Spring 2023 COVID-19 policies for SUNY New Paltz students, faculty and staff

SUNY New Paltz has updated its COVID-19 policies for the spring 2023 semester, following guidance from federal, state and local agencies and the State University of New York system.

As always, these policies are subject to change based on pandemic conditions in our region.


UPDATE – APRIL 11, 2023: SUNY has announced the end of the emergency COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for students at the 64 SUNY campuses, coinciding with the official end of the national public health emergency. Effective for Summer Session 2023, COVID-19 vaccines will not be required for students. We continue to strongly recommend all students, faculty and staff stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination.

The originally published guidance for spring 2023 at SUNY New Paltz is preserved below.


SUNY-wide student vaccine requirement remains in place

As has been the case in prior semesters, all SUNY New Paltz students, including new incoming students, will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before they can register for in-person, on-campus classes.

To provide proof of vaccination (after completion of the full vaccination series), visit my.newpaltz.edu and click the link to view your COVID-19 Profile. From there, follow the instructions to upload information about your vaccination and a photo of your vaccine card. Your proof of vaccination should be approved within a few business days.

Students may seek a medical or religious exemption to the vaccination requirement. There is also an exemption available to students who are taking a fully online course schedule and have no campus presence (this exemption is only available after registering for classes). More information about exemptions is available here.

SUNY’s policy requires only an initial COVID-19 vaccination for students. The University strongly encourages all eligible students to get a booster to maximize protection against the virus, but boosters are no longer required for most students.

Student athletes are required to be vaccinated AND boosted to participate in intercollegiate athletics.


Return to campus testing between Jan. 19-23 is strongly encouraged

Students, staff and faculty are strongly encouraged to do an at-home antigen COVID-19 test between Jan. 19-23 before coming to campus.

Tests are often free at local pharmacies through your insurance, and free tests are also available through the federal government at this link.

PCR COVID-19 testing will not be provided on campus, but antigen test kits will be distributed at the Welcome Center, University Police Department and the Office of Emergency Management. They may also be obtained for $1 in the Snack Shack vending machines and can be obtained in the Village of New Paltz at Walgreens and Tops.

If you have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, you should not take a PCR test, but you can take an antigen test 30 days after recovering. If your antigen test comes back positive AND you had COVID-19 in the last 30 days, please contact the Student Health Service (students) or Human Resources (employees) for more information.

Positive tests should be manually uploaded to your COVID-19 Profile at my.newpaltz.edu. Click here for detailed instructions for uploading test results. Students, staff and faculty do not need to upload negative test results into their COVID-19 Profile.


Surveillance Testing

Unvaccinated students may be required to participate in surveillance testing. We are awaiting an update to the SUNY-wide COVID-19 policies for spring 2023 and will update the community when we receive it.

SUNY’s fall guidance, which did require surveillance testing for students with a medical or religious vaccination exemption, can be found here.

No other surveillance testing is planned at this time, but may be warranted if the situation changes.


If you test positive, you must isolate for five days, then mask for another five days

The CDC recommends that those with COVID-19 stay home and isolate from others in your home for at least five days.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must notify the Student Health Service by uploading their positive test results to their COVID Profile, calling (845) 257-3400 or emailing healthservice@newpaltz.edu as soon as possible.

In most cases, residential students will isolate off campus. In situations where isolating off campus is not possible, students may remain in their room just as with the flu, strep throat and other illnesses.

Whenever students are ill with a contagious disease and not able to recover off campus, they should protect roommates, housemates and floormates sharing the same bathroom by social distancing to the degree possible, wearing a mask, washing their hands, and cleaning any high-touch surfaces.

Students who are ill with any contagious disease should limit time out of their room to obtaining food, health services, and attending to hygienic needs. Residential students who are ill may use this form to ask for food via a sick tray. Residential students who are ill with a contagious disease and share a room with an immunocompromised individual should notify Student Health Services at (845) 257-3400.

All students who live off campus will be expected to isolate off campus if they test positive.

If you had no or minor COVID-19 symptoms, and are fever-free for 24 hours, you may end isolation after five days and should mask when around others for another five days. The CDC recommends that those experiencing more severe or prolonged symptoms isolate for up to 10 days.

Faculty and staff who test positive are also expected to isolate off campus. They should notify the Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion (HRDI) so the University can support you during your mandatory isolation period. Please see below for more guidance for employees who test positive for COVID-19.


If you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are not required to quarantine but should mask for 10 days

The New York State Department of Health has adopted CDC guidance recommending that people no longer need to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.

Quarantine is no longer required for SUNY New Paltz students, faculty and staff who are exposed.


Individual case management has replaced our contact tracing program for students

Members of our community who test positive for COVID-19 are responsible for notifying the University. The Student Health Service will work directly with students who test positive to provide guidance to them and anyone they may have exposed during their infectious period. The Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion will work with employees (see below).

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must notify the Student Health Service by uploading their positive test results to their COVID Profile, calling (845) 257-3400 or emailing healthservice@newpaltz.edu as soon as possible. Student Health Service Staff will conduct individual case management for positive cases, focusing on students’ roommates, suitemates, housemates and intimate partners.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you will be responsible for notifying your close contacts. This is in line with broader trends and best practices for the current pandemic moment. It’s also just the right thing to do. Please, if you get COVID-19, tell the people close to you that they may have been exposed.

Notices of positive cases reported to the Student Health Service will continue to be shared with students’ in-person faculty to validate excused absences.


Employees should continue reporting positive cases to HRDI

Faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are expected to notify the Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion (HRDI) so the University can support you during your mandatory isolation period.

If you are able to work from home during your isolation, you should do so. If you are unable to work from home or are too sick to work, HRDI will work with you and your supervisor to determine appropriate use of non-chargeable time and/or sick leave.

Employees who complete the mandatory isolation must submit a signed Affirmation of Isolation to HRDI, per New York State and Ulster County Health Department policy.


Masks remain optional on campus, with exceptions for medical spaces

Our mask-optional policy remains in effect for most campus spaces. Anyone may choose to wear a mask on campus at any time.

Masks will be required in medical settings on campus, including the Health Center and the Athletic Training Room. Everyone is expected to be masked in these spaces at all times, regardless of vaccination status.


The Daily Screening and the COVID-19 Dashboard will stay retired

The Daily COVID-19 Screening is no longer required for any students, faculty or staff.

As in the fall, our local COVID-19 Dashboard will remain dormant this spring.

SUNY no longer collects COVID-19 data.