Safe Campus Reopening Plan

Submitted: August 7, 2020
Revised: August 20, 2020
Revised: September 9, 2020
Revised: August 14, 2021 for Fall 2021 Campus Programs Stage 3


This plan relies heavily upon, and makes liberal use of, the language and content contained in the CUNY Guidelines for Safe Reopening dated July 16, 2020.


Last Updated: September 17, 2021

Reopening Committee, Coronavirus Coordinator and Coronavirus Campus Liaison

Queensborough Community College (QCC) formally established a reopening committee and held the first meeting of the Committee on July 16, 2020, the date the Guidelines for Safe Campus Reopening were released by the University.  The reopening committee was established by augmenting QCC’s standing Emergency Management Team with an Emergency Management Advisory Group (EMAG)—a representative body that has been activated at different times in the past to address emergency management issues. The full EMAG includes the directors/heads of Environmental Health and Safety, Health Services, Public Safety, Buildings, Grounds and Facilities, Information Technology, Human Resources; the elected PSC and DC37 representatives, the designated head of the academic Department Chairs, the Chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, the Chair of the Academic Senate and the President of the Student Government Association. The President, Provost, Vice President for Finance and Administration/Coronavirus Campus Coordinator, Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communication Officer/Coronavirus Campus Liaisons also serve on the EMAG/reopening committee.  The EMAG committee has continued to meet throughout 2020 and 2021 on a bi-weekly basis.

The EMAG began its work by endorsing an approach whereby QCC would provide on campus, in person instruction and services for Fall 2020 only on an exception basis.  With this approach, all classes would be fully online and all services and work would be conducted via telecommuting, unless a plan for a class, instructional activity or a support/administrative service was advanced for review to the EMAG. Each Vice President was responsible for soliciting proposals, and each proposal identified to receive full consideration was vetted, reviewed and revised as needed to address the requirements mandated by the CUNY Guidelines for Safe Campus Reopening. Throughout the balance of 2020 and 2021 to date, EMAG has reviewed and provided input on all instructional activity requested on campus.

Coronavirus Coordinator
William Faulkner

Will Faulkner

Vice President for Finance & Administration, William Faulkner, has been designated as the Coronavirus Coordinator and will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements of that role as set forth in the CUNY Guidelines.

  • Serve as the campus safety monitor, responsible for ensuring continuous compliance with all aspects of the campus's reopening plan.
  • Lead and coordinate the work of the Campus Reopening Committee (chaired by the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer) and serve as the primary conduit between the campus and CUNY Central on reopening- related matters.
  • Receive information from the Coronavirus Campus Liaison on COVID-19 exposures and ensure that local health officials are immediately notified upon the identification of positive cases.
  • Receive confidential reports via email hotline on issues with non-compliance with social distancing, hygiene, or safety practices.
  • Support the work of heads of campus facilities, as described in Part 1, Section C, “Operational Considerations for Facilities and Grounds,” of the CUNY Guidelines to support the identification and implementation of physical, operational and cleaning protocols.
  • Per NYS Guidelines on Return to Work, identify and designate supervisory-level employees or health care professionals to conduct campus screenings.
  • Designate roles and responsibilities as indicated throughout NYS, NYC, CUNY and other
  • Maintain and securely store an adequate supply of PPE, hygiene and disinfecting supplies, thermometers, and other necessary items, as available.

Coronavirus Campus Liaison
Stephen Di Dio

Vice President, Stephen Di Dio

Vice President for Marketing & Communications, Stephen Di Dio, has been designated as the Coronavirus Campus Liaison and will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements of that role as set forth in the CUNY Guidelines.

