COVID-19 Updates

As more and more people are vaccinated and boosted, we are safely resuming on campus operations, welcoming back our students, faculty and staff to our campus in accordance with University, New York City, New York State, and federal health and safety guidelines.

Social distancing floor sign

Last updated: 03/17/22

Recent Announcements

Mask Policy Update
On March 4, 2022, in response to revised guidance issued by CDC and declining COVID infections, hospitalizations and deaths, CUNY lifted its temporary mask mandate.
  • Anyone who would like to continue wearing a mask in any CUNY setting is welcome to do so at any time.
  • Masks will continue to be available to you at the SPH Public Safety Stations on the 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th Floors.
  • While the CDC is not requiring people to wear a mask in communities that have low or medium COVID-19 levels, faculty, staff, and students who are still not vaccinated, or those who have been or will be granted a medical exemption or religious exception, are urged to continue to wear a mask.
  • If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you are either fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot, or if you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, you do not need to quarantine as long as you remain asymptomatic, and you can return to work or class. But you need to wear a mask for 10 days from the date of your last close contact and get tested at least 5 days after the close contact.

Quarantine Guidelines
You can find a summary of CUNY’s quarantine guidelines here.

Vaccination deadline updated for all faculty and staff
CUNY and the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY (PSC) have agreed to revise the date by which all full- and part-time faculty and non-teaching instructional staff (which includes among others NTAs, CLTs  and those in the HEO-title series) will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to upload proof of vaccination into CUNYFirst.

The deadline has been changed from April 1 to May 27, 2022. The May 27 date applies to members of the Executive Compensation Plan (ECPs), as well.

CUNY is defining the required number of dosages for full vaccination as both doses in a two-shot series (such as Moderna or Pfizer), or the one dose in a single-shot vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson), without boosters.

Booster Mandate for Students
Students enrolled in any in-person or hybrid class will be required to get the COVID-19 booster shot when they become eligible. Governor Hochul announced this policy recently knowing that the booster provides additional protection against the virus and its variants and that vaccines are the best weapon we have to contain the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard our health and that of our community.

If you become eligible for a booster after January 28, but before the end of the semester: You will have 30 days after you become eligible to get the booster and upload proof to CUNYfirst.

You will become eligible for the booster:

  • five months after the second shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
  • two months after the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Students can find more information on our COVID-19 Resources for Students page.

Policies and procedures for returning to campus

Please read these instructions carefully.

CUNY SPH is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for students, faculty, staff and guests. As public health professionals, each of us is accountable for taking steps to protect our own health and that of our community. As such, if you are experiencing unusual or worsening respiratory symptoms, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, a loss of taste or smell, or have tested positive for COVID-19, please DO NOT come to campus. We urge you to go to a non-CUNY testing site to get a COVID-19 real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. If you come to campus and test positive, you may potentially expose others to COVID. Diagnostic tests are available through NYC COVID Express sites or through other public and private sites (search via COVID-19 Test Site Finder). Additionally, please DO NOT bring children to campus.

CUNY requires that all students taking in-person and hybrid classes and visiting campus show proof that they have been fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days beyond the last vaccination shot), unless they have received approval for an exemption or exception. Faculty, staff, and visitors coming to SPH or any CUNY campus must show proof that they have been fully vaccinated. Vaccination is the most effective tool for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly encourage everyone who is medically able to get vaccinated. With the recent increase in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to Delta and other emergent variants, it is extremely dangerous to remain unvaccinated.

The procedures for students, faculty, and staff who do not provide proof of vaccination vary slightly based on the role, as described below.

Vaccine Verification:

Proof of vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 virus requires:

  1. A copy of your vaccine record indicating receipt of all doses necessary to complete an  authorized SARS-CoV-2 vaccine series, with COVID-19 Vaccines approved by FDA under EUA or COVID-19 Vaccines approved by WHO under EUL.
  2. Submitted documents must include:
    1. Your first name, last name, and date of birth
    2. The specific name of the vaccine(s) given, the date(s) of vaccination, vaccination site, and lot #.

Examples of documentation include: CDC Card, Signed Vaccine Information letter from a health care provider/pharmacy, CIR document, Excelsior Pass Plus showing vaccination proof.

Notes:

(a)   You may need to provide more than one document if all of the required information is not contained on a single document.

(b)  If you were vaccinated in New York State, we recommend that you download the New York State Excelsior Pass Plus, which contains all required information. You can upgrade to the New York State Excelsior Pass Plus if you previously downloaded the regular New York State Excelsior Pass.

