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Reopening Plan

I.Introduction

As the State of New York moves forward with reopening plans through phase 4, CUNY and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism are tasked with the challenge of providing meaningful and accessible educational programs, while protecting the campus community. This is done with a balance of precaution and protection combined with an ongoing analysis of the needs of the students, faculty and staff to have access to campus.

While the Newmark J-School understands the benefits of in-person on-campus programs and interactions, the safety of everyone during this coronavirus pandemic has emphasized and solidified the importance of distance learning for a majority of our enrolled students and the associated faculty tasked with presenting these programs. Our priority is the health and wellbeing of the SOJ community as we fulfill our academic mission and support our students toward the successful completion of their educational objectives. As such, the Newmark J-School will continue to adhere to its core values expressed in the school’s mission statement in all academic programs and student engagements, whether in person or through other remote platforms. The School of Journalism will limit the number of students and staff returning to the school while the coronavirus pandemic remains an active threat to our campus community. While we know this decision is disappointing to many students, faculty and staff, it is necessary to safeguard the health and safety of our campus community.

Reopening Committee

In order to comply with the NY Forward Plan, the CUNY campuses are expected to reopen as part of NYS Phase 4.  In order to do this, CUNY has recommended that each campus establish a Campus Reopening Committee. The J-School has established this committee with the following members: Dean Sarah Bartlett, Associate Dean Andrew Mendelson, Assistant Dean Colleen Leigh, Director of Campus Services Alistair Wallace, and Director of Public Safety John Scully. The committee’s responsibilities are:

  • Determine the areas/departments to be included in each stage of the reopening based on the school’s priorities, facility readiness, and the risk assessment provided in Section II. C., ‘Staged Reopening.’
  • Assist with preparation, review, and implementation of the Campus Reopening Plan.
  • Serve as the ‘Campus Closing Committee,’ if needed, to implement Reclosing Plans.

In addition to the committee, the school is required to appoint the following positions:

Coronavirus Campus Liaison: Colleen Leigh

Responsibilities:

  • Receive information from the on-line Daily Health Screening Templates and from campus screeners.
  • Provide a daily report on COVID-19 exposures to the SVC for Institutional Affairs and the Campus Reopening Committee.
  • Receive the completed mandatory health screening assessment templates from students, faculty, and staff and immediately notify the Coronavirus Campus Coordinator of any possible positive cases reported through the screening process.
  • Provide data reporting to ensure campus and Central decision-makers can calibrate reopening/reclosing plans based on the health status of the CUNY community. This data will be reviewed as necessary by the Chancellery/COO’s Office and Campus Reopening Committees with local and state health officials.
  • All data shall remain confidential and in compliance with HIPPA and FERPA guidelines.

Coronavirus Campus Coordinator: John Scully

Responsibilities:

  • 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 Liaisons (see below) on COVID-19 exposures on the campus and ensure that local health officials are immediately notified upon the identification of positive cases.
  • Receive confidential reports from the campus on issues of non-compliance with social distancing, hygiene, or safety practices. This may be done by using this Form
  • Support campus facilities in regard to the identification and implementation of physical, operational, and cleaning protocols.
  • Designate roles and responsibilities as necessary.

This plan has been prepared by the Campus Reopening Committee and has included engagement with campus stakeholders, including but not limited to administrators, faculty, staff, and students through consultation with the governance council. As such, movement throughout the plan will include communication with key campus stakeholders as listed above, and assurance from the Facilities Department that it has the ability to meet the needs of phasing in occupancy levels that will require additional cleaning and sanitizing services, as well as additional supplies.

II. Guidelines for Campus Reopening

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism will make the following modifications to campus operations as per CUNY and State of New York guidance in order to safely open the campus to students, staff, and visitors.

As per the State of New York moving forward reopening plan, approval for educational institutions shall occur during New York State’s Moving Forward phase 4 plan. As per the governor’s office, this decision will likely not be made until the first week of August 2020. The Newmark J-School, if approved, will phase in reopening by limiting the number of students, faculty and staff and put appropriate procedures in place that fulfill the necessary components and procedures to ensure the safety of the campus community.  Phasing in stages of reopening shall be utilized in order to allow for operational issues to be resolved prior to migrating closer to normal conditions. This will ensure the ability to recognize and cooperatively plan for necessary adjustments.

A. Building Protocols

As a tenant, the School of Journalism does not operate the entrances, common areas, stairwells and elevators. This is the responsibility of the building management. As such, the building management has instituted policy and protocol in regards to reopening under NYS and CDC guidance. Below are the required protocols and policies put forth by building management:

Building Required Social Distancing and Masks

    • All common areas within the building, including common corridors, stairways, direct entrances and loading dock will require a mask. Tenants, visitors and employees must provide their own masks.
    • The CDC and NYCDOH have identified maintaining at least six (6) feet social distancing as an important strategy to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. There will be appropriate CDC signage throughout the lobby, building, elevators, and common areas of the building for the new protocols and health guidelines.

Building Required Hygiene

    • The building will perform enhanced cleaning/disinfecting procedures using protocols established by the CDC and NYCDOH, including disinfecting frequently touched areas and high touch surfaces.
    • Elevator lobbies on all floors will have foam hand sanitizers centrally located near the call buttons; there will be additional pump dispensers at the security desks in the lobbies.
    • Please note these efforts apply to the public areas of the building; enhanced cleaning and other logistical measurements for tenant spaces are the responsibility of the tenants.
    • The building will not take individual temperatures.

