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Governor Hochul Announces Spring Semester Guidance for SUNY and CUNY Campuses to Safely Reopen

Friday, December 31, 2021

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced issuance of spring semester reopening guidance for SUNY and CUNY campuses which includes the continuation of the student vaccine mandate as well as requiring all students regularly accessing campus to receive the COVID-19 booster for the spring semester. Additional requirements for students also include mandatory pre-testing ahead of their semester return, which will apply to all students who plan to regularly access campus. Each campus will develop and communicate an ongoing testing plan to monitor for positive cases throughout the semester. Campuses will continue to enforce universal indoor masking regardless of vaccination status and social distancing for anyone who is unvaccinated on campus -- as New York State continues to help communities respond to the uptick in COVID cases.

"We need to ensure students in New York are able to stay in school and learn in-person throughout the spring semester," Governor Hochul said. "Students deserve to have a safe, and high quality in-person college experience, and with these new measures, students will be able to stay on campus and in their classes. SUNY and CUNY have already done an extraordinary job at fighting the pandemic, with COVID-19 rates much lower than the general population, and it's time to take the next step to keep everyone safe."

Students who are regularly on campus who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster are now required to receive one for the Spring 2022 semester. Campuses must develop a plan and timeframe requirement for students to provide proof of booster vaccination.

SUNY and CUNY campuses must also implement, or continue if they had previously implemented, an ongoing testing program throughout the semester. Campuses will develop a random sampling methodology, which will be communicated to students. Campuses may also implement an exemption process for those who have received a booster. All faculty will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

SUNY will continue to report real-time results at the COVID-19 Case Tracker available here. Since the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, when students began returning for in-person classes, SUNY has administered nearly three million tests on campus with an average positivity rate of about 0.45 percent, far lower than statewide and surrounding community rates.

CUNY will continue to report weekly results on its COVID-19 Safety Tracker available here. Since August 25, CUNY has administered almost 95,000 tests to unvaccinated individuals with an average cumulative positivity rate of 0.50 percent.