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CUNY COVID Guidelines: Spring 2023

(April 11, 2023)

CUNY to End the Emergency COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

CUNY COVID Guidelines: Spring 2023

The City University of New York today announced that in the wake of significant advances in the three-year battle against COVID-19 and consistent with the federal government’s plan to end the Public Health Emergency, it is ending the emergency vaccination mandate for students, faculty and staff. The University worked closely with State and City health officials to make the determination which marks a major milestone in CUNY’s fight against the pandemic.

(April 3, 2023)

CUNY COVID Guidelines: Spring 2023 Printable Version

CUNY remains dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students, faculty and staff for the Spring 2023 semester. We continue to adhere to the latest CDC guidance and any requirements from New York State and New York City.


Vaccination and Booster Requirements

For the Spring 2023 semester, CUNY will be adhering to its current COVID-19 vaccination policy for students. 

All new students coming to campus for the first time 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 strongly encouraged to receive vaccine boosters, once eligible. Colleges should continue to promote the benefits of vaccination and encourage their campus populations to receive vaccinations and boosters.

Note: Individuals who received a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccination other than the three listed above must provide more information. Students can reach out to your Campus Location Vaccination Authority (LVA) for details.

Please note that students requesting religious exceptions or medical exemptions should do so 30 days before the drop date for noncompliance, i.e., There will be exceptions reviewed for the off-schedule campuses ongoing.

Student Athletes
For safety protocols and updates regarding CUNY’s athletics programs, see the CUNY Athletic Conference Return to Sport

For additional information on safely participating in athletics, schools may consult the NCAA’s Training and Competition

At this time, CUNY does not require face masks.

Anyone who would like to continue wearing masks in any setting is welcome to do so at any time. Due to the increased rates of COVID-19, seasonal flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), the NYC Health Department strongly recommends the use of masks. Masks will continue to be available on campus and offices.

Faculty, staff and students who are still not vaccinated 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.

Contact Tracing

CUNY will continue to aid in the identification of exposures, and notify close contacts, as appropriate, of exposure as soon as possible after being notified that someone in the campus has tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID19.

CDC Guidance that CUNY and Campuses will continue to follow:

  • As soon as possible after they are notified that someone has tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID19, campuses should notify close contacts of exposure, in accordance with applicable privacy and other laws.
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms should isolate and notify their close
    contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and refer close contacts to the state or local health
    department website to learn about the steps they should take because of the exposure.
Isolation and Exposure

CUNY continues to follow the latest CDC guidance on isolation and exposure. Any students, staff or faculty who test positive with COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with COVID-19 must follow these guidelines, as outlined below, prior to returning to campus.

CUNY policy has changed and we no longer require students, staff or faculty to share their negative test to return to campus or their office after isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test.

CUNY Guidance:  

Test results will be accepted from CUNY testing sites or other licensed test providers. 

  • Isolation Guidelines if You Test Positive for COVID-19 
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least 5 days and isolate from others in your home.
  • You may end isolation based on how serious your symptoms were:
  • If you had no symptoms, you may end isolation after 5 days.
  • If you had mild symptoms, end isolation after 5 days if you have been fever free for 24 hours (without medication) and other symptoms are improving.
    • If symptoms are not improving, continue to isolate until you are fever free for at least 24 hours and symptoms improve.
  • If you had moderate symptoms (shortness of breath or difficulty breathing) you should isolate for 10 days.
  • If you had severe symptoms (hospitalization), isolate for 10 days and consult your doctor. You may need a viral test before ending isolation.
Removing your mask
  • If you have ended isolation and are feeling better, you may remove your masks after 10 days.
  • With two sequential negative antigen tests 48 hours apart, you may remove your mask sooner than day 10.
    • If your antigen test results are positive, you may still be infectious. You should continue wearing a mask and wait at least 48 hours before taking another test. Continue taking antigen tests at least 48 hours apart until you have two sequential negative results. This may mean you need to continue wearing a mask and testing beyond day 10.
    • Free, at-home rapid tests are provided by New York City. Use NYC COVID-19 Test Site Finderand COVID 19 Testing Sites – NYC Health + Hospitals ( to find a test near you.
  • After you have ended isolation, if your COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen, restart your isolation at day 0. Talk to a healthcare provider if you have questions about your symptoms or when to end isolation.
  • If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
  • You do not need to quarantine.
  • Take precautions for 10 full days
  • Wear a high-quality mask. Avoid situations where you cannot wear a mask.
  • Monitor for symptoms. If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately, get tested and stay home until you know the result.
  • Get tested at least 5 days after your close contact (the date of your exposure is considered day 0); if you test positive, stay home and isolate per guidelines above.
  • If your exposure is from someone you live with, you should reach out to your Campus Coronavirus Liaison.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test, stay home and follow the isolation guidelines above.
  • 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 CUNY must follow the latest approval requirements for domestic and international travel. 

