In March, 2020, York College, in conjunction with The City University of New York, moved nearly all of its operations to a remote format in response to the quickly-growing COVID-19 pandemic, in the interests of the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff. In Fall, 2020, the College was able to move a small number of classes to in-person format, where the move was absolutely necessary to the nature of the class, and only after implementing extensive precautions to minimize the risk posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the College published its Reopening Plan, preparing for the end of the pandemic and the eventual return to in-person operations, with the most recent version having been issued in September, 2020 (“Reopening Plan,” attached hereto.) In Fall, 2021, in recognition of falling positive cases and increasing numbers of individuals vaccinated, the College expanded its in-person presence, as detailed in its Fall 2021 Reopening Plan.
In Spring, 2022, the College continues to be vigilant, but confident that it can continue to expand its in-person presence, in light of the continuing increase in numbers of persons vaccinated in its immediate community, and its success in maintaining low infection rates on-campus relative to the surrounding community. In light of this, and the recognition that it is in the interests of our students to continue to expand on-campus instruction, the College now supplements its Reopening Plan with the following plan for Spring 2022 instruction.
In Fall, 2021, the College was able to advance directly to Phase 3 of the York College Reopening Plan. Phase 3 provides for expanded on-site work and classes, up to 75% of normal College density. In Spring 2022, the College continues to operate in Phase 3 at a higher in-person presence, as detailed herein. Pursuant to the Reopening Plan, Library Access is limited to front desk services, without student access to stacks; group study areas outside of the area of the stacks are available for student use. Computer Laboratory Access continues to be limited to 50% capacity in select labs. Dining Facilities remain closed at this time, with the exception of the 2nd Floor café, which provides “grab and go” service. Elevators continue to be operated with strict social distancing rules in place, with priority access for the disabled. (See Reopening Plan, p. 2)
In January 2022, Governor Hochul declared that CUNY students will be required to receive a booster vaccination in order to be able to attend Spring 2022 classes in-person, and that faculty will be required to be vaccinated before working on-campus (subject only to exemptions for medical or religious reasons). Accordingly, students who were eligible for a booster as of January 28, 2022, must upload proof of receiving it no later than March 1, 2022. 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 2022 or Fall 2022 classes until they upload their proof.
- Those 18 and older are eligible for a booster shot at 5 months after the completion of two dose regimen of Pfizer, 5 months after the completion of two dose regimen of Moderna, or 2 months after the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot. The Pfizer or Moderna booster is preferred in most situations.
- Those 12-17 year olds who initially received the Pfizer two dose regimen are eligible for a Pfizer booster 5 months after completing the regimen.
All full- and part-time faculty, non-teaching instructional staff (which includes, among others, NTAs, CLTs, and those in the HEO series) and ECPs are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to upload proof of vaccination into CUNYFirst by no later than April 1, 2022. At this time, for the purposes of these titles only, “fully vaccinated” is defined as the two shots of Moderna or Pfizer, or the single shot of Johnson & Johnson, without boosters.
Except where otherwise indicated, the College will continue to adhere to the September, 2020, York College Reopening Plan.
The University has asked all of the Colleges in the CUNY system to work towards a 70% in-person academic schedule in the Spring 2022 semester, and the College has reviewed and revised its schedule in accord with this target. As a result, a much larger proportion of its classes in the Spring are in-person or Hyflex.
The York College Office of Information Technology has deployed and retrofitted 83 technology-equipped rooms to adopt the minimum technological standards for Hyflex. One auto-tracking instructor camera is placed at the back of the room. This camera is capable of zooming in and auto-tracking the professor’s movement around the classroom, and capturing the professor’s interaction with the student(s) on-premises. Depending of the classroom configuration and size, a display or projector is installed in the front of the class so on-premises students can see the remote students as well. Additional displays are installed in the rear or the side of the class so the instructor can see the remote students. Microphone array technology allows both the instructor and on-premises student(s) to be heard by remote students, and sound technology allows both in-person and remote students to effectively participate in classroom discussion. Document cameras are also installed in some science labs. In addition, to address issues with and technology and safety concerns, telephones with direct access to the IT Help Desk and Public Safety are installed in these rooms to address.
