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Coming Back Safe and Strong Update (Jan. 8, 2021)

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

Coming Back Safe and StrongWe want to take this opportunity to wish you a healthy and safe new year. In the midst of increasing COVID cases, and the frightening and disturbing events in our nation’s capital this week, we clearly continue to face challenges in 2021. As noted in the President’s Message, The Power of Education to Unite and Heal, “It’s going to take all of us at Stony Brook … to support each other in this challenging time, to live up to our mission, and remember that our community has the power to unite, heal, and lead the way to a stronger future.”

As we approach the start of the spring semester, we are absolutely working together to build that strong and safe future — with plans for another high-quality learning experience and with significant strides in our battle against COVID-19. Take a look and please watch for more ‘Coming Back Safe and Strong’ guidance as we get closer to February 1 return and beyond. Look forward to seeing you.

— The Coming Back Safe and Strong Team

Springing Ahead

Following on the heels of our highly successful fall semester — and barring changes due to COVID conditions — we are looking forward to continuing to offer hybrid learning opportunities throughout the spring semester and hoping for a more fully in-person experience in the fall of 2021. Here’s what you should know and do, based on the Chancellor’s Academic Continuity and Health and Safety of Students, Faculty and Staff Policy for Winter and Spring Terms 2021:

  • All faculty and staff must be pre-screened daily for travel history, as well as COVID-19 history and symptoms, for two weeks before returning to campus. This should be completed daily using the  CampusClear app or the Daily Health Self-Screening Paper Log.
  • All students, faculty and staff who live on campus and/or plan to be on campus regularly (including instruction, co-curricular activities and meetings) are required to test regularly.
  • Any student, faculty or staff member testing positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate and follow the New York State Department of Health Order on isolation and the guidance of the governing local health department on length of isolation and timing of return to campus. Faculty and staff on West Campus/HSC/SOM (except clinical faculty in the Renaissance School of Medicine) should contact the Health Information line (HIL) at (631) 632-5000, option #1, for additional guidance. Clinical faculty in the Renaissance School of Medicine should contact Employee Health and Wellness at (631) 444-7767
  • All members of the campus community, at all times, will need to wear face coverings when they are on campus, even when there is six feet of social distance, except when alone in their own office or other space, or when eating while seated and socially distanced.

Pooled Testing Continues

We will continue pooled surveillance testing of students, faculty and staff, and maintain physical distance and masking requirements. We are also continuing to explore pooled testing sites for off-campus locations. Please note that the Clinical School of Medicine faculty will continue to follow the Hospital’s pooled surveillance test process.

More Great Vaccine News. We Are …

… Taking Our Best Shots

Since we last updated you, we’ve been administering thousands of COVID-19 vaccines. See who’s getting them, why and when in our latest HR Update — Stony Brook Medicine COVID-19 Vaccination Program: What You Need to Know and our new Vaccine FAQ page on the Coming Back Safe and Strong site, where we will continue to update you on vaccine availability and eligibility as the situation develops. We’ve also begun to administer the required second doses to employees who received their first vaccine the week of December 14.

… Spreading the Word on Their Importance and Effectiveness

View this short video/Public Service Announcement featuring Sharon Nachman, MD, Chief, Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease, to learn the facts about the vaccines being offered and why they’re our best chance at protecting ourselves, our loved ones and friends.

… Participating in Clinical Trials for Another New Vaccine

In more exciting news and to help save more lives, Stony Brook Medicine (SBM) is participating in a Phase 3 clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of a new Novavax investigational vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Stony Brook is the only Long Island site participating in this trial, and one of two in New York State to be selected. The National Institutes of Health-sponsored study will recruit up to 30,000 participants at multiple sites across the U.S. and Mexico, and Stony Brook is expected to enroll 500 participants, with the vaccine distributed mainly through SBM in Commack. See more on our Renaissance School of Medicine site — which includes links to FAQs and a survey if you would like to participate in the trial to ‘help end the uncertainty and join us to find a COVID-19 vaccine for everyone’.

‘Be the Good’ — Save a Life with Your Blood Donation

You can help us save lives by joining Stony Brook University Hospital’s fifth annual blood drive — ‘Be the Good’. Find out how and where to  donate blood/platelets on our Caring, Respect, Civility site. You’ll see special giveaway offers for donors too.

Make It Your New Year’s Resolution to Help Us Keep Fighting the Spread of COVID …

  • 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.
  • Avoid large gatherings.

Don’t Forget CampusClear

Please remember to complete your CampusClear app to assess for COVID-19 symptoms before arriving on campus. Need help accessing the screener or want to set up a daily screener reminder? If you haven’t yet, you can go to the App Store on your phone to download this free application. Make sure to accept the option for helpful daily reminders.

Already have the app but don’t get the reminder notifications? Simply go to ‘Notifications’ under ‘Settings’ on your mobile device to turn them on.

While we recommend the app for ease of use, if you do not have a mobile device or just prefer, you can complete your daily self-screening requirements on the CampusClear website.

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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