Basic Public Health Preventive Measures

When on campus, the core of our public health preventive measures for the COVID-19 pandemic is adherence to CDC guidelines and New York State and CUNY directives.

As community vaccination rates increase and disease prevalence declines, we anticipate the College will modify these guidelines.
Face Coverings (Masks)

Due to the low levels of COVID-19 in New York City, the CDC no longer recommends and New York State no longer has a universal indoor mask mandate.CUNY has therefore lifted its temporary mask mandate.

Anyone who would like to continue wearing masks in any setting is welcome to do so at any time. Masks will continue to be available on campus and offices.

While the CDC is not requiring people to wear a mask in communities that have low to 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 exemption, are urged to continue to wear a mask. Mask requirements associated with isolation and quarantine as referenced later in these guidelines remain in effect.

Those who choose to wear a mask should continue to follow CDC guidance on acceptable face coverings. Note, campuses may still require employees to wear protective PPE masks due to the nature of their work. Employers must comply with all applicable OSHA standards.

Access to Campus - Cleared4 System

The Cleared4 System provides the "CUNY Access Pass" for all vaccinated faculty, staff, and students. The vaccination verification should be uploaded into CUNYfirst. Once the Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) or the College HR Office approves your vaccination status in CUNYfirst, you can register with Cleared4 to obtain the access pass.

For information, visit CUNY Access – Cleared4 Guide for Vaccinated CUNY Students, Faculty, and Staff on setting up and using the Cleared4 Pass. For more information, visit Cleared4 FAQs.
Physical Distancing Physical distancing means keeping space of at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) between people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Because the majority of the MEC community are expected to be vaccinated in the Spring of 2022 semester (except for those granted medical or religious exemptions), physical distancing will not be a required safety measure for vaccinated individuals in classrooms, educational, and office settings. Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to practice social distancing.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The College will maintain a three-month stock of essential COVID-19 supplies, ordered, stocked, and placed in visible areas for employees to use when needed. The College will regularly replenish to ensure adequate supplies are on hand.
  • All faculty, staff, and students will receive an eight (8)oz. bottle of hand sanitizer that can be refilled at designated stations across campus.
  • All faculty and staff will receive two durable washable and reusable face cloth masks and disposable masks if they come on campus without their mask.
  • Disposable masks will be provided to all students if needed.
  • The College will require employees to wear more protective PPE if required due to the nature of their work. Employers must comply with all applicable OSHA standards.
  • The College will train employees on how to put on correctly, take off, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE, including but not limited to appropriate face coverings. For guidance on N95 masks for people at greater risk, please visit

Privacy partitions were installed throughout campus, including building front security desks and public-facing areas like the Library, Health Services, Admissions, Registrar, and Bursar.
Human Resources

The College will effectively manage its workforce to control risks and the safety of the College community and the community at large. The College will enforce employees' remote work schedule rotations between the office and home based on the needs of the given office. Employees must return to work in a planned manner, resulting in an appropriately reduced density of occupancy to achieve social distancing. In addition, there must be equity among employees to balance the reduced density. There will not be a "one-size-fits-all" approach in these plans.

Employees who can successfully perform their work remotely will be allowed to do so, in either whole or part, and develop a plan accordingly with their supervisor. The College will ensure that the workplace will be carefully managed to control risks and the safety of the College community and the community at large. Employees must return to work in a planned manner, resulting in an appropriately reduced occupancy density to achieve social distancing. In addition, there must be equity among employees to balance the reduced density. Therefore, there cannot be some employees working remotely full time and causing others to be in-person all the time.

Employees who can successfully perform their work remotely will be allowed to do so, in either whole or part, and develop a plan accordingly with their supervisor.

Staff Scheduling

Employees who wish to work on campus will have the option, and it will be coordinated to reduce density and meet social distancing guidelines. The most viable option for this is to create a rotation of two or three sets of employees in each department/office. Because departments and offices have different constraints and population densities, they will each be asked to provide a rotation plan that shows the on-campus schedule for all employees within that office or department.

What to Consider

Department heads should be flexible when scheduling employees to return to work.  The supervisors should decide on a blended scheduling system combining remote and in-person arrangements recommended by CUNY. Full details of the flexible work guidelines and how to request reasonable accommodations are available here. The supervisor's decision on the blended approach will depend on:
  • The employee's job responsibilities – if specific tasks and assignments can be performed at home or must be performed in person or on-site;
  • Availability of necessary equipment and materials to perform work;
  • The home environment – if it is one in which the employee can work productively and safely; and/or,
  • Other factors as the College may deem appropriate.
When working remotely, employees are still obligated to comply with all of the College's rules, policies, and procedures (as the College may modify them) to the extent they are deemed necessary and appropriate. Once a determination is made that a telecommuting arrangement is feasible, supervisors should determine:
  • The job duties to be performed during remote hours;
  • The expected work schedule and work hours, including availability for calls, if needed;
  • The staff will maintain the safety and security of sensitive data will be maintained; and
  • Timekeeping expectations for non-exempt employees.
Each manager and supervisor should take the necessary steps to ensure that requirements will not differ within schools and departments. The updated plan provides additional information as we look ahead to our return to campus.