CUNY faculty and staff

  1. To provide your vaccination information, go to CUNYfirst, click on the “Vaccination Verification” link, indicate whether you are fully vaccinated, unvaccinated or do not wish to disclose your vaccination status. (For a guide to submitting your information to CUNYfirst, please visit here or watch this video.)
  2. If vaccinated, enter the type and date of your last vaccine, upload a copy of your vaccination card and, if vaccinated in New York State, a copy of your New York State Excelsior Pass.
  3. Once uploaded, HR will review and verify your vaccination status, or be in touch with you if there are any questions about your documentation.
  4. To check your approval status, go to CUNYfirst, click on the “Vaccination Verification” link.  Under “Approval”, you can see your approval status. If “Approved”, download or refresh your Everbridge application on your smartphone to access the VaxPass, following the detailed instructions. (See: VaxPass Q&A here.)
  5. Have the “VaxPass Access Approved” confirmation open on your smartphone and ready for review by Public Safety at SPH or any CUNY location upon entry to campus. You will also need your CUNY ID card.

RF employees

  1. Go to RF’s website at www.rfcuny.org
  2. Log in using your 6-digit RF-issued employee ID (EMP ID) and password
  3. Under the Electronic Tools tab, select Vaccine Verification
  4. Follow the prompts
  5. RFCUNY employees who are fully vaccinated will receive instructions for enrolling in VaxPass.
  6. RFCUNY employees who are not fully vaccinated or wish not to disclose their status will receive instructions for enrolling in CUNY’s testing program.
  7. If you do not know your RF EMP ID or password, send an email to HRPassword@rfcuny.org.  If you have other questions, send an email to HRESManagement@rfcuny.org.

Students who are also employees

For CUNY and RF employees who are also students at SPH or other CUNY schools: Your student status supersedes your employee status, and your vaccination records will need to be approved by the Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) liaisons at the campus where you are enrolled. You can reach out to the LVA at the campus where you are a student. See the LVA roster here.

CUNY Students

  1. If you are taking in-person classes at SPH in Fall 2021, you must be fully vaccinated by October 7, 2021. If you are visiting campus, you must be fully vaccinated prior to your scheduled visit.
  2. To upload your vaccination information, go to CUNYfirst, click on the “Vaccination Verification link and indicate the type and date of your last vaccine, upload a copy of your vaccination card and, if vaccinated in New York State, a copy of your New York State Excelsior Pass.
  3. Once uploaded, the Campus Local Vaccine Authorities (LVAs) will review and verify your vaccination status and be in touch with you if there are any questions about your documentation.
  4. To check your approval status,” go to CUNYfirst, click on the “Vaccination Verification link.  Under “Approval,” you can see your approval status.
  5. If “Approved,” you must register for Cleared4 to obtain an access pass that you can use to enter CUNY facilities. Look for an email from no-reply@cleared4work.com and follow the instructions to register with Cleared4 and obtain your access pass. You can obtain your access pass on your mobile device by following these instructions:IOS:
    1) Open your Cleared4 link in Safari (not Chrome)
    2) Tap the share button
    3) Optionally, edit the name (I used “Cleared4”)
    4) Tap “Add to Home Screen”Android:
    1) Open your Cleared4 link
    2) Tap the menu icon (3 dots in upper right corner)
    3) Tap “Add to Home Screen”
    4) You should see an icon on your phone that opens directly to your Cleared4 page:
    Cleared4 icon
  6. If you have any questions or experience any problems, you may contact one of SPH’s LVAs: Lynn Roberts (lynn.roberts@sph.cuny.edu) or Robin Gertner (robyn.gertner@sph.cuny.edu).
  7. Students may request a religious exception or medical exemption from the requirement tha tthey submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Review the Religious Exceptions and Medical Exemptions page for information on the procedures for requesting an exception or exemption. Religious exceptions and medical exemptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For those granted exceptions and exemptions, on-campus participation is not guaranteed.

Visitors

  1. Visitors include anyone who is not a CUNY SPH student, faculty, or staff, and include (but are not limited to): vendors, contractors, building personnel, community members, non-SPH students, faculty, and staff.
  2. An SPH faculty or staff member who plans to host a visitor must:
    1. submit a Request to Host Visitor(s) at CUNY SPH form
    2. inform the visitors that they will be required to submit proof of vaccination or proof of a negative PCR test, taken within the past seven days; wear a face covering; and follow other health and safety procedures.
  3. Once the form is submitted, the visitor(s) will receive instructions about how to submit the required proof of vaccination through the CLEARED4 site.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements

Students coming to campus who have been granted a religious exception or medical exemption, and faculty, staff and visitors who do not provide proof of vaccination will need to present a negative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) COVID-19 test result, taken within the previous seven days. Such students, faculty, and staff must be tested at a CUNY testing site, each time they come to any CUNY campus. Visitors must get a PCR test at a non-CUNY site. Diagnostic tests are available through NYC COVID Express sites or through other public and private sites (search via COVID-19 Test Site Finder).

