Health Screening and Wellness

We must be responsible for each other while protecting ourselves from COVID-19. We can take a few simple measures to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the virus. Show that you care for your classmates, family, friends, and neighbors, and help hold each other accountable.

The responsibility for the health and safety of the College community is shared by everyone who plans to be on campus. Be sure to self-assess and monitor yourself for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before reporting to work or coming to the campus.
Testing and Contact Tracing

CUNY has expanded testing for the safety and convenience of the CUNY community, creating a robust testing program using various testing models, some new and some expansions of existing efforts.
  • Student-athletes will be required to submit a negative test result before returning to campus.
  • Weekly testing will continue for the unvaccinated and expand to cover student-athletes regardless of vaccination status.
Rapid tests will be available for approved screening circumstances when unanticipated entry to campus is required. The rapid tests will be distributed to CUNY testing sites and selected locations on campus and tracked through the testing system for inventory and usage management. CUNY has expanded testing for the safety and convenience of the CUNY community, creating a robust testing program using various testing models, some new and some expansions of existing efforts.

Random Testing

To help contain the spread of COVID-19 on campus, the testing program also includes a periodic screening of a random sampling of vaccinated individuals across the College. The random testing will increase to 20% of the vaccinated and unvaccinated on-campus population. Participation in the random surveillance testing is mandatory, and failure to participate will remove the individual's Cleared4 access pass to CUNY spaces.

Symptomatic Testing

All faculty, staff, and students are required to self-monitor daily before coming to campus. In the likelihood someone shows signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (whether fully vaccinated or unvaccinated), they should not report to work or campus and will be asked to get a test and quarantine until they receive a negative result. Anyone who tests positive should report it to the Coronavirus Campus Liaison, Mohamed Bangura, at In addition, individuals should notify their supervisor of the situation and Human Resources at 718-270-6910.

Surveillance Testing

Upon submitting documentation showing a complete vaccination series completion, fully vaccinated faculty, staff, and students with no COVID-19 like symptoms and no known exposure are exempt from weekly testing. To opt-out of the weekly testing, employees must present proof of vaccination to Human Resources and students to the student health services. Surveillance testing is intended to identify asymptomatic infected people. Surveillance helps identify unknown cases so that the community can prevent further transmission.

Mandatory Testing

Mandatory weekly testing will be required for anyone who regularly reports to campus and has not been fully vaccinated or has not shown vaccination proof. These individuals will have to schedule weekly surveillance tests and maintain their assigned testing cadence. Diagnostic (PCR) testing will be used to test all symptomatic persons, including vaccinated persons who display COVID-related symptoms.

Medical clearances required to return to campus will continue to be accepted by non-CUNY testing providers. CUNY safeCircle test sites will also be available for approval because of the shortage of functional testing in New York City.

For more information about CUNY's COVID-19 testing program, please see the Testing FAQ. For a list of testing locations, visit here. Please refer to the Getting Back to Working in Person FAQ. If you still have questions, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Frequency Testing

The frequency of testing will dictate how often an unvaccinated individual visits the campus or attends in-person activities. It is also subject to change given current CDC / New York State / New York City COVID-19 positivity rates and federal, New York State, and local directives.

Unvaccinated faculty, staff, and students who:
  • Teach or work on campus in an office or a lab each week, must be tested weekly;
  • Teach or work on campus in an office or a lab must have a negative test taken no more than seven days before the campus visit;
  • Are not regularly on campus, not included in the categories above, and seeking access to any campus building, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than seven days before the visit.
Contact Tracing

The Campus Coronavirus Liaison, Mohamed Bangura, will continue to follow up with individuals reporting symptoms, aid in identifying exposures, and notify close contacts of the exposure as soon as possible after being notified that someone on campus has tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The Liaison will review health screening data, campus access logs, and other data to confirm the following details and assist state and local health officials with tracing.
  • If an employee, student, or visitor was in close or proximate contact with others on campus and tests positive for COVID, immediately notify and cooperate with New York State and City health departments with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as workers, visitors and/or customers (if known) who had close or proximate contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality as required.
  • In the case of individual testing, positive screening and testing results and related data, including vulnerable medical conditions, are treated as confidential and are kept separate from an employee's personnel files. However, the Campus Coronavirus Liaison will follow up with individuals who screen positive for COVID-19 symptoms and provide the individual with healthcare and testing resources. Faculty, staff, and students are expected to fully cooperate if contacted by Campus Liaison or public health authorities engaging in contact tracing. Complete and honest disclosure of symptoms, close contacts, and social activities is critical for contact tracers to identify at-risk persons and support isolation and quarantine. Information about New York State Contact Tracing can be found here.
The New York State Contact Tracing Program will inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home or in their living quarters, self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. Vaccinated individuals do not have to self-quarantine but will not be allowed on campus until they are tested 3-5 days after exposure and receive a negative result (see quarantine section below).
  • The New York State Contact Tracing Program will contact individuals to identify all community members who were in close contact during the individual's time. The NYS Department of Health considers close contact to be someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes, starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the person was isolated (see: ateemploy pdf).
  • The New York State Contact Tracing Program will reach all close contacts and notify unvaccinated individuals that they are required to self-quarantine.
Vaccinations & Booster Requirements

