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Chancellor’s Letter

Distance Learning

Last updated  August  12 2021  4:13 pm

Distance Learning



Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2021 4:06 PM
Subject: Welcome and New Mask Mandate


Dear CUNY Staff and Faculty,

I would like to extend a warm welcome as you prepare to return to your campuses and offices starting next week. To help you get ready, below are a few key reminders, along with an important adjustment on our masking policy.

New Temporary Mask Mandate

Due to the current rate of the coronavirus transmission, we are enacting a new temporary mask mandate as of Monday, August 16. This mandate is subject to modification based on changing vaccination statistics and coronavirus transmission rates. For the time being, everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must: 

  • Wear a face mask inside all CUNY campuses and office buildings. 
  • Wear a mask outdoors on campus when unable to maintain physical distance from others (for example, while attending a CUNY gathering or sporting event).

The only exception to wearing a mask inside is if a fully vaccinated person is in a classroom, dorm room, office, or other enclosed space, or is at a workspace/desk and is socially distanced from any other occupied workspace/desk. 

To be clear, anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated must wear a mask indoors and outdoors at all times while on campus, including in enclosed spaces, except when eating (in which case they must maintain strict social distancing from other individuals). 

Vaccinated or Tested

As of this coming Monday, anyone entering a CUNY facility for any reason will need to be fully vaccinated (defined as 14 days beyond the last vaccination shot) or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the past seven days. 

Uploading Proof of Vaccination

Vaccinated faculty and staff members can upload their vaccination verification documents to CUNYfirst. These voluntary submissions will facilitate your access to a campus or office throughout the Fall, and will also remove you from the need to participate in CUNY’s weekly testing program that launched on Monday. For a guide to submitting your information to CUNYfirst, please visit here.

Get your Everbridge VaxPass

The symptom tracker feature of the Everbridge app will no longer be in use and instead the app will now display a CUNY VaxPass for those whose vaccine information has been submitted and verified in CUNYfirst. The VaxPass was designed as an additional way to speed entry into CUNY campuses and offices. To get the pass, if you have the Everbridge app set up, close the app on your device, restart it, click “VaxPass Request,” and then go to your “Feed” and it will appear. For simple, one-time setup instructions, please check the VaxPass User Setup Guide.  

Testing Program

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 to enroll on Monday. Testing sites will operate at 18 colleges and at two Central locations. For more details of CUNY’s testing program read my recent letter or the Testing FAQ.

Welcome Home to CUNY

We believe these safety measures are crucial for achieving a successful and rewarding reopening this Fall but we need each and every one of you to help by doing your part and following the guidelines that we have established. A reminder to all that it is not acceptable to ask anyone their vaccination status. If an employee or a student is on a campus or at any CUNY location, they have fulfilled the needed protocols. 

To everyone returning to in-person work on Monday or soon after leading up to the start of the semester for most of our students on August 25, welcome home to CUNY after 17 challenging months.