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Coming Back Safe and Strong Update (December 10, 2020)

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News and Reminders
Coming Back Safe and StrongWith Thanksgiving behind us, fall semester drawing to a close and the winter holiday season on the horizon, we want to emphasize a few critical safety messages and make you aware of some new items …

Please Stay Safe
We’ve shown we could stay open for in-person learning — one of the few universities to do so — for fall. That’s a tribute to all of you and all our collective efforts to protect ourselves and each other, in true “Stony Brook Strong” style. Please keep it going so we can enjoy an equally rewarding spring semester. Especially in this environment of rising COVID-19 cases regionally and across the nation:

  • Continue to follow all the safety protocols (see below).
  • Keep track of, and adhere to, New York State Safety Guidelines for your day-to-day activities and holiday plans.
  • Keep testing — see our testing requirements and schedule here.
  • Fight off any COVID-19 fatigue you may be feeling — we need to stay strong together to see this through safely!

Testing Updates

  • The New York State drive-through testing site, located in the University’s South P Lot off Stony Brook Road, remains open for residents — Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm and Saturday and Sunday, 8am – 3pm. You’ll need to make an appointment by calling 888-364-3065 or registering online at
  • To secure faster results for front-line workers who are clinical staff for University Hospital and the Renaissance School of Medicine, nasal swab testing is now the protocol for these employees at the HSC Galleria testing location. Individuals will be notified by email when they’re due for testing.
  • Pooled saliva testing will continue for all other non-clinical employees and commuter students who are based on East Campus.
  • Both testing areas are clearly marked with appropriate signage in the HSC Galleria.

Stony Brook Medicine ‘Forward Triage’ Site Reopens
As you may have seen on News 12, Stony Brook University Hospital has responded to a spike in COVID cases on Long Island by reopening our ‘forward triage’ site at the Ambulatory Care Pavilion. Patients who arrive at the emergency room from 1-9 pm are asked to stay in their cars, where a member of the staff will determine the correct emergency care setting. Hospital staff will then direct patients to go to the main Emergency Department or the Coronavirus triage location. The site aims to limit patients with suspected COVID-19 from co-mingling with people coming to the hospital for other medical services.

We’re Ready!
Our Stony Brook University Hospital CEO shares her optimism, encouragement, gratitude, words of wisdom and lessons learned for healthcare workers. View this special video from Carol Gomes.

Update to Spring Guidance
To keep us going strong and staying healthy, here is the guidance for coming back to campus in the spring … please note the two new exceptions at the end:

  • All students, faculty and staff must be pre-screened daily for travel history, as well as COVID-19 history and symptoms, for two weeks before returning.
  • Before coming back for winter and/or spring 2021, students living on campus, taking at least one class on campus, using campus services (such as library, dining or gym) or working on campus must:

○ Attest they have completed a seven-day precautionary quarantine* AND
○ Present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days before returning, test on-campus within five days of returning OR present documentation of a positive diagnostic result for COVID-19 over the previous three months.

*You will NOT need to quarantine for seven days before returning to campus if you are a:

  • Medical or health professions student designated as an essential employee.
  • Commuter student who needs to work while quarantining at home. (You will need to apply for an exemption from a campus-designated administrator and document your employer’s COVID-19 safety protocols. The campus can grant the exemption but will need to keep a record to send to System Administration if requested.)

Opportunity to Carry Over More than 40 Vacation Days
Human Resource Services shared the good news from the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER) that employees from all bargaining units who were (or currently are) engaged in COVID-19 response efforts and were prevented from using annual leave accruals by December 31, 2020 will now be able to carry over more than 40 vacation days until December 31, 2021. The Research Foundation of SUNY has announced that they will follow GOER’s new guidance.

A Time of Giving
The holiday season is often a time of giving. Visit our Caring, Respect, Civility website if you’d like to donate to the Stony Brook Cares/SEFA Campaign (President McInnis’ message is there), SB Athletics’ Holiday Gift Drive for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital patients and/or sponsor a pediatric oncology patient/family for the holidays. Email us at to share your ideas for kindness or giving for us to publish on the site. Also, you should know that …

The Meal Train’s Back on Track!
During the height of the pandemic in the spring, we received an overwhelming response from community restaurants and individuals who donated meals and snacks to keep our Stony Brook University Hospital staff going every day. In anticipation of a second wave, we’ve reactivated our Meal Train account to ensure that donations are efficiently distributed to staff who need it.

Season’s Greetings Stony Brook
If you haven’t already, take a moment to read President McInnis’ Holiday Message and view the accompanying short video. Happy Holidays everyone! Stay safe.

Fight COVID Fatigue
Some of the most important things you can do to keep us safe and ‘open for classes’ beyond this semester are also some of the simplest:

  • Wash your hands or use sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.
  •  Maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from other people.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your workplace every day.
  • Try to avoid using other people’s phones, desks, offices, tools and equipment
  • Stay home if you’re sick.

Complete your CampusClear app to assess for COVID-19 symptoms before arriving on campus.

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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