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Coming Back Safe and Strong Update (July 16, 2020)

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As more employees return to their on-site workplace locations, we will keep you apprised of what’s happening, and what you need to know, through these email updates. Please also visit our dedicated Coming Back Safe and Strong (CBS&S) website for the full stories, latest FAQs, guidance and contact information.

Coning Back Safe and StrongKeep Up the Healthy Habits
Environmental Health & Safety reminds us all to continue to practice healthy habits to help slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • Practice social distancing by putting space — at least six feet — between yourself and others
  • Wear face masks whenever social distancing is not possible. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean, then disinfect, frequently used surfaces
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home if you’re sick!

Daily Employee Electronic Health Self Screener Now Available — What It Is; How to Use It
Developed through a collaborative partnership between Human Resource Services (HRS), DoIT, and Student Affairs, the new Daily Employee Health Self-Screener will help SBU West Campus employees complete mandated daily, confidential health self-screening using any device that can access the internet (personal computer, smartphone, etc.). Effective immediately, this electronic screener replaces the currently used paper screener. See instructions here. Employees who do not have access to a mobile device or computer may continue to use the paper Daily Employee Health Self-Screening LogEither way, please note your health information will only be accessible to the Health Information Line, composed of healthcare professionals. For more information, contact: or 631.632.6161.

For all Hospital employees and School of Medicine clinical faculty, health screenings will continue as they have been for the past few months. A health screening tool for these groups is being developed and will be rolled out soon, with additional information to follow.

COVID-19 Recovery Plan Approved and Where We Are with Phases
While subject to change based on evolving conditions, our Stony Brook University COVID-19 Recovery Plan was approved by New York State and can now be found on the CBS&S website.

As we continue to follow our phased approach to returning to the workplace, our current proposal is to begin to bring back ‘Phase 3’ non-essential employees the second half of July. Phase 3 employees are defined as “high priority employees for whom one or more core duties cannot be performed remotely.” The goal is to begin to bring back Phase 4 employees (defined as “medium priority employees for whom one or more core duties are most effectively performed on-site”) in mid-August. Department Heads will advise employees of those respective phases and dates.

Research was given the go-ahead to enter the Research Plan Phase 3 — allowing 30-60 percent of the University’s research personnel back in the labs — starting the week of June 22. Department Chairs, Deans, Directors, and PIs all received updated guidance. See the full message from Vice President for Research Richard Reeder here, and visit the Coming Back Safe and Strong site’s Research page for additional updates and resources.

Who to Call about COVID
HRS has provided the campus community with important updates and clarifications on assistance offered through the COVID-19 telephone information line — 631.632.5000. The message outlines exemptions based on CDC criteria of underlying health conditions, age, and pregnancy. It also talks about the adjusted process for asking about, and exploring, alternative work assignments and telecommuting. See the full message on the CBS&S website.

Facilities Team Readies for Fall
From setting up classrooms for social distancing, to procuring sanitizers and changing filters on ventilation systems, the Facilities area is working all across campus to protect the safety of students, faculty, and staff, while resuming operations as efficiently and safely as circumstances allow, and in line with regulatory guidance and statewide directives. See the full Facilities Reopening Plan on the area’s website for details.

FAQs for Students and Updates for International Students
Student Affairs shared student services-related FAQs with all students on July 12 in this email message covering housing, dining, commuting, health and wellness, and other resources to support students.

Stony Brook is also continuing to advocate for and provide guidance to our international students, and we will keep you informed about issues as they develop. The very latest news, announced Tuesday, July 14, was that the Department of Homeland Security backed away from its plan that would have made it impossible for many of our international students to study online this fall. This was a measure we had fought against alongside our university partners across the country, as described in SBU President Maurie McInnis’ recent email message to the campus community. Applauding the good news, Dr. McInnis told the media, “Our University is strong because we bring brilliant people together from all over the world to learn, collaborate, and work together. As we await the Department of Homeland Security’s formal confirmation of this decision, we will continue to support our international students and to help them navigate the changing guidelines so that they will be ready to begin their fall semester in the way that works best for them during this difficult time.”

Please consult the Stony Brook University Visa and Immigration Services (VIS) homepage for information, and particularly the Summer & Fall 2020 COVID-19 FAQs’ page for details as time goes on. We also encourage international students to follow the guidance provided by VIS and contact with any questions related to this immigration policy and how it affects their status.

New Travel Guidance for Stony Brook University and NYS
A recent message from the Provost strongly discourages University-related travel, based on rapidly increasing COVID-19 case counts in many regions of the U.S. and abroad. See Michael Bernstein’s full message for more on University policies; New York State guidelines, quarantine requirements, and exemptions; and the current list of states with a high incidence of coronavirus. For additional travel advisory updates, please continue to check the New York State Department of Health website.  

Have a Question? Want an Answer?

Visit our continuously updated return to the workplace FAQs on our Coming Back Safe and Strong website.


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