COVID-19 Information and Safe Campus Reopening

#GCForward: COVID-19 Guidance and Resources

The Graduate Center remains open and as dedicated as ever to serving our students through world-class instruction and research support while also creating a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community.

Our faculty, staff, and students are our most important assets. Our priority is to enable all to work, research, and learn in the safest place possible, knowing that may vary depending on each individual’s responsibilities and situation.

Getting the coronavirus vaccine is the single most important step one can take to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19. In close collaboration with CUNY leadership, the Graduate Center is monitoring developments related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and we are following the latest guidance from local, state, and federal agencies. Find more information below. 

Important Information

Contacts and Links

Please email with questions or to request prior campus reactivation plans for Spring/Fall 2022.

Faculty, staff, and students who are based at the Advanced Science Research Center will find the ASRC’s detailed ramp-up to in-person research plan here.

Empire State Building, NYC buildings

COVID-19 Guidelines for Summer and Fall 2022

Updated May 17, 2022

Vaccination and Booster Doses

For the Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 semesters, the majority of CUNY courses will be in-person. Students taking in-person or hybrid courses must have up-to-date vaccination status when classes begin, or they will be de-registered before classes begin. Further, all students taking in-person or hybrid classes must upload proof of that status to CUNYfirst by ten (10) days before classes begin. Additional guidelines and deadlines below:

  • All students (except those with approved exemptions or exceptions) must have up-to-date vaccinations in order to enter any CUNY facility for any reason.
  • If your vaccination documents are already approved in CUNYfirst, you do not need to re-submit them, but they must include proof of being up-to-date, which includes a booster shot once eligible.
  • The deadline to receive the booster shot depends on when students become eligible, determined by the date of the last vaccine shot received. Find these deadlines and details here:
  • Requests for religious exceptions or medical exemptions must be submitted via the CUNYfirst Vaccination Verification Form.

To be sure that your documentation is approved in time, upload to CUNYfirst as soon as you are fully vaccinated. The only exception to this rule is the few students who apply and are granted medical exemptions or religious exceptions.

Students returning to dorms will be required to be tested before moving in. Questions about the Graduate Center Apartments can be submitted here.

A user guide on how to upload proof of vaccination can be found here. Questions about vaccination verification and exemptions can be directed to Students who have questions or concerns should contact the Provost's Office or the Office of Student Affairs.

As of January 2022, 94% of all Graduate Center employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Per the March 17, 2022 letter from the Chancellor, CUNY and the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY (PSC) have agreed to a May 27, 2022 deadline for full- and part-time faculty and non-teaching instructional staff (which includes among others NTAs, CLTs  and those in the HEO-title series) and personnel in the Executive Compensation Plan, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to upload proof of vaccination into CUNYfirst in order to remain employed by the University, except if a medical exemption, religious exception or reasonable accommodation has been granted. The required number of dosages for full vaccination is defined as both doses in a two-shot series (such as Moderna or Pfizer), or the one dose in a single-shot vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson), without boosters. For a guide, please visit here or watch this video.

Please refer to the Office of Human Resources' website regarding Flexible Work Guidelines and Procedures for Requesting Reasonable Accommodations. Research Foundation employees should consult the RF CUNY website.

All vaccination sites in New York City now allow walk-ins and vaccines are administered as part of the CDC’s national vaccination program free of charge. For more information about the vaccine and where to get it, visit the NYS Vaccine Finder and NYC Vaccine Finder.


Due to the need for testing, PCR tests are available to all students and employees at no cost at all CUNY testing sites. In addition to the site located at the Graduate Center on the first floor, there are 19 other testing sites at locations across CUNY. Any CUNY student or employee who needs to be tested for any reason may walk into a site, provide their CUNY ID (EMPLID), register in the system and get tested. Results are made available within 24 to 48 hours. 

CUNY monitors campus and University-wide positivity rates through the on-campus testing programs with Applied DNA Clinical Labs LLC (ADCL). CUNY’s random COVID-19 testing program of vaccinated students and employees continues, to include more people and increase the frequency of testing. Please be on the lookout for an email in case you are randomly selected to be tested as you are required to comply. For a general FAQ on the testing program, visit here. If you are an employee and have questions about this program, contact and if you are a student,

For members of our community who have a medical exemption or religious exception and for staff who are not vaccinated, CUNY mandates a weekly testing program. If you have questions about this requirement, please contact You can check the latest numbers in our COVID-19 Safety Tracker available here.

NYC Health + Hospitals has also made testing available for free on a walk-in only basis and you can find additional New York City COVID-19 Testing sites here.

Masking Recommended

On May 23, 2022, Chancellor Matos Rodríguez issued a written notice to the CUNY community strongly recommending mask wearing in indoor public spaces per the current “high” COVID-19 level in New York City according to the NYC Department of Health’s Alert Level system and the CDC’s Community Level tracking. People who are not vaccinated, or over 65 and those at high risk of severe illness should also wear a mask in crowded outdoor spaces. Masks are available on campuses and in offices.

This is a community effort that is founded in mutual respect for each other to foster an environment for safe learning and working together.

