COVID-19 FAQs

General FAQs

Last updated: 09/01/22

  • CUNY’s policies and deadlines on the student vaccination mandate can be found here.
  • CUNY’s policies and deadlines on the faculty and staff vaccination mandate can be found
  • Everyone is strongly encouraged to get booster shots, when eligible.

Students, faculty and staff are able to submit evidence of vaccination through CUNYfirst. For instructions on how to upload your vaccine verification, use the following links:

If you have been vaccinated in the State of New York, you can obtain an Excelsior Pass at: https://epass.ny.gov/home

Students and faculty and staff in the covered titles (instructional and non-instructional staff and members of the Executive Compensation Plan) who are coming to campus and who have been granted a religious exception or medical exemption, and other 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 who are taking fully in-person or hybrid classes for the 2022 Fall Term and faculty and staff in the covered titles (instructional and non-instructional staff and members of the Executive Compensation Plan) who have not yet uploaded their proof of vaccination to CUNYfirst or their vaccine verification form is pending approval by the Office of Student Affairs or students who have an approved religious exception or medical exemption, will get an email from Cleared4 asking them to sign up for weekly testing. Vaccinated students, faculty and staff will be removed from the weekly testing program once they upload their vaccination verification form and the form is approved in CUNYfirst.

CUNY is continuing its rapid testing program, through the SafeCircle™ COVID-19 testing. Testing will be conducted by Applied DNA Clinical Labs (ADCL). CUNY will continue to use the Cleared4 health verification management system to simply and securely manage CUNY’s testing program. Participants in the CUNY testing program will be able to schedule appointments and receive test results using their smartphone or a computer. Find more information on CUNY’s testing program click here.

  • CUNY is continuing its COVID-19 random surveillance program for students, faculty and staff. Each week, a random sample of approximately 10% of the on-campus population will be selected for testing.  Participation is mandatory.  If you are selected for testing, you will receive an email from no-reply@cleared4work.com with instructions.  You must be tested at a CUNY Testing Site within seven days of the email notification.

For more information about CUNY’s random testing program here.

CUNY will continue to provide rapid testing services at 19 locations throughout the city, across all five boroughs. SPH students, faculty and staff who require testing are encouraged to go to the Graduate Center for testing. While you are encouraged to visit the same testing center each time, you may opt to go to a different CUNY testing center if it is more convenient for you.

CUNY continues to follow the latest CDC guidance on isolation and exposure. Any students, staff or faculty who test positive with COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with COVID-19 must follow these guidelines, as outlined below, prior to returning to campus. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we encourage you to visit a public testing site near your home or use an at-home test kit.

If you are required to isolate, you must receive a negative COVID-19 test result from a CUNY COVID-19 Testing Site or other licensed test provider or doctor’s certification prior to returning to campus. Testing to return to campus should only be done at a CUNY COVID-19 Testing Site when you are symptom free, in order to protect the CUNY community. If you are recovering from COVID-19, you should not get tested until you have completed your isolation requirements and are symptom free.

Isolation Guidelines if you test positive for COVID-19 or suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results

People with COVID-19 can spread the virus to others. If you test positive with or show symptoms of COVID-19, you should isolate immediately, and not come to campus until you are cleared to do so.  In addition, while in isolation, you should wear a well-fitting mask if you must be around others and avoid contact with people who are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.  If you are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should seek guidance from a healthcare provider about treatments and medications options.

For everyone who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status

  • Stay home for at least 5 days (day 0 is your first day of symptoms, or the day of your first positive test if you do not develop symptoms).
  • You may end isolation after five days, only when you are afebrile (without a fever) for ≥24 hours without the use of medication and all other symptoms have improved.
  • In order to return to campus after isolation, you must receive a negative PCR or antigen test(s) from a CUNY testing site or other licensed test provider.(We strongly recommend an Antigen test).  CUNY does not accept negative home tests, in order to return to campus.
  • Collect the test sample only if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved.
    • If your test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10. Following day 10 you must receive a negative PCR or antigen test(s) before returning to campus.
  • In lieu of a negative test, you may provide a doctor’s certification that you have recovered from COVID-19.Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days; if you cannot wear a mask, continue to isolate for 5 days.
  • If you have a fever, continue isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • If you are severely ill with COVID-19 you should isolate for at least 10 days and consult a health care provider  before ending isolation.