Metrics and Early Warning:

CUNY will continue to monitor campus and community infection rates. CUNY Central Office will consult with campus leadership to determine the best course of action for additional safety protocols or scaling back campus activity, if necessary. Any decisions on shutting down particular buildings/areas within campuses, individual campuses, or multiple
campuses, as appropriate, will be made by the Chancellery/COO’s Office in consultation with local/State authorities. Campuses must have a shutdown plan in place to respond rapidly. Campuses should rely on previously developed shutdown plans and consult the Reclosing Protocols: CUNY’s Guide for Safely Closing On-Campus Operations, for additional information on criteria for shutdown and shutdown protocols. 


CUNY will continue its testing program using various testing models for the safety and convenience of the CUNY community.

  • All students are encouraged to test before returning to campus.
  • Weekly testing will continue for those who are unvaccinated
  • Overall random testing of 5% of the on-campus population. Participation in the random surveillance testing is mandatory and failure to participate will result in the removal of the individual’s Cleared4 access pass to CUNY spaces.

To facilitate testing for required medical clearance to return to campus, tests will continue to be accepted from non-CUNY testing providers as well as from CUNY safeCircle test sites. Testing to return to campus should only be done at CUNY safeCircle test sites when you are symptom free to protect you and others in the CUNY community. If you are recovering from COVID-19, you should not get tested until you have completed your isolation requirements and are symptom free. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we encourage you to visit a public testing site near your home or use an at home test kit.

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 to selected locations on campus and will be tracked through the testing system for inventory and usage management.

For more information about CUNY’s COVID-19 testing program, please see the Testing FAQ. For a list of testing locations, visit here. For general frequently asked questions, please refer to the Getting Back to Working in Person FAQ. If you still have questions, please contact your HR office


Before coming to campus, each member of the community is expected to monitor your symptoms, stay away from others if you feel sick, and get tested at a public testing site if you have any symptoms. CUNY safeCircle testing sites should not be used if you have symptoms. 

Visitor Policy

CUNY will no longer require a proof of vaccine or recent negative test for visitors. CUNY’s campuses and buildings should return to their standard protocols for visitors. 

General Guidelines for Healthy Facilities

CUNY will maintain many approaches to limit the spread of communicable disease. These include regular and enhanced
cleaning, safe disinfection when necessary, improved ventilation and maintaining healthy facilities.

Faculty and Staff Resources

Upload Vaccination Verification

Vaccine Verification Instructions visit step-by-step guide instruction for uploading vaccine verification to CUNYfirst. 

Vaccine Finder

Use these tools to find a free vaccine and/or booster site close to you and to check which vaccine(s) they offer



Random COVID Testing

Random COVID Testing is required and not optional for all CUNY employees and students; vaccinated or not. CUNY employees and students are subject to random COVID-19 testing through Cleared4 SafeCircle. Failure to respond to random testing requests will void your Cleared4 access pass and you will not be allowed on campus. 

  • If you receive an email from notifying you that you have been selected for random COVID-19 testing, you must comply within the timeframe stated in the email.  You may test only at any one of the CUNY COVID-19 testing sites. Sites and times can be found on Find a CUNY COVID Testing Site.
  • The email will be sent to the address that you selected as “preferred” in your CUNYFirst account, so it is important to be diligent about checking all your emails regularly.
  • If you do not report for the COVID-19 testing at a CUNY testing site location within the timeframe specified, your access pass to campus will be paused and you will not be able to report to classes or offices until a negative test result is given.

COVID-19 Testing Program and Sites

All faculty and staff members who have not provided proof of vaccination in CUNYfirst or who chose not to disclose their vaccination status need to enroll in CUNY’s testing program and should have received an email with a link from Cleared4 to enroll.

KCC COVID-19 Testing Site

Effective Monday September 12, 2022,  the Fall COVID Testing Site hours of operation in U101 are as follows:

Times of Operation


8 am-12 noon


8 am-12 noon


1pm-7 pm


10am-2 pm


10 am-2 pm

Find another CUNY COVID-19 Testing Site.

For more details, read the Testing FAQ.

Testing Positive for COVID-19

Based on the new CDC COVID updates, we have created a new response guide that you can refer to for COVID exposure protocols Please continue to contact the KCC COVID Response team with all updates at

For more details, read the CDC Guidelines for Isolation and Quarantine.

COVID-19 SafetyTracker

Central Office updates the CUNY COVID-19 SafetyTracker with the latest safety metrics from all CUNY campuses every Tuesday. That information is readily available on the CUNY site:  For more information, read the 

Spring 2023 COVID-19 Plan

The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff are our highest priorities. Communicating the latest guidance and policies to navigate in-person and hybrid learning and work is important.  Review Kingsborough Community College’s Spring 20223 COVID-19 Plan for the most comprehensive overview of the College’s efforts.


Protect yourself, your friends and your community. Learn more about the signs and symptoms.  Visit the links below for more informationCUNY Campus Health Services can also assess for symptoms of monkeypox, answer questions and make referrals to outside medical services.

On Campus Food Service 

Panda House will be providing food service in the Beach Café (also known as the U-Cafeteria) as well as in our T2Go location. In the Beach Café, Panda House will have the Breakfast/Sandwich Station open as well as the Grill Station for Breakfast and Lunch. Grab n Go items will be available at both locations, including hot and cold beverages. The complete menu, hours of operation and price list is available on the Food Service website.


Past COVID-19 webpages can be found below, and the content will be archived: