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Public university in NYC plans to require masks through the end of 2022

New York City College of Technology will not allow students to go maskless until the end of 2022, according to the school’s reopening plan.

When students return to campus more than a year from now, they will see 100 percent occupancy but must maintain “strict adherence to social distancing and masking,” the plan states.

The plan, divided into five stages, is currently in Phase 2, which covers the university’s spring and summer terms.

In Phase 3, fall 2021, the university will operate at 30 percent capacity, and students will not be participating in extracurricular activities or gathering in lounges, as commentator Geneve Campbell pointed out on Twitter.


Phase 5, which covers the Fall 2022 semester, has students continuing social distancing and masks.

According to the homepage on the CUNY website, all New Yorkers who are 16 and older have been eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine since April 6.

Some members of the university administration have said that the plan will undergo revisions between now and the fall.

Stephen Soiffer, the special assistant to the president of the CUNY College of Technology, wrote in an email to The College Fix, “Please be aware that the posted reopening plan, written over a year ago, will certainly be revised between now and our fall opening, as the guidelines from both the University and the state of New York change.”

Soiffer suggested that The Fix reach out to Hector Batista, chief operating officer at CUNY. When The College Fix emailed his office, Director of Media Relations Frank Sobrino responded.

“The start of the fall semester is still a few months away,” he wrote, “and decisions will be based on the latest available data and science. In the meantime, we are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.”

Their comments look to be in line with the “mission” section of the plan, which reads: “The plan is intended to be a dynamic document that will be continuously changing as is the issues surrounding the virus.”

Neither officer commented specifically on the Fall 2022 mask requirement, only on the plans for Fall 2021.

As of May 6, approximately 3.7 million of New York City’s 8.3 million residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with almost 2.8 million being fully vaccinated.

According to the current iteration of the plan, most employees, like students, will be working remotely in the fall.

They will still be largely remote in the spring of 2022 when the university expands to a 65 percent capacity and opens lounges and gathering spaces to a limit of 10 people.

Students will also be able to select an entirely online schedule for that spring semester.

In the Fall of 2022, students and employees will be fully in-person, but masked, according to the plan. There will still be limited online options for students who are “health-compromised or preferring an online mode of instruction.”

The New York Post reported that CUNY recently revoked a $3 million contract with a “powerhouse consulting firm” that was supposed to help the system plan for reopening in the fall. Critics argued the contract was unnecessary due to the expertise of university staff.

MORE: UMass freshmen suspended for not wearing masks outside and off-campus

IMAGE: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock

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About the Author
Charles Hilu -- University of Michigan