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SUNY and CUNY students will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 before being allowed back onto campuses for in-person classes this fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

“Let’s make a global statement. You cannot go back to school in person in September unless you have a vaccine,” Cuomo said. “That will be a major motivator to get the vaccine. If you have to get the vaccine by September why wouldn’t you get it now.”

Long Island’s SUNY schools include SUNY Farmingdale, SUNY Old Westbury, and the two state-run community colleges: Nassau Community College and Suffolk County Community College. Many Long Islanders attend SUNY schools in upstate New York, as well, and will now need the vaccine before traveling to school.

Schools like Columbia University, Pace University, and New York University announced earlier this year their students are required to get inoculated against the virus before returning this fall, and Cuomo encouraged more private colleges and universities to follow suit. Long Island’s private colleges have not yet said whether they will require their students to get the vaccine.

Cuomo did not say if teachers or faculty are also required to receive the vaccine in time for the fall semester. A SUNY faculty union said they welcomed the governor’s announcement but important details still need to be worked out such as Board of Trustees action and how colleges will deal with students who chose to not get vaccinated for religious or health reasons, President of United University Professions Fred Kowal told amNewYork Metro.

New York state’s overall COVID-19 positivity rate is 1.4 % with officials reporting 2,016 hospitalizations due to the virus and 27 deaths, in the last 24 hours. 

This story first appeared on amNY.com.

-With Briana Bonfiglio

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus.

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