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Nazareth College announces booster requirement; Monroe County reports nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases

Nazareth College campus in snow
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Nazareth College announced updated COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday that include requiring faculty, staff and students to have a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot by February 1, or as soon as they are eligible. Before Tuesday the booster shot was strongly recommended but not required.

Also for the spring semester, Nazareth students are strongly urged to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test, if possible. And if it’s positive, they are being asked to isolate at home.

Some other colleges and universities have similar requirements, particularly in light of the spread of the Omicron variant.

This week, St. John Fisher College also announced that students and employees who are currently eligible to get the COVID booster shot must provide documentation no later than Jan. 24, or within 30 days of their eligibility.

And on Wednesday, RIT said it is requiring faculty, staff, and students to obtain a booster shot by Monday, January 31, or within 14 days of becoming eligible for the booster vaccine.

The University of Rochester announced on Wednesday that it was going to move most of its classes online for the rest of January as a precaution due to the rising COVID-19 cases in the community.

In other developments Tuesday regarding the spread of COVID-19, Monroe County reported 1,995 new cases of coronavirus. There were 531 people hospitalized in the Finger Lakes region (up 10 from the previous day) and 121 of these patients are in ICU (up 5 from the previous day).

The 7-day average positivity rate in the county is 18.5%.

Also on Tuesday, staffing issues caused changes for some organizations.

UR Medicine | Noyes Health Urgent Care in Geneseo said that due to staff illnesses, they will be closed until Thursday, January 13.

And the Rochester City School District said that due to staffing shortages, it may impact bus route times with the district having to combine some routes. Officials said that could cause delays of up to two hours for students who get bus transportation from the district.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.