For those students who continue to receive instruction in a remote format, the Office of Information Technology will also continue to make available technology resources , by providing loaner mobile devices to support remote learning in hybrid and/or online modality.
The College will provide training to students regarding proper hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing protocols, and personal protective equipment. In addition, faculty are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to move instruction to outdoor space, wherever possible.
Students who self-identify as vulnerable in light of the COVID-19 pandemic will receive academic guidance for course selection to ensure all courses are taken online; students registered with the Office of Disabilities will receive guidance and assistance through that office (See Reopening Plan, pp. 14-15; 36-37).
During the pandemic, the College has provided support to its students in a variety of areas, providing services remotely in areas including financial support, advising, medical and mental health support; see https://www.york.cuny.edu/student for additional details. The College will continue to provide these supports in both remote and in person (by appointment) format in Spring 2022.
All College administrative offices will implement a schedule to establish a minimum 70% in-person presence on campus (i.e., at least three days in-person one week, and four days in-person the next), effective Monday, February 28, 2022; this provision is intended to be inclusive of all employees of the College other than faculty. Administrators have been asked to assess the operational needs of their offices to identify duties which must be prioritized for in-person work, such that schedules and assignments may be adjusted to ensure that all operational needs will be satisfactorily addressed. In so doing, Administrators must also consider the challenges created by the creation of “hybrid teams,” and should consider how best to approach grouping and scheduling to maximize office efficiency; notwithstanding this, it is presumed that most group meetings will continue to be conducted remotely to maximize social distancing, even when individuals are working on site. Administrators are authorized to consider adjustments to schedules, including staggered shifts, modified office layouts, extended hours, use of outdoor space, and other adaptations in accord with the CUNY Flexible Work Guidelines to minimize office density while implementing a 70% in-person presence.
The College will continue to provide training to employees regarding proper hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing protocols, and personal protective equipment (See Reopening Plan, p. 9). Signage will be posted, consistent with NYS Department of Health guidance, to remind employees about social distancing, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, and cleaning guidelines (See Reopening Plan, p. 5).
Employees who may be at heightened risk for severe illness if they contract COVID-19 may be eligible for a reasonable accommodation (e.g., to work a flexible schedule or remotely). Employees who have concerns about returning to work onsite for other non-disability reasons (e.g., childcare, health of others in their household) may be eligible for other options (e.g., FMLA, leaves of absence, use of annual leave). Such non-disability accommodation requests are also known as “general accommodation” requests. Current employees seeking an accommodation, general or medical, should contact the Office of Human Resources, which will carefully review all requests on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable Federal, state and local law. (See Reopening Plan, p. 14).
Employees are also strongly recommended to reach out to the University’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, CCA Inc., to seek assistance with any personal difficulties they are facing related to their return to in-person work. Information about CCA Inc. may be found here.
The College will continue to implement comprehensive cleaning and disinfection standards in accord with CDC and NYS Department of Health guidance, with specific requirements for laboratories and classrooms, computer laboratories, library, bathrooms, food pantry, dining areas and entrances. (See Reopening Plan, pp. 12-13; 15-18) The York College Buildings & Grounds department has conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the needs of various spaces in the College, working in collaboration with directors and chairs, to identify and execute space modifications as necessary to ensure appropriate social distancing measures may be carried out:
- Signs requiring that occupants maintain 6’-0” social distance are provided in all shared spaces.
- Excess movable chairs and tables have been removed to limit gathering at waiting and cafeteria dining locations.
- Signage and decals are being used to designate usable seating in areas with fixed furniture.
- Plexiglas barriers are being provided at locations where desks/counters expose occupants to high foot traffic.
The Buildings & Grounds department is currently replacing air filters at air handling units to MERV 13 where possible, with increased outside air mix. In addition, the College is installing UV lights at air handlers to purify the air. Enhanced cleaning protocols will also be implemented, utilizing state of the art, electrostatic cleaning machines, to periodically sanitize all classrooms, restrooms and other higher volume areas.
Testing and Vaccination
In accord with University policy, the College will no longer require daily screening or use of the Everbridge application for persons arriving to campus in-person. Persons exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are expected to stay home until symptoms subside and/or a negative COVID-19 status can be confirmed. All College points of entry are staffed by Public Safety officers, who are stationed behind plexiglass shields. All persons entering campus are required to have completed the COVID-19 Safety Training before entering campus.
Individuals identified as COVID-19-positive on campus will be isolated in the Health Services Office, located at Room AC-1F01 of the Academic Core Building, and appropriate medical professionals will be consulted to determine next steps (See Reopening Plan, pp. 21-22, 29-31). Upon learning of a positive COVID-19 case on campus, the Campus Coronavirus Coordinator will ensure that the State and local health departments are informed, and will consult with CUNY to determine appropriate next steps for the College (See Reopening Plan, pp. 29-31), including, where appropriate, timely reporting to the City and State, notice to close contacts, and contact tracing in accord with CDC and NYS standards.
The College will adopt and adhere to CUNY policies as adopted by the University regarding additional testing for COVID-19 and/or vaccination status. Students who plan to be on-campus are required to be vaccinated. Student participation in on-campus activities will require proof of vaccination. Only medical or religious exemptions will be accepted.
For unvaccinated individuals, continued access to on-campus activities will be contingent on regular submission of a negative test. Testing may include testing for cause in response to exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 infection, or random or group testing (including of those vaccinated) in response to elevated COVID-19 rates in the community. CUNY has implemented a random testing program for vaccinated individuals, and cooperation with the program is mandatory. Procurement will be through a CUNY-approved vendor, and notice of test results will be coordinated by the College COVID liaison and/or coordinator.
- If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)
- Everyone, regardless of vaccination status:
- Stay home for 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 possible.
- Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
- Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
- Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
- Wear a well-fitting mask when you need to be around other people.
- If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house
- In order to return to CUNY after isolation, you must receive a negative PCR or Antigen test (we strongly recommend an Antigen test, if available).
- 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 resolved.
- If your test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10. Following day 10 you must receive a negative PCR or Antigen test before returning to CUNY.
- In lieu of a negative test, individuals may provide a doctor’s certification that they have recovered from COVID-19.
- Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days; if you cannot wear a mask, continue to isolate for 5 days.
If you have a fever, continue isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
If you were severely ill with COVID-19, you should isolate for at least 10 days. Consult your doctor before ending isolation.
- If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)
For those who have been boosted
Completed the primary series of Pfizer vaccine within the last 5 months or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months
Tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the previous 90 days and subsequently recovered and remain without COVID-19 symptoms:
- You do not need to quarantine.
- Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days.
- 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 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 5 months ago or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
- You must quarantine.
- Stay home for 5 days and 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.
- In order to return to CUNY you must receive a negative PCR test at least 5 days after your exposure.
- After that, continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days. If you cannot wear a mask for the additional 5 days, continue to quarantine for those 5 days.
- If you can’t quarantine you must wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days.
If you develop symptoms get a test, stay home and follow the isolation guidelines above.
Do not travel during your quarantine period.
Every visitor to a CUNY campus, whether accessing indoor or outdoor spaces, must provide proof to CUNY 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 7 days prior to the visit. 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 6 feet distant of another person for a total of 15 minutes of more. Visitors under the age of 5 do not have to comply with any COVID-19 vaccination or surveillance testing requirements unless they are enrolled in programs, but are subject to mask requirements:
Types of Under 5 Groups
1. Accompanying a visitor
Children accompanying a visitor who have business to tend to on campus for a limited time.
• Exempt from testing
• Require masking for those 2 and up.
2. Attending events
Children attending an event, performance, or assembly where a large group will congregate for an extended period.
• Exempt from testing
• Limit access on campus
• Require masking for those 2 and up and enforce social distancing
3. Enrolled in programs
Children who routinely come to CUNY facilities to participate in a program.
• Require Weekly Testing
• Require masking for those 2 and up.
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.
The College strongly encourages all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated prior to resuming in-person presence on campus. The College will utilize its various avenues for communication with the College Community to strongly encourage eligible members of the community to get vaccinated as a key component for accelerating the return to in-person campus activities (See Reopening Plan, pp. 22-23).
