Reopening FAQs

(Updated August 10, 2021)

We recognize that members of our college community still have questions about returning to campus. Many people may be wondering about the same things. It's important to us that everyone has accessible information as we prepare for Fall 2021, so we're sharing some frequently asked questions (FAQs) based on what we’ve heard.
You can also learn about what we're doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in campus buildings through the Hostos "Ready" page. Details shared under “COVID-19: Protecting Our Community on Campus” are updated as they change.

If there are details you would like to see included on our website, let us know so we can consider adding them! Please send feedback to our COVID-19 Communications email address or through this online form.

Note: You may only see a few questions and answers here right now, but we'll be adding information to this page regularly.



Testing & Vaccines


Will vaccines be required?

For students: Beginning Fall 2021, students who are registered for in-person or hybrid courses must be vaccinated. Students will be able to register for on-campus classes prior to vaccination; however, proof of vaccination must be submitted before the start of classes.
Early details on the student vaccination policy are now available on CUNY’s Coronavirus Page, and they continue to be updated at this time. We're waiting for further details and will update the college community when we have more information.

There is already a process to handle proof of vaccinations at Hostos, because we already have legally mandated immunization requirements for students and a process for medical or religious exemptions. That means that how we handle proof of COVID-19 vaccinations will build upon existing procedures and experience.

For faculty and staff: While Governor Cuomo announced a vaccination requirement for students, that mandate does not include faculty and staff. If there is a change, we will share that information with the college community.

For everyone: The University is currently working on operational details for proof of vaccination and recent negative COVID-19 tests on CUNY campuses this fall. We will continue to share this information as Central Office provides it to us.

We strongly urge that everyone who can get vaccinated for COVID-19 receive the shot as soon as they're able, regardless of vaccination requirements. Anyone 12 years or older who resides in the United States can receive the vaccine in New York. The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone, regardless of insurance coverage, citizenship, or state of residence.


I heard CUNY plans to have mandatory COVID-19 testing for people who are unvaccinated or do not share proof of vaccination. How will that work?

The University has now posted information about regular, weekly COVID-19 testing for faculty and staff who aren’t fully vaccinated. Information for students about testing will be available soon.




Do masks need to be worn at all times, even while teaching?

Face coverings/masks are still required for everyone—vaccinated or not—inside campus buildings until further notice. If you’re working alone in an individual office you may remove your face covering, but you should be prepared to put it back if someone else enters or if you step outside that room.

Please remember: institutions and businesses are allowed to continue mask requirements even as New York State has adopted CDC recommendations for fully vaccinated people.

Instructors should continue to wear masks/face coverings while teaching. The current Hostos Reopening Plan requires face coverings/masks for situations where someone may come within 6 feet of others; this includes a presenter in a classroom.

Faculty should speak with Raymond Perez (Director of the Accessibility Resource Center) about addressing accommodations if a student reports that their disability makes it difficult to understand an instructor wearing a mask/face covering. 


How will the College handle situations where a student, employee, or visitor is required to wear a mask/face covering but isn’t doing so? What is the plan generally for anyone who refuses to follow required safety guidelines?

Instructors can and should address issues with a student’s use of face coverings/masks in the same way that instructors can address any disruptive or unsafe behavior in the classroom. Additionally, student behavior that violates any campus guidelines—including those around masks—are subject to existing disciplinary actions.
Public Safety can intervene if someone refuses to follow Hostos guidelines when asked. However, Public Safety should not be called unless necessary.
Behaviors that violate any campus guidelines—including those around masks—are subject to existing disciplinary actions for students, employees, or visitors.


Safety Guidelines


How does the College’s Reopening Plan match official guidelines and recommendations?

The Hostos Reopening Plan was developed in reference to the following sources:

All the safety measures recommended through these sources are described in the Hostos Reopening Plan and have been in place since the Fall 2020 semester. This also means that the Hostos Reopening Plan matches any other guidance or recommendation documents that refer to these sources.


Will instructions be placed throughout the college to point out safety guidelines?

Signage has already been posted throughout the campus, including building entrances, hallways, classrooms, and offices. Samples of signs can be found on our website. There may also be other indicators (such as floor markings and barrier tape) when necessary or required.
Many of these signs were developed with New York State or CUNY requirements in mind. As a result, some signs may be updated, removed, or reposted to reflect changes in guidance over time.

A list of campus guidelines is also published on the Hostos website, and this information is shared by Public Safety when responding to a request to visit the college.




What space density measurement is being used for occupancy?

Rather than a strict calculation, we are using a combination of factors to address density in each space. These include:

  • current occupancy rules and recommendations set by CUNY, New York State, and the CDC (e.g., a percentage of FDNY occupancy limits, or a square-feet-per-person allowance)
  • the purpose and typical use of a space (e.g., if people remain seated or need to walk around freely)
  • the ability of people in that space to maintain physical distance (“social distancing”) as recommended or  required.

Any specific numbers should be understood as just one element in this decision-making process.

It’s also important to remember that we may use other strategies—like scheduled appointments and limits to indoor, on-campus gatherings—to reduce overall campus occupancy or space density.

Please check back soon; we'll be adding information to this page regularly. Have feedback? Please let us know through our COVID-19 Communications email address or this online form.