COVID-19 FAQs

General FAQs

Last updated: 3/17/22

  • Students must be fully vaccinated and boosted (when eligible) to attend Spring 2022 classes in-person.
    • 1/14/22 is the deadline for single dose of J&J vaccine
    • 1/18/22 is the deadline to upload proof of vaccination documents to CUNYfirst, or students will be administratively moved to online sections (if possible) or dropped.
    • 3/1/22 is the deadline for students to upload booster proof if they are eligible for the booster on January 28, 2022. For students who are eligible for the booster after January 28, 2022, the deadline for uploading booster proof is 30 days after eligibility.  
  • Instructions for uploading vaccine/booster records can be found here.

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

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. 

People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their last vaccine dose, or at the time specified in either the FDA licensure or WHO approval.

Click here for helpful info on the timelines for the three vaccines currently approved in the U.S.

Also, see CDC’s Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines page.

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 who are taking fully in-person or hybrid classes for the 2021 Fall Term 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 will be removed from the routine testing program once they upload their vaccination verification form and the form is approved in CUNYfirst.

Employees who have not yet uploaded their proof of vaccination to CUNYFirst (or approval by Human Resources is pending), will get an email from Cleared4 asking them to sign up for weekly testing. Vaccinated employees who voluntarily upload their vaccination information by signing in to CUNYfirst and clicking on the Vaccine Verification link will be removed from the routine testing program after the documentation has been approved by HR.

CUNY has contracted a vendor to provide rapid testing services University-wide. The safeCircle™ COVID-19 testing will be conducted by Applied DNA Clinical Labs (ADCL) using 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 testing click here

CUNY has contracted with a vendor to provide rapid testing services at 20 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.

If you have been on campus within ten (10) days of testing positive for COVID-19, students must report to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs Lynn Roberts (Lynn.Roberts@sph.cuny.edu), faculty, staff and visitors must report to the Director of Human Resources Arthur McHugh (Arthur.McHughJr@sph.cuny.edu). These individuals, in turn, will report to the required school, university and public health authorities. The information will be kept confidential, to the extent allowed by law.

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

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.

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.

If you are eligible for the booster on January 28: You must upload proof of receiving the additional shot to CUNYfirst no later than March 1. This deadline applies even if your college’s spring semester begins in March.

If you become eligible 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

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 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 will not be able to register for Summer 2022 or Fall 2022 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

Beginning August 16, 2021 anyone entering a CUNY facility for any reason will need to be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days beyond the last vaccination shot) or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past seven days.

For information on the NYC employee vaccination requirement click here.

CUNY employees will continue to work a hybrid schedule during the spring 2022 semester. Full details of CUNY’s flexible work guidelines and how to request reasonable accommodations are available here. Additional details about remote work during the spring semester will be shared as they are confirmed.

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.

More info

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.

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