For Spring 2022, the College will have a mixed population of students, staff, and faculty that are fully vaccinated, boosted, and not fully vaccinated. Our policies are designed to maximize the protection of our community members including people who are not fully vaccinated. These policies follow the CDC guidance identifies four factors that inform the optimal implementation of layered prevention strategies:
  1. The level of community transmission of COVID-19
  2. COVID-19 vaccination coverage, including among students, faculty, and staff
  3. Implementation of a robust, frequent SARS-CoV-2 screening testing program with high participation from the unvaccinated campus population; and
  4. Any local COVID-19 outbreaks or increasing trends.
CUNY and MEC continues to consider all of these factors to inform and update, when needed, the College's approach to the following layered implementation strategies.

Vaccination & Booster Requirements  

Students returning to campus in the spring for in-person and hybrid courses, or any other on-campus activities will be required to submit proof of vaccination, unless a religious or medical exemption has been approved. Students must upload proof of being fully-vaccinated prior to the start of classes for the Spring term. A person is considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as Pfizer or Moderna, or;
  • Two weeks after a single dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson (J&J), or;
  • At the time specified in either in the FDA licensure or World Health Organization (WHO) approval, after the final vaccination of any other vaccines.
Additionally, students are required to receive vaccine boosters, once eligible. Students who were eligible for a booster as of January 28, must upload proof of receiving it no later than March 1. Those who become eligible after January 28 will have 30 days after they become eligible to get the booster. Students who miss their deadlines won’t be able to register for summer or fall classes until they upload their proof.

Booster Eligibility:

  • Those 18 and older are eligible for a booster shot at 5 months after the completion of a two-dose regimen of Pfizer, 5 months after the completion of a two-dose regimen of Moderna, or 2 months after the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) shot. The Pfizer or Moderna booster is preferred in most situations.
  • Those 12-to 17-year-olds who initially received the Pfizer two-dose regimen are eligible for a Pfizer booster 5 months after completing the regimen.
  • Those 12 and older 5 months after the completion of a WHO-approved vaccine that is not authorized by the FDA or 5 months after completion of a mix and match series of WHO-approved and FDA approved/authorized vaccines.

In compliance with a public policy directive issued by Governor Hochul on December 31, all full- and part-time faculty, all non-teaching instructional staff (which includes, among others, NTAs, CLTs, and those in the HEO series), and personnel in the Executive Compensation Plan, are required to be fully vaccinated (two-dose Pfizer or Moderna regimen, or 1 dose J&J) in order to remain employed by the University, except if a medical exemption, religious exception or reasonable accommodation has been granted.

Proof of vaccination must be uploaded into CUNYfirst  by no later than April 1, 2022. Regardless of mandate, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated and receive vaccine boosters, once eligible.


Offering and Promoting Vaccination

MEC has and will continue to strongly promote the vaccine and boosters. Campuses will continue to promote the University’s #VaxUpCUNYcampaign, a multifaceted, multimedia campaign to encourage CUNY students, alumni, faculty, and staff to get their COVID-19 vaccination and boosters. The campaign is a critical strategy for easing anxiety for those that may be hesitant to vaccinations.

  Vaccination Appointments All vaccination sites in New York City allow walk-ins. To find a location near you, check online. No appointment is needed for the vaccination site on the Campus on Crown Street. For more information about the vaccine and where to get it, visit CUNY's #VaxUpCUNY webpage.
For students who plan to take in-person or hybrid classes in the Winter 2021 or Spring 2022 semesters, per CUNY policy, students will need to be fully vaccinated by the day classes begin. The only exception to this mandate is the few students with approved exemptions.

