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
Revised: January 24, 2022 for Spring 2022 Campus Programs at Stage 3
Revised: March 15, 2022 for Spring 2022 Campus Programs at Stage 3
Revised: August 19, 2022 for Fall 2022 Campus Programs


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: August 23, 2022

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, 2021 and 2022 on a bi-weekly basis, or as needed.

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, 2021 and 2022 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 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 I. C, “Operational Considerations for Facilities and Grounds,” of the CUNY Guidelines to support the identification and implementation of physical, operational and cleaning protocols.
  • Designate roles and responsibilities as indicated throughout NYS, NYC, CUNY and other Guidelines.
  • Maintain and securely store an adequate supply of PPE, hyenine and disinfecting supplies, and other necessary items, as needed.

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.
  • 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 officials.
  • Coordinate with the Departments of Health Services and Human Resources to contact trace those who were in close contact with a confirmed or probable COIVD 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 on an ongoing basis 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.
  • 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 is still a requirement and 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 is expanding testing for the safety and convenience of the CUNY community, creating a robust testing program using various testing models, some new and some expansions of existing efforts.

  • _All students are expected to test before returning to campus.
  • _Student athletes and students in residence halls will be required to submit a negative PCR test before returning to campus.
  • _Weekly testing will continue for those who are unvaccinated and expand to cover students in residence halls, regardless of vaccination status.
  • _Overall random testing will increase to 20% of the vaccinated and unvaccinated on-campus population. Participation in the random surveillance testing is mandatory and failure to participate will result in the removal of the individual’s Cleared4 access pass to CUNY spaces.

To facilitate testing for required medical clearance to return to campus, tests will continue to be accepted from non-CUNY testing providers as well as from CUNY safeCircle test sites. Testing to return to campus should only be done at CUNY safeCircle test sites when you are symptom free to protect you and others in the CUNY community. If you are recovering from COVID-19, you should not get tested until you have completed your isolation requirements and are symptom free. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we encourage you to visit a public testing site near your home or use an at-home test kit.

For more information about CUNY’s COVID-19 testing program, please see the Testing FAQ. For a list of testing locations, visit here. For general frequently asked questions, please refer to the Getting Back to Working in Person FAQ. If you still have questions, please contact your HR office.


Self-Screening

Before coming to campus, each member of the community is expected to monitor your symptoms, stay away from others if you feel sick, and get tested at a public testing site if you have any symptoms. CUNY safeCircle testing sites should not be used if you have symptoms.


Visitor Policy & Access to Campus

CUNY’s Visitor Policy is designed to restrict anyone who has not been fully vaccinated or has not received a recent negative COVID-19 test from entering a CUNY campus or office.


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.

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

Rules for Visitors

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
  • _Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine; or

  • _At the time specified in either the FDA licensure or World Health Organization approval, after the final administration of any other vaccines.

 

Before coming to a CUNY campus, visitors are encouraged to consult the campus’ website to review the most current access rules and protocols. A link to each campus plan can be found on CUNY’s Fall 2022 Reopening Plans page.


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 of more.


Exceptions for Visitors under 5 Years Old

TYPES OF UNDER 5 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

  • _Recommended masking for children 2-5 years of age who are not eligible yet for the vaccine.

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
  • _Recommended masking for children 2-5 years of age who are not eligible yet for the vaccine.
3. Enrolled in programs Children who routinely come to CUNY facilities to participate in a program.
  • _Require Weekly Testing

  • _Recommended masking for children 2-5 years of age who are not eligible yet for the vaccine.

 

Human Resources

  • 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.
  • QCC will evaluate all possible approaches to serving its vulnerable populations.
  • 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 2022 at up to a 70% 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 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 consider public gatherings on campus and non-essential visits on a case by case basis depending on the infection rates and circumstances to ensure the highest level of safety at all times.

