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Masking on Campus

[Guidance updated May 27, 2022]

SUNY Oswego is now operating under a mask optional status* for fully vaccinated and boosted individuals.

CDC has downgraded Oswego County's transmission rate to low effective today (May 27, 2022). Based on this guidance from the CDC, the Oswego County Health Department, and the low number of COVID-19 cases on campus and in the region, SUNY Oswego has returned to a mask optional status* for fully vaccinated and boosted individuals.

*This decision is subject to change at any time depending on evolving metrics and conditions. If infection numbers increase, we may reinstate the mask mandate on campus.

Please remember that masking is still required:

  • in an instructional setting when required by the instructor
  • in an office where required
  • in a healthcare setting (e.g., Mary Walker Health Center, COVID-19 testing center, on-campus vaccination clinic, etc.)
  • while riding on Centro buses and public transportation
  • in an indoor gathering of 5,000 or more individuals
  • you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In this case, you are required to wear a mask, get tested immediately and quarantine while you await results.
  • you are in quarantine or isolation (e.g., you will also be required to mask for five days after ending isolation, days 6-10).


If you are unvaccinated or if you have not yet received your booster (if eligible), you are responsible for continuing to wear masks on campus and should, where practicable, continue to observe social distancing in indoor settings, such as instructional space (e.g., classrooms, laboratories, studios).

Please Respect Others
It is important to remember that some members of the campus community (students, faculty, staff, and visitors/guests) may choose to continue wearing face masks for any number of reasons. For example, some people have found that masking reduces allergies. Other individuals value masking as a way to remain healthy and prevent other respiratory illnesses. Some may just feel more comfortable wearing a mask. In addition, a mask should not be interpreted as a symbol of vaccination status. Welcoming and accepting those who wear masks on campus is an important part of being a caring and respectful community.

In addition, and as mentioned in the bulleted list above, individual faculty retain the right to mandate masks in their classroom, and do not need to offer a justification, as discussion of such factors could raise privacy concerns. Reasons could include health concerns of faculty or students in the class, or those who have vulnerable family members. Please note that current penalties for violations of the mask mandate will apply to violations of classroom mask mandates and other areas where masks are required.

Types of Masks

SUNY Oswego recommends using the highest quality mask that is available and stresses the importance of wearing a proper fitting mask, which is key to maximum protection. Visit CDC guidance on Improving how your mask protects you

The following masks are acceptable and supported by CDC guidelines, listed in order of most protective against COVID-19:

  1. N95 masks
  2. KN95 or KF94 masks
  3. Fitted surgical masks
  4. Unfitted surgical grade disposable masks
  5. Cloth masks (most effective when doubled-up with a surgical grade disposable mask)