Rose Hill Resumes In-Person Instruction and Activities


The Rose Hill campus is reopening following a two week shut down due to the rise in COVID-19 cases. (Mackenzie Cranna/ The Fordham Ram)

The university announced it would resume in-person instruction and activities on the Rose Hill campus in an email to the Fordham community on Sunday, Feb. 28. In the email, Rev. Joseph M. McShane S.J., president of the university, said that updated state guidelines allowed Fordham to return to normal operations. 

As of Feb. 19, New York State has altered its guidelines for infection rates and testing protocols on college campuses. The new mandate states, “Colleges and universities testing at least 25% of total on-campus students, faculty and staff weekly will not be required to go on pause unless their positivity rate exceeds 5 percent during a rolling 14-day period.”

McShane wrote that because the university is currently “well above the 25 percent testing threshold” and “the University’s two-week average of COVID-19 infections is below the state threshold of 5 percent,” it will resume in-person activities and instruction. 

The email includes an image of the university’s COVID-19 dashboard, which now includes two new sets of data that track “Total On Ground Population” and “Infection Rate of On Ground Population.” While the current positive rate at Rose Hill is 5.27%, the new metric for the on-ground population shows Rose Hill’s infection rate at 4.27%.

The university paused in-person activities at Rose Hill on Feb. 14 after positive cases on the campus climbed over 100. At the time, state guidelines instructed colleges to halt in-person activities if a campus reached “100 cases or if the number of cases equals 5 percent of their population or more.” This guideline had been in place since late August until it was changed this month. 

As of Sunday, Feb. 28, in-person student activities have resumed. The university also resumed in-person services at the university church as well as indoor dining at 35% capacity on campus. Athletic practices and competition also resumed on Sunday. In-person instruction, Ram Van service and the Ramfit center’s normal schedule will resume on Monday, March 1. 

All activities on campus are still subject to COVID-19 precautions in place before the two-week pause, wrote McShane. 

McShane said the university is still concerned about case numbers in the community surrounding Rose Hill. 

“I cannot stress strongly enough that our ability to offer in-person classes and activities is almost entirely dependent upon students especially observing strict COVID-19 precautions, including wearing a mask at all times on and off-campus, maintaining social distancing and washing hands frequently,” wrote McShane.