ITHACA, N.Y.—The Ithaca College campus community received an update Dec. 15, 2021, that the college had moved to “Orange: Moderate Risk” COVID-19 operation status, due to the increase of positive cases within the student population.

Moderate-risk management means that academics would continue in-person for the remainder of finals and move online following conclusion.

All IT labs and program clinics are closed; athletic activities will be suspended, fitness and wellness clinics closed; no undergraduate research will be permitted and faculty and staff may continue; students should remain in their residence halls and apartments except when leaving for meals or solitary outdoor exercise; social gatherings are not permitted and guests and visitors traveling into Tompkins County are not allowed in buildings but may access campus to retrieve students for winter break. Travel out of Tompkins County is permitted and testing is available before departure in Emerson Hall. The library, Fitness Center and wellness center are closed until further notice.

This move to orange means that unstructured off-campus gatherings are strongly discouraged. The college attributes the uptick in cases to social gatherings that occurred over the Dec. 10–12 weekend, particularly the off-campus Santacon event. The college is encouraging anyone who participated to get tested as soon as possible.

Final exams concluded at 10 p.m. Dec. 10, and the college is encouraging all students to return to their permanent addresses for winter break as soon as possible, as well as observe a voluntary quarantine upon arrival home, testing as needed to confirm a negative status.

Zoë Freer-Hessler is the digital editor/reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Joining in November 2021, she has covered a wide range of topics related to local news. She can be reached at,...