COVID-19 Resources for Students

CUNY SPH has safely reopened campus and is following CUNY, city, state, and federal guidelines to ensure a safe environment for all those on campus. Students should carefully review the vaccination requirements and campus protocols. This page will be updated as more information on policies and procedures become available, so please check it often.
student wearing face mask works on laptop

Last updated: 1/12/22

Vaccination Requirements for Students

At CUNY SPH, only those students who have been fully vaccinated will be permitted to take in-person or hybrid classes on campus. Students are required to upload proof of their vaccination to CUNYfirst a minimum of ten days prior to the first day of class. Students who are unvaccinated or who do not wish to disclose their vaccine status may take on-line classes.

Vaccination Verification

You can upload your information by signing in to CUNYfirst and clicking in the Vaccination Verification portal. You will need the dates of your two shots for Pfizer and Moderna or the date of your single Johnson & Johnson shot, the location where you got your vaccine, a scan or photograph of your CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card, and, if you have the NY State Excelsior Pass app, a scan or photograph of your pass on your mobile device. We are working with NYS Excelsior to link the pass to CUNY for validation purposes. International students who have received vaccination outside the United States will also be able to upload in CUNYfirst their verification documentation, as long as the vaccine received was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Random Required Testing

As part of the University’s multi-pronged strategy to monitor and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, CUNY has launched a random testing program for vaccinated students accessing CUNY facilities. If you are selected in any given week, you will receive an email from with instructions to complete your registration and will have to test at a CUNY test site within 7 days (no appointment necessary). Your test result will be available within 48 hours and you will maintain your Access Pass to CUNY facilities while the results are pending. If your test result comes back positive, your Access Pass will be removed and you will be contacted for guidance. Being tested when you are notified is not optional and is necessary in order to obtain campus-wide results each week and thus help keep everyone safe.

Requesting an Exemption

You can also submit in CUNYfirst your request and supporting documentation for a medical exemption or religious exception to the vaccine. Students requesting an exemption for medical reasons will be required to submit a COVID-19 Vaccine Medical Exemption Request Form signed by a healthcare provider. Students requesting an exception for religious reasons will be required to submit a written statement explaining how immunization conflicts with the student’s religious beliefs. Exemptions and exceptions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are not automatically granted.

Helpful Links

For a visual step-by-step guide to submitting information to CUNYfirst, please visit here. For a list of frequently asked questions about the student vaccination policy, please refer to the policy FAQ or the Getting Back to Learning on Campus FAQ. If you have a technical problem, please contact the CUNY SPH HelpDesk ( If you still have questions, please contact Associate Dean of Student Affairs Lynn Roberts (

International Students

Students who currently reside in other countries should review the vaccination timelines for the vaccines they can access in their areas. Students who have completed the final dose of COVID-19 vaccines that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and after the specified time period, are considered fully vaccinated.

Please also see the #CantStopCUNY page for additional information on returning to in-person learning at CUNY.

When on campus

(1) Upon entering the building lobby, you will be required to complete a temperature screening.

(2) While on campus:

  • You will be required to wear a face covering regardless of your vaccination status, especially whenever you are less than six feet apart from others. You may wear your own face covering, or you will be provided with one by Public Safety.
  • 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 refrain from gathering and congregating in hallways and other common areas.

After leaving campus

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 (, who will, in turn, report to the required school, university and public health authorities. The information will be kept confidential, to the extent allowed by law.

Be Prepared

We urge all students to:

  1. Get vaccinated now. We urge all students to get vaccinated as soon as you are able. Depending on which vaccine you receive, it can take up to six weeks for you to be fully immunized so the sooner you get vaccinated, the better. 
    Click here to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.
  2. Have documentation of your vaccination ready. If you have gotten or plan to get vaccinated in New York State, get the Excelsior Pass. If you got vaccinated outside of NYS, please make sure you have proof of your vaccination. Please also see the CUNY Student Guide to Vaccine Verification and the Cleared4 Guide.
  3. Make sure you have a CUNY SPH ID card. If you are a new student, or need a new card, you will be able to get your card remotely. Visit this link to request, replace, and/or activate an ID card.

Other Resources

Please see the COVID-19 Information Technology Resources page for information on how to contact the Helpdesk, obtaining hardware and software for distance learning, Blackboard and Zoom resources, free or low-cost internet service, and assistive technology services.

Click here to learn more about CUNY SPH’s library services, which can all be accessed online.

Please email CUNY SPH librarian Emily Pagano ( with any questions or concerns or to set up an appointment for a phone call, skype session, live chat, etc.

We will continue to provide student advisement, writing, and quantitative tutoring services via phone/email and through use of digital platforms like Zoom. Please refer to the Student Advising, Writing Assistance, and Quantitative Tutoring pages for more information on these services.

Please check the Fieldwork page for the latest info for students planning to complete their fieldwork in Fall 2020.

Please check the COVID-19 Updates for International Students page for the latest information.

Student Wellness Counselor Sherry Adams is available to provide free and confidential counseling to students experiencing heightened anxiety related to COVID-19 and other emotional health concerns. Please refer to the Counseling and Wellness Services page for information and helpful links.

Students who are in need of financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, may apply for a grant from the CUNY SPH Student Emergency Fund. The CUNY SPH Student Emergency Fund is a year round fund which provides grants on a case-by-case basis to students facing acute catastrophic financial hardship. Individuals who apply may be asked to submit supporting documentation to demonstrate their financial need. For more information and to apply, click here.

All student services will be provided remotely.



NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-based Violence – this comprehensive initiative out of the Mayor’s Office details resources such as NYC Family Justice Centers where survivors can get connected to comprehensive, free, and confidential assistance.  It also lists the city’s 24/7 Domestic Violence Hopeline 800-621-HOPE (4673) for immediate safety planning, shelter assistance, and other resources. TTY: 800-810-7444
Housing Justice for All – this advocacy organization’s website provides important information about housing rights and the “Tenant’s Declaration of Hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic” that is sent to both your landlord and housing court:
Swipe Out Hunger – this CUNY student food navigator portal offers free resource referrals and support from peers.

Questions? Concerns?

If you have questions or concerns not answered here, please reach out to Lynn Roberts, Associate Dean for Student and Alumni Affairs (