Building –  Lobbies, Stairwells and Elevators

    • Please observe signage on doors and lobbies to direct the flow of tenants and visitors. We ask that tenants with access cards use the entrance door marked “TENANTS ONLY”, and visitors use the entrance door marked “VISITORS ONLY” to be screened by security; floor markings will indicate places to stand.
    • The revolving door will remain closed for the time being.
    • Elevators & Stairwells – Markings on the floor will indicate places to stand. For 41St Street entrance only: to accommodate rush hour passenger loads, three elevators will be designated for the main direction (up for mornings, down for evening hours).
    • Tenants with masks may use stairwell “B” during this time to provide an alternative to elevators.

B. Campus Operations – All Stages

Prior to opening campus, custodial staff shall complete a detailed cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces. We will work with the building management to ensure the essential periodic and daily cleaning of thoroughfares such as access hallways, stairwells, and lobbies. In addition, we will ensure that the HVAC systems are performing as expected for our tenant use. This includes the maintenance of filters used in the HVAC system. In addition, we will work cooperatively with building management to ensure that the HVAC system is utilizing the highest MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rated filters that the system will allow, as well as the greatest rate of air exchange the system will allow.

All students and staff will be required to adhere to the following parameters when visiting campus. Since the campus uses leased space within both 219 West 40th street and 230 West 41st street, safe entry is monitored and required by the building management and associated building security.

Screening and Testing

Before returning to campus, all students, faculty, and staff must complete an online health and safety COVID-19 training, which is available on Blackboard. All personnel, students, and visitors must submit a remote daily wellness check every day prior to entering the building via CUNY’s Safety Connection Pro app. Remote daily wellness checks that deliver the NYS screening questions and determine an individual’s status to enter a CUNY campus or offices. Safety Connection Pro sends and receives alerts and notifications as needed; including guidance with instructions when a wellness check does not approve access. Instructions may include quarantine requirements and referral to their health professional or approved testing site listed here: Find testing site near you. Only those who pass the daily wellness check will be allowed into the building. Public Safety will receive notification of who has approved access based on schedule and wellness check results via the Everbridge portal & campus screeners.

Touchless thermometers are available to public safety personnel for checks of individuals that either do not have access to a thermometer, or have become ill while on campus.

Faculty, staff or students must not report to the J-School in any of the following situations:

    • They are experiencing any symptoms (even mild) of a respiratory infection or other COVID-19-related symptoms. They must not return to the J-School until they are symptom-free for at least 72 hours.
    • They have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
    • They have had known contact with any person suspected of having, being under investigation for, or who has a confirmed active case of COVID-19 within the last 14 days. The New York State Department of Health considers a close contact to be someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the person was isolated.
    • They have travelled within the last 14 days to/from a designated U.S. ‘hot spot’ or a country for which the CDC has issued a level 2 or 3 travel designation (check here), have travelled to or from a state on the New York State COVID travel advisory (check here) or have had known contact with any person who has travelled to these areas within 14 days.

The Newmark J-School does not have testing capacity onsite. Anyone suspected of Covid-19 exposure will be referred to an approved Covid-19 Testing site or their personal health care provider. Testing sites can be found here: Find a testing site near you.

Personal Protective Equipment – All phases

    • Acceptable face coverings shall be required for anyone entering the school. The face covering shall cover both the mouth and nose and must be worn to the extent possible when seated or in confined areas such as classrooms and offices that are occupied by another.
    • Students and visitors may wear a cloth face covering, however, employees are required to wear an approved face covering while on campus as per state guidelines. Approved face coverings include surgical masks and N-95 masks or equivalent. Face shields may be worn with an approved mask, but cannot be worn in lieu of a mask.
    • Personnel who come in frequent contact with the public, such as public safety, facilities, etc., shall not be authorized to wear a simple cloth mask, but shall be issued a higher level of protection (N-95, HN-95, Surgical mask) by the school in accordance with requirements from the State of New York. These face coverings shall be replaced daily. All staff and faculty who are directly involved in supporting class activities, or who facilitate the arrival and departure of classes and visitors to and from campus, are considered to have a “daily” PPE need. “Direct contact” can be defined as someone who must regularly interact with students during their time on campus, or their duties require them to occupy enclosed areas for a period of time longer than 15 minutes with students, faculty, or other staff while on campus. This includes but is not limited to:
      • Public Safety staff
      • Custodial staff
      • Broadcast Studio engineers and technicians
      • Equipment Checkout staff
    • Those employees not coming into direct contact with the general public or students shall have their masks replaced at least once weekly.
    • The Newmark J-School shall maintain a supply of face coverings at the public safety desk located at the entrance to the school on the 3rd floor, and they shall be distributed at this point. Distribution shall be based upon the employee’s determination of direct contact with the public. Daily and weekly distribution shall occur at the end of the day so the employee has the new mask to start with prior to entry the next work day. A new mask shall be issued to anyone (faculty, students, staff) who has lost or damaged their face covering. Face shields, masks, gloves, and disposable gowns shall be made available to public safety personnel should the need arise to interact with someone that has fallen ill while on campus or require an in-person temperature check.
    • Face shields, masks, gloves, and disposable gowns shall be made available to facilities personnel for detailed cleaning and sanitizing operations.
    • Supplies of personal protective equipment shall be maintained by the environmental health and safety coordinator. All calculations and determinations for PPE shall be based on projected need for the upcoming semester. Projections for future orders will be based on determinations from the Reopening committee as to the amount of activity and use that will be allowed on campus.
    • Should a situation arise where PPE procurement is delayed, certain activities may be paused temporarily and moved to a remote platform when possible.