Reasonable Accommodations

Any employees who have a medical condition that place them in a higher risk group, are pregnant, or wish to seek a reasonable accommodation related to returning to work must speak with their supervisor to review the telecommuting options. If telecommuting is not suitable, the employee should contact Human Resources.

Hours of Operation

In-person hours of operation may be affected by limited staffing. Every effort will be made to model hours of operation as close as possible to those in effect pre-COVID-19. Remote hours will reflect an employee's typical workday.
Hygiene and Sanitation

MEC will continue to facilitate health-promoting behaviors such as hand washing and respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette to reduce the spread of infectious illnesses, including COVID-19. The College will provide frequent reminders of proper hand hygiene (verbally, posters, videos) with hand sanitizer widely available in common areas and rooms.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, blowing their nose, sneezing, coughing, or touching their face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Sanitizing stations have been placed in building common areas.
  • Hand-sanitizing units are located at the main entrances to all buildings on campus and in multiple locations in high-traffic areas. Requests for an additional eight oz. bottle of hand sanitizer can be sent to
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be flammable and may not be suitable for specific areas on campus.

The custodial staff will continue to enhance the cleaning of high-traffic areas and touchpoints across the campus, adhering to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the CDC and the Department of Health, "Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19," and the "STOP THE SPREAD" poster, as applicable. Custodian will use applicable CDC and NYS Department of Health guidelines, including a DEC and EPA-registered disinfectant for use against SARS-CoV-2.

Custodial staff will provide cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas, with attention to wiping down commonly used surfaces. Cleaning and disinfection will include, at a minimum, all heavy traffic areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., elevators, lobbies, building entrances, badge scanners, restrooms, handrails, door handles).

Should there be confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Campus, Facilities will clean and disinfect exposed areas. Cleaning and disinfection to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces (e.g., elevators, lobbies, building entrances, badge scanners, restrooms, handrails, door handles).
  • Before starting and ending work leaving any room in which you have been working, you must wipe down all workspaces with the EPA-registered, 60% alcohol disinfectant provided by the College. This cleaning includes any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., computers, copiers/printers, A/V and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknob, etc.) Employees should clean surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Paper towel dispensers have been installed in restrooms to avoid the use of hand dryers in the bathrooms.
  • Receptacles will be placed around campus to dispose of soiled items, including paper towels and PPE.
  • Ground tours to ensure that sites and parking lots are in conditions suitable for increased occupancy.
The College installed new hand sanitizer stations at all building entrances and egresses, elevator banks, and central meeting locations.


The Facilities Department will provide universal signage consistent with NYS Department of Health COVID-19 to help with social distancing and sanitary measures. Signs are posted throughout the campus, including entrances, exits, elevators, stairwells, hallways, bathrooms, offices, classrooms, libraries, and gathering spaces.
  • Signs are placed near hand sanitizing stations indicating that visibly soiled hands should be washed with soap and water as hand sanitizer is ineffective with visibly soiled hands.
Isolation and Quarantine The College practices quarantine/isolation of impacted employees and students and will continue to consult with CUNY and the NYC Health Department. Students, faculty, and staff should not come to campus if they are experiencing or recently experienced (in the last 48 hours) any new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You quarantine when you might have been exposed to the
  • You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you do not have symptoms
Based on the evolving nature of COVID, the CDC has revised its guidance on isolation and quarantine. Isolation Guidelines if You Test Positive for COVID-19: Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Stay home for five (5) days (day 0 is your first day of symptoms, or the day of your first positive test if you do not develop symptoms).
    • Stay in a separate room from other household members, if
    • Use a separate bathroom, if
    • Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if
    • Avoid contact with other members of the household and
    • Do not share personal household items, like cups, towels, and
    • Wear a well-fitting mask when you need to be around other
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after five (5) days, you can leave your
  • If an individual has access to a test and wants to test, the best approach is to use an antigen test towards the end of the five (5) day isolation period. If your test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day ten. 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.
  • Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for five additional days; if you cannot wear a mask, continue to isolate for five
  • If you have a fever, continue isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing
  • If you are severely ill with COVID-19, you should isolate for at least ten days. Consult your doctor before ending isolation.
If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19:
Population: What to do:
  • If you have received a booster, OR
  • Completed the primary series of Pfizer vaccine within the last five months or Moderna vaccine within the last 5months, OR
  • Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the previous two months OR
  • Tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the previous 90 days and subsequently recovered and remained without COVID-19 symptoms
  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for ten
  • Get tested at least five days after your close contact (the date of your exposure is considered day 0); if you test positive, stay home and isolate per the guidelines
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test, stay home and follow the isolation guidelines above.
  • For those who have completed the primary series of Pfizer vaccine over five months ago or Moderna vaccine over five months ago and are not boosted, OR
  • Completed the primary series of J&J over two months ago and are not boosted, OR
  • Are unvaccinated
  • Stay home for five days; after that, continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for five additional If you cannot wear a mask for the additional five days, continue to quarantine for those five days.
  • If you cannot stay at home, you must wear a well-fitting mask for ten days.
  • Get tested at least five days after close contact; if you test positive, stay home and isolate per the above guidelines.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test, stay home and follow the isolation guidelines
  • Do not travel during your quarantine period.
Travel All individuals should follow the CDC domestic travel recommendations and international travel recommendations before reporting to work or campus and notify their manager in advance of the travel dates and should quarantine be required. Any students, faculty or staff engaging in official travel on behalf of the College must follow the latest approval requirements for domestic and international travel. The College has identified spaces to isolate symptomatic individuals on campus. The areas will have hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, masks, gloves, and garbage bags. The four quarantine spaces are:
  • Academic Building 1 – Edison O. Jackson Auditorium
  • Bedford Building – Room 1008
  • Student Services Building – Room 307
  • Carroll Street Building – Room 209
Isolation and Transportation of Individuals with Symptoms Public Safety officers will monitor isolated individuals until safe and appropriate transportation is available to take the person to their home or other location where the individual will be residing for the duration of the quarantine period. Officers will call for ambulance transport if the individual shows emergency warning signs. This guidance is issued to faculty, supervisors, and others on campus on what to do if someone becomes symptomatic or ill while on campus.
Vulnerable Populations

