Quinnipiac eases mask mandate, allows non-QU visitors, relaxes weekly testing

Quinnipiac University revised its summer COVID-19 policies starting May 17 — people do not have to wear masks outdoors except for certain large events, non-Quinnipiac visitors can enter campuses and fully-vaccinated students do not have to participate in weekly testing.

“As we head into summer, our COVID-19 Task Force and university leadership have reviewed the most recent guidelines and recommendations from the state of Connecticut and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and have updated several of Quinnipiac’s COVID-related policies,” said Dr. David Hill, senior medical advisor for COVID-19 task force.

Nicole McIsaac

Students preparing to return to campus in the fall said they are optimistic about having a sense of normalcy while residing on campus — especially in terms of mask wearing.

“There is only a small chance that infections occur outside,” said Drew Barbieri, sophomore mathematics major. “On the off chance you are passing by someone with COVID-19, it is highly unlikely that you would contract it anyways. So, I don’t think it will affect campus life at all.” 

Despite not requiring masks outdoors when on campus, the university still mandates everyone to wear them indoors with exceptions being when eating in a dining hall or when in their residence hall. However, fully-vaccinated people can gather in a private room with no masks.

After May 17, Quinnipiac will also allow non-Quinnipiac people including press members, parents and guest speakers on campus. However, overnight stays are only for Quinnipiac students at this stage.

Barbieri explained how agrees with this decision and feels as if no visitors should be allowed on campus if they are not permitted to reside overnight. 

“I think there are definitely some ways in which this system can be improved,” Barbieri said. “Just so much as showing a vaccination card to the people at the front gate should allow anyone to enter the campus. I don’t know why they are so against people staying over in the night.”

Hill also outlined revised COVID-19 testing policies for fully-vaccinated students — they no longer have to participate in weekly testing and do not need to quarantine when in contact with a COVID-positive person unless they are symptomatic. Vaccinated students who do test positive still must isolate.

While the university has not required students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, faculty, staff and students must be vaccinated if they are travelling on university-sponsored trips. As a direct result, some students support the university’s decision to mandate vaccination in these situations. 

“I think it is fair because the vaccines have been proven to prevent people from contracting and spreading COVID, so if you have the vaccine, the school no longer needs to worry that you will be doing either,” said Emily McIntyre, junior marketing major. “I have just received my second vaccine shot, and it honestly feels so great. I am excited to get back to QU next semester and for things to be somewhat back to normal.” 

The university plans to have fully in-person instruction in the fall 2021 semester. It encourages students to get vaccinated and submit their records to the student health services portal.

“The rate of vaccinations among our university community is key to our fall reopening plans and is the only way we can lift many of our COVID restrictions,” Hill wrote in an email.