Building Entry – All phases

Please be advised that the J-School does not manage the entry points at 230 West 41st street or 219 West 40th street as they are monitored by building management.  When entering the building all students, staff and visitors must adhere to the following:

    • Wear an acceptable face covering that covers both the nose and mouth, for anyone who is over the age of 2 years old. For those medically cleared who are not able to tolerate the wearing of a face covering, a request must be made to the Dean’s office so that reasonable accommodations can be made.
    • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet or more.
    • No more than 4 persons to occupy a building elevator, per building policies.
    • Use lobby supplied hand sanitizer prior to engaging elevator buttons
    • Stay on the designated points (corners of the elevator car) marked with the appropriate social distancing markers.
    • Visitors must be pre-approved through the campus coordinator and entered into the building’s visitor management system which identifies date, time of arrival and expected departure and who they are seeing. Visitors are those who are not approved to regularly work at the school or scheduled to attend a class/academic exercise. Visitors requesting access to campus will be sent notification prior to their visit that they must complete the daily wellness screening prior to arrival the day of. Visitors will receive the same automated email response as employees and students, which will be based on their wellness survey answers.

Campus Entry – All phases

In an effort to reduce elevator occupancy and congestion, the Newmark J-School is working to appropriate two stairwells for conveyance to and from the campus, located on the 3rd floor. It is recommended that students, staff, and visitors avoid the confined space and congestion of the elevator by utilizing stairwells to enter and exit the campus. For those that are mobility impaired, elevator transportation shall be used. For stairwell access to campus please use the following protocols:

    • Maintain social distance protocols by keeping at least 6 feet away from others utilizing the stairwell as an entry point. No tailgating.
    • Utilize lobby hand sanitizer prior to opening stairwell doors
    • Utilize stairwell C (40th Street Side) for entering campus, and stairwell B (41st Street Side) for exiting campus (clearly marked, floor plan attached for your convenience).
    • Entry to the 3rd-floor campus is accessible with a valid school ID card by unlocking the door via card reader mounted to the wall next to the door. In the absence of a valid school ID card, a video intercom is available at the floor entry point. This video intercom connects with the on-duty public safety officer at the 3rd floor public safety desk.
    • When exiting the stairwell into the 3rd-floor campus lobby, please utilize the hand sanitizing station to prevent any spread from potential contact with stairwell railings, doors, walls, etc.
    • All persons entering must check in with the on-duty public safety officer prior to proceeding further. The on-duty public safety officer will confirm approved entry. This check will include that the required self-health check was completed (defined in section III), and that they are there for a scheduled class or appointment, or scheduled work appearance.

Occupancy – General

Campus capacity has been identified for each phase. The maximum occupancy for each floor (100%) is as follows: Third floor 200 persons, fourth floor 160 persons and the fourteenth floor 150 persons. In addition, the following has been determined for stages 1, 2, & 3.

    • All spaces – apply social distancing – 6 feet apart. Face coverings shall be worn by everyone at all times except when eating in designated areas. Employees may remove their mask when occupying an office alone (see also section 5(j)).
    • Newsroom R310 shall have pre-determined workspaces clearly identified utilizing 6 foot social distancing markers.
    • Classrooms and conference rooms shall utilize a square footage calculation of 100 square feet per student while ensuring a 6-foot social distancing standard. Each space shall be posted with a Covid occupancy restriction number.
    • The J-School may choose to install plastic barriers between seated positions to increase capacity, however, classroom capacity will not exceed 50% of fire code during any stage.
    • There shall be no sharing of classroom resources, e.g. staplers, whiteboard markers, erasers, etc.
    • The Research Center shall be restricted to on-line service and Bloomberg terminal access only. Books/periodicals shall remain in their stacks. Returned material shall be quarantined by staff for a minimum of 72 hours. A location shall be designated for this. Additional PPE shall be made available in this space.
    • Confined spaces such as pantries, storage rooms, etc., shall be limited to one person at a time. Signage shall indicate a 1-person capacity. Floor mounted social distancing markers shall be installed for people waiting for access.
    • Restrooms shall have limited access and some stalls and urinals marked as out of service. A hand sanitizing station shall be installed outside of each restroom for use prior to entry as handle operation of the stall door will be required.
    • Hallways shall be bi-directional with arrows showing the direction in which to travel, eliminating the per chance encounter. The fourth floor (when open to the campus) shall be one way directional on the far wall to allow locker access.
    • Offices shall be restricted to one person. An office is a room designated as a work space that can be closed off to others.
    • Cubicle workspaces located on the 4th and 14th floor shall be reduced to 50% capacity and scheduled as such using an alternating day/week schedule. This shall be scheduled according to the needs of employees to return to campus for work that cannot be accomplished remotely. Reservations for cubicle space shall be managed by Asst. Dean Colleen Leigh or her designee where a schedule is generated at least 2 days in advance. The schedule shall be shared with the custodial staff so cleaning and disinfecting after each use can occur. Spaces shall be readily marked cleaned by custodial staff so it is clearly visible to the next user.
    • Employees will be prohibited from using other employees’ personal protective equipment, phones, computer equipment, desks, cubicles, workstations, offices, or other personal work tools and equipment.
    • Signage and distance markers will denote spaces of six feet in all commonly used areas and any areas in which lines are commonly formed or people may congregate. Six feet distance circles around workstations and other common stationary work areas may be installed, as needed.
    • Emergency procedures, such as evacuation or lock-down/shelter in place, shall override campus Covid navigation restrictions.
    • While there are occupancy limits in place, the school shall make the necessary appropriations for employees to work remotely whenever possible. The review process for staff reporting to campus shall include a review of the needs of the employee to report to campus for work that cannot be accomplished remotely. In addition, students reporting to campus shall be based on academic needs that cannot be effectively accomplished remotely. The school shall ensure that occupancy levels, based on the schedule, shall not be exceeded. This review shall be made by the Campus Reopening Committee.

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection

The J-School shall adhere to the NYS Department of Health Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19. A schedule and a log shall be kept by the Director of Campus Services of all daily cleaning and sanitizing operations as required by state guidance.

    • Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is strongly encouraged to reduce contact transmission. Signs shall be placed in all bathrooms and throughout the facility as a reminder of proper handwashing.
    • Those present at the School must wash their hands before and after touching any shared objects or shared surfaces.
    • Hand sanitizer will continue to be available throughout the building and in conference rooms.
    • Employees are required to clean surfaces, workstations, personal devices, etc. several times throughout the day/shift, and at a minimum at the beginning and end of their shift/usage. Their assigned office/workspace is their responsibility. Cleaning materials will be made available by the department of Campus Services.
    • High-touch surfaces, such as elevator buttons and door handles, common areas, and restrooms will be cleaned by custodial staff regularly, according to requirements from the CDC and Department of Health. Cleaning will be logged on a This shall occur hourly.
    • No sharing of food or beverages is allowed.
    • Portable fans are not allowed as they are capable of increasing the range of aerosolized droplets.
    • Computer workstations, TV studio equipment, and other shared pieces of equipment will be cleaned and disinfected after each individual use. The “use of” these shall trigger cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning/disinfecting supplies shall also be placed at every computer work station.
    • Classrooms, studios, research center and common areas utilized shall be cleaned and sanitized after each class/event by custodial staff. This will include all hard surface, touch areas, and technology accessories (keyboard, mouse). The space shall be secured and visibly marked as cleaned and disinfected so future users of the space can visually confirm that the space has been prepped and is ready.
    • The school shall make available disinfecting wipes at work stations.
    • Stairwell hard surfaces, such as door latches and handrails shall be cleaned twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon.
    • In the case of a confirmed COVID-19 case for an individual who has been in the building, we will coordinate cleaning and disinfecting, which will include the areas accessed by the individual and high traffic common areas. SOJ shall follow the CDC guidelines for “Cleaning and Disinfecting your Facility” .

Communication and Compliance

    • The J-School community will be kept apprised of current conditions via email, the school’s website, and virtual town hall meetings.
    • Signs will be posted throughout the facility to remind personnel and visitors of proper hygiene, social distancing rules, traffic patterns, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Examples of signage are attached to this document.
      1. Signage in all elevators – no more than 4
      2. Signage in all bathrooms – hand washing protocols
      3. Signage indicating room occupancy for all rooms at their entry point.
      4. Signage from NYSDOH “stop the spread” in all common areas
    • Signage shall be consistent with the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) COVID-19 signage.
    • Questions can also be directed to the public safety office.
    • Personnel should say something when they see something. It is appropriate to let your colleagues know if they are not following social distancing, occupancy limits, PPE requirements, disinfecting protocols, or other precautions outlined in this guidance. We will be successful only if we hold ourselves and each other accountable.
    • As required under the Clery Act, the school will notify the affected segment(s) of the campus regarding any outbreak of coronavirus or other serious illness that poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of the campus community.
    • Non-compliance. Public Safety and employees on campus in a supervisory/leadership role shall monitor compliance regarding health and safety as they are outlined within this document. Personnel can report issues that they see to their supervisor. Anyone l can also anonymously report any COVID-19 related safety concerns or incidents of unsafe conditions at the J-School here. Complaints for non-compliant employees shall be mitigated by human resources and complaints regarding non-compliant students shall be mitigated by student affairs.
    • The committee will work with SOJ Human Resources and Student Affairs to identify and enact specific protections for students, faculty, and staff who have medical risk such as a one-on-one appointment rather than a group setting. Vulnerable populations will be advised to stay home (i.e. remote learning for students, remote teaching for faculty, and remote work for staff) unless other reasonable accommodations can be made to fulfill the need such as one on one scheduling rather than a group/class. SOJ campuses will encourage vulnerable people who have a medical risk to self-identify by emailing their human resource personnel for employees or student affairs for students.
    • J-school has developed online advisement and coaching programs to support students, facilitate peer to peer interactions, allow feedback regarding school operations, and build a sense of community.
    • Situations that warrant pause, stage regression or immediate closure, communications of such changes shall be sent in the following manner:
      1. Regression or ramp down – to the affected community (students, faculty and staff) notification systems may include CUNY Alert, email, website posting, social media and virtual town hall meeting(s).
      2. Pause – temporary closure – to the entire campus community(faculty, staff, students, alumni) notification methods may include CUNY Alert, email, website posting, social media and virtual town hall meeting(s).
      3. Immediate closure – CUNY Alert, email, website posting,social media and virtual town hall meeting(s).

Campus Reopening

Stage 1

Occupancy and Program Limits for Stage 1 – (maximum of 25% of normal campus occupancy)

Activities that can be done effectively through remote platforms should be done from home. This may include classes, seminars, and group meetings.

      • Limited faculty/staff to be on campus. Only essential personnel may report until the campus reopening plan is approved by CUNY.
      • If work is being done effectively via telecommuting, there should be no change to on-campus working until the threat of the pandemic is fundamentally reduced. This shall be determined by SOJ and/or CUNY.
      • Classes requiring the use of the TV studio and/or the research center shall report to campus with a hybrid and/or staggered schedule. The studio will be disinfected immediately following use, with spot sanitizing and cleaning between each student. The TV Studio use in stages 1 and 2 is approved for class use only. Students, faculty, and staff will not be allowed to reserve time in the studio outside of class sessions unless approved by the Reopening Committee. Use for the purposes outside of class, such as furthering Independent Study credits, must be submitted in writing for review by the Reopening Committee at least 2 weeks prior to proposed use. The proposal must include details for the duration of use, the amount of support required from staff or faculty, and the total number of people occupying the space at any one time. Proposals must meet all the established safety protocols for approval, in addition to demonstrating its academic necessity. A faculty member must review and co-sign all proposals before submitting to the Reopening Committee. The studio will be disinfected immediately following use, with spot sanitizing and cleaning between each student. The schedule shall be managed by Associate Dean Andrew Mendelson or his designee. The schedule for the TV studio in this stage is as follows:
        • JOUR73291 219W – Television News Magazine. Meets Tuesdays 2-4:50. This class will use the studio six times through the semester (out of 15 weeks). Six students enrolled
        • JOUR73292 Broadcast Deadline. Class meets Fridays 9:30 – 4:30. This class will use the studio two times through the semester, four hours each time, 9:30am-1:30pm. 3 students enrolled
        • Topics in Visual Journalism: Broadcast Live! This is a five-week class (1 credit) that meets Thursdays 9:30 – 12:50, weeks 11-15 of the semester. This class will utilize the studio on four sessions (November 12, 19 and December 3, 10). Five students enrolled.
        • Topics in Visual Journalism: Newscast Producing. This is a five-week class (1 credit) that meets Thursdays 9:30 – 12:50, weeks 6-10 of the semester. The class will utilize the studio twice in the five weeks for two hours each time. 7 students enrolled.
        • Students in business classes will need access to the Bloomberg terminal located in the Research Center. Students will be required to make an appointment to ensure one person at a time and time in between for any cleaning. The schedule will be coordinated by Greg David and Tinamarie Vella. The schedule will be shared with the custodial staff to ensure that cleaning/disinfecting occurs after each use.
      • All other classes shall be remote unless it is determined that there is a need for the use of the campus facility for academic needs that cannot be accomplished remotely. All of these students are graduate students, who need access to the studio or the research center to complete work for graduation (since they are all going into their final semester of coursework).
      • Priority is being given to these students and the faculty and staff that work with them. Because of the move to remote learning in the spring, students were not able to utilize the studio. Therefore, there may be aspects of second-semester classes that need to be completed, ideally before the fall classes begin in order to keep people on track.
      • Areas that are expected to be utilized include Research Center, TV Studio rooms R322, R324, and classroom R330.
      • Continue stage preparations with an eye towards stage 2 ensuring that facilities personnel can accommodate the additional needs of cleaning and PPE levels.
      • All other academic programs shall remain remote during this phase.
      • All student extracurricular activities shall remain remote through online platforms.
      • Essential personnel shall be required to report when needed. (e.g. public safety, facilities, network personnel)

In addition to the general occupancy guidelines, the following restrictions apply to stage 1 for non-essential personnel for the following locations:

      • TV Studio R322 & R324 – limited to one student, one faculty member, and two staff members at a time
      • Research Center/Library – limited to one student and one staff member
      • Elevators – limited to 4 persons
      • Third-floor lobby waiting area – visitors limited to appointment only
      • Fourth-floor – closed
      • Fourteenth-floor – closed
      • School cafe seating – closed
      • Third and fourth-floor lounge areas – closed
Stage 2

Occupancy and Program Limits for Stage 2 – (maximum of 50% of normal campus occupancy)

Activities that can be done effectively through remote platforms should be done from home. This may include classes, seminars, and group meetings.

      • Limited faculty/staff to be on campus. Only essential personnel may report until the campus reopening plan is approved by CUNY.
      • If work is being done effectively via telecommuting, there should be no change to on-campus working until the threat of the pandemic is fundamentally reduced. A reduced threat may include some or all of the following:
        • Low levels or the absence of reported illness
        • Ample supply of PPE for the campus community
        • Sufficient custodial staff on hand to ensure cleaning/disinfecting protocols can be maintained.
        • No change or reduction in virus spread in the surrounding community.
      • Classes requiring the use of the TV studio and/or the research center shall report to campus with a hybrid and/or staggered schedule. The TV Studio use in stages 1 and 2 is approved for class use only. Students, faculty, and staff will not be allowed to reserve time in the studio outside of class sessions unless approved by the Reopening Committee. Use for the purposes outside of class, such as furthering Independent Study credits, must be submitted in writing for review by the Reopening Committee at least 2 weeks prior to proposed use. The proposal must include details for the duration of use, the amount of support required from staff or faculty, and the total number of people occupying the space at any one time. Proposals must meet all the established safety protocols for approval, in addition to demonstrating its academic necessity. A faculty member must review and co-sign all proposals before submitting to the Reopening Committee. The studio will be disinfected immediately following use, with spot sanitizing and cleaning between each student.
      • Students in business classes will need access to the Bloomberg terminal located in the Research Center. Students will be required to make an appointment to ensure one person at a time and time in between for any cleaning. The schedule will be coordinated by Greg David and Tinamarie Vella. The schedule will be shared with the custodial staff to ensure that cleaning/disinfecting occurs after each use.
      • Additional classes/events may be scheduled utilizing hybrid and staggered scheduling with some students reporting to campus when necessary, while others are utilizing online learning platforms.
      • Scheduling of classrooms and facilities will be done in a manner to avoid congestion.
      • Reporting and dismissal times shall be staggered so as not to overcrowd or congest traffic areas such as hallways, lobbies, stairwells, and elevators.
      • Cleaning and sanitizing by custodial staff shall occur after a community space is used (e.g. class concluded and space vacated). Space shall be conspicuously labeled as cleaned and sanitized prior to the next use.
      • Continue stage preparations with an eye towards stage 3 ensuring that facilities personnel can accommodate the additional needs of cleaning and PPE levels.
      • Some academic programs may remain fully remote during this phase.
      • Most, if not all student extracurricular activities shall remain remote through online platforms. The holding of on campus student activities shall be based upon the ability to employ social distancing and ensure safety protocols are in place and adhered to. Any student extracurricular activity to occur on campus shall require the approval of Assistant Dean Yahaira Castro after ensuring all the requirements have been met regarding testing, mask wearing, social distancing, hygiene, occupancy restrictions, and the need to assemble on campus as the event cannot effectively occur remotely.
      • Essential personnel shall be required to report (e.g. public safety, facilities, network personnel)

In addition to the general occupancy guidelines, the following restrictions apply to stage 2 for non-essential personnel for the following locations:

      • TV Studio R322 & R324 – limited to one student, one faculty member, and two staff members.
      • Research Center/Library – limited to one student and one staff member.
      • School cafe seating – one seat per table with appropriate social distancing (6’)
      • Elevators – limited to 4 persons
      • Third-floor lobby waiting area – visitors limited to appointment only
      • Fourteenth- floor – closed to students
      • Third and fourth-floor lounge areas – closed
Stage 3

Occupancy and Program Limits for Stage 3 – (maximum of 75% of normal campus occupancy)

Activities that can be done effectively through remote platforms should be done from home. This may include classes, seminars, and group meetings.

      • Limited faculty/staff to be on campus. Only essential personnel may report until the campus reopening plan is approved by CUNY.
      • If work is being done effectively via telecommuting, there should be no change to on-campus working until the threat of the pandemic is fundamentally reduced. A reduced threat may include some or all of the following:
        1. Low levels or the absence of reported illness
        2. Ample supply of PPE for the campus community
        3. Sufficient custodial staff on hand to ensure cleaning/disinfecting protocols can be maintained.
        4. No change or reduction in virus spread in the surrounding community.
      • Classes requiring the lab component of the use of the TV studio, Radio studio and/or the research center shall report to campus with a hybrid schedule.  Use for the purposes of furthering Independent Study credits must be submitted in writing for review by the Reopening Committee at least 2 weeks prior to proposed use. The proposal must include details for the duration of use, the amount of support required from staff or faculty, and the total number of people occupying the space at any one time. Proposals must meet all the established safety protocols for approval, in addition to demonstrating its academic necessity. A faculty member must review and co-sign all proposals before submitting to the Reopening Committee. The TV and Radio studios will be disinfected immediately following use, with spot sanitizing and cleaning between each student.
      • Students in business classes will need access to the Bloomberg terminal located in the Research Center. Students will be required to make an appointment to ensure one person at a time and time in between for any cleaning. The schedule will be coordinated by Greg David and Tinamarie Vella. The schedule will be shared with the custodial staff to ensure that cleaning/disinfecting occurs after each use.
      • Additional classes/events may be scheduled utilizing hybrid and staggered scheduling with some students reporting to campus when necessary, while others are utilizing online learning platforms.
      • Scheduling of classrooms and facilities will be done in a manner to avoid congestion.
      • Reporting and dismissal times shall be staggered so as not to overcrowd or congest traffic areas such as hallways, lobbies, stairwells, and elevators.
      • Cleaning and sanitizing by custodial staff shall occur after a community space is used (e.g. class concluded and space vacated). The space shall be conspicuously labeled as cleaned and sanitized prior to the next use.
      • Continue stage preparations with an eye towards stage 4.
      • Most academic programs shall remain fully remote during this phase.
      • Most, if not all student extracurricular activities shall remain remote through online platforms. The holding of on campus student activities shall be based upon the ability to employ social distancing and ensure safety protocols are in place and adhered to. Any student extracurricular activity to occur on campus shall require the approval of Assistant Dean Yahaira Castro after ensuring all the requirements have been met regarding testing, mask wearing, social distancing, hygiene, occupancy restrictions, and the need to assemble on campus as the event cannot effectively occur remotely.
      • Essential personnel shall be required to report (e.g. public safety, facilities, network personnel)

In addition to the general occupancy guidelines, the following restrictions apply to stage 2 for non-essential personnel for the following locations:

      • TV Studio R322 & R324 – maintain appropriate social distancing. Floor mounted social distancing markers shall be installed for people waiting for access.
      • Research Center/Library – maintain appropriate social distancing. Floor mounted social distancing markers shall be installed for people waiting for access.
      • School cafe seating – one seat per table with appropriate social distancing (6’)
      • Elevators – limited to 4 persons
      • Third-floor lobby waiting area – visitors limited to appointment only
      • Fourteenth floor – closed to students
      • Third and fourth-floor lounge areas – closed
Stage 4

Occupancy and Program Limits for Stage 4 – (maximum of 100% of normal campus occupancy).

Normal operations resume with prescribed hygiene, health, and safety protocols.

Stage Transition

In order to accomplish this phase-in, we will establish the following processes and procedures to ensure the safety of all those involved, including staff, faculty, and students, as well as those they come into contact with outside of the school.

Transitioning between stages shall be condition-based and assessed through a periodic risk analysis on several areas.      Our approach is predicated on the following:

    • Prioritize everyone’s health and safety and implement multiple approaches to minimize the risk of infection for all at the J-School. This shall be accomplished by:
      1. Social distancing and monitoring – continued compliance with the plan.
      2. Ensuring the availability of PPE
      3. Self-health assessments and testing resources continue to provide data on infection rates.
    • Monitor and respond to campus health metrics to inform decisions to increase or decrease activity and occupancy.
    • Communicate our policies and decision-making widely and transparently to the campus community.
    • Work with CUNY Central, the local department of health, contact tracers, and our local community to assist in containing outbreaks.

If all of these areas are satisfactorily achieved, the reopening committee shall coordinate with key stakeholders in assessing the evolving academic and employment needs of the school. Consultation with the governance council will occur prior to any request to CUNY for a phased-in change to a stage.

Tracing and Tracking COVID

    • If an individual reports testing positive for COVID-19, the Liaison will immediately notify the Campus Coronavirus Coordinator.
    • Any individual who screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms must be sent home to their residence or to the designated isolation or quarantine location with instructions or arrangements for health assessment and testing. Those instructions shall be provided by the campus coordinator or designee.
    • If an individual answers “yes” to any of the screening questions in the on-line self-screening health questionnaire, the individual shall be instructed to stay home, or return home if they have already arrived at campus. The campus screeners must immediately notify the Coronavirus Campus Liaison of any affirmative responses. The Liaison shall notify the Coordinator.
    • Individuals who believe they may have COVID-19 and are awaiting test results or have positive test results must notify their Coronavirus Campus Liaison via the on-line self-reporting wellness form.
    • The Coordinator will ensure that the State and local health department(s) are immediately notified about the case (and notify the SVC for Institutional Affairs and the Campus Reopening Committee). They must also notify the Chancellery/COO’s Office and the Campus Reopening Committee.
    • SOJ’s Environmental Health and Safety Officer, will coordinate plans with CUNY and the local health departments to trace all contacts of the individual in accordance with state established protocols, training.
    • Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state law and regulations.
    • SOJ shall cooperate with state and local health department contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine efforts.
    • SOJ will also provide the individual with information on healthcare and testing resources.
    • The notification shall be made to the NYS Coronavirus Contact Tracing Program. A contact tracing form shall be provided to individuals who test or screen positive for coronavirus to expedite the contact tracing process.
    • Definition of contact as it applies to coronavirus: The New York State Department of Health considers a close contact to be someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the person was isolated.
    • SOJ shall follow the New York State Department of Health – Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure

COVID-19 on Campus

    • Isolation – An individual reporting or showing signs of Covid-19 (such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath) while on campus shall immediately be separated and moved to an isolation room.
      1. Currently rooms 330, 444, and the 14th floor conference room are designated as isolation rooms as they are closest to exit points.
      2. When in use for a suspected case, the room shall be closed and monitored to prevent entry by another.
      3. The affected individual shall remain there until departure from campus.
      4. Employees shall not transport suspected Covid infected parties. EMS shall be utilized.
      5. Touchless thermometers shall be available for those who wish to be checked. This shall be done by a supervisor or public safety utilizing additional PPE including gloves, face shield and paper gown.
      6. Individuals who are sick must go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on how severe their symptoms are. SOJ Public safety shall coordinate and assist in notifying EMS for individuals seeking aid.
      7. SOJ shall identify what spaces the symptomatic person was in and work to identify other occupants of the space. Those identified shall be notified (sent home if present) and advised to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days or until notified of a confirmed case relating to the symptomatic individual. Protocols in section 13 shall be followed.
      8. The space(s) shall be closed off until confirmation is received regarding the status of Covid-19 in the symptomatic individual.
      9. Operations in that space shall cease and the room sealed until further notice.
    • Once the Coronavirus Campus Coordinator determines that a campus occupant has tested positive for COVID-19, the Coordinator shall identify the timeframe for tracing the occupant’s behavior assuming 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.
    • SOJ shall 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. Custodial 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.
    • Custodial staff will follow enhanced cleaning for prevention guidance outlined above and wear full PPE. If an outside contractor is used for cleaning instead, SOJ shall obtain in writing the following information: scope of work, cleaning methods, re-occupancy guidance, products used, and associated product safety data sheets.
    • SOJ shall communicate the scope of enhanced cleaning and disinfection with facilities, public safety and affected departments, including subsequent restrictions on accessing areas and applicable signage.
    • SOJ will also determine campus community notification as listed in the communications plan.

Reclosing/Stage Regression

Should the need arise to close down partial or full campus operations after reopening, the same governance structure will apply as laid out in the reopening section of this plan. Decisions to shut down will begin with the Campus Coronavirus Liaisons 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 School of Journalism working with the Chancellery/COO’s Office on decisions as to closures or stage regression. Reasons for this may include:

    • Early warning signs of an increase such as
      1. flu like symptoms being reported.
      2. an increase in sick call outs for on-site classes where covid symptoms are reported.
      3. an increase in positive coronavirus cases occurring within the campus community reporting to campus.
    • An increase in the surrounding community causing health concerns for those reporting to campus.
    • Refusal to comply with campus health, safety or plan requirements.
    • Change in guidance from local health officials
    • Change in guidance from CUNY
    • Change in guidance from the State of New York, Department of Health

Options for partial closing shall include:

    • Ramping down progression by instituting a pause.
    • Regression to a previous stage.
    • Moving a program or programs to remote platforms.
    • Restricting on-campus work to home based, limiting campus to essential personnel only.
    • The J-school shall be ready to deploy distance learning modalities for students and telecommuting when possible for employees.

Circumstances that Warrant Closure

While SOJ’s intention is to move forward and bring more activity back to campus over time, we must also be prepared to reverse the reopening if the situation dictates.

The Chancellery/COO’s Office and the Campus Reopening Committee will monitor a range of internal and external criteria when assessing whether a ramp down (fall back in stages) or closure of campus is required. External monitoring criteria shall 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 levels. Extended closure may be warranted with substantial community spread, defined by CDC as large scale immunity transmission, healthcare staffing significantly impacted, multiple cases within communal settings.
    • Refusal to comply with campus health, safety or plan requirements.
    • Status of resources and infrastructure to combat contagion (e.g., PPE, health system capacity, testing and tracing)
    • Multi-Area Exposure on campus that cannot be contained.
    • Reclosing status of neighboring universities
    • Internal monitoring criteria should include: Spread of infection on campus (i.e. via data reported by Campus Coronavirus Liaisons, metrics on current caseload, new flu-like symptoms, spread). Please note that SOJ will consider class or activity suspension for up to 7 days for areas in which the positive Covid case was present provided that other areas were not also affected. Immediate closure may be considered should a number of positive cases occur (3-4) within a short time period.
    • Extended closure may occur with substantial community spread, defined by CDC as large-scale immunity transmission, healthcare staffing significantly impacted, multiple cases within communal settings.
    • As recommended by CUNY, SOJ shall consider closure if there is substantial community transmission, the campus community –students, faculty and staff– should act as if they have been exposed: staying home and monitoring for symptoms. The committee shall consider a shutdown of campus to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable members of the community.