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 and/or QCC Health Services.
  • 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

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing with students, faculty, and staff associated with the campus should be used as a crucial strategy to reduce further transmission once a case is identified. CUNY & QCC will continue to aid in the identification of exposures, and notify close contacts, as appropriate, of exposure as soon as possible after being notified that someone in the campus has tested positive or been diagnosed with COVID-19. CDC Guidance that CUNY and QCC will continue to follow:

  • _Campuses should ensure timely reporting of COVID-19 cases to the NYC and NYS to aid in any investigations, and plan to provide information and records to aid in the identification of exposures.
  • _As soon as possible after they are notified that someone has tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19, campuses should notify close contacts of exposure, in accordance with applicable privacy and other laws. Campuses may prioritize their case investigation and contact tracing per the CDC and NYS guidance below.
  • _Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms should isolate and notify their close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and refer close contacts to the state or local health department website to learn about the steps they should take because of the exposure.


New York State followed the CDC’s case investigation and contact tracing guidance during the winter surge in COVID-19 cases. The CDC’s guidance emphasizes case investigations focus on those who tested positive most recently (last 6 days) and contact tracing focuses on household contacts and sensitive settings, such as high density workplaces, events or other settings with potential for extensive transmission.


Isolation and Quarantine

CUNY & QCC will continue to follow the latest CDC guidance on isolation and quarantine. Any students, staff or faculty who test positive with COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with COVID-19 must follow these guidelines, as outlined below, prior to returning to campus. If you are required to isolate or quarantine, you must receive a negative test or doctor’s certification prior to returning to campus.

Test results will be accepted from CUNY testing sites or other licensed test providers.


Isolation Guidelines if You Test Positive for COVID-19

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status:

  • _Stay home for 5 days (day 0 is your first day of symptoms, or the day of your first positive test if you do not develop symptoms).
  • _If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
  • _In order to return to CUNY after isolation, you must receive a negative PCR or Antigen test (we strongly recommend an Antigen test, if available). o Collect the test sample only if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved.
    • If your test result is positive, you should continue to isolate until day 10. Following day 10 you must receive a negative PCR or Antigen test before returning to CUNY.
    • In lieu of a negative test, individuals may provide a doctor’s certification that they have recovered from COVID-19.
  • _Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days; if you cannot wear a mask, continue to isolate for 5 days.
  • _If you have a fever, continue isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.
  • _If you were severely ill with COVID-19 you should isolate for at least 10 days. Consult your doctor before ending isolation.

If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19

Population:

  • _If you have received a booster, OR
  • _Completed the primary series of Pfizer vaccine within the last 5 months or Moderna vaccine within the last 5 months, OR
  • _Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months, OR
  • _Tested positive for COVID-19 with a viral test within the previous 90 days and subsequently recovered and remain without COVID-19 symptoms


  • _For those who have completed the primary series of Pfizer vaccine over 5 months ago or Moderna vaccine over 5months ago and are not boosted, OR
  • _Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted, OR
  • _Are unvaccinated

What to do:

  • _You do not need to quarantine
  • _Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days.
  • _Get tested at least 5 days after your close contact (the date of your exposure is considered day 0); if you test positive, stay home and isolate per guidelines above.
  • _If you develop symptoms, get a test, stay home and follow the isolation guidelines above.


  • _You must quarantine
  • _Stay home for 5 days and get tested at least 5 days after your close contact (the date of your exposure is considered day 0); if you test positive, stay home and isolate per guidelines above.
  • _In order to return to CUNY you must receive a negative PCR test at least 5 days after your exposure.
  • _After that, continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 additional days. If you cannot wear a mask for the additional 5 days, continue to quarantine for those 5 days.
  • _If you are unable to stay at home you must wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days.

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.

Isolation and Quarantine Fall 2022

All QCC employees and students will be notified as necessary to quarantine if they have been exposed to the virus, and to isolate if they’ve been infected with the virus, even if they do not have symptoms. Below is the CDC guidance that QCC will be following:

  • Everyone who tests positive for Covid regardless of vaccination status must stay home for five days and take the following steps:
    1. Stay in a separate room from other household members, if possible
    2. Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
    3. Take steps to improve ventilation at home, if possible.
    4. Avoid contact with other members of the household and pets.
    5. Don’t share personal household items, like cups, towels, and utensils.
    6. Wear a well-fitting mask when you need to be around other people.
    7. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolved after five days, you can leave your house.
    8. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for five additional days.
  • If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated you must wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days and test on day five, if possible.
  • For those who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated must stay home for five days. After that continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for five additional days. Take a test on five day five if possible; if test positive, stay home and isolate.
  • At any time if you develop symptoms immediately take a COVID-19 test and stay home.

 

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 5 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.

Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts

  • In accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, the Campus Coronavirus Liaison will 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 starting from 48 hours before the illness onset until the person was isolated).
    • 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.
  • 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 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.

Reclosing Protocols: Guide for Safely Closing On-Campus Operations

Governance

QCC will monitor the criteria included below to determine if circumstances warrant consideration of re-closing and if so, then request permission from the Chancellor to close down. The process to shut down will be informed by a report on the rate of infection on the campus. This report will be provided by the Campus Coronavirus Liaison who will report daily to the Campus Reopening Committee and to the Chancellery/COO’s Office on COVID-19 exposures. This data, along with local and state data and guidance, will guide the campus in their evaluation of circumstances that may warrant closure, and when such circumstances are identified, QCC will bring that information to the Chancellor, who will make the final decisions as to whether QCC must scale back in-person activities or pursue closure.

Circumstances that Warrant Closure

  • While CUNY’s intention is to move forward and bring more activity back to campus over time, QCC must also be prepared to reverse the reopening if the situation dictates.
  • The Chancellery/COO’s Office and the QCC Campus Reopening Committee will monitor a range of internal and external criteria when assessing whether a ramp down or closure of campuses is required.
  • External monitoring criteria should 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 the 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 the Campus Coronavirus Liaison and surveillance testing programs - metrics on current caseload, new flu-like symptoms, rate of spread)
    • Status of resources and infrastructure to combat contagion on campus (e.g. University health system capacity, PPE resources, testing & tracing resources).
  • Campus internal monitoring will be informed by the surveillance testing program and the requirement for students and faculty/staff to self-diagnose/report symptoms, as well as the regular reports on COVID-19 exposures on their campus that should be provided by the QCC Campus Coronavirus Liaison to the Campus Reopening Committee and the SVC for Institutional
  • QCC will monitor health conditions using the criteria above and look for warning signs that infection maybe increasing.
    • Coronavirus Campus Liaisons have primary responsibility for collecting accurate and complete data about each individual on their campus with possible exposure to the coronavirus and for sharing that information with the Campus Reopening Committee and the SVC for Institutional Advancement.
    • Campus Coronavirus Liaisons should report information from their campus as well as surveillance testing results.

