We expect that will continue to include face coverings and some amount of distance.
With expanded vaccine production, appointments are now much more readily available throughout the region. We understand from medical experts that the best vaccine is the one that you’re able to get. A page on our website lists any special vaccine availability for the Pace Community. Appointments are available from New York State, New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The national Vaccine Finder can help you locate availability anywhere in the country, including at pharmacies and medical centers. Your local hospitals or clinics may have their own signup processes.
We will be scheduling a Community Conversation with healthcare professionals in the coming weeks to discuss the science, efficacy, and ethics of vaccination.
We have both been vaccinated, and we are both grateful for the work that went into developing and administering these crucial shots. We know that a great many in the Pace Community have already been vaccinated. And we also know, most importantly, that the vaccines are how we’ll return to normal life.
We look forward to seeing all of you, safe and healthy, on campus in the fall.