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism is prepared to meet the expectations of reopening as set forth by the State of New York and the City University of New York. As stated earlier in this document, our priority is the health and wellbeing of the SOJ community as we fulfill our academic mission and support our students toward the successful completion of their educational objectives. In preparing this document, we have consulted with students, faculty and staff. Safety will not be compromised in any way in favor of academic programs and/or work situations. We will continue to facilitate on-line distance learning and work from home initiatives while this coronavirus remains an active threat to our campus community.

III. Procedures for visiting our campus

Faculty, staff, and students must not come to the campus if they are sick, and must notify your Coronavirus Campus Liaison via the Everbridge Health Screening App 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.

Any student, faculty, or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 by their healthcare provider must notify the Coronavirus Campus Liaison via the Everbridge Health Screening App.

If you are unable to download the Everbridge Health Screening App, please follow these steps to access the screening questions by email. 

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.

Faculty and Staff

Step 1: Email John Scully, director of public safety, at john.scully@journalism.cuny.edu. Provide him with the following information:

  • your reason for visiting the campus
  • the date you would like to visit
  • the estimated time frame you will arrive and leave the campus

Step 2: Please wait to receive an email from John Scully approving your visit to campus. CUNY wants to have as few people on campus this fall as possible, and the only reason visits will be approved is if those goals cannot be accomplished in any other way and are deemed essential to academic progress.

Step 3: You will then need to complete the New York State COVID- 19 Response: Return to Work training, which consists of a 12-minute safety video through Blackboard. You can find it under the “My Organizations” section. This video only needs to be viewed once and then it will be recorded in Blackboard that you watched it. If you have already watched this video, you can skip this step. 

Step 4: You will also need to download the Everbridge Health Screening App and complete the health screening questionnaire on the day you are coming to campus, prior to your arrival. After completing the questionnaire, the app will notify you within 1-2 minutes if you have been approved to return to campus or not.

What if I am unable to download the Everbridge app? 

Those who need to use the email option will sign up to receive a daily reminder email and questionnaire.  The sign-up method varies by whether you have CUNY Login credentials.

  • Those with CUNY Login credentials must go to the Everbridge Member Portal (please see the attached User Instructions) and log in with their single sign-on credentials.  You will see your profile, Subscriptions section, and a Select School dropdown box.  After selecting your school, you can opt into email notifications.  The emails will begin the next day and arrive early each morning (Monday through Friday) so you can complete the questionnaire before departing for CUNY.
  • Those without CUNY credentials (e.g., visitors, non-POI RF employees) You should notify the Director of Public Safety, John Scully, with your first and last Name and Email Address. You may reach him at john.scully@journalism.cuny.edu.

John Scully will enter your information into the system and the following will occur:

  • You will receive an email with the subject line “Member Portal Registration Invitation from CUNY”. Click the registration link inside the email.
  • Complete fields for username/password on the Sign Up page. Click Create Your Account to continue.
  • Enter your contact information on the My Profile page. Click Save & Continue.
  • Select your language preference, guest contact type, and guest campus on the My Information page.
  • Review your information and click the Finish button.

Step 5: You will need to enter through 230 West 41st Street as the 40th Street entrance is currently closed.  You will also need a face covering/mask to enter the building. Once inside, please check in at the 3rd floor public safety desk.

For additional information on building and campus protocols please check out our reopening plan on this page.

Every employee needs to complete these steps. 

Students

Step 1: Email John Scully, director of public safety, at john.scully@journalism.cuny.edu. Provide him with the following information:

  • your reason for visiting the campus
  • the date you would like to visit
  • the estimated time frame you will arrive and leave the campus

Step 2: Please wait to receive an email from John Scully approving your visit to campus. CUNY wants to have as few people on campus this fall as possible, and the only reason that visits will be approved is if those goals cannot be accomplished in any other way and are deemed essential to academic progress.

Step 3: You will also need to download the Everbridge Health Screening App and complete the health screening questionnaire on the day you are coming to campus, prior to your arrival. After completing the questionnaire, the app will notify you with 1-2 minutes if you have been approved to return to campus or not.

What if I am unable to download the Everbridge app? 

Those who need to use the email option will sign up to receive a daily reminder email and questionnaire.  The sign-up method varies by whether you have CUNY Login credentials.

  • Those with CUNY Login credentials must go to the Everbridge Member Portal (please see the attached User Instructions) and log in with their single sign-on credentials. You will see your profile, Subscriptions section, and a Select School dropdown box.  After selecting your school, you can opt into email notifications.  The emails will begin the next day and arrive early each morning (Monday through Friday) so you can complete the questionnaire before departing for CUNY.  

  • Those without CUNY credentials: You should notify the Director of Public Safety, John Scully, with your first and last Name and Email Address. You may reach him at john.scully@journalism.cuny.edu. 

John Scully will enter your information into the system and the following will occur:

  • You will receive an email with the subject line “Member Portal Registration Invitation from CUNY”. Click the registration link inside the email.
  • Complete fields for username/password on the Sign Up page. Click Create Your Account to continue.
  • Enter your contact information on the My Profile page. Click Save & Continue.
  • Select your language preference, guest contact type, and guest campus on the My Information page.
  • Review your information and click the Finish button.

Step 4: You will need to enter through 230 West 41st Street as the 40th Street entrance is currently closed.  You will also need a face covering/mask to enter the building. Once inside, please check in at the 3rd floor public safety desk.

For additional information on building and campus protocols, please check out our reopening plan on this page.

Guests