Contact Tracing and Reporting

Per the chancellor’s message on January 5, CUNY will begin following CDC’s issued guidance that adjusted the recommended quarantine and isolation times for people in close contact with someone who is positive or those who test positive:

  • CUNY employees and students who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19 should base their approach to quarantine – if it is needed, when to end it, and when to test – depending on whether they are boosted, fully vaccinated and when, or unvaccinated. Please follow CDC’s guidance on quarantine spelled here.  
  • Employees and students who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for at least 5 days. When to end isolation, test and return to in-person work or class varies depending on whether or not a person develops symptoms or is severely ill. Please follow CDC’s guidance on isolation spelled here.
  • For a detailed description on CDC’s guidelines on quarantine and isolation visit here.
  • Employees who are able to work remotely during quarantine and isolation should do so.
  • We urge employees who are not feeling well to stay home.

Reporting of all positive cases impacting the Graduate Center community is managed by the campus coronavirus coordinator, Brian Peterson, interim senior vice president for finance and administration, and the campus coronavirus health monitoring liaison.

The campus coronavirus coordinator and health monitoring liaison are responsible for reviewing health screening data, campus access logs, and other data to confirm reported cases, coordinate contact tracing, and assist New York State and local health officials with tracing. They will also coordinate notification with community members who may have been affected and, when necessary, communications to the GC community.

Students, faculty, staff, vendors, and campus visitors are obligated to report if they have tested positive for COVID-19 to the health monitoring liaison by sending an email to

One of the Graduate Center HR liaisons will 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 for or been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

Anyone entering a CUNY facility for any reason needs to be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days beyond the last vaccination shot) or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken at a CUNY testing site within the past seven days.

Faculty, staff, and students with verified proof of vaccination status will use the CUNY Access Pass in Cleared4 as of Monday September 27, 2021. Please follow the steps outlined in the Building Entry Policy.

All visitors must be approved prior to accessing campus. Request visitor access at least seven days prior to the visit by submitting the Request Cleared4 CUNY Access Pass for Visitors form.

If you are a new student or a new hire since March 2020 and need a Graduate Center ID, please:

  1. Email from your Graduate Center email address. Put “ID Card” as the subject.
  2. The email body must contain your name as it appears in CUNYfirst, your program and your mailing address.
  3. Attach a “passport type headshot” JPEG picture taken within the past six months. Public Safety and Mail Room staffing is limited at this time so there may be a delay in mailing them out. You can also make an appointment to come in to be issued an ID in person by emailing from your Graduate Center email address to request a day and time.

You can access your pass at any time by navigating to your personal link from the registration email.

Click the Show Access Pass button.

Your Access Pass has your name, date, and your QR code, which is tied to your profile. You can print this page out, or pull it up on your phone upon entry to a CUNY location.

How to bookmark your CUNY Access Pass on your smartphone:
1. Access your pass by navigating to your personal link from the registration email and click the "Show Access Pass" button.
2. With your pass open in the browser,

  • Android - click on the three-dots icon in your browser to access settings, and click “Add to Homepage”
  • iPhone - click on the “Add to Homepage” icon in the bottom menu

3. Enter the name of your shortcut and click “Add.” You will now be able to access your pass from the shortcut on your home screen at any time.

Watch this quick how-to video.

Note: To obtain a CUNY Access pass, CUNY students and employees must submit proof of vaccination through CUNYfirst. CUNY Research Foundation employees can access the RF Vaccination Verification system here.

The Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) is responsible for implementing the COVID-19 Vaccination Program on each campus and is responsible for validating student vaccination status and granting student exemptions. Students may contact with questions.

The GC Office of Human Resources is responsible for validating CUNY employee vaccination status, reviewing requests for medical exemptions, and supporting faculty and staff as they get back to in-person instruction and work on campus. CUNY’s Getting Back to Working in Person and Learning on Campus Frequently Asked Questions provides information for employees about returning to work. Faculty and staff who are vaccinated will upload verification of their vaccination status into their CUNYfirst account.

Employees should direct their questions to

Note: If you are registered as a CUNY student at the Graduate Center or another CUNY school, your student status supersedes your employee status, and your vaccination records will need to be approved by the Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) liaisons at the campus where you are enrolled. You can reach out the LVA at the campus where you are a student. See the LVA roster here.

If your vaccine is approved by the WHO and you are considered fully vaccinated as specified in the WHO approval, you are fully vaccinated according to the CUNY policy. Any questions should be directed to the Office of International Students.

Students, faculty, staff, vendors, and campus visitors are obligated to report if they have tested positive for COVID-19 to the health monitoring liaison by sending an email to

One of the Graduate Center HR liaisons will 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 for or been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The Graduate Center requires staff, faculty, researchers, students, and anyone else who has been on campus to report positive cases to the college using the confidential COVID-19 Case Collection form. The Graduate Center also receives information about any positive cases through the on-campus testing program platform, Cleared4. This information is collected and communicated through the CUNY COVID-19 Safety Tracker dashboard.

Please review the COVID-19 Case Investigation Protocol here

Not at this time. Visitors and members of our community  who are unvaccinated are asked to maintain six feet of physical distancing from others. 

At this time, the dining commons does not serve food. Pantries are open with capacity limits and personal items cannot be stored in cabinets. Refrigerators will be cleared at the end of each week. Food is not allowed in research labs, recital halls, or the library.

IT and media support can be initiated via email at itservices@gc.cuny.edulive chat, or Self Service.

Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 6 p.m.

Recent Updates

Jun 7, 2022

Building Entry Policy

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