ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As COVID-19 cases continue to rise from the BA.2 variant, some places are returning to masking and taking more precautions.

Some students and staff from the University of Rochester spoke to News 8. They were concerned about a new outbreak that could emerge once everyone has returned from Easter and Spring breaks.

Additionally, elsewhere in Rochester communities are ramping up testing again.  

Both Isabelle Tang and Ke Chen are sophomores at the University of Rochester. When the announcement was made for masks to be required indoors now, they were split on if it was necessary.  

“I think it’s a good move because I saw there are rising cases for Covid-19,” Tang said. “And I think bringing back the indoor masking policy is necessary for students’ health.”  

“Everyone has to be responsible for their own self,” Chen countered. “So, I think I would make that decision on my own the best.”  

Data from the State Department of Health shows the Finger Lakes Region has jumped from a seven-day average of 84 new Covid cases to 389 over the past month. Prompting the University of Rochester to require masking again indoors on campus.

Organizations like Vineyard Farm have noticed this and expanded their services from giving out vaccines to providing covid-19 tests again. And handing out kits with masks to people to get ahead in contact tracing.  

“BA.2 is in the community and spreading quickly,” Sister Marsha Allen, Director of Vineyard Farm told us. “That people need to know if they’ve been infected.”  

For people like Otis Potter of Rochester, this upward trend in new cases motivated him to get his second booster shot and to masks up again every time he’s out in public.  

“I’m afraid to take my mask off even if the virus goes away for a while,” Potter told us. “I continue to wear my mask for at least the next six months or year. But I don’t believe it’s going to go away and stick around like the flu.”  

Students with the University we spoke to feel this policy will keep them from having to cancel graduation and other fun activities between now and the end of the semester. There’s no set timeline to when it could be lifted.