  • Employees who are asked to return to work on campus who fall into a high-risk category for COVID-19 complications should contact Human Resources to discuss options for the possibility of a remote work assignment or accommodation. Supervisors will develop alternative work assignments for these employees to stay at home or work remotely. In general, these will be approved when requested, unless the employee's job requires in-person work (such as grounds, cleaning, and maintenance).
  • Students with medical conditions or housing instability can participate in classes online and make alternate arrangements with their instructors regarding coursework or makeup assignments.
  • Students with disabilities can contact the Office of Accessibility and Accommodation Services to receive their accommodation eligibility. To obtain information, students can contact Tameka Kemp, Disability Accommodations Specialist, at Further information can be found here.
Restart Operations

The decision to significantly reduce the occupancy of buildings came quickly, as epidemiological data and projections came into focus. While some building occupancy levels dropped significantly, and other buildings were closed entirely, maintenance of facilities continued. Therefore, refilling utility lines and start-up of essential equipment and systems is unnecessary before increasing on-campus presence.

Facilities inspected, cleaned, and maintained the buildings and grounds in the weeks leading up to the repopulation of the campuses. For more details, please read the Facilities plan. This plan includes the following work:
  • To build tours to ensure that central systems are in working order and ready for an increase of 70% occupancy.
  • Preventative maintenance measures followed established schedules and repairs incorporating CDC and NY State health guidance.
Ventilation and HVAC System

The College will ensure an adequate flow of fresh air to workspaces and optimize the ventilation system operations to reduce the risk of airborne exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The College has followed CDC guidance in the approaches for mitigating the ventilation in the Buildings,  which includes:
  • Increasing the introduction of outdoor air through the opening of dampers and operable windows;
  • Disabling demand control ventilation or systems that turn the fans off when thermostats are satisfied so that fans run continuously;
  • We run HVAC systems at maximum outside airflow for two hours before and after the building is occupied;
  • Ensuring ventilation systems operate correctly;
  • Increasing air filtration to as high as possible (MERV 13) without significantly reducing design airflow;
  • Making sure filters are correctly sized and fitted;
  • Ensuring restroom exhaust fans are functional and operating at full capacity;
  • Considering portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems to enhance air cleaning; and
  • Considering ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) as a supplemental treatment when options for increasing room ventilation and filtration are limited
The CDC recommends that facility operators adopt a layered approach to COVID-19 transmission mitigation and suggests  that facility operators "consider using some or all of its list of control measure tools to improve ventilation." As part of the ventilation assessment, MEC was instructed to implement these measures to the extent practicable. These control measures and the CDC guidance formed the basis of the ventilation assessment planned and conducted by CUNY.

As part of this overall assessment, an engineering consultant conducted the site visit at all of our buildings identified for re-opening to determine what control measures were available for each building and reported its findings to CUNY. Based on the CDC guidelines and the data gathered, CUNY identified the buildings that meet a sufficient subset of the CDC guidelines to limit the risk of airborne transmission of the SARS-CoV-2. The reports confirmed that all four buildings could safely be used for in-person learning and work.

The College will continue to perform maintenance and conduct operations to maintain the control measures recommended by the CDC that formed the basis of CUNY's reports by the following:
  • Inspect filters and confirm the correct direction of airflow.
  • Inspect hot water/chilled water (HW/CW) coils and clean if needed.
  • Test exhaust airflow at exhaust vents.
  • Ensure the plumbing drainage system is properly working.
  • Ensure drains (including plumbing traps) are clean of organic material.
  • Bathroom ventilation systems are in proper working order
  • Dormant water systems are flushed.