COVID-19 Update: Winter Break 2021 Updates and Reminders

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

Tomorrow we conclude the Fall 2021 academic semester. Like many of our experiences together throughout the pandemic, this semester challenged us in new and unique ways. Also like before, as an Orange community we elevated and pushed through those challenges together. I am so grateful to everyone for your continued commitment to safeguard the health and well-being of your classmates, co-workers, teammates and friends.

As we look ahead to 2022, it’s right to do so with excitement, energy and optimism. At the same time, it is also important that we are upfront and authentic regarding the new challenges we will face together as we contemplate a return to campus after break, now navigating the rapid spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant. Those challenges will be significant and require us to remain flexible, vigilant and, above all else, require that we extend empathy and grace to each other.

Throughout the winter break, the Syracuse University Public Health Team will remain working and engaged with local, state and federal health officials to ensure our planning supports a safe return to campus for the spring semester. I’m writing today to ask that you do your part as well. Whether you’re visiting loved ones or remaining here on campus during the holiday season, commit to those behaviors that we know will keep you and those around you safe. In addition, I ask you to please pay close attention to messages that may come from the University over the winter break related to return to campus planning. The fluid and uncertain nature of the situation demands that our planning and preparation remains dynamic as well. For that reason, it is critically important that you remain connected with us over the break.

As we wrap up the final days of the fall semester, I want to reinforce important actions you must take prior to your return to campus in 2022, and updated information related to campus resources available to you through the holiday season. They include:

  • Documenting Your COVID Vaccine and Booster
  • Expanded Access to On-Campus Testing
  • Plans for Spring Semester Arrival Testing
  • Flu Vaccination Requirements

Submit Your COVID Vaccine and Booster Documentation by Jan. 18

All students, faculty and staff who routinely access any Syracuse University campus location or facility are required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot (or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file) prior to the start of the spring semester on Jan. 18, 2022, or as soon as they become eligible. Public health experts advise that receiving the booster is key to staying safe and healthy.

Additionally, all faculty and staff are required to submit documentation for review by the University to confirm vaccination compliance. To upload your information, including your booster and vaccination documentation, follow these steps:

  • Students: Upload documentation of your COVID booster and flu vaccines to the Patient Portal at your earliest convenience. Review step-by-step instructions for uploading proof of flu vaccine and recording and uploading proof of your COVID booster.
  • Faculty/Staff: Document your COVID vaccine series (including your booster) or apply for a medical or religious exemption in MySlice by following these detailed instructions. If you have not already done so, you must also attest to having received the flu vaccine (or an exemption) by Jan. 18, which you can do in MySlice by logging in to the Employee Home page, clicking “Employee Resources” and then “Flu Vaccine Status.”

Access to On-Campus Testing

To best support faculty, staff, families and students remaining on campus during winter break, we have extended access to on-campus testing through Dec. 23. The on-campus testing center will close during Orange Appreciation Days, and then reopen on Sunday, Jan. 2. Please continue to take advantage of this service, especially ahead of family gatherings this holiday season, and before you return to the office on Monday, Jan. 3. The hours are:

  • Thursday, Dec. 16: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Stadium)
  • Friday, Dec. 17: 8:30-10:30 a.m. (Stadium)
  • Saturday, Dec. 18: Closed
  • Sunday, Dec. 19: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Monday, Dec. 20: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 21: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 22: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Thursday, Dec. 23: 8-10 a.m. (Kimmel)
  • Friday, Dec. 24 – Saturday, Jan. 1: Closed
  • Sunday, Jan. 2: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Monday, Jan. 3: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Tuesday, Jan. 4: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Wednesday, Jan. 5: noon-7 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Thursday, Jan. 6: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Friday, Jan. 7: 8:30-10:30 a.m. (Kimmel)
  • Saturday, Jan. 8: Closed

Student Arrival Testing

Students returning for the start of the spring semester will be required to participate in arrival testing. This includes all students (undergraduate, graduate and law), regardless of vaccination status, who access campus. Specifically:

  • Resident advisors will be required to test no later than Jan. 10.
  • Orientation leaders must test no later than Jan. 13.
  • All students living on campus must test no later than Jan. 17.
  • All students living off-campus must test no later than Jan. 21.

Arrival testing will be held at the stadium and Kimmel Hall. A full schedule of testing hours will be made available the first week of January and communicated to the community ahead of our return to campus. You can also find more information on the testing page of

Flu Vaccination

As a reminder, all students, faculty and staff, except those with religious or medical exemptions, are expected to be vaccinated against the flu by the start of the Spring 2022 semester. For students, this is required under the Stay Safe Pledge. If you haven’t already done so, please get a flu vaccine as soon as possible by scheduling an appointment at your doctor’s office, pharmacy or anywhere else in your community offering the vaccine. Once you received your flu shot, please take the following action:

  • Students: If you received the flu vaccine on campus, no further action is needed. If you received a flu shot off-campus, please document your flu vaccine status (or exemption) in the Patient Portal.
  • Faculty and Staff: For individuals who receive the flu vaccine on campus, no further documentation is required. Faculty and staff who did not receive the vaccine on campus can document their flu vaccine status (or exemption) by logging in to MySlice, clicking on the Employee Resources tile and then the Flu Vaccine Status tile.

You will continue to receive email reminders through winter break if you have yet to receive a flu vaccine. As always, please visit for the most up-to-date public health information.

Wishing you a very happy, healthy and restful holiday season.

J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation