Emergency COVID-19 vaccine mandate ends

Joshua Nina

CUNY has announced it is ending the emergency vaccination mandate for all students, faculty members and staff starting on the last day of the spring semester, May 23.

“We are confident that this is the appropriate time for CUNY to lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement as a condition of enrollment or employment, though we continue to encourage all students, faculty and staff to stay up to date with vaccinations,” CUNY Chancellor Félix Félix Matos Rodríguez said.

The end of the mandate comes as New York has seen a steady decline in COVID-19 cases and severe mutations of the virus in recent months.

Of the 15,886 people tested in CUNY sites this past year, about 0.8% tested positive.

Instituted in the fall 2021 semester, CUNY’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate required students to submit proof of having received their vaccination in order to enroll in classes that were both in-person and online or hybrid.

Vaccination reports, test requirements and test results for COVID-19 will no longer be required for future enrollment.

The vaccine mandate affected not only students, but also non-teaching staff, employees and faculty members of the CUNY community.

Only those whose received an exemption were allowed to go without vaccination but were required to submit weekly testing.

However, for most community colleges such as LaGuardia and Kingsborough, the mandate will be lifted in June, which is when its current term is set to end.

High-risk individuals are still highly encouraged to get vaccinated.

CUNY has also ended the use of Cleared4, a program used for granting campus access through health verification of COVID-19, and is reverting to its original process of campus access.

The lifting of the mandate aligns with the federal government’s plan to end the Public Health Emergency.