Campus Reopening Plan

University Student on Campus Wearing Mask and Working on Laptop

1.0  Introduction

The health, safety, and well-being of the CUNY SPS community is of utmost importance and concern as we prepare and plan to eventually and slowly come back together, once mandatory state and local restrictions have been lifted and as advised by health professionals. This plan addresses four phases of reopening.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us in so many different ways, and it is imperative that we take various factors into consideration as we gradually resume operations on campus.  The purpose of this document is to focus on facility-specific guidelines to better prepare us for the reopening of the CUNY SPS campus.  The initial goal is to have essential staff and departmental employees that need to perform mission critical functions to return to campus while maintaining staggered or adjusted scheduling. 

The CUNY SPS campus buildings at 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 W. 31st Street did not close down completely during the COVID-19 pandemic, and all building functions continue to be maintained.  This includes following routine schedules for preventive maintenance on all HVAC units, eco-friendly pest control services, flushing of the water lines and filter changes, and increasing the frequency at which the air vents that support the flow and circulation of fresh air are cleaned.  The facility itself is in good working condition and is completely functional and meets occupancy standards, as there have been no interruptions to any facility-related maintenance services during the NYS PAUSE.

During initial re-occupancy, essential staff with critical business functions will be reporting to the 119 West 31 Street campus. The hours of operation for 119 West 31 Street will be 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The 875 Sixth Avenue campus will remain available only for emergency visits by other staff, faculty, and students, and only upon pre-approval and coordination with the Associate Dean for Administration and Finance.

Supervisors will be required to identify the staff that will be returning to 119 W. 31st St., the functions that they will be performing while there, the days and hours that they will be on campus, and the areas of the building to which they will need access.  It is important that staff do not visit areas of the campus that are not related to their identified duties. The pantry may be visited as long as the safe occupancy, cleaning, and physical distancing protocols are observed (see section 2.3.c., below). In-person meetings should be held only when absolutely necessary and social distancing protocols must be maintained throughout the meeting (see section 2.3).

2.0  On-Campus Health and Safety Practices

All employees working on campus will be required to wear face coverings when interacting with others, abide by social distancing protocols, and adhere to other measures and practices that have been implemented to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (see sections 2.2, 2.3 below).

2.1 Face Coverings and Gloves

Each staff member reporting to campus during reopening will be issued a five-day-use facemask and disposable gloves, as well as instructions for proper use and disposal in accordance with NYS Executive Order 202.16 (Attachment I).  Staff must use the issued face coverings during their time on campus when they are within six feet (2 meters) of another person (Attachment II). Campus-issued face coverings should not be used to travel to and from campus. Staff may use their own face coverings while working on campus, as long as they provide a level of protection that meets or exceeds that of campus-issued face coverings. Individuals who are unable to wear face coverings are to consult with the Office of Human Resources.

The Office of Campus Operations will procure face coverings and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The Office of Public Safety will distribute all face coverings and gloves. Face coverings and gloves will be available at the 119 W. 31st St. main lobby desk, the 875 Sixth Avenue - 7th floor post, and the 119 West 31 Street - 2nd floor public safety command post.

The Office of Campus Operations will manage the inventory of PPE: face coverings (including N95 respirator masks, KN95 masks, and surgical masks), washable masks, nitrile examination gloves, powder free latex gloves, powder free rubber gloves, standard safety glasses, and disposable shirts, pants, shoes and hair covers.

The PPE inventory is and will be updated on a weekly basis. The weekly consumption rate, also referred to as the “burn rate,” is based on the number of staff members reporting to campus on a weekly basis and the amount of PPE they consume. Keeping track of the PPE burn rate will help the campus ensure that enough PPE is always available and that replenishing orders are placed in a timely manner. A minimum of a 90-day supply of PPE will always be available on campus.

2.2  Physical Distancing Protocol

Employees working on campus must maintain a minimum separation of six feet from one another whenever possible.  Staggered shifts may be created to accommodate physical distancing in the building and within specific floors, suites, or shared offices.

2.3  Use of Common Spaces

In order to practice physical distancing on campus, we have instituted the following specific requirements for the use of common spaces such as elevators, restrooms, pantries, lounges, conference rooms, and classrooms:

a.     Elevators (119 W. 31st Street) – No more than two people are permitted to ride an elevator at any one time. Occupants must stand on the marked areas within the elevators, and each occupant must wear a face covering for the duration of the elevator ride.  Occupants are asked to refrain from conversation within the elevators, either with each other or through the use of cell phones.

b.     Restrooms – No more than two people are permitted to occupy a multi-stall restroom at any one time, and only one person is permitted to use the sink area at any given time. Stalls may be locked to maintain physical distancing.

c.     Pantry  - At 119 West 31st Street, no more than two people are permitted to be in the pantry/lounge on the 10th floor at any one time, and six feet of physical distance must be maintained. No one is permitted to utilize the seating area to eat in the pantry on the 10th floor.  Pantry use is limited to refrigerator access, microwave oven use, access to drinking water, and washing of any food containers. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers will be made available and should be used by staff before and after using appliances or touching other surfaces while in the pantry. 

d.     Lounge Areas, 119 W. 31st St., floors 1-4: No more than one person is permitted to sit and eat at a table, and six feet of physical distancing must be practiced at all times while in lounge spaces.  Lounge furniture is positioned to provide social distancing and must not be moved. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers will be made available.

e.     Conference rooms – Faculty and staff should conference via telephone or video whenever possible, making every effort to avoid in-person meetings. However, if an in-person meeting is absolutely necessary, adherence to physical distancing requirements and space capacity protocols must be maintained. Only two people may occupy a conference room at any time. Access to conference rooms must be requested from Public Safety. In-person campus events are not permitted at this time.

f.      Classrooms – Classroom spaces are not permitted for use during Phase I.  When in-person classes do resume, classroom seating will be limited in order to provide six feet of separation between students and faculty.

2.4 Hygiene and Environmental Health: Importance of Personal Hygiene

It is imperative that all members of the CUNY SPS community practice good personal hygiene, such as washing hands frequently, upon arriving to work, after using the restroom, after handling mail/packages, or after touching surfaces or an item that may have been touched by someone else. Signs are also posted reminding members of the community to:

a.     Use sufficient soap and water and scrub hands vigorously when washing for a minimum of 20 seconds: scrub both sides, wash between fingers and fingernails. 

b.     Cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue.  Use a tissue when blowing the nose and discard tissue in the garbage immediately after use and wash hands.  While washing hands is always best, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable.

c.     Wiping down workspaces, including doorknobs, drawer handles, and light switches, every day with disinfectant wipes is critical to our health.  Staff should wipe down other items such as keyboards and pens, and wash water bottles or coffee thermoses regularly.  Staff should avoid using other employees’ telephones, computers, desks/offices, or any other work tools or equipment whenever possible.

d.     Maintain 6 feet physical distance from one another, including while waiting to use a printer/copier device, and using disinfectant wipes to clean high-touch surfaces before and after use.    

Mobile and wall-mounted hand sanitizer stations will be present and available for use throughout the campus, including in the lobby (entrance/exit), each elevator bank area, pantry/lounge, classroom, computer lab, office suite, and near each copier/printer.  Disinfectant wipes will be made available in areas possessing frequently touched surfaces (i.e. computer labs, pantries, printers/copiers, entrances to office suites).

2.5 Self-Monitoring

Employees should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.  For a list of symptoms, please reference Protect Yourself and Your Family from Coronavirus.  Employees that display any COVID-19 virus symptoms should not report to work.  Please check in with your supervisor and the Office of Human Resources for employee sick leave policies and procedures.

2.6  Cleaning and Disinfection of Workspaces and High-Touch Surfaces

Since individuals with no symptoms of COVID-19 can still transmit the virus, and the virus can survive for several days on non-porous surfaces, it is important to continue a schedule of frequent daily cleaning and disinfection of workspaces and common areas, with a focus on high-touch surfaces.

The campus operations custodial team uses EPA registered, hospital-grade disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  In order to ensure that all workstations are cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis, all staff must vacate the building by 4 p.m. each day.  Public Safety and custodial staff will remain on campus until 8:30 p.m. and the custodial staff will thoroughly clean and disinfect classrooms, restrooms, computer labs, pantries, and other common areas on schedule. 

A campus operations managed daily cleaning log indicating each workspace that has been cleaned and disinfected and each workspace that is scheduled to be cleaned and disinfected is currently in use and will continue to be utilized during all phases of reopening.  The cleaning log includes the name of each staff member who is scheduled to be on site as well as their workstation number and areas requested to be accessed during their visit. This information is used by the custodial staff to ensure that areas used by staff are properly cleaned. The director of campus operations will provide regular updates to the coronavirus coordinator on the cleaning regimen in place at the campus.

Should there be a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 case on campus, the following steps will occur related to decontaminating the space(s) or exposed areas:

  • The affected area will be immediately closed off by locking door(s) where possible, and/or placing yellow caution tape.  PPE (mask and gloves) must be worn when performing this task.
  • A staff member from the Office of Public Safety or facilities will fully gear up, wearing an N95 respirator, gloves, eye protective wear, body gown and shoe coverings, and open the windows, where appropriate and depending on weather conditions.  
  • No one will enter the space for a minimum of 24 hours, before cleaning and disinfection can occur.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, and common areas.  The facilities staff member performing this task will reference the checklist we have in place for disinfecting spaces when there is a possible or positive COVID case.
  • The administrative superintendent, the director of campus operations, or the associate dean for administration and finance, will need to conduct a walk-through of the space(s) (wearing full PPE) and approve reopening of the space(s).   
  • Once the area has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected, it will be reopened for use.  The associate dean for administration and finance will notify necessary parties as appropriate, which will include the sergeant of public safety, and their deputy, the director of campus operations, and the director of human resources.
  • Individuals without close or proximate contact with the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 can return to the area or resume on-campus activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.

2.7  Engineering Controls

Since infection risk can be higher in poorly ventilated spaces, proper ventilation and filtration is important for preventing the spread of pathogens such as the COVID-19 virus.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “poorly ventilated buildings affect air quality and can contribute to the spread of disease.” 

The air vents which supply and circulate fresh air throughout each floor/space will remain continuously on, to maintain air flow through the spaces on campus.  The Office of Campus Operations has increased the frequency at which the air vents are cleaned to better support air flow and “natural ventilation” and promote additional infection control.  Also according to the WHO, “microorganisms, such as those causing tuberculosis and legionellosis, can be transmitted by air conditioning systems, particularly when they are poorly maintained…”  CUNY SPS’s HVAC units have been receiving regularly scheduled preventive maintenance so that they meet occupancy standards.

2.8  Security Check-in Process and Employee/Visitor Tracking

All individuals reporting to campus must complete the Everbridge Symptom Checker online (via computer or smartphone app) on the day of each visit to the campus, before arriving to the campus, and present their completion token to the Public Safety staff. Information about downloading and using the Symptom Checker. Public Safety will confirm completion of the Symptom Checker and assist any individuals who have not completed it. Vendors, contractors, and visitors may be asked to complete a paper version of the Symptom Checker upon arrival to the campus.

All individuals reporting to campus must also view the NYS State COVID-19 Response: Return to Work Training video available in the My Organizations section of Blackboard. Screeners will be required to view the SPS New York State COVID-19 Response: Daily Screening Program Information for Screeners video.

Upon entering the campus, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors will have their temperature checked by a screener. The campus screening team will be composed of the public safety sergeant, the administrative superintendent, the director of campus operations, and the associate dean for administration and finance. The screener will record if the individual has passed or failed the screening. Individuals with a temperature greater than or equal to 100°F will not be allowed to enter the campus. Staff with temperatures higher than 100°F will be provided an information packet and advised to contact a doctor. Public Safety will notify the director of human resources and the associate dean for administration and finance (who is the CUNY SPS coronavirus campus liaison and campus coordinator). HR and the associate dean will be responsible for following up with the staff member, notifying the staff member’s supervisor, contacting Campus Operations, and working with Public Safety to determine the areas that the staff member visited prior to the date of the detection of the elevated temperature. HR and the associate dean of administration and finance will also work together with campus academic and administration personnel to ensure that any affected students, faculty, or staff are informed of all available resources and supports.

If a student, faculty, or staff member reporting to the campus is too ill to return home, the campus will isolate the individual in a secure, private, designated area, and arrange for transportation to the individual’s home or a hospital. The secure area will be equipped with personal protective equipment for the sick individual and the public safety personnel providing assistance until transport has arrived.

All vendors, delivery personnel, and service providers will be required to check in with Public Safety when entering the campus. Public Safety will record the individual’s name and company name. All staff members reporting to the campus must use their ID card to swipe in.   If a staff member does not have their ID card, a Public Safety Officer will record the person’s information.  Access to the 10th floor of the 119 West 31 Street campus via the 116 West 32 Street entrance is disallowed until further notice.

This tracking will ensure that if ever there is a report of a person who tested positive COVID-19 having been on campus, CUNY SPS administration would be able to quickly identify others who may have come into contact with the infected person. In addition, this tracking, in conjunction with a review of video footage, will inform which areas of the campus will require deep cleaning and sanitizing.

3.0 Space Management and Utilization During Re-Occupancy

New protocols around space management and how space is utilized are being enacted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order for workspaces to be properly cleaned and sanitized, all desks must be completely cleared at the end of each work shift. Floors must be kept free and clear of boxes and any other items that may prevent a floor from being properly and thoroughly cleaned.

3.1 Phase I – Essential Staff Only (Current Phase – Fall/Winter 2020)

Phase I of this plan will only be implemented as approved by the Dean of the School and the Chancellery of the City University of New York. During Phase I of occupancy only essential staff will be present on campus. Occupancy will be limited to up to 5% of total building occupancy. All physical distancing and personal protective equipment protocols outlined in this plan will be in effect during Phase I.

Essential Public Safety, Campus Operations and Administration staff will be on site to ensure continued facility maintenance, preparation of the facility for upcoming phases of re-occupancy, and support essential administrative staff who will need to visit the campus to support paper based and financial operations. Campus visits will be approved in advance by the associate dean for administration and finance.

There will be no in-person classes during Phase I. Computer laboratories will be closed and library services will be restricted to online e-reserves and journals available through the Baruch Newman Library. CUNY SPS has expanded its existing hybrid student support service model to a fully online model capable of delivering all support services fully online. Technical support hours have been expanded to accommodate the increase in online user support.

3.2   Phase II – Limited Academic and Administrative Staff, Limited Courses

(Spring/Summer 2021 – Tentative, based on local infection levels, NYS Department of Health and University Guidelines, and University approval)

Phase II of re-occupancy plan will only be implemented as approved by the Dean of the School and the Chancellery of the City University of New York. During Phase II limited academic, administrative, and support staff may return to campus to perform functions. The majority of faculty and staff will continue to work remotely. Occupancy will be limited to up to 50% of total building occupancy. All physical distancing and personal protective equipment protocols outlined in this plan will be in effect during Phase II.

Conditions at the School will continue to be monitored by the Coronavirus Coordinator and communicated to the Dean and the University. Additionally, a ninety-day supply of Personal Protective equipment will be maintained on campus. If at any point the number of infected individuals on campus reaches either 100 or 5% of the total on-campus population, whichever is less, the School will revert to remote operations for a period of two weeks, at which time the School, University, and state will reassess the situation in order to determine if it is necessary to make any adjustments to protocols and procedures as well as to determine if a return to a full or partial prior Reopening Phase is required.

In-person courses will only be held for Applied Theatre program courses that cannot be effectively conducted online and that have been approved for in-person meetings by the Dean of the School, the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the Academic Director and faculty of the program. All courses will be held in accordance with the safety protocols outlined in this plan and the classroom occupancies listed in the attached Classroom Physical Distancing – Space Capacity table.

All students returning to campus must adhere to the University’s Covid-19 Student Conduct Protocol:

“The City University of New York takes the well-being and safety of our students, faculty and staff very seriously. During the pandemic, we all have an obligation to behave in a responsible manner per the guidance approved in your campus’ re-opening plan to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Responsible behavior extends to your off-campus and personal lives, which can affect your ability to transmit the virus on campus, including at a minimum:

  • Always wearing a mask when on campus and when gathering with other individuals
  • Maintaining physical distance of at least six feet on campus and when gathering with individuals outside the classrooms and other areas
  • Limiting the size of on campus gatherings;
  • Minimizing and limiting the size of events gatherings with other students

Article XV of the CUNY bylaws requires that each student obey policies, regulations, and orders of the University/College. Students are reminded that the Rules and Regulations for the Maintenance of Public order pursuant to article 129a of the education law (“Henderson Rules”) prohibits:

  • Behaviors that recklessly or intentionally endangers the health of others
  • Behavior that interferes with the institution’s educational processes.
  • Failure to comply with the direction of a University official

The University is committed to adhering fully to current and future directives about social encounters from the federal, state and local public health officials. Any student found in violation of these directives may be subject to discipline under article XV of the CUNY bylaws.”

Computer laboratories will be closed and library services will be limited to the services available at Baruch Newman Library and at other CUNY libraries. CUNY SPS will continue to provide all student support services online and maintain its expanded technical online support hours.

The space management and utilization plan referenced below is based on a physical distancing protocol of six feet or more. Furthermore, all campus spaces will be restricted to 50% capacity or lower.

Single Use Offices: 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31 Street

All single occupied offices can continue to be utilized by a single occupant.  No meetings are to occur in a staff member’s office.

Shared Offices: 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31 Street

All shared offices to be utilized by no more than one occupant per day.

Office Cubicles/Workstations: 875 Sixth Avenue

Office cubicles/workstations are to be utilized as follows:

7th Floor - 14 out of 23 workstations can be occupied, with 11 workstations remaining unoccupied

Office Cubicles/Workstations: 119 West 31 Street

Office cubicles/workstations are to be utilized as follows:

Suite 106 - Five out of ten workstations can be occupied, with five workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 123 - Five out of ten workstations can be occupied, with five workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 206 - Three out of five workstations can be occupied, with two workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 217 - Seven out of 14 workstations can be occupied, with seven workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 220 - Three out of six workstations can be occupied, with three workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 305 – Five out of ten workstations can be occupied with four to five workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 318 – Three out of seven workstations can be occupied, with four workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 319 - Eight out of 16 workstations can be occupied, with eight workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 406 - Five out of ten workstations can be occupied, with five workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 413 - Three out of six workstations can be occupied, with three workstations remaining unoccupied

10th Floor - 17 out of 33 workstations can be occupied, with 16 workstations remaining unoccupied.

Conference Rooms: 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31 Street

Conference room usage is strongly discouraged and occupancy will be limited to the number of persons that can safely occupy the space while maintaining a distance of six feet from each other. Face coverings must be worn in conference rooms at all times.

Walkways (Aisles/Corridors)

The walkways near the cubicle/workstation areas will have markers, where possible, to signify 6 feet of physical distancing, so that employees can maintain adequate distance from staff members working in the open space areas.

3.3 Phase III – Expanded Academic and Administrative Staff, Limited Courses and Student Services

(Fall 2021 - Tentative, based on local infection levels, NYS Department of Health and University Guidelines, and University approval)

Phase III of re-occupancy will only be implemented as approved by the Dean of the School and the Chancellery of the City University of New York. During Phase III academic, administrative, and support staff may return to campus to perform certain functions. Some faculty and staff will continue to work remotely. Occupancy will be limited to up to 75% of total building occupancy. All physical distancing and personal protective equipment protocols outlined in this plan will be in effect during Phase III.

Conditions at the School will continue to be monitored by the Coronavirus Coordinator and communicated to the Dean and the University. Additionally, a ninety-day supply of Personal Protective equipment will be maintained on campus. If at any point the number of infected individuals on campus reaches either 100 or 5% of the total on-campus population, whichever is less, the School will revert to remote operations for a period of two weeks, at which time the School, University, and state will reassess the situation in order to determine if it is necessary to make any adjustments to protocols and procedures, as well as to be able to determine if a return to a full or partial prior Reopening Phase is required.

In-person courses will be held for Applied Theatre program courses that cannot be optimally conducted online. Other academic programs may begin a limited return to campus of the small number courses that may be approved for in-person meetings by the Dean of the School, the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the Academic Director and faculty of the program. All courses will be held in accordance with the safety protocols outlined in this plan and the classroom occupancies listed in the attached Classroom Physical Distancing – Space Capacity table.

Computer laboratories will be made available by reservation for pre-determined blocks of time and library services will be limited to the services available at the Baruch Newman Library and at other CUNY college libraries as defined by the local re-opening plans of those colleges. CUNY SPS will continue to provide all student support services online and maintain its expanded technical online support hours.

Student Services may begin scheduling limited on campus meetings with students in accordance with the safety protocols outlined in this plan.

The space management and utilization plan referenced below is based on a physical distancing protocol of six feet or more. Furthermore, all campus spaces will be restricted to 75% capacity or lower.

Classroom Spaces: 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31 Street

Classroom seating will be reconfigured to ensure that a minimum of six feet is maintained between students and faculty at all times. Classroom reconfiguration will include the removal of chairs and node chairs, as well as the addition of floor makings identifying proper seating locations.

Computer Laboratory: 119 West 31 Street

Computer Lab seating will be limited to no more than five students at any given time. Computers and chairs will be removed from the Computer Lab to ensure that a minimum of six feet is maintained between students.

Single Use Offices: 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31 Street

All single occupied offices can continue to be utilized by a single occupant.  No meetings are to occur in a staff member’s office.

Shared Offices: 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31 Street

All shared offices to be utilized by no more than one occupant per day.

Office Cubicles/Workstations: 875 Sixth Avenue

Office cubicles/workstations are to be utilized as follows:

7th Floor - 12 out of 23 workstations can be occupied, with 11 workstations remaining unoccupied

Office Cubicles/Workstations: 119 West 31 Street

Office cubicles/workstations are to be utilized as follows:

Suite 106 - Five out of ten workstations can be occupied, with five workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 123 - Five out of ten workstations can be occupied, with five workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 206 - Three out of five workstations can be occupied, with two workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 217 - Seven out of 14 workstations can be occupied, with seven workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 220 - Three out of six workstations can be occupied, with three workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 305 – Five to six out of ten workstations can be occupied with four to five workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 318 – Three out of seven workstations can be occupied, with four workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 319 - Eight out of 16 workstations can be occupied, with eight workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 406 - Five out of ten workstations can be occupied, with five workstations remaining unoccupied

Suite 413 - Three out of six workstations can be occupied, with three workstations remaining unoccupied

10th Floor - 17 out of 33 workstations can be occupied, with 16 workstations remaining unoccupied.

Conference Rooms: 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31 Street

Conference room usage is limited to the number of persons that can safely occupy the space while maintaining a distance of six feet from each other. Face coverings must be used in conference rooms.

Walkways (Aisles/Corridors)

The walkways near the cubicle/workstation areas will have markers, where possible, to signify 6 feet of physical distancing, so that employees can maintain adequate distance from staff members working in the open space areas.

3.4 Phase IV – Return to Pre-COVID-19 Operational Levels

(Date TBD - Tentative, based on local infection levels, NYS Department of Health and University Guidelines, and University approval)

Phase IV of re-occupancy will only be implemented as approved by the Dean of the School and the Chancellery of the City University of New York. We anticipate that Phase IV will be possible when there is widespread availability of a safe and effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccination and cases and infection rates are determined to be at acceptable levels by the New York State Department of Health.

During Phase IV all campus services will be able to return to full pre-COVID-19 operational levels in conjunction with ongoing monitoring and reporting of infections. Conditions at the school will continue to be evaluated by the Coronavirus Coordinator and communicated to the Dean and the University in order to determine if it is necessary to make any adjustments to protocols and procedures as well as to be able to determine if a return to a full or partial prior Phase is required.

Remote work operations will continue as supported by available University guidance and at the discretion of the Dean of the School. On campus signage and communications will be updated to promote continued social distancing awareness, hygiene practices, and self-monitoring and reporting of symptoms.

4.0 Operational Considerations and Staff Scheduling

In order to minimize the risk of infection to students, faculty, and staff, the School will continue to make every effort to limit interpersonal contact. On-campus presence will be limited to those individuals who have an absolute need to execute their duties at the School. Remote work will continue to be made available to staff until new guidance is provided by the University. Campus access hours will be adjusted so that staffing schedules can be staggered and there is adequate time to properly clean spaces between usages.

5.0 Testing & Early Warning Signs

Students, employees, and staff are encouraged to utilize New York City’s free COVID-19 testing centers. For more information, see the NYC COVID-19 Testing page.

As a non-residential campus, CUNY SPS will not be conducting testing on campus. The School will screen individuals coming to the campus (see section 2.8). If an individual fails the screening process or must leave the School because of COVID-like symptoms, they will be required to seek out the advice of a health professional and to provide medical clearance to the Office of Human Resources before returning to campus.

As per the requirements of the Central Office, the School’s coronavirus liaison will notify the University’s Coronavirus Task Force and the Chancellery’s chief operations officer of any and all outbreaks of coronavirus infections at the campus.

The coronavirus coordinator at SPS will regularly review all health screening activities at the campus.  The coordinator will also receive, compile, and report COVID-19 virus exposure recorded through the submission of the NYS Daily Health Screening Template or via the campus screeners. As per the “CUNY Guidelines for Safe Campus Reopening,” the coronavirus coordinator will ensure that local/state health officials and the CUNY Central Office will be immediately notified in the event that an individual who has been reporting to campus tests positive for the COVID-19 virus.

In the event that positive cases at the campus meet or exceed 3% of the total on campus population, the campus, in consultation with the Coronavirus Task Force and the Chancellery’s chief operations officer, will decide on the necessity and extent of campus closures as well as reviewing the campus’ reopening plan.

The School shall not reveal to the CUNY SPS community the identity of an individual that has been diagnosed with or is suspected of having COVID-19 except as per protocols of the University or NYS public health authorities.

6.0  Contact Tracing and Notification

While the CUNY SPS campus will follow its own internal on-campus contact tracing protocol through the Office of the Associate Dean for Administration and Finance, local and/or state public health authorities, as capacity allows, plan to conduct contact tracing of individuals who have been determined by a health professional to be probable or positive for COVID-19 in close coordination with state and local health departments using the protocols, training and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program.

This will not replace the CUNY SPS on-campus contact tracing efforts should a positive COVID-19 case develop on campus.  Anyone who may have come in contact on campus with an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19 will be notified. 

Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been evaluated as a probable case should remain at home, self-isolate immediately, and notify the associate dean for administration and finance, Washington Hernandez, at washington.hernandez@cuny.edu or 646-664-8585. They should also call their health care provider. For more information about what to do when someone is sick, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

7.0 Communication Plan

The CUNY SPS reopening plan will be made available on the School’s website as a primary mechanism for reference for students, faculty, and staff.  The School will utilize other available channels (email, text, town halls, and social media) for communicating reopening plans and safety measures to its students, faculty, and staff.

Staff and faculty who are returning to the campus will receive information in writing as well as via video-conferencing about the protocols and practices for safe campus operations. All staff will also receive pictures of the various engineering controls that have been deployed to maintain a safe workplace for staff and faculty.  A FAQ document will be created as a reference based on common questions and concerns and included on the website.  An email address specifically to address the questions and concerns of returning staff will be created and will be monitored by Human Resources, Campus Operations, Public Safety, and the associate dean for administration and finance.

Students will receive ongoing updates and reminders via email from the dean, the associate dean for enrollment management and student services, and  social media during the earliest phases of reopening regarding closure status of certain operations of the School and how to access these services virtually. Information may also be shared with students via Blackboard or other tools on an ongoing basis. When students or other guests are scheduled to attend individual or small group meetings on campus, updated current protocols will be communicated with them directly prior to their meeting.

8.0 Shutdown

The campus will shut down as mandated by the NYS health authorities and the University’s Central Office, or in response to positive COVID-19 cases at the campus. All full campus closures will be determined in consultation with the University’s Coronavirus Task Force and will be communicated to the campus community via email and posted on the School’s website.

