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Coming Back Safe and Strong Update (Aug. 21, 2020)

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What You Need to Know, When You Need to Know It

Coning Back Safe and StrongAll the planning, hard work, research and collaboration to bring students back “safe and strong” will come to bear this Monday (August 24), as fall semester officially begins at Stony Brook University. And all the planning, hard work, research and collaboration will continue as we move forward in what we hope and expect to be a successful and fulfilling academic semester for faculty, staff and students across our entire campus community.

Here’s the latest you should know on everything from self-screening, to food services, to transportation and facilities.

Tune in for Breaking News on Latest Beyond the Expected Podcast
Take time to hear some of the latest news from experts around campus — Marisa Bisiani, Rick Gatteau, Shelley Germana and Larry Zacarese — on our Beyond the Expected podcast, Coming Back Safe and Strong: Welcoming Back Students. It aired on SBU’s Facebook Live today at 2 p.m. and contains breaking news on our new CampusClear self-screening app, the Enzo Lab for COVID-19 testing, and a dashboard that provides information about COVID-19 cases and efforts to control the spread of the virus (all described briefly below too).

COVID Self-Screening for Students: There’s an App for That
Self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms is a foundational strategy of our return-to-campus efforts and an integral part of the University’s COVID-19 Pandemic Health & Safety Policy, introduced last week. Upon returning this fall, students are required to self-screen each day before arriving on campus (if they commute) or before leaving their residence hall (if they live on campus).

The process is now easier and more convenient for our students through the CampusClear app SBU developed in partnership with and Creighton University as a technological solution to the challenge of self-screening.

CampusClear includes a simple questionnaire asking participants to securely and privately answer COVID-19 screening questions from their mobile device or computer. It will also clear you to come to campus and attend in-person classes or other campus activities by displaying a secure pass. A Live Chat option is also available within the app to help answer any other questions you might have.

To download the CampusClear app to your mobile device or access it via a web browser, please visit

Quick, Large-Scale COVID Testing Available, Onsite
If self-screening is critical to stopping the spread of Coronavirus this fall, so is testing. And the University is once again stepping to the forefront of COVID-19 prevention measures by providing onsite testing for students … before and after they move in.  Student Health and Wellness has partnered with local lab provider Enzo Labs to provide COVID-19 PCR tests at Student Health Services on the Stony Brook West campus. Enzo can test a large capacity of students and provide results within just 48-72 hours.

To schedule an appointment, visit

Get the Up-to-Date Picture
SBU now has a tool for providing detailed information about COVID-19 cases and efforts to control the spread of the virus. Stony Brook University’s COVID-19 Dashboard provides information about the incidence of COVID in the local area and on campus, as well as the University’s capacity to respond to potential outbreaks and adjustments to minimize the spread of the disease. The dashboard provides regularly updated information about cases in Suffolk County among SBU students, quarantine and isolation rooms, student COVID-19 positive test rates and more, with data about positive cases among employees expected to be available soon. The Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness is partnering with the Division of Student Affairs to maintain this incredibly useful device, which we plan to have available on the Coming Back Safe and Strong website early next week.

Where To Park and Student Shuttle Updates
To ensure a safe and productive academic year, Stony Brook’s Department of Transportation & Parking has established new actions and procedures around transportation and parking for the fall. See the full message from Vice President for Facilities and Parking Dean Tufts here.

Let’s Go to the Videotape
Director of Residential Education Catherine-Mary Rivera talks about the benefits of living on campus, and the health and safety-related changes we’ve made to keep Seawolves safe this fall … from limited occupancy in residence halls; to mask wearing and physical distancing protocols; to deep cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.  Also what everyone can do to play a part. Check it out here.

 See other recent videos — including our ‘Be Like Wolfie’ and ‘Wear Your Mask Campaign’ series in the continuously updated Multimedia section of our Coming Back Safe and Strong website.

Food Safety ‘Food for Thought’ and Guidance
While person-to-person spread of COVID is most common (through coughing, sneezing or talking at close distances), the CDC acknowledges the risks of individuals touching food or food packaging then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes. To minimize the risk of transmitting the virus at events where food would normally be served, Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and Faculty Student Association (FSA) are providing this guidance during the pandemic:

●     Please do not serve food at events and other gatherings unless absolutely necessary as part of a program, or for longer duration events.

●     If you do need to provide food at an event or gathering, get it from Campus Dining CulinArt Catering Services. EH&S has worked closely with Culinart, following guidance from the CDC and NYS Department of Health, to create safe service procedures that take advantage of centralized preparation space and minimal travel and handling on campus. Until further notice, EH&S will not approve food permits for events using outside caterers.

●      When food is served at an event, make sure you have adequate seating that’s appropriately spaced to allow for physical distancing while eating.

For more information, please go to Food and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Facilities FAQs
With questions coming in around ventilation systems, air flow, filters and other facilities-related issues, the Facilities & Services’ FAQ page — on the Coming Back Safe and Strong website — is a handy and helpful reference covering the areas of Cleaning Protocols, Custodial, HVAC and Transportation.

They Are the [Face Mask] Champions on West Campus
Moving at rapid pace, the Face Mask Champions Program on West Campus has already named 30 individuals to educate others around campus on our face mask protocols. The online training module will roll out next week and champions will also shortly be receiving educational cards to hand out, as well as custom masks. There is still room — and desire! — for more volunteers. So if you want to join an important cause, for just about an hour of your time each week, please contact Director of Healthier U Cathrine Duffy at

Basic Infection Prevention Measures from our COVID-19 Pandemic Health & Safety Policy
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility. Remember to:

●      Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

●      Use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

●      Cover coughs and sneezes.

●      Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

●      Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your own workspaces daily. This includes tables, desks, phones, keyboards, etc.

●      Avoid use of other people’s phones, desks, offices, tools and equipment, when possible.

●      Stay home if you are sick.

Have an Idea? Need an Answer?

Visit our continuously updated return to the workplace FAQs on our Coming Back Safe and Strong website, or send your questions to

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