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: 3/17/22

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.

Vaccination and Booster Requirements for Students

At CUNY SPH, only those students who have been fully vaccinated, and received a booster shot if eligible, will be permitted to take in-person or hybrid classes on campus. Students are required to upload proof of their vaccination and booster to CUNYfirst. 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).

Booster Mandate

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:

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.

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.

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.

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 IT Resources for Students for information on, for example, how to contact the Helpdesk and Blackboard resources.

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.



Housing Justice for All – this advocacy organization’s website provides important information about housing rights including a resource to apply for rental assistance.
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 (