COVID-19 FAQs

General FAQs

Beginning August 16, 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. As of the FDA approval of a vaccine for regular use on August 23, students enrolled in hybrid or in-person classes now have until September 27 to upload proof of vaccination into CUNYfirst. As of September 3, students accessing University facilities for reasons other than to attend an on-campus class session will also be required to be vaccinated. Only if they have been granted a religious exception or a medical exemption, they can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 7 days prior to the visit.

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

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.

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.

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

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@sph.cuny.edu), faculty, staff and visitors must report to the Director of Human Resources (Arthur.McHugh@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.

Due to the current rate of the coronavirus transmission, the CUNY Chancellor has announced a new temporary mask mandate as of Monday, August 16. This mandate is subject to modification based on changing vaccination statistics and COVID-19 transmission rates. For the time being, everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must:

  • Wear a face mask inside all CUNY campuses and office buildings.
  • Wear a mask outdoors on campus when unable to maintain physical distance from others (for example, while attending a CUNY gathering or sporting event).

Student FAQs

Students accessing University facilities for reasons other than to attend an on-campus class session are required to be vaccinated. Only if they have been granted a religious exception or a medical exemption, they can show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 7 days prior to the visit.

The FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine on August 23, 2021, triggering a 45-day final deadline for CUNY students to be fully vaccinated and their vaccination documentation uploaded and approved in CUNYfirst. Students now have until September 27 to upload proof of vaccination into CUNYfirst.

To meet the 45-day deadline, students must get the first Moderna shot by August 26, the first Pfizer shot by September 2, and the single Johnson & Johnson shot by September 23. Find a New York State Vaccination Site or a New York City Vaccination Site.

Because Colleges need 10 days to verify and approve the vaccination documents after students upload them, the documents must be uploaded by September 27 at the latest. Students taking in-person or hybrid classes who fail to upload their proof of vaccination by September 27 (so the documents can be approved and verified by October 7, the 45-days mark) will be subject to potential academic withdrawal that could also impact their financial aid and make them ineligible for refunds for the courses.

Until October 7, students attending in-person classes need to be fully vaccinated and have their vaccination documentation uploaded and approved, or they have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past seven days at a CUNY testing site.

For all health & safety guidance, visit cuny.edu/coronavirus.

Students requesting an exception for religious reasons will be required to submit a signed written statement, explaining how immunization conflicts with their religious beliefs.

Students requesting a medical exemption will be required to submit a statement from a licensed physician or advanced practice nurse, explaining the medical contraindication and the time period for which the exemption is being requested. Medical exemptions are reviewed annually.

More info

Faculty and Staff FAQs

Beginning August 16, 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.

On July 26, 2021, CUNY Chancellor Félix Matos Rodríguez issued an update that moved the day that remote employees will begin to return to on-campus work from August 2 to August 16. He also clarified that the University is instituting a testing protocol for all faculty and staff who are unvaccinated or refuse to disclose their vaccination status. Full details of CUNY’s flexible work guidelines and how to request reasonable accommodations are available here.

CUNY SPH non-essential staff are expected to report to campus at least two days per week (on either a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday schedule), and work remotely on the other days beginning Monday, August 16, 2021.

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.

scrollToTop