Coronavirus / COVID-19 FAQ
Are booster vaccinations required for the Fall 2022 semester?
In our desire to keep our campus safe, Cooper Union will continue to require that all students, faculty, and staff be up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including a booster when eligible, or obtain an approved medical or religious exemption.
Do I still need to get tested to access campus?
Testing is only required for a brief period at the start of the Fall 2022 semester based on current CDC Guidelines that recommends schools consider surveillance testing in certain scenarios, such as for when students are returning from school breaks. For this students, faculty, and staff must submit one rapid or PCR test for their first day on campus starting August 21, 2022. Cooper will provide rapid testing on campus starting Sunday, August 21st and concluding Thursday, September 1st. If you decide to test at an independent testing site your results must be emailed to email@example.com prior to your entry to campus. After September 2nd, weekly testing will no longer be required for campus access.
I have tested positive. What should I do?
Students, faculty, and employees who test positive for COVID-19 should report the positive case to firstname.lastname@example.org. The CDC guidelines still require a five-day isolation period before coming back to campus.
Neither vaccinated or unvaccinated students, faculty or staff are required to quarantine if exposed. It is recommended that you wear a mask. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that people exposed to Covid who are asymptomatic should take at least three at-home antigen tests, each spaced 48 hours apart, to reduce the risk of missing an infection.
Are masks still required on campus?
Yes, The Cooper Union will continue to require that a CDC-recommended mask (disposable surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95) be worn inside all campus buildings.
What is the campus guest policy?
All guests will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask while indoors on campus
Residence Hall – All guests must be able to show proof of vaccination at the front desk and wear a CDC-recommended mask. Residential Students should continue to follow policy and direction from the Office of Residence Life.
Recurring Guests to the Academic Programs – Guests must be approved by a Dean or Department Head and follow Cooper Union’s policy for vaccinations and testing and must wear a CDC-recommended mask (disposable surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95) while indoors. Cloth masks alone are not permitted, but may be worn as a second layer over a disposable surgical mask.
Guest Speakers, Facilitators for Programs, Rentals, etc. – Attendees are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and booster and must wear a CDC-recommended mask (disposable surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95) while indoors. Cloth masks alone are not permitted, but may be worn as a second layer over a disposable surgical mask.
Admissions Tours and Meetings with prospective students and their families – Attendees must show proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and booster and must wear a CDC-recommended mask (disposable surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95) while indoors. Cloth masks alone are not permitted, but may be worn as a second layer over a disposable surgical mask.
Continuing Education – Attendees must show proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and booster and must wear a CDC-recommended mask (disposable surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95) while indoors. Cloth masks alone are not permitted, but may be worn as a second layer over a disposable surgical mask.
STEM and Saturday Program Participants – All program participants must show proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination and booster and must wear a CDC-recommended mask (disposable surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95) while indoors. Cloth masks alone are not permitted, but may be worn as a second layer over a disposable surgical mask.
Contractors and Emergency Workers - We will make every attempt to require vaccinations for contractors and emergency workers on campus. All will be required to wear a CDC-recommended mask (disposable surgical, KN95, KF94, or N95) while indoors. Cloth masks alone are not permitted, but may be worn as a second layer over a disposable surgical mask.
Do I still need to get a booster if I have recently recovered from Covid?
Almost anyone who has tested positive for Covid can receive a booster after they are released from isolation. Exception: If you received monoclonal antibody treatments you must wait 90 days before getting a booster shot.
I am having trouble uploading my booster information. Can I just send it to email@example.com?
All questions regarding the booster should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone from the committee will respond to your requests for assistance.
Do I need to be vaccinated to return to campus for the Fall 2022 semester?
Yes. The Cooper Union requires that all students, faculty, and staff, except for those with a medical or religious exemption, be vaccinated with an FDA-authorized or World Health Organization (WHO)-listed vaccine in order to be on campus.
What if I am not able to get vaccinated?
For those with a medical or religious exemption, you can upload your exemption documentation to the Vaccine Passport on CUSAFE. Following that, those with an approved exemption will be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. A negative result will be required to gain access to campus. We anticipate testing will be available on campus for the first week of the fall semester.
What is CUSAFE?