Ramp Down Guidance

  • QCC will only close buildings/areas within its particular campus if the suspected exposure or positive findings that occur reflect confidence in a low level of risk to the wider campus community. This will allow deep-cleaning and disinfection of buildings, premises or grounds. This should be coupled with notifications to potentially impacted students, faculty and staff, and ramp down measures being applied e.g. testing (referrals to City testing sites) and tracing of members of the campus community, moving classes to remote learning, asking employees to work remotely, etc. for the short duration of such limited closures.
  • The ramp down response to the local and community health situation within a campus, a community or the City as a whole, will be made following CUNY’s governance process outlined above, in which the Campus Coronavirus Liaisons must report data and consult with the Campus Reopening Committee and the CUNY Chancellery/COO’s Office. Final decisions on shutting down particular buildings/areas within campuses, individual campuses, or multiple campuses, as appropriate, will be made by the Chancellery/COO’s Office in consultation with local/State authorities.
    • The reopening plan for the CUNY campuses proposes stages, moving from a soft reopening to full operations as described in the Phasing Section of the CUNY Guidelines for Safe Campus Reopening. Depending on which stage of reopening CUNY is in, closure of a campus or campuses may involve reverse engineering to lower stages, up to and including a total shutdown.
  • QCC shall actively prepare plans and procedures to be ready to close particular buildings/areas within campuses, or to close campus-wide, in the event of a resurgence of the virus, and return to essential service and workforce restrictions.
  • Campuses/Central should make a checklist of tasks that stopped during the previous shutdown in order to “reverse engineer” the closing and be prepared for any future campus-wide closings.
  • QCC will be ready to deploy distance learning modalities with as few employees on campus as possible, to instruct only those who have been designated as essential staff to report to work, and to transition to distance working for all non-essential staff.
  • This should include readiness to deploy targeted distance learning modalities if necessary due to targeted shutdowns of particular buildings/areas impacted by COVID-19.
  • In the event of a campus-wide shut down or a targeted shutdown of particular areas on a campus, school presidents can decide at their discretion what facilities, such as libraries and laboratories, are essential.
    • Managers of CUNY staff who are notable to remotely perform all of their job duties should look for ways to minimize everyone’s potential exposure, including: where possible, combining remote and on-premises work; staggering schedules to enable employees to use public transitduring off-peak times; implementing staffing rotations; condensing work weeks, with more hours but fewer days as during the summer; and, for those who are working on-site, utilizing stringent social-distance strategies.
    • To minimize the risk to essential staff including IT personnel, custodians, public safety officers and facilities staff, general access to campuses/campus areas that are shutdown should be limited to the extent possible. Access to impacted areas should be limited except by appointment. QCC can be contacted for specific information.
  • Establish protocols for ramping down research and moving to remote work. The protocols should follow Research Continuity guidance on the Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses page, including:
    • Securing Personal Health Information (PHI)
    • Policy for Commercialization of Research
    • Requirements for non-Human Animal Research
    • Safety practices for Human subject research
    • Plans for equipment/facilities that require human attention and/or supplies for operation
    • Updating any data use agreements that may be affected by shifting to remote platforms
    • Setting procedures for tissue and other non-IACUC Materials

Distance Learning Guidelines and Tools

General

  • At the initiation of CUNY-wide or campus-wide closure, campuses should begin fully online programs and courses. Faculty, students and staff should be prepared to operate in full distance education mode until such time as a decision to reopen is made.
    • QCC will draw on their earlier experience in which 95 percent of CUNY’s 50,000 course sections were converted to distance learning instruction, and 95 percent of CUNY faculty and staff worked remotely.
    • Distance learning, and student support services to be provided remotely include mental health counseling; advisement; library, enrollment management, and career engagement services; student life; development and inclusion programming.
    • Move libraries online, eliminate fines, support learning and research.
    • Deliver distance education in accordance with the regulatory requirements provided by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) (including responding to all mandatory requirements such as the MSCHE Annual Institutional Update),and the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Refer to the Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses page, section on ‘Accreditation and Regulatory Issues’ for details.
  • Campuses should decide which functions need to remain open; these may include dormitories, libraries, research facilities, daycare centers and mission-critical venues that support our students.
  • Specific programs, such as those requiring on-site skills assessment or campus laboratory access to meet licensing or accreditation requirements that require interim campus access to support critical programming should be allowed to request approval by a QCC’s president and be subject to the social distancing requirements. See the page, section on ‘Distance Learning & Reopening Plans’ for details.
  • If the course’s learning outcomes cannot ultimately be achieved via distance learning and cannot adhere to social distancing requirements, the courses could resume once the closure is lifted, at which time faculty and students would work to make up for lost time. Given the circumstances, students could also opt to withdraw from the course, or receive a grade of incomplete, if appropriate. For in-progress continuing education courses, colleges should communicate options available to students who decide to drop or cannot continue with coursework. See the Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses page, section on ‘Financial Aid and Other Types of Support’ for details.

Technology Platforms, Tools & Resources for Distance Learning

  • QCC will continue to support professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on effective online teaching and provision of remote student support services.
  • Campuses should continue to purchase tablets and laptops for students who need it in order to continue to fully participate in distance learning. Students should be encouraged to take advantage of current offers by cellular carriers and internet service providers to provide free in-home broadband and mobile hotspot services.
  • There are a number of technology tools available to support campus staff who need to work from a remote location. Many of these tools are used every day by college and staff. These systems and services, used by staff and administrators, include on-line access from anywhere to CUNYfirst, Degree Works, Blackboard, Microsoft Office 365 for Education (this includes OneDrive and the Cloud versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams and SharePoint), Dropbox and WebEx. There are extensive user guides and training videos available to our CUNY workforce that will allow familiarization with these invaluable tools.
  • CUNY’s Virtual Desktop environment and many similar Virtual Desktop environments at the colleges provide students, faculty, and staff with remote access to some of the software products commonly found in computer labs across the University.
  • CUNY’s academic systems, including its learning management platform Blackboard and Cloud collaboration tools, Microsoft Office 365 for Education and Dropbox and EAB Navigate, can be helpful ways to deliver academic instruction in a remote/online manner.
  • CUNY’s Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses recommends vendor relationships be examined in the context of a closure:
    • CUNY should consider the need to update contract terms with any vendors used to support telecommuting and virtual classrooms.
    • Determine any Cloud-based Adobe Licenses that need to be expanded for students.
    • Use available assistive technology services to increase the accessibility of online learning.
    • Ensure that essential platforms (e.g., Blackboard) are universally compatible with students’ personal devices.
    • Work with vendors to address any data capacity issues that may arise as more users migrate to online platforms.

Continuity for Staff and HR Issues

Protocol for Establishing Essential Personnel

  • Each campus president shall determine which personnel are needed on campus. Essential personnel are defined as anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency or authority, or who must be physically present to perform their job, or who is involved in the COVID-19 emergency response. There are many employees who have been deemed essential, but whose jobs can and will be performed remotely, if so authorized by their supervisor. It is important to note that as we navigate this emergency, the members of our campus communities who can be expected to be classified as essential employees may shift over time, depending on campus, University, city, and state needs.
  • If the campus is required to close, the campus should consult with the University on an extension of the notification deadline for reappointments and non-reappointments of adjuncts and non-teaching adjuncts, and adding provisions as agreed with PSC (e.g. allowing full-time faculty and adjuncts to hold office hours through distance technology). Refer to the Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses, section on Shared Governance and HR Issues, for details.
  • It is important to remember that only supervisors have the authority to determine if an employee can telecommute. Therefore, it is essential that all supervisors and department heads, whether they work on the teaching or non-instructional faculty or professional staff, on a campus or at CUNY Central, maintain a steady and open line of communication with their teams to ensure that expectations are communicated in a clear manner. As circumstances are subject to change on the ground, the presidents and deans may change the composition of those employees designated essential to meet the academic and operational needs on our various campuses.

Guidelines for Flexible Work Arrangements/Remote Work Guidelines

  • If needed, a full conversion to distance education is intended to dramatically reduce the density of the City and CUNY campuses. To maximize the number of employees who could telecommute or otherwise significantly limit their time on campus, campuses should once again implement flexible work arrangements, even extending them to many employees whose services have been deemed essential. These guidelines have the goal of minimizing faculty and staff exposure to the virus and maximizing social distancing as part of community mitigation strategies set by the CDC. Some of the remote work accommodations include: flexible scheduling, telecommuting, staggered work shifts and condensed workweeks.
  • Managers have been instructed to remain as flexible and accommodating as possible. Furthermore, as these Guidelines are implemented, managers are instructed to work closely with HR directors to communicate clear expectations and maintain continuous support and supervision. Accommodations have been, and will continue to be made, for any employee who is in a high-risk category for COVID-19 or anyone who shares a household with a person in a high-risk category. These individuals, including those who have been deemed essential, should communicate their circumstances to supervisors and the campus Human Resources office.

