New COVID-19 requirements in place for the Spring Semester

All in-persons students required to submit a negative test


TORCH PHOTO / Brenden Willisch

Students who live on campus and those who have in-person instruction are required to test negative for COVID-19 under the University’s new return-to-school guidelines. This is in compliance with  New York City guidelines and in an attempt to maintain in-person instruction for the entirety of the semester.  

Self-administered testing  is   available for free to students on campus at Taffner Field House from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Jan. 27 – Jan. 31 and results will be available within a day.  Results will immediately be recorded with  the University. 

According to an email from Student Affairs on Jan. 19, students who undergo testing  off-campus must upload their COVID-19 test results to the student health portal, Medicat, within five days of their first in-person class, which ultimately means the University must have a test result from the student on record prior to their arrival on campus for their first class. 

Students must provide a COVID-19 test result prior [to] the first day of classes; without providing your test result before your first class, your StormCard will not be activated and you will not provided a campus pass,” Student Affairs stated in their Jan. 19 email. 

A representative for Student Activities told the Torch in a Jan. 25 email that students will not be excused from their in-person classes if they do not get tested in time.

“Students have been given ample time to get tests and there is testing available on campus,” they said.

Faculty members are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test at this time, according to Student Activities. Instead, as of Jan. 28, all employees are required to complete the four question self-screening survey to receive a campus pass everyday, even if they are not on campus, and must notify the Employee Benefits Unit if they are isolating or in quarantine.

Testing began on Jan. 27 – due to  “increased demand” and lines extending from Taffner to Gate  6 testing was closed at 2:30 p.m. An email from Student Affairs  told students that “Students with in-person classes tomorrow, Thursday, January 29, may attend so long as they provide a COVID-19 test result within 5 days of that first in-person class.”

Updated results for reported cases on campus can be found on the University website, which has been updated to distinguish between positive student and employee cases. While students were not on campus over the course of winter break,  the University continued to update the reporting dashboard on a weekly basis; as of Jan. 19, there were 50 positive cases within the St. John’s Queens Campus community. As of Jan. 25, that number has dropped to 28 cases — 15 of them students and 13 employees. Daily updates will resume when the semester begins and  the threshold for a switch to remote instruction remains 100 total positive cases reported within a two-week period. 

Random testing will continue this semester, and will include resident students and students who receive  in-person instruction at the undergraduate, graduate and law levels. 

“There will be an increase in the number of students tested over the next several weeks as a result of the increase in cases in NYC, NYS and across the nation,” the representative for Student Activities said. 

To enter campus, campus passes will still be used. A green pass must be displayed each day for entry. If a student receives a red pass, they will be given further instructions.

All students from a state non-contiguous to New York must quarantine for four days upon arrival to the state, and must upload a copy of their travel itinerary and test results prior to travel, according to the email from Student Affairs. A second test must be taken after the fourth day in quarantine. 

“It is incredibly important that all students cooperate with this process as we work to protect each other [and] keep our community moving forward with in-person instruction,“a representative Student Activities said.