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Provost Issues Updated Travel Guidance

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Michael Bernstein, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, has issued updated travel guidance in light of rapidly increasing case counts in many regions. The message reads as follows:

In light of rapidly increasing case counts in many regions of the U.S. and abroad,  university-related travel remains strongly discouraged. Travel can increase the risks of exposure to you and the entire campus community. Government restrictions and public health measures are changing fast. If you travel, those changes may make it hard for you to return to campus and resume activities.

Coning Back Safe and StrongRequests for travel must be pre-approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor, Dean or Vice President, and Provost or Senior Vice President. Faculty, staff, and students must use the pre-approval form located here.

Travel undertaken without the appropriate pre-approvals will not be reimbursed, and other disciplinary actions may apply.

The following trips do not require pre-approval: travel to Brookhaven National Lab, travel to other SBU locations, regional travel (less than 100 miles), and travel to domestic locations for research on externally-sponsored grants for which travel is a must. All travelers must follow NYS guidance for quarantine upon return to campus. For travel for sponsored research, it is the responsibility of the PI to ensure that travelers comply with NYS guidelines. As of July 3, 2020, NYS requires quarantine for 14 days for travelers returning from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. However, travelers should consult https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory for the most current information, as the states involved and the guidance may change.

Current NYS guidelines specify that all travelers entering New York who have recently traveled within a state with either:
• a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average; or
• a testing positivity rate of higher than a 10% over a seven-day rolling average,

will be required to quarantine for a period of 14 days consistent with the Department of Health (DOH) regulations for quarantine.

Essential employees may be exempt from the quarantine if they test negative within 24 hours. Additional details from NYS  are at the website above. Data used to construct the metrics that determine the designated states from which individuals must quarantine is detailed in the tables posted publicly by all 50 states. Analysis of the metrics will be conducted weekly to determine if travelers from other states qualify. The designated states with significant community spread will be conspicuously posted on the NYS DOH website. Please check the site frequently, as the information will change  often as rates of COVID-19 transmission increase or decrease.

International travel remains extremely difficult and risky and is not recommended. As of July 1, 2020, CDC has issued a Level 3 travel risk for all international travel and recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel. Those who must travel should follow CDC guidelines at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/coronavirus-global, which include frequent hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, avoiding close contact with others, keeping 6 feet of physical distance, wearing a face covering, avoiding travel if you are sick, and to stay home and monitor your health for 14 days after returning. NYS currently requires precautionary quarantine for all travelers returning from China, Iran, Japan, South Korea, or Italy (https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/travel-large-gatherings-and-quarantines).

Thank you for your continued cooperation and flexibility.

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