January 27, 2022

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Dear Graduate Center students, faculty, and staff,

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus for the Spring 2022 semester, which starts on Friday. The majority of our classes this semester will be fully in person, as has been articulated by Chancellor Matos Rodríguez. This decision is based on guidance from public health officials and feedback from students who report that the isolation of remote learning has been detrimental to their mental health and ability to stay in school.

CUNY has established extensive protocols and services to keep our community safe as we return to in-person learning and work. Here, we share a summary of the important things you need to know to come to campus.

Before Coming to the Graduate Center

Vaccination Requirements for Spring 2022: We encourage everyone in the GC Community to get vaccinated. Anyone entering the GC or a CUNY facility for any reason will need to be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past seven days. If you are a student attending in-person classes for the Spring 2022 semester you are required to be vaccinated. Make sure that you have uploaded your proof of vaccination to CUNYfirst and that you have the CUNY Access Pass from Cleared4.

You can use the NYC vaccine finder ( or the #VAXUpCUNY website to find a convenient vaccination site.

Faculty and staff who are not vaccinated must be tested weekly at any CUNY COVID-19 testing site.

Watch this video on saving the CUNY Access Pass from Cleared4 to your phone home screen.

Open your CUNY Access Pass to show the QR code each day as you enter the Graduate Center building through the front entrance.

Student Booster Mandate

Students enrolled in any in-person or hybrid class in the Spring 2022 term are required to get the COVID-19 booster shot when they become eligible. The booster provides additional protection against the virus and its variants. Students who are eligible for the booster on or before January 28 must upload proof of receiving the additional shot to CUNYfirst no later than March 1. Students who become eligible after January 28, but before the end of the spring semester, have 30 days after becoming eligible to get the booster and upload proof to CUNYfirst.

Entering the Graduate Center

To enter the Graduate Center building, everyone must have a CUNY Access Pass. Kiosks in the lobby are set up to scan the QR codes on the passes.

Lobby signs indicate which kiosks are for students, faculty, and staff and which ones are for guests, visiting scholars, vendors, contractors, and LP2 members.

All visitors are required to obtain a valid CUNY Access Pass prior to their visit to the Graduate Center. To request a Cleared4 CUNY Access Pass for a visitor, complete the visitor request form at least 10 days prior to the date your visitor is expected to be on campus.

While On Campus Masks Must Be Worn

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face mask inside all CUNY campuses and office buildings. This includes while working in a non-enclosed space such as a library cubicle or other open seating, regardless of physical distance from others.

The only exceptions to being fully masked are if a fully vaccinated person is alone in an enclosed space such as an office or conference room or briefly while eating or drinking, provided that physical distance from others is maintained.


All CUNY students, faculty, and staff can walk into any CUNY COVID testing site, show their CUNY ID (EMPLID), and receive a PCR test. No appointment is required. This includes individuals who have been selected to participate in CUNY’s random testing program.

Results will be available via your Cleared4 account within 24–48 hours. The Graduate Center testing site is currently located in the James Gallery on the first floor. Find the hours, plus the full list of CUNY testing sites here and walk in to the location most convenient for you.

What to Do if You Test Positive for COVID-19

If you have tested at a CUNY COVID testing site, your test result will be available via your Cleared4 account. If your test result is positive, your Campus Access Pass will become invalid. If you are an employee, you will hear from one of the COVID HR Liaisons. If you are a student, you will hear from one of the Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) Liaisons. After quarantine, proof of a negative test result or medical clearance from a doctor is required to return to campus.

If you have taken a COVID test at an external testing location and your test result is positive, you will need to email your test result to the college. Employees who test positive for COVID must email their test results to the COVID HR Liaisons via email at Students who test positive for COVID must email their test results to the Location Vaccine Authority (LVA) Liaisons via email at For those who report testing positive for COVID-19, your Campus Access Pass will become invalid. After quarantine, proof of a negative test result or medical clearance from a doctor is required to return to campus.

Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for at least five days. When to end isolation, test, and return to in-person work or class varies depending on vaccination status and whether or not a person develops symptoms or is severely ill. Please follow CDC’s guidance on isolation, which is spelled out here.

What to do if you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19

Students and employees who come into close contact with someone with COVID-19should base their approach to quarantine — if it is needed, when to end it, and when to test — on whether they are boosted, fully vaccinated and when, or unvaccinated. Please follow the CDC’s guidance on quarantine, spelled out here.

Whom to Contact

Students who have questions about vaccination/booster verification, medical or religious exemptions, random testing (selection/deferral), or Cleared4 accounts/Campus Access Pass should contact the Local Vaccine Authority (LVA) team via email at

Faculty and Staff who have questions about vaccination/booster verification, participation in the testing pool, medical or religious exemptions, random testing (selection/deferral), or Cleared4 accounts/Campus Access Pass should contact the HR liaison team via email at

Questions on CUNY’s or the Graduate Center’s COVID policies and procedures should be emailed to

For More Information

We are holding virtual community meetings this week to share information and address your questions about the Spring 2022 semester and CUNY COVID-19 policies. The first meeting was held on Tuesday, January 25. Please join us for the second meeting on

Thursday, January 27, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Register in advance for this meeting.

Visit the Graduate Center website for more detailed information and future updates. The website is your most accurate and up-to-date resource on COVID-19 protocols and resources.

Thank you for taking care to keep our community safe. We can’t wait to see you on campus.

Robin L. Garrell

Steve Everett
Provost and Senior Vice President
Brian A. Peterson
Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Dean for Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation