Fall 2021 Campus Reopening Plan

University Student on Campus Wearing Mask and Working on Laptop
  1. 1.0. Introduction
  2. 2.0. Health and Safety
    1. 2.1. Self-Monitoring
    2. 2.2. Vaccinations
  3. 3.0. On-Campus Student Activity and Instruction
  4. 4.0. Isolation Room Operations
  5. 5.0. Tracking Persons on Campus
  6. 6.0. Testing and Notification
    1. 6.1. CUNY Surveillance Testing Program

    2. 6.2. Reopening Thresholds
  7. 7.0. Close Contact Tracing and Notification
  8. 8.0. On-Campus Safety Practices
    1. 8.1. Personal Protective Equipment
    2. 8.2. Physical Distancing
    3. 8.3. Elevators
    4. 8.4. Restrooms
    5. 8.5. Pantries
    6. 8.6. Lounge Areas
    7. 8.7. Conference Rooms
  9. 9.0. Workstation Occupancy and Physical Distancing
    1. 9.1. Workspace Occupancy Capacities at 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31st Street
    2. 9.2. Classroom Occupancy Capacities
  10. 10.0. Engineering Controls
  11. 11.0. Cleaning and Disinfection of Workspaces and High-Touch Surfaces
  12. 12.0. Shutdown
  13. 13.0. Communication Plan
  14. 14.0. Human Resources & Employee Relations
    1. 14.1. Campus Phased Re-occupancy
    2. 14.2. Reasonable Accommodations
  15. 15.0. Coronavirus Contacts

1.0 Introduction

In response to the unprecedented danger and risk brought on by the rapid spread of COVID-19, on March 13, 2020, the CUNY School of Professional Studies pivoted to fully remote operations. All student, faculty, and staff functions moved online with a small team of essential staff members remaining on campus to ensure that paper-based business-critical functions continued without interruption; to provide technical support and computer equipment to students, faculty, and staff; and to ensure that the physical campus environment was secure, well maintained, and prepared for the upcoming re-occupancy.

The recent decline in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States, combined with the increased number of vaccinated individuals and the University's continued efforts to encourage vaccinations through communication campaigns and walk-in appointments at CUNY-hosted mass vaccination sites, gives us confidence in our ability to accomplish a safe, phased return of students, faculty, and staff. As always, the mental and physical well-being of the CUNY SPS community is of the utmost importance and form the guiding principles for the development of this plan.

This plan will cover campus access, phased re-occupancy, personal protective equipment, cleaning protocols, infection safety measures, space occupancy controls, flexible and hybrid work schedules, visitor tracking, and response to any COVID infections on campus. All aspects of the plan are in accordance with New York State and CUNY guidelines for COVID safety.

The CUNY SPS campus spaces inside the buildings at 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 W. 31st Street have been maintained without interruption throughout the pandemic. This includes following routine schedules for preventive maintenance on all HVAC units, eco-friendly pest control services, flushing of the water lines, water filter changes, and increasing the frequency at which the air vents that support the flow and circulation of fresh air are cleaned. The School has also deployed signage throughout the campus identifying occupancy limits and mask requirements. We have also implemented a variety of controls to limit the number of personnel that can congregate in shared spaces, and we have reconfigured shared services (printers, sinks, etc.), to ensure that required physical distances are maintained.

During the Fall 2021 re-occupancy, both campus locations will be open from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays. This will allow for staggered schedules that can minimize travel at high density commuting times. Schedules will be adjusted as necessary to support academic and support services for the CUNY SPS community.

The School will continue to provide financial support to students impacted by COVID through its COVID-19 Emergency Grant, Petrie Grant, CUNY SPS Textbook Grant, and Food Access Initiative. Mental health counseling is also provided to our students through our Office of Counseling.

2.0 Health and Safety

2.1 Self-Monitoring

All persons will monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms must not report to campus. Students will notify their instructors. Faculty and staff will immediately notify their supervisors and contact the Office of Human Resources for sick leave policies and procedures.

Common symptoms are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Sore Throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache

2.2 Vaccinations

CUNY SPS strongly encourages all members of its community to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, and New York State has recently announced that all CUNY students who plan to attend in-person classes will be required to be vaccinated. Vaccinations provide protection against the more serious virus symptoms and help to reduce the amount of infection in the community. For more information about CUNY's coronavirus vaccination efforts, visit https://www.cuny.edu/coronavirus/. CUNY SPS is taking part in the CUNY Vax Up campaign to help encourage vaccinations throughout our community.

3.0 On-Campus Student Activity and Instruction

In order to ensure the safety and success of our students, required in-person instructional activities will be prioritized over extracurricular activities and are allocated adequate space on campus. Extracurricular activities will remain remote during the Fall 2021 semester. Please note that at CUNY SPS over 95% of our degree students take fully online courses and do not come to the campus.

All course modalities will be clearly identified in CUNYfirst as being in-person, hybrid, or remote. To the extent possible, technical solutions will continue to be made available to instructors in hybrid courses as means of accommodating students who cannot travel to campus due to COVID related risk factors or vulnerabilities, travel restrictions, or quarantine requirements.

4.0 Isolation Room Operations

If a student, faculty, staff member, or visitor reporting to the campus is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, they will be immediately separated from other persons on campus. The affected individual will be moved to a designated isolation room (room 736 at 875 Sixth Avenue and room 103 at 119 West 31st Street). The isolation rooms are equipped with personal protective equipment for the affected individual, Public Safety, and any campus staff providing assistance. Public Safety and the campus coronavirus coordinator will help the affected individual make arrangements to return home. If the affected individual's symptoms are too severe and they require transport to a health facility, the campus coronavirus coordinator or their designee, working with Public Safety, will arrange for ambulance transport.

5.0 Tracking Persons on Campus

All vendors, delivery personnel, and service providers are 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 119 West 31st lobby and 10th floor from the West 32nd Street side is disallowed until further notice.

This tracking will ensure that if ever there is a report of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 having been on campus, the CUNY SPS administration will 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 campus operations of the areas of the campus that will require cleaning and sanitizing.

6.0 Testing and Notification

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to utilize New York City's free COVID-19 testing centers. In addition, all members of the CUNY community who have not been tested elsewhere will have the opportunity to be tested regularly at a campus location. For more information, see: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/coronavirus/get-tested/covid-19-testing.page.

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

Individuals testing positive for COVID-19 may return to campus after 10 days with an accompanying negative test result that is dated no earlier than three days prior to their intended return to campus date. If a negative test result cannot be achieved, the individual must produce medical clearance that is dated no earlier than three days prior to their intended return to campus date. These requirements apply to all COVID-19 quarantines, including symptoms, positive test, exposure, and international travel.

Faculty and staff members will forward their negative test results or medical clearance to the Office of Human Resources before returning to campus. RF Staff members will forward their negative test result or medical clearance to Amy Perez, executive director of professional education and workplace learning (amy.perez@cuny.edu). Students will forward their medical clearance to the coronavirus liaison or the student coronavirus liaison.

As per the requirements of the Central Office, the coronavirus liaison will immediately notify the coronavirus coordinator of any positive COVID-19 cases. The coronavirus coordinator will in turn notify the Dean, inform the State and City health departments, and update the CUNY Checklist Survey managed by the senior vice chancellor for institutional affairs, strategic advancement and special counsel. Close contacts will also be notified while ensuring confidentiality about the affected individual. The School shall not reveal to the CUNY SPS community the identity of any 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.

In the event that positive cases at the campus meet or exceed 5% of the total on-campus population over a rolling 14 day period, or 100 cases, whichever is smaller, 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. Please see sections 6.2 and 12.0 for more details.

6.1 CUNY Surveillance Testing Program


CUNY will implement surveillance testing for unvaccinated individuals or individuals who have not provided proof of vaccination, who will be required to submit a test every 7 days. Continued access to on-campus activities by unvaccinated individuals, or individuals who have not provided proof of vaccination, will be contingent on regular submission of a negative test.

No one will be allowed on campus unless they are fully vaccinated or have received a negative COVID test result within the preceding 7 days. If a faculty member, staff, student, or visitor does not abide by the vaccine and testing requirements, they will not be authorized to be on campus.

Students, faculty, or staff arriving to campus untested will be provided information about the CUNY Surveillance Testing Program and asked to return to campus when they have a negative COVID-19 test that is no more than 7 days old or when they have been fully vaccinated.

Students who are not taking in-person classes but need to gain access to campus or an office are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. If a student not taking in-person classes needs access to campus or an office and does not show proof that they are vaccinated, the student will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result received no more than 7 days prior to the visit.

CUNY SPS reserves the right to mandate random coronavirus testing for all individuals regularly on campus, whether vaccinated or not. The frequency of such testing will depend upon the coronavirus positivity rate in New York City, among other factors. Group or pool testing will be conducted when possible, depending on access to facilities able to conduct group or pool testing. The associate dean for administration and finance will be responsible for ensuring that sufficient tests are procured for the School's campus testing needs.

Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff who:

  • Teach, work, or are present on campus each week, must test every week;
  • Teach, work, or are present on campus sporadically, must have a negative test taken no more than 7 days prior to each campus visit;
  • Are not regularly on campus, not included in the categories above, and seeking access to any campus building, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 7 days prior to each visit.

CUNY SPS is working with the CUNY Graduate Center and the Central Office to provide testing at a CUNY and/or non-CUNY locations throughout the workweek. The CUNY Central Office is in the process of identifying a PCR test and vendor that will be used by the campuses to provide testing kits and locations. Individuals testing positive for COVID-19 will be notified by the coronavirus liaison.

6.2 Reopening Thresholds

The School will continuously monitor infection and transmission rates in New York City and the surrounding tristate area. COVID-19 percent positivity and transmission rate data from the New York City Department of Health will be used to inform decisions about in-person, hybrid, and remote learning. Because the vast majority of the courses at CUNY SPS are online, the School is uniquely positioned to quickly pivot to 100% remote learning.

As per the University:

  • Full-time remote learning for all courses will occur if the area has at least 100 new weekly cases per 100,000 people or a seven-day positivity rate of 10% or greater.
  • Hybrid learning will occur if the area has 50 to 100 new weekly cases per 100,000 people or a seven-day positivity rate of 10% or greater.
  • In-person learning will occur if the area has fewer than 50 new weekly cases per 100,000 people and a seven-day positivity rate of less than 8%.

7.0 Close Contact Tracing and Notification

The School will initiate close contact tracing whenever an individual who was on campus becomes symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19. Close contact is defined as 15 or more cumulative minutes of contact with a symptomatic or positive person. The School will assume that the individual was contagious for 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or positive test result. Working together with the Office of Public Safety, the School will identify all individuals with whom the affected person came into contact, as well as the areas of the campus that they visited. Individuals will be notified of their potential contact, advised to seek testing, and updated of the test status of any symptomatic individuals with whom they had close contact.

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 using the protocols, training and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program.

8.0 On-Campus Safety Practices

All employees working on campus will be required to wear face coverings when interacting with others (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html), abide by social distancing protocols (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/personal-social-activities.html), and adhere to other measures and practices like proper hand (https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/) and respiratory hygiene that have been implemented to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Signs indicating proper hand washing technique will be posted throughout the campus.

8.1 Personal Protective Equipment

Disposable facemasks and gloves will be made available to all persons coming onto the campus. Individuals may wear their own face coverings so long as they provide protection equal to or greater than that afforded by the campus issued face coverings. People who are not fully vaccinated and those who might need to take extra precautions must wear a mask indoors. Members of the CUNY community (students, staff, faculty, visitors, etc.) will be asked to observe the honor system in complying with this requirement.

Signs indicating proper mask wearing, hand and respiratory hygiene will be posted throughout campus as appropriate.

Pursuant to Executive Order 202.16, signed by Governor Cuomo on April 12, 2020, effective Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 8:00 p.m., "any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees."

Facemasks must be worn whenever a person is within six feet (2 meters) of another person. Disposable facemasks should be discarded at the end of the day or if they become damaged in any way. The School will provide staff members with KN95 respirators for voluntary use for travel to and from home. These respirators should be discarded after five days of usage.

Please note that individuals who are unable to wear face coverings due to an underlying medical issue must contact the Office of Human Resources to submit an accommodation request. Individuals that are unable to wear face coverings will need to be isolated or distanced from others.

The Office of Public Safety will distribute all face masks. Face masks will be available at 119 W. 31st Street at the main lobby and in the Public Safety command center (Room 214). Face masks will be available at 875 Sixth Avenue at the 7th floor lobby public safety post.

The Office of Campus Operations will procure and manage the inventory of personal protective equipment. The PPE inventory will be updated on a weekly basis. The weekly consumption rate, also referred to as the "burn rate," will be 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.

For more information about mask usage, visit the CDC webpage, Your Guide to Masks: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html

8.2 Physical Distancing

Physical distancing, also known as "social distancing," is the practice of keeping a safe distance between yourself and other individuals who are not part of your family or pod. All persons on campus will be required to maintain a minimum distance of six feet (2 meters) between themselves and others and all non-essential gatherings will be restricted until further notice. For students, faculty, and staff who are fully vaccinated by Fall 2021, physical distancing will not be a required safety measure for classroom and educational settings. People who are not fully vaccinated should continue to practice physical distancing.

COVID-19 is predominantly spread via droplets and aerosols with highest risk of exposure during close contact with infected persons. Staying six feet away from others in conjunction with mask wearing, hand washing, getting vaccinated, and avoiding crowds is the best way to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19.

8.3 Elevators

All persons riding in elevators at the campus locations should adhere to the maximum allowable occupancy, use the floor markings in the elevators, and refrain from speaking and cellphone usage while in the elevator.

Physical distancing practices in the elevators at 875 Sixth Avenue are not managed by CUNY SPS. Currently there are demarcations for three riders at a time in the elevators at 875 Sixth Avenue. If you are in the elevator and more persons than allowed enter the elevator, you should consider exiting the elevator and waiting for another one. You should not confront unknown persons who are violating safety guidelines in the elevators.

Physical distancing practices in the elevators at 119 West 31st Street are managed by Campus Operations and Public Safety. Currently, only two persons may ride the elevator at a time. Please observe the demarcations on the floors of the elevators in order to achieve maximum physical distancing.

8.4 Restrooms

Please observe the posted signage at restrooms and knock before entering restrooms. In accordance with physical distancing controls, no more than two people are permitted to occupy a multi-stall restroom at any one time. Only one person is permitted to use the sink area at any given time unless explicitly indicated by posted signage. Some stalls will be locked in order to maintain physical distancing.

8.5 Pantries

Kitchen pantries continue to be available to the CUNY SPS community. In order to ensure the safety of our community, the following physical distancing and occupancy limits are in effect in our pantries. At 875 Sixth Avenue, only two persons are permitted in the pantry at a time. At 119 West 31st Street, no more than three people are permitted to be in the 10th floor pantry/lounge at any given time, and only one person is permitted at the pantry counter at any given time. 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 pantries.

8.6 Lounge Areas

The tables and chairs in the lounge areas on the first through fourth floor of 119 West 31st Street have been reduced and separated to ensure safe physical distancing. The chairs and tables should not be moved. 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. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers will be made available.

8.7 Conference Rooms

Microsoft Teams and Zoom should be used whenever possible to avoid congregating in closed spaces. If a conference room is required, please observe all of the posted safety guidelines and maintain social distancing. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers will be made available.

The current maximum conference room capacities are:
875 Sixth Avenue, Room 703: 5 persons
875 Sixth Avenue, Room 728: 5 persons
119 West 31st Street, Room 218: 2 persons
119 West 31st Street, Room 413E: 3 persons
119 West 31st Street, Room 1027: 3 persons
119 West 31st Street, Room 1008: 13 persons

9.0 Workstation Occupancy and Physical Distancing

In order to ensure that staff reporting to campus are able to maintain six feet of physical distance from each other, staff in open workspaces that do not accommodate physical distancing will be seated in a "checkerboard pattern" leaving every other workspace empty. Workspaces will be clearly marked "A" or "B" to identify the cubicle that can be occupied on a specific day during a repeating two-week cycle (see below). "A" and "B" workspaces cannot be occupied on the same day. This will help to ensure equal access to cubicles.

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1 Utilize Cubicle A Utilize Cubicle B Utilize Cubicle A Utilize Cubicle B Utilize Cubicle A
Week 2 Utilize Cubicle B Utilize Cubicle A Utilize Cubicle B Utilize Cubicle A Utilize Cubicle B

Alternating day floor plans will be posted at convenient points for easy reference. Staff who work on consecutive days may be assigned a secondary cubicle that matches the consecutive day on which they are reporting to campus. Workstations with high use proximal aisles will have clearly visible floor demarcation identifying safe walking distances.

Diagram demonstrating floor mounted traffic lanes and directional arrows that help maximize the distances between people at workstations and people moving through a suite,

In the example above, floor mounted traffic lanes and directional arrows help maximize the distances between people at workstations and people moving through the suite. The offices assigned to a single person (413D – 413A) can be used daily and cleaned weekly or bi-weekly depending on usage levels. Conference rooms will have clearly labeled maximum occupancies and will be cleaned daily. In areas where seating proximity does not allow for required physical distancing, additional workspaces will be taken offline to accomplish safe distancing. Additionally, workstations that are along aisles that do not allow for six feet of distancing will be taken offline until physical distancing restrictions are relaxed.

9.1 Workspace Occupancy Capacities at 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31st Street

The following table describes the workstation occupancy capacities at 875 Sixth Avenue and 119 West 31st Street. Maximum workspace capacities reflect pre-COVID occupancy levels. As requested, we are providing occupancy levels for both six-foot and three-foot physical distancing scenarios. The planned fall occupancy for 875 Sixth Avenue is 58%. The planned fall occupancy for 119 West 31st Street is 56%.

Location Maximum Workspace Capacity 50% Workspace Capacity 6 Foot Physical Distancing with Cohort A/B Model 3 Foot Physical Distancing/No Cohort Model Possible
875 Sixth Avenue, 7th Floor 50 25 29 41
119 West 31st Street, Floors 1-4, and 10 169 85 95 167

9.2 Classroom Occupancy Capacities

Given the demands for storage of furniture to meet the physical distancing requirements of COVID-19, CUNY SPS had to convert some classrooms to storage space for excess furniture and personal protective equipment. The current number of available classrooms is comprised of one performance space and one training room at 875 Sixth Avenue and 14 classrooms at 119 West 31st Street. Classroom furniture has been minimized and arranged to conform with physical distancing requirements. There are currently three classrooms at 119 West 31st Street without windows. These classrooms will be equipped with portable HEPA filtration systems for air filtering. Classroom occupancies for six-foot and three-foot social distancing occupancies can be found in the table below. Until social distancing restrictions are relaxed, the School will maintain six-foot social distancing occupancies in all of its classrooms.

Classroom Physical Distancing - Space Capacity
Floor # Room # Square Footage Pre-COVID Maximum Occupancy Type of Seating 6 Feet Physical Distancing 3 Feet Physical Distancing Air Supply Vent/Return Count Windows
Location: 875 Sixth Avenue
6 636 998 75 None 15 35 3/3 (plus 2 wall mounted AC's, 1 window AC) 3
6 638 661 45 Training Tables 12 36 7/2 (1 return is 2X larger) 5
Floor # Room # Square Footage Pre-COVID Maximum Occupancy Type of Seating 6 Feet Physical Distancing 3 Feet Physical Distancing Air Supply Vent/Return Count Windows
Location: 119 West 31st Street
1 103 559 22 Training Tables 6 + 1 Instructor at podium 11 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 4
1 104 564 18 Training Tables 5 + 1 Instructor at podium 9 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 0
1 110 597 26 Node Chairs 9 + 1 Instructor at podium 12 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/3 2
1 112 611 28 Node Chairs 9 + 1 Instructor at podium 14 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 4
1 116 568 25 Node Chairs 9 + 1 Instructor at podium 14 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 2
1 122 524 26 Node Chairs 6 + 1 Instructor at podium 11 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 4
2 203 580 20 Training Tables 5 + 1 Instructor at podium 11 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 4
3 303 569 26 Node Chairs 6 + 1 Instructor at podium 13 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/1 3
3 322 600 16 Teaching Lab 6 + 1 Instructor at podium 12 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 3
4 403 546 20 Training Tables 5 + 1 Instructor at podium 10 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 3
4 405 538 27 Node Chairs 8 + 1 Instructor at podium 13 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 0
4 407 1,267 56 Training Tables 10 + 1 Instructor at podium 25 + 1 Instructor at podium 6/3 4
4 414 593 22 Training Tables 5 + 1 Instructor at podium 10 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/1 0
4 416 514 20 Training Tables 6 + 1 Instructor at podium 10 + 1 Instructor at podium 4/2 3

10.0 Engineering Controls

Since COVID-19 spreads in the air, infection risk is higher in poorly ventilated spaces. Proper ventilation and filtration are important for preventing the spread of pathogens such as the COVID-19 virus.

In order to ensure that occupied areas are properly ventilated, CUNY SPS will work with its vendors, building managers, and building superintendents to:

  • Ensure that all ventilation systems are operating properly.
  • Maximize the amount of outside air used by ventilation systems.
  • Open windows as permissible by weather conditions.
  • Maximize air exchanges per hour.
  • Upgrade filters to safest and highest mechanically permissible rating (currently MERV 13).
  • Schedule HVAC operation to begin two hours before building occupancy.
  • Maintain a regular and frequent cleaning and maintenance schedule of HVAC equipment.
  • Deploy HEPA filters as required.

11.0 Cleaning and Disinfection of Workspaces and High-Touch Surfaces

We will continue our schedule of frequent daily cleaning and disinfection of workspaces and common areas, with a focus on high-touch surfaces. In the common areas, high touch surfaces (doorknobs, elevator buttons, pantry counter tops, tables, microwaves, water fountains, vending machine buttons, etc.) are cleaned and disinfected a minimum of once a day, and up to four times a day for high traffic areas. Restrooms are cleaned, sanitized, and restocked at least twice a day.

The campus operations custodial team uses EPA approved disinfectants for use against COVID-19. In order to ensure that the campus is properly cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis, all staff, with the exception of public safety and custodial staff, must vacate the campus by 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 6 p.m. on Fridays. Public Safety and custodial staff will remain on campus until 10:00 p.m Monday through Thursday and 8:30 p.m. on Friday.

Campus Operations manages a daily cleaning log indicating each workspace that has been cleaned and disinfected and each workspace that is scheduled to be cleaned and disinfected. This log will continue to be utilized during all phases of reopening. Additionally, logs of all bathroom cleanings will be kept by campus operations. The director of campus operations will provide regular updates to the coronavirus coordinator about the cleaning regimen in place at the campus. Campus community members can report any issues with cleanliness using the online facility management portal or by notifying the administrative superintendent, Nigel Thomas (nigel.thomas@cuny.edu).

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.
  • All areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, and common areas, will be cleaned and disinfected. 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.

12.0 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.

Per NYS Higher Education Supplemental Guidance: "Whenever the lesser of 100 individuals or 5% of the total on-campus population–inclusive of students, faculty, and staff–of a higher education institution location test positive for COVID-19 within a rolling 14-day period, the location must immediately (1) transition all in-person learning to remote format(s) and (2) limit on-campus activities for a period of 14 days. Provided, however, that a higher education institution location which tests an average of at least 25% of its total on-campus population for COVID-19 each week as part of an ongoing policy of surveillance testing shall not be required to transition to remote learning or to limit on-campus activities unless the greater of 100 individuals or 5% of the total on-campus population test positive using a 14-day rolling average."

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 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.

13.0 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 videoconferencing 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. An email address (reopening@sps.cuny.edu) has been created to address the questions and concerns of returning staff 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 reopening process regarding schedules and access to services both in-person and remotely. 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, links with safety protocols will be communicated to them directly prior to their meeting.

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

Staff and faculty will 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's flexible work guidelines issued on April 28, 2021 and available at https://www.cuny.edu/coronavirus/flexible-work-arrangements/.

14.1 Campus Phased Re-occupancy


Deans will return to campus starting Monday, August 2, 2021. All other staff will begin returning to campus on Monday, August 16, 2021 and will be phased in through Monday, August 30, 2021. Full-time faculty and adjunct faculty will follow the academic calendar for their return to campus.

To implement the phased re-occupancy, all full-time and part-time tax-levy faculty and staff (excluding adjunct faculty) will review the University's guidance, discuss with and receive approval for their respective schedule(s) from their supervisors, and submit the completed CUNY SPS Flexible Work Agreement no later than May 31, 2021. Once submitted, the Agreement form will be forwarded to supervisors and deans for final review.

The phased re-occupancy will be based on the approved Flexible Work Agreement(s). Any revisions to an individual Flexible Work Agreement must be discussed by both the staff and supervisor and approved before being re-submitted.

14.2 Reasonable Accommodations

There may be employees who have concerns about returning to work in person due to their own medical issues that may put them at higher risk, being age 65 or older, health issues of family members in the household, and/or caregiving challenges. CUNY and SPS are committed to working with our faculty and staff in considering medical and general accommodation requests related to COVID-19.

CUNY SPS HR will follow all current University guidelines for those employees seeking reasonable accommodations in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local law. Tax Levy staff seeking an accommodation should contact the HR Director, K. Maynard (Kristin.maynard@cuny.edu).

RF CUNY Staff members seeking accommodations should contact Amy Perez, executive director of professional education and workplace learning (amy.perez@cuny.edu).

15.0 Coronavirus Contacts:

Coronavirus Coordinator:
Washington R. Hernández, Associate Dean for Administration and Finance
washington.hernandez@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8585

RF CUNY Coronavirus Contact:
Amy Perez, Executive Director, Professional Education and Workplace Learning
amy.perez@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8646

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, Academic Affairs Director/Interim Chief of Staff
lia.kudless@cuny.edu, (646) 823-2088

Coronavirus HR Point of Contact:
K. Maynard, HR Director
kristin.maynard@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8680

Coronavirus HR Point of Contact (Backup):
Takisha Folade, HR Manager
takisha.folade@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8686

Student Coronavirus Coordinator
Jennifer Grace Lee, Associate Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Services
jennifer.gracelee@cuny.edu, (646) 664-8571

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