CUSAFE is Cooper Union’s free smartphone app, released last year, that is designed to address and promote personal safety on and off campus. CUSAFE was developed by Cooper Union’s Safety and Security Department in partnership with the Office of Information Technology, using software from AppArmor Mobile. It uses the latest mobile and GPS technologies, with enhanced features that include important safety alerts, instant access to campus safety resources, and includes a news feed from Cooper Union’s Twitter account (@cooperunion). The CUSAFE app can be downloaded onto any android, iPhone, or iPad device. Students, faculty, and staff will need to upload proof of vaccination via our Vaccine Passport (also developed in collaboration with AppArmor) on the CUSAFE app. With CUSAFE, you can register your vaccination (or exemption) information in a secured and fully HIPAA-compliant portal.
How does the Vaccine Passport on CUSAFE work?
Once you launch the CUSAFE app, you will see the “Vaccine Passport” button. Click or tap that button, complete the simple and short questionnaire, and upload an image of your vaccine card or exemption documentation. You can use the camera on your phone or tablet to take a picture of your vaccine card at that time. After you’ve uploaded your documentation, which takes about two minutes, a registered nurse will review your submission and approve it. Please allow 1-2 business days for your submission to be approved. Once your submission is approved, CUSAFE will indicate via a QR code that you are allowed on campus, and your ID card will be activated for campus entry. Should your ID card scan “red” at the security desk, please show the QR code on your CUSAFE app to security.
How do I know the app is secure and HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant?
Both the Vaccine Passport and CUSAFE have been developed by Cooper Union’s Safety and Security Department in partnership with the Office of Information Technology, using software from AppArmor Mobile, a leading technology company with a focus on safety apps in the higher education sector.
I need help with the app. Who can I contact?
If you require assistance with installing or accessing the app, please reach out to email@example.com.
I don’t have a smartphone or tablet. What should I do?
If you do not have a smartphone or tablet or require assistance with installing or accessing the app, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can I get a vaccination?
The United States government is providing vaccines for free for all individuals who qualify to receive a vaccine with or without health insurance, regardless of immigration status. Vaccines are now available for anyone over the age of 6 months at vaccine hubs, local pharmacies, and other distribution centers. The Cooper Union will be scheduling a vaccine day on our campus for anyone who might be interested in receiving a vaccine through our third-party testing vendor. Cooper will provide up to four hours of paid time off per vaccine appointment for all faculty and staff.
What steps must I take if I have a religious or medical exemption?
To request a medical exemption, individuals will need to submit proof of a medical condition that is a contraindication to the vaccination and the date the qualifying medical condition exemption ends (if applicable). This documentation must be signed by a medical provider. The medical exemption request:
- May be granted if a licensed physician, licensed nurse practitioner, or licensed midwife (caring for a pregnant person) certifies in writing that such vaccination may be detrimental to the individual’s health or is otherwise medically contraindicated.
- Must include a statement indicating which vaccine may be detrimental, including a detailed explanation of the valid medical basis for such determination, and the length of time for which it may be detrimental.
- Should be based on the most recent guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
- Will be granted on a temporary basis up to the point when the condition supporting an exemption is expected to resolve or expire; if related to a permanent condition, will be granted for no more than one calendar year.
- Must be resubmitted annually.
Religious exemption requests:
- May be granted if a student, faculty, staff, or a minor student’s parent or guardian certifies in writing that they hold genuine and sincere religious beliefs which are contrary to such immunization.
- Must describe with specificity the religious principles that guide the objection to such immunization.
- Will not be granted when opposition to such immunization is scientific, political, philosophical, or otherwise secular rather than religious in nature.
- May require additional supporting documentation.
- Must be submitted for renewal on an annual basis.
All medical and religious exemption requests must be submitted on the CUSAFE Vaccine Portal by Aug. 19, 2022. Students, faculty, and staff requesting exemptions will be notified by email if their exemption has been approved.
Individuals who are approved for vaccine exemptions will be required to follow protocols for unvaccinated individuals, as informed by CDC recommendations and state and local requirements (including wearing face coverings and physically distancing, as may be required by applicable CDC guidance). Currently, these protocols include weekly COVID-19 testing and other safety protocols outlined by public health guidelines and Cooper policies.