Students, Faculty and Staff
  1. SPH students, faculty and staff who need to access campus and whose vaccination status has not been verified through CUNYfirst will need to be tested through CUNY’s testing provider, Applied DNA Clinical Labs LLC (ADCL).
  2. They will receive an email from noreply@cleared4.com (the health verification management system retained through ADCL), with the subject line “Welcome to safeCircle at CUNY,” with instructions about how to enroll in the testing program.
  3. Be sure to check all your email accounts, including personal ones, that may be linked to CUNYfirst.
  4. Once enrolled, participants will receive an overview of the program and instructions on how to proceed with making an appointment.
  5. ADCL has established testing at 20 sites at campuses throughout the University. SPH’s designated testing site is the Graduate Center, centrally located at 5th Avenue and 34th Street. However, SPH students, faculty and staff may schedule an appointment at a CUNY testing site that is more conveniently located to them. Here is a list of CUNY testing sites.
  6. Appointment scheduling, test results, and other communications will flow through the CLEARED4 platform.
  7. ADCL uses a PCR test with a nasal swab that is less invasive than the longer-stemmed swabs used elsewhere, but that is still highly sensitive and designed to detect the virus before a person becomes symptomatic and can begin spreading it.
  8. Test results will be processed within 24 hours (48 hours on weekends). Test results will be sent via email.
  9. For more information about CUNY’s COVID-19 testing program, please see the Testing FAQ.
Visitors
  1. Visitors are individuals who are not CUNY SPH students, faculty and staff and include, but are not limited to, contractors, vendors, CUNY and building personnel, prospective faculty and staff.
  2. IF you, as a CUNY SPH faculty or staff member, need to host a visitor, you will need to:
    1. Inform your visitor(s), with sufficient lead time prior to their visit, that the University requires that they show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID19 test, taken within the past seven days; wear a face covering at all times; and follow other building and campus health and safety procedures.
    2. Complete the Request to host a visitor at CUNY SPH
    3. Inform your visitor(s) that they will receive an email asking them to provide the required documentation, if they haven’t already provided it.

All Students, Faculty, Staff, and Visitors are Advised to Stay Home If…

On any day that you are scheduled to come to campus, you:

  • Have a fever of 100°F or more
  • Have had close contact with a person confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 in the past 10 days.
  • Are experiencing unusual or worsening respiratory symptoms, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache or a loss of taste or smell.
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test in the past 10 days.
  • Need to quarantine, following travel in accordance with CDC’s travel guidance.

Please be aware that some of these requirements may change over time, in accordance with changes in University, city, state, and federal guidelines and regulations.

If it is your first time returning to campus, please report to one of the SPH Public Safety stations on the ground, 5th, 6th, or 7th floors to have your ID card reactivated. Please be aware that you may be asked to present your Access Pass from Cleared4, or proof of vaccination against COVID-19, or a negative COVID test, taken within the past seven days, along with your CUNY SPH ID Card, or a picture ID card if you don’t have a CUNY SPH card.

While on campus:

  • Masking is no longer mandated, but anyone who would like to continue wearing a mask in any CUNY setting is welcome to do so at any time. Masks will continue to be available to you at the SPH Public Safety Stations on the 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th Floors. Click here for more information on CUNY’s updated mask policy.
  • You will be expected to carry your CUNY ID at all times.
  • Please continue to practice good hygiene while on campus (e.g. frequent hand sanitizing, hand washing and wiping high contact surfaces before and after use).
  • Please be aware that no food deliveries will be allowed inside the building.
  • Please refrain from gathering and congregating in hallways and other common areas.
  • Please plan your day, to the extent possible, so as to minimize trips between floors and in and out of the building.
  • If you begin to feel sick while on campus, please immediately notify Public.Safety@sph.cuny.edu

If you test positive for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test within ten days after leaving campus–

Resources and more info

student wearing face mask works on laptop

For students

Information for students on vaccination requirements, learning resources, technology tools, and getting help and support.

two employees at work wearing face masks and bumping elbows

For faculty and staff

Information for faculty and employees on returning to campus, technology tools, COVID-19 related benefits, and getting help and support.

White chat bubble with question mark on blue background

FAQs

Have questions about how COVID-19 will affect students, faculty, and staff? Check out our FAQ page.

scrollToTop