The coronavirus coordinator will monitor all reports of possible COVID-19 cases and work with the dean and the Central Office Coronavirus Task Force to determine the extent of shutdowns resulting from coronavirus infections at the campus. Information gathered through the campus’ screening and local contact tracing processes will be utilized to define the extent of contamination at the campus and identify areas that require cleaning and disinfecting.

In the event of a partial or complete shutdown, the communication methods described in the communication plan (Section 7) will be utilized, as applicable, to alert students, faculty, and staff. 

Campus remedial responses to COVID-19 will be made in collaboration with the Coronavirus Task Force and the campus community will be informed of all remedial actions taken by the campus. An after-action review of the closure will be performed by the campus coronavirus emergency response team and campus reopening and reclosing procedures will be updated as necessary.

Similarly, should campus capacity increase, a more detailed shut-down plan and process will be created, implemented, and shared.

9.0 Human Resources & Employee Relations: Preparing to Return Employees to Campus

Only Essential Staff will return to campus in Phase I of this plan. Other staff may return to campus in subsequent phases for business purposes only as approved in this plan by the Dean and University and in accordance with University guidelines.

9.1 Determining Order of Return

  • Employees will be recalled based on legitimate, equitable, and nondiscriminatory business reasons (e.g., job functions, skill set, work location, seniority)
  • Work space allocation and availability will determine scheduling. (See Section 3)
  • We will continue to consider flexible days and hours to accommodate transportation and other external factors.
  • Protected statuses (e.g., age, medical conditions) should not be considered when determining who will be recalled.
    • If there are valid ADA reasons for accommodation, then employee and manager should contact the Office of Human Resources.

9.2 Employees may raise concerns regarding their ability to return

According to the EEOC, “prior to an employee’s return to work, an employer may ask all employees to notify the employer if they will need a reasonable accommodation based on a medical condition when they return to work.”

The Office of Human Resources will allow employees to indicate reasons for continuing remote work access without disclosure of cause.

9.3 NAVIGATING DISCOMFORT, OBJECTIONS AND/OR REFUSALS TO RETURN TO WORK

There may be multiple concerns regarding a return to campus. Employees may not feel comfortable or may not be able to return due to a variety of factors:

  • Generalized fear of contracting COVID-19

    • Specific concern regarding workplace safety

    • This could be a potential OSHA/PERB concern

  • Childcare obligations

    • Potential PSL/FMLA leave rights

    • If child has serious health condition – potential FMLA/PFL rights

  • Concern related to employee living with high risk family member

    • Underlying health condition that puts a person living with the employee at higher risk for serious illness

Depending on the issue or possible combination of concerns, the Office of Human Resources can provide a series of solutions:

  • Assuage concerns
  • Provide protected FFRCA leave (i.e., to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed). FFRCA is currently effective through December 31, 2020.
  • Accommodate
  • Permit remote work
  • Place on a leave of absence while maintaining compliance with existing leave policies
  • As a last possible measure, disciplinary procedures may need to be discussed as per the various CBAs.

10.0 Coronavirus Contacts

Coronavirus Coordinator:

Washington R. Hernández, Associate Dean for Administration and Finance

washington.hernandez@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8585

 

Coronavirus Coordinator (Backup):

Celeste Clarke, Director of Campus Operations

celeste.clarke@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8403

 

Coronavirus Liaison:

Washington R. Hernández, Associate Dean for Administration and Finance

washington.hernandez@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8585

 

Coronavirus Liaison (Backup):

Lia Kudless, Chief of Staff

lia.kudless@cuny.edu, (646) 823-2088

 

Coronavirus HR Point of Contact:

Kristin Maynard, HR Director

kristin.maynard@cuny.edu, (646) 957-5202

 

Coronavirus HR Point of Contact (Backup):

Takisha Folade, HR Manager

takisha.folade@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8686

 

SCP Admin/Technical Point of Contact:

Bronwen Stine, Assistant Dean of Information Technology

bronwen.stine@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8586

 

SCP/Technical Point of Contact (Backup):

Serge Cherestal, Senior Systems Administrator

serge.cherestal@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8598