Social Distancing and Public Health Compliance
Beginning August 16, 2021, only unvaccinated persons on site must adhere to public health precautions regarding social distancing (See Reopening Plan, pp. 4-6). Until otherwise provided, a six-foot social distancing requirement will be enforced in all areas for unvaccinated individuals. Should the University adopt further relaxed social distancing standards, the College will amend its practice in accord with the University.
Non-essential gatherings will continue to be restricted, and may only take place with Administration approval on a case-by-case basis and with appropriate COVID-19-related precautions in place.
The College will continue to require that all persons on site must adhere to public health precautions regarding hygiene, except as otherwise provided herein (See Reopening Plan, pp. 7-10).
Effective March 7, 2022, masks will be optional on campus, except as provided above under “Testing and Vaccination.” The College will maintain a supply of face coverings to provide to students, faculty and staff as needed, although individuals will be allowed to use their own, appropriate face coverings as well.
Shared food and beverages (e.g., “buffet-style” meals) continue to be prohibited. (See Reopening Plan, p. 16)
Hand hygiene stations will be provided throughout the College, and maintained with soap, warm water, and paper towels. (See Reopening Plan, p. 12)
Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at all points of entry to the College and throughout the College on wall mounts and/or on freestanding poles. (See Reopening Plan, p. 18)
The College will utilize cleaning products identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as effective against COVID-19. (See Reopening Plan, p. 13)
The College will adhere to hygiene, cleaning and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and New York State Department of Health, and maintain logs of cleaning and disinfection, including date, time and scope of cleaning. (See Reopening Plan, p. 15)
The York College Child Care Center remains subject to guidance and requirements from the New York City Department of Education and the New York City Department of Health, which supersedes the terms of this plan; as of the date of this plan, the guidance provides for full in-person operation.
During the Spring 2022 semester, the College will prioritize in-person instructional activities over all other activities, given the space constraints associated with social distancing. As a result, most extracurricular activities will remain in a remote format, both to limit unnecessary physical interaction and to maximize space and resources for the purpose of instruction. Groups that wish to hold in-person activities on campus are required to submit a request to the Department of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs for approval; such requests are required to include provisions to ensure appropriate social distancing measures are enforced, in accord with then-current University standards. Groups approved for in-person assembly are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to use outdoor space where possible.
A separate Reopening Plan for Athletics has been submitted by York College and approved by the University.
Contingency Plan for Shutdown
The College will continue to monitor NYS COVID-19 infection rate metrics and local testing metrics that will determine the need to reintroduce more stringent health precautions, or scale back or shut down campus operations. Criteria to be monitored will include:
- Spread of infection on campus;
- Federal, New York State, and New York City regulatory guidelines and mandates;
- Infection/health system status at the local, state, regional and nation-wide level;
- Status of resources and infrastructure to combat contagion, on campus and in the greater community (e.g., PPE, health system capacity, testing and tracing);
- Compliance of the greater public with COVID-19 protocols (e.g., group gatherings, social distancing);
- Reclosing status of neighboring universities.
If appropriate, the College will consult with the University to determine the best course of action for scaling back campus activity. Final decisions on shutting down part or all of the College will be made by the Chancellery/COO’s Office in consultation with local/State authorities.
For additional details, see the York College Reopening Plan (Rev. September 2020), pp. 23-25.
Communication with The College Community
The College will continue to communicate policy and protocol updates to the College Community through a variety of avenues, coordinated by the President’s Office (See Reopening Plan, pp. 22-23). Included in this outreach will be regular messages encouraging unvaccinated members of our community to become vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
A copy of the York College Reopening Plan is currently posted conspicuously on the College’s web site, and a copy of this Spring 2022 will likewise be posted on that site. Copies of each will also be made available to students, faculty and staff at the College.
York College Coronavirus Officers
York College Coronavirus Campus Liaison: Dana Trimboli
York College Coronavirus Campus Coordinator: Claudio Lindow
 Individuals who received a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved vaccination other than the Pfizer, Moderna or J&J must provide more information. Students can reach out to the College Local Vaccination Authority (LVA) and faculty can contact the Human Resources Department for details.