Academic Policies and Requirements

The section on Academic Policies, Requirements, and Deadlines in the Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses, provides up to date guidance during shutdown scenarios on:

  • Grade Policy
  • Student Progress and Discipline
  • Graduation
  • Admissions Policy


Support for Specific Populations: Equity and Inclusion

  • Each campus will offer mental health and wellness services to students via tele-counseling and tele-health in a manner consistent with services provided on campus under regular circumstances. Establish whether these may need to be scaled up to meet increased demand.
  • Set protocols for accommodating international students.
  • Determine academic policies for Student Veterans, National Guard, and Reservists who may face difficulty in completing their studies if called to active duty.
  • Meet the needs and ensure accommodation for students with disabilities.
    • CUNY offers a variety of University-wide guides and tutorials to faculty members to help make their online content accessible to students with disabilities.
    • The CUNY Assistive Technology Services (CATS) and Media Accessibility Project (MAP) support CUNY students with disabilities with software available to students for free at-home use.
    • The guide “Reasonable Accommodations: A Faculty Guide for Teaching Students with Disabilities” was developed specifically for CUNY faculty and includes helpful information in accommodating students with disabilities in distance learning, including Technology in the Classroom. Additional considerations for accommodating students with disabilities can be found at Considerations for Reopening Facilities & Services in Stages.
  • CUNY Start/Math Start, CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP), and the Adult Literacy Program should once again move their instruction online.
  • Pursue campaigns that promote greater engagement with trainings aimed to reduce sexual violence (such as CUNY’s SPARC training).
  • Adult and Continuing Education Programs:
    • Campuses should continue to activate existing and new training programs to address immediate workforce priorities such as telehealth and medical scribes. Some campuses have the capability to provide online training, complemented by virtual simulation for clinical skills, and on-site competency-based assessment of students in CUNY’s state-of-the art high fidelity clinical simulation center located at Bellevue Hospital. Furthermore, the University’s faculty have extensive expertise and capacity to support any number of short-term training programs.
    • For information on Employer/Employee Resources Related to the Impact of COVID-19 and Adult and Continuing Education Financial Management, refer to the Academic Continuity Guidance on Adult and Continuing Education.
  • For more detail, refer to the Student Success, Equity & Inclusion section of CUNY’s Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses. (OAA Continuity)

Continuity for Students and Student Life

Research: For updated guidance on research-related continuity, please refer to the Research Continuity section in the most recent Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses webpage.

Internships: For information on Legal Guidance for Internship Agreements, Guidance for Credit-bearing Internships, Guidance for CUNY Students Working in Internships, Guidance for Campus- Based Internships, see the Guidance on Academic Continuity section on Internships.

Clinical Placements: For information on NYS Contact Tracer Initiative, NYC Resource Navigators, Clinical Placements in Education Programs, Health Professions Credit Considerations for Clinical and Field Experiences, and Clinical Placements — HHS Programs, see the Guidance on Academic Continuity section on Clinical Placements.


Fees, Financial Aid and Other Types of Support

Campuses, in coordination with Central, should provide additional support to students in the event of another shutdown. The Guidance on Academic Continuity to Campuses, Financial Aid and Other Types of Support section and Student Payment Modifications section, provides up-to-date guidance during shut-down scenarios on:

  • Financial Support
  • Dorm Fees Policy
  • Student Activity Fee Policy
  • Student Payment Modifications

Communication

In the event that the University may be required to scale back on-site operations or reclose a building, a campus, or the university, CUNY should continue using its two-pronged communications: centralized communications from the chancellery and the provost’s office on policy and information important to the University community as a whole and campus specific communications on information relevant to the campus specific plan.

Communications should include:

  • Sharing information with staff, students, and faculty without increasing fear and stigma.
  • Communicating steps being taken to prepare and how additional information will be shared.
  • Communicating changes to campus schedules or functions, and any resources to help the community adjust to new campus behaviors.
  • Communicating information students/faculty/staff can use to protect themselves from infection, and the actions taken by the University to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., disinfection routine, health policies for staff, and health & safety measures in place).
  • Establishing formal and informal routes of communication for students/faculty/staff to express concerns, questions, comments, and feedback

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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The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

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The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.