By Madison Wortman | April 10, 2021
As Spring approaches at UAlbany, campus begins to regain life, as well as a feeling of hope. Students are now allowed to participate in outdoor activities with the university’s announcement of the reopening of outdoor basketball and tennis courts, the loosening of restrictions on attendance for on campus gatherings and sports, and a second on-campus distribution of 1,300 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The outdoor tennis and basketball courts located behind Dutch Quad were unusable after the nets were removed in April 2020 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Under the new restrictions released on Wednesday, the courts have been reopened for full use. Mask wearing and social distancing practices are enforced by the university in these areas.
Sophomore Derek Valladares is happy to see students back outside again.
“Little things like this that the campus does have a positive impact on the students here,” he said. “I see the expressions of a bunch of these students that they are enjoying themselves out here. Before I used to see that they weren’t really liking the campus vibe.”
In addition, the attendance limit for University approved on-campus events has been raised to 100 for indoor events and 200 for outdoor events, an update from the previous restriction of 50 people. All in-person gatherings that are non-class related and include more than 10 people still require approval from the university.
“We’re able to start easing restrictions because students, faculty and staff have done a great job this semester practicing health and safety protocols,” said Kevin Wilcox, Associate Vice President for Enterprise Risk Management.
Intramural and club sports activities are able to now hold full practices and scrimmages. All students who wish to take part in these activities are mandated to participate in UAlbany’s weekly surveillance testing, as well as comply with mask wearing and social distancing.
Students are beginning to feel hopeful with the news of the updated guidelines.
“I was here last year, and it was packed, there were always people by the fountain and the podium,” said sophomore Jason Floumanhaft. “Now that people are coming back outside again it feels a little better.”
1,300 doses of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed on April 13 at SEFCU Arena. Only UAlbany students, employees, and legal affiliates of the university will be eligible to sign up for appointments via online registration.
This is UAlbany’s third closed point of dispensing (CPOD) conducted in collaboration with Russell Sage College, who will have separate allocation of doses.
In addition to the CPOD, which still has available appointments, students and faculty can make vaccine appointments online at any state-run vaccine point of dispensing (POD). The Northwest Gold parking lot / Northwest Resident student parking lot are acting as a POD walk-through vaccination site.
28 students have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14-days, along with nine employees. Only 11 students are currently utilizing UAlbany’s on-campus quarantine and isolation housing, which constitutes just 3 percent of its full capacity.