CUNY Ends Mask Mandate

People will no longer need to wear masks inside university campuses, buildings and classrooms, CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez announced in a message to the CUNY community Friday night.

The mask mandate, which was implemented in August, will be lifted starting Monday. Individuals who wish to continue wearing a mask at school are welcome to do so, and masks will continue to be available on campus for those who want them. 

“I want to thank each of you for the diligence, cooperation and care that have been so very critical to CUNY’s safe progression through the stages of the pandemic,” Rodríguez said. 

“We’ve arrived at this point because of the effort that we all have put forth to protect one another as we looked out for ourselves and our loved ones.”

Despite CUNY lifting the university-wide mask mandate, students will still have to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 booster shot if they want to remain on campus for hybrid and in-person classes. 

Under the current policy, students must upload proof of getting a booster shot to CUNYfirst within 30 days of qualifying for one. Students who fail to meet the deadline to upload their vaccination records will not be able to register for summer and fall classes, Rodríguez stated in a message to students in January. 

Individuals currently qualify for a booster shot when at least five months have passed since receiving either a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, or at least two months after receiving a single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Students can find appointments for booster shots by visiting the city government website, the state government website, the national government website or the CVS Pharmacy website.

Other policies still in effect include CUNY’s quarantine guidelines for individuals who test positive or come in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, as well as its random surveillance testing program for all vaccinated individuals.

CUNY’s lifting of the mask mandate comes after New York State Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams individually announced plans to end school mask mandates for all state and city public school students.

The recent decisions to lift school mask mandates have largely been due to the decreasing threat of COVID-19 in both the state and the city.

In New York City, as of Thursday, the 7-day rolling average positivity rate was 1%, while the latest weekly testing results from CUNY’s COVID-19 Safety Tracker have shown positivity rates of less than 1% across all campuses.

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