Updates on Reopening SVA
Click below for info on our plans for 2021-2022, including the vaccine requirement for all students, faculty and staff.
Reopening SVA

Our plans for returning to campus, including info on the COVID-19 vaccine requirement, testing and tracing protocols, and more.

September 3, 2021
CLEARED4 Tutorial

This video will help you get started with SVA’s new health-screening platform, CLEARED4.

School of Visual Arts welcomes students back to an in-person instruction model for the fall 2021 semester, with residence halls open to capacity. See President David Rhodes' September 3 letter to the community, below, for important information about returning to campus. Further information on the College’s plans for fall 2021 can be found in the August 15 notification from Provost Christopher J. Cyphers in “Archived Notifications,” as well as in the recorded Town Hall sessions held this summer; the videos are also posted below, just above the “Archived Notifications.”

This spring, President Rhodes announced the SVA COVID-19 vaccination policy for students, faculty and staff. That letter, from April 26, is in the “Archived Notifications” section at the bottom of the page. Those who have been granted an exemption will be tested weekly. In addition, all community members will be required to wear a mask while on campus in the fall. For information about COVID-19 reporting, testing, tracing and isolation protocols, see the “Health Resources” section of this page.

SVA’s plans for a safe reopening have been created by academic and administrative leadership in accordance with New York State guidelines, as well as the guidance of federal and local health authorities. Read on for more on the College’s ongoing efforts to ensure a safe environment for all returning students, faculty and staff.

September 3, 2021

Dear SVA Students, Faculty and Staff,

I am delighted to welcome you to the School of Visual Arts for the start of the fall 2021 semester. Some of you are experiencing our New York City campus for the first time. Others are returning after many long months of learning and working remotely. Still others have continued to report to work on-site throughout the pandemic to keep our operations running smoothly and safely. I would like to thank all of you for your patience and commitment to SVA throughout this extraordinary time, and to address some questions and concerns you may have.


In recent months, you have received communications about policies and protocols that have been put into place to keep the community healthy, including our vaccine mandate for anyone coming to campus, as well as our requirement for everyone to wear a mask indoors. Vaccinations and masks remain the two most important protections against all known COVID-19 variants, and both are what make it possible for SVA to resume in-person classes and full occupancy of our residence halls safely. These policies, found on the Reopening section of sva.edu, have been developed by our Emergency Management Committee using the latest guidance from the CDC, New York City Department of Health and other health authorities—and with your cooperation, will ensure our community stays as safe as possible. 


Here are some important things to know as we begin the new academic year.



All students, staff and faculty need to use Cleared4, a health-screening platform linked to your SVA ID, to access SVA buildings each day. Cleared4 enables SVA to monitor any COVID-19 symptoms and helps us quickly identify others who might have been exposed if someone has COVID-19. Each day, at least two hours before coming to campus, you will need to complete a Cleared4 health survey via a link sent by email or text. You can also access your link through the Cleared4 tile in your myID dashboard. I ask that you answer these questions honestly and please stay home if you are sick.


This helpful guide and brief video tutorial will help you get started. I appreciate your patience as we all adjust to entering the buildings using this new procedure.


COVID Reporting, Testing and Tracing

While a vaccine-mandated campus can expect lower rates of COVID-19 infection, there are protocols in place for reporting and tracking positive COVID-19 cases. Students who test positive should report a positive test result immediately to student-covid-alert@sva.edu. Faculty and staff members should report a positive test result to employee-covid-alert@sva.edu. Those who are sick should not come to campus. If someone becomes sick on campus they should proceed to the nearest urgent care center for evaluation of their symptoms. For SVA students who appear to be ill, but have not been evaluated at an urgent care center, a staff/faculty member can notify SVA by filing a STAR report at star.sva.edu


SVA is following the New York City Department of Health directives for notifications and contact tracing. 

If a person tests positive for COVID and has been on campus, SVA will notify those have been in close contact as defined by public health authorities (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) without revealing the name of the positive case or details of the exposure.


These members of the SVA community will be instructed to follow important health and safety protocols that are necessary to take care of themselves and prevent further spread of COVID-19 infection to more people. The rules for isolating and quarantining are different for those who are vaccinated and for those still completing their vaccine series. According to current CDC guidelines, those who are vaccinated need not quarantine, but should be tested 3-5 days after exposure. More information about our protocols and where to find a COVID-19 testing site near SVA can be found in the “Health Resources” section of the Reopening page.



In preparation for the fall semester, SVA’s Facilities department has enacted strict protocols to ensure the campus buildings and air quality are clean. They include: 

  • Frequent cleaning and disinfecting throughout all campus buildings, including wipe-downs of all high-touch surface areas, such as door handles, bathroom surfaces, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Flushing and treatment of water lines and tanks. 
  • Disinfecting heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and upgrading to high-efficiency MERV-13 filters to help reduce the transmission of airborne viruses and bacteria.
  • The implementation of industrial-grade air purifiers in rooms without HVAC systems (such as interior classrooms).

In closing, I want to acknowledge that this is an exciting but also a potentially anxious time for many of you as you begin to return to our NYC campus and interact with a larger population than you have for a long time. As we transition back, it’s important to share your concerns to others and avail yourself of help, if needed. Student Health & Counseling Services has shared these helpful tips for maintaining mental health. Here are additional resources at SVA.


Student Health and Counseling Services

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

International Student Office


I wish you all the best as you begin the 2021-2022 academic year at SVA.


David Rhodes


School of Visual Arts

  • Upload Proof of Vaccination or Request an Exemption

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Cleared4 Daily Health Verification FAQs

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement FAQs

Academics and Learning Resources

  • Online Courses

  • Online Resources and Tech Support

  • SVA Library

  • SVA Alumni

Health Resources

  • COVID-19 Vaccine

  • COVID Health Resources and Testing

  • COVID-19 Reporting, Contact Tracing and Isolating Protocols

  • Mental Health Resources

Campus Safety and Cleanliness

  • Cleaning, Safety and Disinfecting Protocols

  • Emergency Notifications (SVA Alerts)

  • Emergency Management Committee

Stigma, Harassment and Bias

  • Policies and Reporting

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resources

SVA Virtual Town Hall: July 12, 2021 @ 9pm

SVA Provost Christopher J. Cyphers and other staff members answer students' questions about SVA's reopening plan for fall 2021.

SVA Virtual Town Hall: July 13, 2021 @ 2pm

SVA Provost Christopher J. Cyphers and other staff members answer students' questions about SVA's reopening plan for fall 2021.

Archived Notifications

  • September 3, 2021 Notification from the President

  • August 15, 2021 Notification from the Provost

  • June 16, 2021 Notification from the Provost

  • April 26, 2021 Notification from the President: SVA Vaccine Policy for Students, Faculty and Staff

  • March 16, 2021 Notification from the Provost: Planning Update for the 2021-2022 SVA Academic Year

  • March 9, 2021 Notification: We Stand In Solidarity With Our Asian Communities

  • February 10, 2021 Notification from the Provost

  • November 20, 2020 Notification from the SVA Emergency Management Committee

  • November 5, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • November 2, 2020 Notification from the EMC

  • August 25, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • August 12, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • August 2, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • July 20, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • SVA Virtual Town Halls: July 14 and 16, 2020

  • June 17, 2020 Notification from the Provost

  • May 8, 2020 Notification from the Provost