1. If you are already vaccinated but have not updated proof of vaccination in CUNYfirst because you are currently remote, don't wait. Do it today and you'll be ready to visit a campus or take an in-person class. You may also benefit from getting priority registration for courses if you've uploaded vaccination documents. For step-by-step instructions to upload documents, visit here.

2. If you are not vaccinated when you enroll for Winter 2021 or Spring 2022 in-person or hybrid classes, understand that you will need to be fully vaccinated, with your documents uploaded 10 days before classes begin. Unvaccinated students will be withdrawn before classes begin if they are not fully vaccinated.

3. Only students taking all remote courses and not planning to visit a campus for any reason or students with approved medical exemptions or religious exceptions are exempt from this mandate. Applications for exemptions must be submitted in CUNYfirst 30 days before the start of classes, which for most students means they have to apply no later than December 28, 2021 for the spring.

Vaccination & Withdrawal Deadlines for Spring 2022
The Spring 2022 semester begins at most CUNY campuses on Friday, January 28, 2022. (If you attend LaGuardia, Kingsborough, or Guttman, you have a later start date; please refer to your school's calendar for deadlines.) Students must upload proof of full vaccination by Tuesday, January 18. If not, they will be automatically withdrawn from in-person and hybrid classes for non-compliance with the vaccination mandate on Thursday, January 27. To meet these deadlines, unvaccinated students need to get:

1. the first shot of the Moderna vaccine no later than December 17, 2021, or
2. the first shot of Pfizer no later than December 24, 2021, or
3. the single shot of Johnson & Johnson no later than January 14, 2022, and
4. upload proof of vaccination documents to CUNYfirst no later than January 18, 2022.

Please note, if your vaccination documents are already approved in CUNYfirst, you do not need to re-submit them. For information, deadlines, and requirements for the Winter 2021 session, which begins on January 3, 2022, and for further details on Spring 2022, please visit this link. For the latest information on health and safety including information on how to get vaccinated, visit the #CantStopCUNY page.
Visitor Policy CUNY’s Visitor Policy is designed to restrict anyone who has not been fully vaccinated or has not received a recent negative COVID-19 test from entering a CUNY campus or office.   Definition of Visitor A visitor to campus is someone who is not a MEC or CUNY student, faculty, or staff member. Examples of visitors include, but are not limited to:
  • vendors and other individuals coming to campus to perform activities related to a contract with or in support of the University;
  • employees of related entities of CUNY, including without limitation auxiliary enterprise corporations, colleges associations, and child care centers;
  • unpaid college interns;
  • community members and other individuals coming to campus to use University facilities such as pools and gyms or to attend activities on campus; and
  • family members or friends of CUNY students, faculty, or
  Rules for Visitors Every visitor to campus, whether accessing indoor or outdoor spaces, must provide proof that they (i) are fully vaccinated or (ii) have had a negative COVID-19 molecular (PCR) test performed by an accredited lab no more than seven days prior to the visit. “Fully vaccinated” means:  
  • Two weeks after a second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines; or
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine; or
  • At the time specified in either the FDA licensure or World Health Organization approval, after the final administration of any other vaccines.
  Visitors are also required to comply with all other University policies and codes of conduct, as well as government and campus-specific rules and protocols, applicable to individuals on campus that are intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including by way of example:  
  • any masking requirements; and
  • complying with any applicable federal, state, or local quarantine
  Before coming to campus, visitors are encouraged to consult the campus’ website to review the most current access rules and protocols. A link to the campus plan can be found on CUNY’s Spring 2022 Reopening Plans page.   Exception for Short Visits with No Close Contact Visitors who are on campus for 30 minutes or less per visit do not have to comply with any COVID-19 vaccination or surveillance testing requirements applicable to CUNY staff unless the visitor expects during that time to be less than six feet distant from another person for a total of 15 minutes or more.   Policies for Minors under 5 Years Old  
  1. Accompanying a visitor   Children accompanying a visitor with business to tend to on campus for a limited time.   ·       Exempt from testing ·       Recommend masking for children 2- 5 years of age who are not yet vaccinated.
  2. Attending events   Children attending an event, performance, or assembly where a large group will assemble for an extended period.   ·       Exempt from testing ·       Limit access on campus ·       Recommend masking for children 2-5 years of age who are not yet vaccinated.
  3. Enrolled in programs   Children who routinely come to CUNY facilities to participate in a program.   ·       Require Weekly Testing ·       Recommend masking for children 2-5 years of age who are not yet vaccinated.
CUNY COVID-19 Safety Tracker