For people who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 but have not tested positive with COVID-19 and do not have any symptoms:

High levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatment and prevention tools, such as improved ventilation, masking, and testing, have substantially reduced the risk of severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death. Accordingly, if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19 but have not tested positive and do not have any symptoms, you:

  • Do not need to quarantine.
  • Should wear a well-fitting mask any time they are around others for 10 days.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms for up to 10 days, and isolate immediately and get tested if symptoms develop.
  • Get tested at least five full days after your last exposure. (The date of your exposure is considered day 0).
  • If your exposure is from a household member with whom you have close and on-going contact, please contact the SPH Campus Coronavirus Liaison:

Follow specific testing recommendations, if you had COVID within the past 90 days.

While CUNY does not require face masks, SPH strongly encourages everyone to wear a well-fitting mask that covers the mouth and nose anytime they are in areas on-campus where there are other people, including, classrooms, shared work areas, meeting rooms and lounges. KN95 masks will continue to be available on campus at the Public Safety stations, located on each floor of the campus and surgical masks are available in classrooms, staff pantries and conference rooms, and in the student lounges. Those who choose to wear a mask should continue to follow CDC guidance on acceptable face coverings. Faculty, staff, and students who are still not vaccinated are urged to continue to wear a mask at all times while on campus.

Student FAQs

Students enrolled in any in-person or hybrid class will be required to get the COVID-19 booster shot when they become eligible. 

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.

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

The CDC recommends you choose the Pfizer or Moderna booster in most situations, regardless of which shot you received. Learn more about the booster shot and find a site near you here: ny.gov/booster. 

Instructions on uploading your booster proof are available here. If you attended in-person or hybrid courses this past spring or last fall and already uploaded proof of your first vaccines, you will have to add the booster shot — unless you have an approved exception or exemption. 

Students who miss the deadline to upload their proper vaccinationand booster documentation will not be able to register for classes. 

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

Students may request a religious exception or medical exemption from the requirement that they 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. 

Faculty and Staff FAQs

CUNY has extended its Flexible Work Arrangements until December 31, 2022, based upon an agreement with the Professional Staff Congress of CUNY (PSC-CUNY) and District Council 37 (DC 37). Staff are required to work 70% of the time in person. (Public Safety, Facilities and other essential staff will continue to work fully in person.)

In the fall 2022 semester, the CUNY SPH campus will be open Monday through Thursday, from 8:00am to 9:00pm, and operate remotely on Friday. The campus will be closed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. CUNY SPH staff are expected to work in-person three days per week.  Staff should familiarize themselves with CUNY’s Remote Work Guidelines and complete this Remote Work Agreement form. The Agreement will be in effect from Thursday, 9/1/2022 through Thursday, 12/29/2022, subject to CUNY policies and procedures. 

Faculty and staff who may be at heightened risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19 may be eligible for a reasonable (disability-related) accommodation (i.e., to work a flexible schedule or remotely). Please contact HR Director Arthur McHugh at arthur.mchugh@sph.cuny.edu.

Faculty and staff seeking accommodations should contact HR Director Arthur McHugh at arthur.mchugh@sph.cuny.edu. You will be asked to provide supporting documentation. This information will be kept confidential. Information about requesting a reasonable accommodation can be found here.

Faculty and staff who have concerns about returning to work onsite for family and/or non-disability reasons (i.e., childcare, health of others in their household) may be eligible for other options (i.e., FMLA, leaves of absence, use of annual leave). Such non-disability accommodation requests are also known as general accommodation requests. Faculty and staff seeking accommodations should contact HR Director Arthur McHugh at arthur.mchugh@sph.cuny.edu. You will be asked to provide supporting documentation. This information will be kept confidential.

scrollToTop