  • Receive, collate and distribute information from the online NYS Daily Health Screening Templates and from campus screeners.
  • Provide a daily report on COVID-19 exposures using the CUNY checkbox survey to the SVC for Institutional Affairs and the Campus Reopening Committee.
  • Receive the completed mandatory health screening assessment templates from students, faculty and staff and immediately notify the Coronavirus Campus Coordinator of any possible positive cases reported through the screening process.
  • Provide data reporting to ensure campus and Central decision-makers can calibrate reopening/reclosing plans based on the health status of the campus community. This data will be reviewed as necessary by the Chancellery/COO's Office and Campus Reopening Committees with local and state health
  • Coordinate with the Departments of Health Services and Human Resources to contact trace those who were in close contact with a confirmed or probable COVID case.
  • Activate notification protocol in consultation with VC for Marketing and Communication.

Staged Reopening Plan

The College has conceived of the Reopening in four stages.

Stage 1

Fall semester: The College is starting this fall semester with a small number of classes on campus and only essential staff and limited lab researchers onsite on a regular basis, well below the acceptable occupancy level of 25%. All others will come to campus by appointment on an as needed basis, i.e. the person needs to perform a task that can only be done on campus. With only a small portion of instruction on campus, all student services staff remain online, and the majority of the non-instructional staff should perform their duties online as well. As such, our plan is to remain at Stage 1 for the entire fall semester.

Stage 2

The College will increase instructional effort up to a maximum of 50% occupancy. During this phase, in spring 2021 the earliest, we will increase our on-site instruction to no more than 50%, and likely less, in order to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. During this stage, we will add any non-instructional staff for technology services, student services, facility and public safety services necessary to support the presence of those faculty and students on site. If the College determines that an individual (faculty, staff or student) can perform a set of activities offsite, then staff will continue to perform those tasks off-site so we can accommodate physical distancing requirements and health and safety mandates for enhanced cleaning. We will consider student requests for quiet spaces/appointment slots up based on need and ability to maintain student compliance with health and safety protocols.

Stage 3

The College will increase instructional effort up to a maximum occupancy of 75%. During this stage, in fall of 2021 the earliest, we will consider increasing our on-site instruction for high priority programs to no more than 75%, in order to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. Staff that can continuing performing their duties remotely will continue doing so.

Stage 4

The College will return to normal operations. This will occur only as directed by NYS/CUNY and likely to occur only when there is a vaccine widely available.

The Campus Reopening Committee will closely monitor the fall 2020 experience and use the information to inform Stage 2 & 3 planning on campus. During Stage 1, we will continually check on departments experiences with onsite operations and ask for any suggested changes.

In moving to Stages 2 or 3, these are the conditions/triggers that must be met:

  • We will be guided by the most up to date information about community health conditions as reported by NYS and local health officials, including using the key metrics on NYS's Regional Dashboard https://forward.ny.gov/percentage-positive-results-region-dashboard to determine if the prevalence of the disease is low enough to expand physical presence Among other metrics, the positivity rate must be below present rate before we move to Stage 2 or 3.
  • We will closely monitor reports of any on-campus positive cases during the fall and assess our ability to manage and contain the risk to others; if we could not contain, we would not move to Stages 2 or 3.
  • We would not move to Stage 2 if there were signs of significant community or campus outbreaks of other known influenza illnesses that may exacerbate the impact of COVID-19. We will monitor signs of such an outbreak using information from NYC/NYS health agencies and/or campus self-reported cases.
  • Given our capacity to handle onsite presence with current social distancing requirements in classrooms, workspaces, elevators and other spaces, we would not move to Stages 2 or 3 unless 6 feet requirement can be achieved, or if social distancing requirements have changed allowing for 3-feet social distance.
  • We will assess our ability to able to monitor compliance with health and safety protocols to mitigate risk. Only if we have been successful, would we move to Stages 2 & 3.
  • We will use a risk assessment that considers workplace density and levels of student/public/staff interaction with priority being given to low levels of workplace density and public interactions for consideration of which staff to return in Stages 2 and 3.
  • We will rely on Academic Affairs to determine which classes and other activities should be prioritized for return in Stages 2 & 3.
  • Elsewhere in the Plan, we have described the protocols for Stage 1 in terms of cleaning, social distancing, work schedules, elevator usage, PPE and the physical preparations of the spaces.
  • As we begin to reopen offices and other spaces for Stages 2, 3 & 4 that have been closed and unoccupied, we will prepare for occupancy by using a basic hygiene and operational protocol for spaces that have been unoccupied for a long time, including cleaning and disinfecting; ensuring appropriate ventilation, water systems are checked and other actions as appropriate to the space.

We will use risk assessment tools provided by CUNY in assessing compliance.

In Stages 1, 2 & 3 , the Campus will provide necessary accommodation to faculty, staff and students at high risk for severe illness. See Section on Vulnerable Populations.

In Stages 1, 2 & 3, the Committee will monitor and respond to changes in community, referring to NYS Regional Dashboard and campus health conditions, using data from our healthcare screening form.

In the case of an outbreak on campus that cannot be contained or a deteriorating community health conditions, the College will be prepared to roll back to earlier phase including no presence on campus except for essential staff.

In Stage 4, full reopening, the cleaning regimen will return to normal.

Other Requirements

Testing

  • CUNY &QCC, through its vendor, Applied DNA, has implemented surveillance testing so that individuals who are not fully vaccinated or who do not disclose their vaccination status must obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 7 days of entering a CUNY facility. Surveillance testing is intended to identify infected people who are asymptomatic. Surveillance helps to identify unknown cases so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals are not required to submit weekly tests.
  • CUNY’s testing program will include periodic screening of a random sampling of vaccinated individuals to help monitor and contain the spread of COVID-19 across the University. The frequency of such testing will depend upon the coronavirus positivity rate and the prevalence of variants among other factors.

Starting on October 7, students without proof of vaccination will not be allowed access to campus, unless they have been granted an exemption. Other stakeholders on campus who are not fully vaccinated or who do not disclose their vaccination status will continue to be required to submit a weekly COVID-19 negative surveillance test and adhere to additional requirements aimed at keeping the CUNY community safe. Regular testing will not be required for those who are fully vaccinated.


Visitor Access to Campus

The QCC reopening plan is informed by CDC, New York State Department of Health, and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene guidelines relating to the COVID-19 public health emergency. It aims to provide a consistent approach to density management that is in parallel with the processes that are or will be in place for all City University of New York (CUNY) community members who are on campus.

The federal, New York State and New York City rules, regulations, policies, procedures and laws (collectively, “Laws”) regarding the matters covered by this policy change frequently. In the event that the U.S. Government, New York State or New York City adopt Laws applicable to CUNY that are stricter than those set forth in this policy, these stricter Laws shall supersede those in this policy.


Definition of Visitor

A visitor to QCC is someone who is not a CUNY student, faculty or staff member. Examples of visitors include, but are not limited to:

  • _vendors and other individuals coming to campus to perform activities related to a contract with or in support of the University;
  • _employees of related entities of CUNY including without limitation auxiliary enterprise corporations, colleges associations, and child care centers;
  • _unpaid college interns;
  • _community members and other individuals coming to a campus to use University facilities such as pools and gyms, or to attend activities on campus; and
  • _family members or friends of CUNY students, faculty, or staff.

Rules for Visitors

Subject to the exceptions in this policy, every visitor to a CUNY campus, whether accessing indoor or outdoor spaces, must provide proof to CUNY that they (i) are fully vaccinated or (ii) have had a negative COVID-19 molecular (PCR) test performed by an accredited lab no more than 7 days prior to the visit. “Fully vaccinated” means:

  • _Two weeks after a second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines; or
OR
  • _Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine; 

Visitors are also required to comply with all other University policies and codes of conduct, as well as government and/or campus-specific rules and protocols, applicable to individuals on campus that are intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including by way of example:

  • _any masking and social distancing requirements; and
  • _complying with any applicable federal, state or local quarantine rules.

Before coming to a CUNY campus, visitors are encouraged to consult the campus’ website to review the most current access rules and protocols.


Exception for Short Visits with No Close Contact

Visitors who are on campus for 30 minutes or less per visit do not have to comply with any COVID-19 vaccination or surveillance testing requirements applicable to CUNY staff unless the visitor expects during that time to be less than 6 feet distant of another person for a total of 15 minutes


Exceptions for Visitors under 12


At present there is no vaccine available to individuals under the age of 12. The requirements for these children are as set forth below:

TYPES OF UNDER 12 GROUPS DESCRIPTION CUNY PROTOCOL
1. Accompanying a visitor Children accompanying a visitor who have business to tend to on campus for a limited time.
  • _Exempt from testing.
  • _Require masking for those 2 and up.
2. Attending events Children attending an event, performance, or assembly where a large group will congregate for an extended period.
  • _Exempt from testing.
  • _Limit access on campus.
  • _Require masking for those 2 & up enforce social distancing.
3. Enrolled in programs Children who routinely come to CUNY facilities to participate in a program.
  • _Require Weekly Testing.
  • _Require masking for those 2 and up.

Failure to comply with this policy will result in the denial of access to the campus.


Human Resources

  • QCC will implement practices that will allow student-facing staff with higher likelihood of serious illness from infection to take on other duties that are similar to their existing duties, but which reduce their risk of infection or telecommute as possible.
  • The QCC Emergency Management Team will work with the Office of Human Resources to notify faculty and staff of new workplace policies and changes prior to reopening and upon resuming operations. QCC will provide:
    • Training on new or modified working schedules, how employees can stay up to date on new scheduling requirements, and how to make requests for schedule changes if a need arises.
    • Awareness training on cleaning and disinfection along with proper use of PPE, and other precautionary measures.
    • Communications with staff by managers or supervisors to determine when they will be permitted to return to campus, and what their responsibilities are.
  • QCC will identify and enact specific protections for students, faculty, and staff who have medical risk. Vulnerable populations will be advised to stay home (i.e. remote learning for students, remote teaching for faculty, and remote work for staff). QCC will modify their reasonable accommodation process for vulnerable individuals to self-identify and be verified.
  • QCC will evaluate all possible approaches to serving its vulnerable.
  • Consistent with applicable law, QCC will protect the privacy of people at higher risk for severe illness regarding underlying medical conditions in compliance with applicable federal and state privacy and confidentiality laws.
  • Requests for Reasonable Accommodation under ADA: The Office of Human Resources will carefully review all requests for health and disability-related accommodations on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable federal, state and local law, as well as CUNY guidelines. All other requests for special remote working arrangements not related to an employee’s personal health or disability will be reviewed by the Office of Human Resources on a case-by-case basis.
  • The Office of Human Resources will return to work effective August 2021 at up to a 50% office occupancy and will also continue telecommuting to provide administrative services to the community. All points of customer facing contact will have barriers to facilitate safe and effective interactions.

Compliance Enforcement

  • All QCC individuals are required to carry a CUNY ID at all times while on campus.
  • Issues related to non-compliance with social distancing, hygiene, or safety practices will be reported confidentially to the Coronavirus Campus Coordinator.
  • Public Safety personnel will be trained on campus policies and safety plans, as well as their enforcement, including identifying and recording violations and how to manage non-compliance.

Transit and Transportation

  • QCC will designate specific entrances, elevators, and bathrooms for student or employee cohorts to limit density and prevent cross contamination where necessary.
  • QCC will encourage students, faculty and staff who use public transportation or ride sharing to follow CDC guidance on how to protect yourself when using transportation. Additionally, commuters will be encouraged to commute during less busy times and wash their hands as soon as possible after their trip.
  • QCC has been communicating with the MTA and local legislative officials requesting additional service and buses during peak travel times to minimize congestion for the QCC community.

Training and Screening

  • QCC will train employees on how to adequately put on, take off, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE, including but not limited to, appropriate face coverings, primarily by requiring the viewing and completion of CDC provided instructional videos.
  • If COVID-19 cases develop, QCC will restrict social contact and mobility across campus particularly in affected areas.

Public Events

  • QCC will prohibit public gatherings on campus and non-essential visits until such time that it is deemed safe and until there is a COVID-19 vaccine or cure.

Campus Deliveries and Drop-Off

  • QCC has established designated areas for pickups and deliveries, and will limit contact to the extent possible.
  • Delivery schedules and signs will be displayed at main drop-off and pick-up areas.

Student Conduct Protocol

Returning to Campus

QCC will establish the following protocols and will publicized them prior to the approved return of students, faculty and staff to their campus, and strictly enforced thereafter.

  • Employees who are sick must stay home or return to home if they become ill at work.
    • QCC will continually reinforce and communicate with faculty, staff, and students that they must not come in to work if they are sick, and must notify QCC officials if they become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case (9).
  • Any student, faculty, or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 by their healthcare provider must notify the Coronavirus Campus Liaison via the template.
  • Before returning to campus, students, faculty, and staff who have been sick with COVID- 19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or have been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 must follow CDC guidance to self-isolate or stay home. Their return to campus must be approved by Human Resources.
  • Quarantine of students or employees may be required after travel, per current CDC and NYSDOH guidance.
  • QCC will track and identify clearly defined measures that will serve as warning signs that infection among employees or students may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.
  • Each reported case on campus will be fully evaluated to determine what areas must be shut down, and for how long, and what persons must be notified/quarantined. QCC’s plan for student presence on campus in the Nursing and EMT programs includes protection measures created with the assumption that anyone and everyone is positive for COVID-19 and PPE and protocols were established accordingly. As such, the impact of a positive case on others in the community will be mitigated.
  • QCC’s safe return to work plan requires that unvaccinated individuals enter quarantine in the event of possible exposure. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine after exposure, but will not be allowed on campus until after receiving a negative test. Isolation is required for all individuals when diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • A fully vaccinated person who (i) has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and (ii) shows no symptoms of COVID-19, should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure AND not report to in-person work or class until they receive a negative test result or medical clearance to return.
    • An unvaccinated person who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not, should quarantine for 10 days.
    • In general, an individual should isolate for at least 10 days after a positive test. Isolation should be longer if symptoms are present - at least 24 hours after no fever without fever-reducing medication and all symptoms are improving.

Tracing and Tracking

Tracing

  • If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the Liaison will immediately notify the Campus Coronavirus Coordinator. The Coordinator will ensure that the State and local health department are immediately notified about the case as well as notify the SVC for Institutional Affairs and the Campus Reopening Committee. They must also notify the Chancellery/COO’s Office.
  • In the case of an individual testing positive, QCC has plans with local health departments to trace all contacts of the individual in accordance with protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program. Confidentiality will be maintained as required by federal and state law and regulations. QCC will cooperate with state and local health department contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine efforts.
  • QCC reporting plans are in place for individuals who are alerted that they have come into close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19, and have been alerted to such exposure via tracing, tracking or other mechanism.

Tracking

  • QCC will refer to NYSDOH’s “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” regarding protocols and policies for employees seeking to return to work or class after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the individuals have had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.

Isolate and Transport Those Who are Sick

  • QCC will immediately separate faculty, staff, and students with COVID-19 symptoms. Individuals who are sick will be instructed to go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on how severe their symptoms are following CDC Guidance for caring for oneself and others.
  • QCC has identified and secured an isolation room in the Health Services Department in the Medical Arts Building, MC-02 to separate anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or becomes aware that they have tested positive but does not have symptoms. QCC healthcare providers will use Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for sick people. See: What Healthcare Personnel Should Know About Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19 Infection.
  • QCC will establish procedures for safely transporting anyone who is sick to their home or to a healthcare facility. When calling for an ambulance, medical attention, or seeking transportation, QCC will first alert the contact that the individual may have COVID-19.

Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts

  • In accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, the Liaison will immediately notify the Campus Coronavirus Coordinator who must ensure that the State and local health department are immediately notified about the case if the individual tests positive for COVID-19 (and notify the SVC for Institutional Affairs and the Campus Reopening Committee). The Chancellery/COO’s Office will also be notified. Faculty, staff, students, and other individuals within close proximity to a suspected or confirmed case will be notified while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), FERPA and other applicable laws and regulations.
  • Through the New York State Contact Tracing Program, those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be advised to stay home or in their living quarters and self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.

Tracing and Enhanced Cleaning

  • If one person is sick and being tested for COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19, the following actions will take place:
    • Individuals who believe they may have COVID-19 and are awaiting test results or have positive test results must notify their Coronavirus Campus Liaison
    • Through the New York State Contact Tracing Program, contact will be made with the individual to identify all members of the community who were in close contact during the time that the individual would have been contagious (Close contact means physical contact or being within six feet of a person for more than 10 minutes).
    • Through the New York State Contact Tracing Program, outreach to all close contacts will be made to notify them that they are required to self-quarantine. Quarantine ends when:
      • 14 days have passed since they were last in contact with the individual who tested positive, or
      • The individual who initially tested positive receives a negative test result.
  • Once the Coronavirus Campus Coordinator determines that a campus occupant has tested positive for COVID-19, the Coordinator will identify the timeframe for tracing the occupant’s behavior. It will be assumed that the positive occupant may have been communicable 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms and that occupied areas may be tainted up to seven days after the positive occupant was present in them.
  • QCC will trace the areas where the positive occupant was present, when communicable, and, in consultation with the Chancellery/COO’s Office, as well as college facilities, public safety, and affected departments develop a disinfection plan. Staff will close off affected areas, open windows where possible, and wait at least 24 hours after the positive occupant was present before beginning cleaning and disinfection. Staff will follow enhanced cleaning for prevention guidance outlined above and wear full PPE.
  • QCC will communicate the scope of enhanced cleaning and disinfection with facilities, public safety and affected departments, including subsequent restrictions on accessing areas and applicable signage. QCC will determine appropriate campus community notification.


Isolation and Quarantine

  • _You quarantine when you might have been exposed to the virus.
  • _You isolate when you have been infected with the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms

QCC will continue to require that unvaccinated individuals enter quarantine in the event of possible exposure. Fully vaccinated individuals will be required to get tested 3-5 days after the exposure and will not be allowed on campus until after receiving a negative test result. Isolation is required for all individuals when diagnosed with COVID-19.


  • _A fully vaccinated person who (i) has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and (ii) shows no symptoms of COVID-19, should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure AND not report to in-person work or class until they receive a negative test result or medical clearance to return.
  • _An unvaccinated person who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not, should quarantine for 10 days.
  • _Quarantine is not necessary for someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days, recovered and remains without symptoms after exposure. This person will be required to provide appropriate medical clearance to return to work at any CUNY location.
  • _In general, an individual should isolate for 10 days after a positive test. Isolation should be longer if symptoms are present - at least 24 hours after no fever without fever-reducing medication and all symptoms are improving.

Students, faculty and staff are not to come to school or work if they:

  • _Are currently experiencing or recently experienced (in the last 48 hours) any new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms.
  • _Are unvaccinated and have recently (in the last 10 days) been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes over a 24-hour period) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or is suspected to have COVID-19 based on symptoms.
  • _Tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 10 days.
  • _Recently traveled domestically or internationally and are unvaccinated. All individuals should follow the CDC domestic travel recommendations and international travel recommendations before reporting to work or campus and notify their manager in advance of the travel dates and should quarantine be required.

Ramp Down Guidance

  • The CDC provides the following ‘Institutions of Higher Education Decision Tree’ and QCC will conform with all requirements in consultation with CUNY.
    • With one or more confirmed COVID-19 case(s) on campus, QCC will consider a short class suspension of up to 7 days for areas in which the positive occupant was present, along with building and facility closure to clean and disinfect. The QCC will also contact the NYS Contact Tracer Initiative in consultation with local/State officials. Shutdowns may involve rolling campus closures (e.g. of 14–28 days) as required by internal and external monitoring criteria (A Blueprint for Back to School).
    • Ramp-down activities align with the level of community spread, with minimal or moderate spread requiring higher levels of cleaning and potential closure.
    • Extended closure is suggested with substantial community spread, defined by CDC as large scale immunity transmission, healthcare staffing significantly impacted, multiple cases within communal settings.

Fall 2021 Reopening Plan update: In accordance with recent CDC Guidance issued on May 15, 2021, QCC will move to full time and / or hybrid remote learning as warranted if population positivity rates hit the guidance thresholds.

Circumstances that Warrant Closure

  • While CUNY’s intention is to move forward and bring more activity back to campuses over time, CUNY campuses must also be prepared to reverse the reopening if the situation dictates.
  • The Chancellery/COO’s Office and the Campus Reopening Committees will monitor a range of internal and external criteria when assessing whether a ramp down or closure of campuses is required.
  • External monitoring criteria will include:
    • Federal, New York State, and New York City regulatory guidelines and mandates
    • Infection/health system status at the local, state, regional and nation-wide level.
    • Status of resources and infrastructure to combat contagion (e.g., PPE, health system capacity, testing and tracing)
    • Compliance of greater public with COVID-19 protocols (e.g., group gatherings, social distancing)
    • Reclosing status of neighboring universities
  • Internal monitoring criteria should include:
    • Spread of infection on campus (i.e. via data reported by Campus Coronavirus Liaisons - metrics on current caseload, new flu-like symptoms, spread)

Operational Considerations for Reclosing in the Event of an Outbreak

  • Approved in person campus activities include a plan for shutdown in the event it becomes necessary.
  • All Departments and faculty with fully on campus classes have plans in place to move to 100% remote learning should health circumstances warrant. Hybrid classes will remain in virtual mode during any health crisis requiring campus closure.
  • If the local health situation deteriorates or community spread is occurring on campus, the campus will review the situation, consult with the Chancellery/COO’s Office, local/state officials and health authorities to determine whether the campus needs to ramp down. Since QCC will operate primarily at Stage 1, ramping down would mean closure of all on campus activities with the exception of essential personnel.
  • QCC will monitor NYS COVID-19 infection rate metrics and local testing metrics and will determine the need to scale back or shut down campus operations based on these metrics in consultation with the Chancellery/COO’s Office, local/state officials and health authorities to determine whether the campus needs to ramp down.
  • Any decisions regarding ramp down/reclosing will be widely communicated to ensure the safety of the CUNY-wide and surrounding communities.
  • Although it is no longer a New York State requirement, QCC will continue to monitor campus infection rates using the shutdown thresholds previously set by the State. Whenever the lesser of 100 individuals or 5% of the total on-campus population – inclusive of students, faculty, and staff – of a CUNY campus test positive for COVID-19 within a rolling 14-day period, QCC will consult CUNY Central Office to determine the best course of action for scaling back campus activity. Provided, however, that if CUNY’s surveillance testing program tests an average of at least 25% of a total on-campus population for COVID-19 each week, QCC 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.
  • In addition, CUNY and campuses will continue to monitor community spread and adhere to CDC guidance in determining any additional safety protocols required for safe, in-person operations.

Additional Resources

Additionally, for updated information regarding Instructional Modalities and Course Scheduling please visit Guidance on Academic Continuity to campuses. And for guidance and recommendations regarding services such as child care centers, libraries, health and wellness, mental health and students life, see Considerations for Reopening Facilities & Services in Stages

Additional safety information, guidelines, and resources are available at:

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