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Coming Back Safe and Strong Update (Jan. 15, 2021)

Coming Back Safe and StrongWhat You Need to Know, When You Need to Know It


We are aware of news related to some of the challenges experienced by those eligible attempting to schedule appointments in the NY State vaccination process. Please note that the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is the sole authority for determining vaccine eligibility and provides guidance on how it should be distributed. Vaccines will be distributed only to eligible people who have made appointments through the NYSDOH Eligibility website. This State site is experiencing tremendous demand. Our best advice is to check the site regularly, if eligible.

Stony Brook does not independently have access to the vaccine. Stony Brook University is committed to providing vaccinations for as long as necessary and as long as vaccines are supplied by NYSDOH. Stony Brook University currently receives no information about when appointments at the Point of Distribution (POD) located in Stony Brook will be made available to the State website.

We understand this is a worrying time for our community and we will endeavor to keep you informed as the situation changes.


With just about two weeks until the University opens for spring semester, we hope this finds you well and that you have had a chance to keep up with the important information we’ve been providing to help ensure a smooth and safe return. Here are some reminders and new developments …

Lots Happening on the Vaccine Front

Some of the biggest, fastest-changing news has been taking place in the area of COVID vaccines. New York State Department of Health expanded vaccination eligibility on Monday, January 11, and SBU was designated as a Point of Distribution (POD) for vaccine administration.

To stay up to speed on all this and more, take a look at our new, dedicated Vaccine Information page, which contains continuously updated FAQs and which you can easily access from the Coming Back Safe and Strong website.

When it comes to vaccines, please keep these important points in mind:

  • We have administered vaccines to thousands of eligible individuals working in our Hospital and eligible community members. However, it is the New York State Department of Health that allocates vaccines and determines who is eligible. Please go to these NYSDOH websites for the most up-to-date information, to determine your eligibility and to schedule appointments: NYSDOH Eligibility website, NYSDOH ‘What You Need to Know’ web page and (to sign up for an appointment).
  • The R&D Park is the University’s designated NYSDOH POD and will open when vaccine supply is provided to us. You will also need to schedule your appointment through the State to get a vaccine there. When this site is open, the information about how to get an appointment will be on the NYSDOH Eligibility website. Please do not arrive at the site without an appointment.

What Students Need to Know

On Wednesday, January 13, students received a message from Rick Gatteau with all they need to know about our Spring 2021 COVID preparations. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Stony Brook Medicine News

Here are a few highlights from a Coronavirus Update on January 13:

  • COVID-19 Testing Now Available to Symptomatic Healthcare Employees– To help ensure the safety of our staff and minimize the spread of COVID-19, we are now offering testing to our healthcare employees at the Hospital who are symptomatic. Any employee with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should not report to work and should call Employee Health and Wellness at (631) 444-7767 to have their symptoms evaluated.
  • Updated Return to Work Guidelines – Asymptomatic healthcare providers who have had exposure to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 without wearing PPE have to quarantine for 10 days, regardless of test results, before being able to return to work. If you have been exposed or have questions regarding exposure and do NOT have symptoms, please call the Exposure Hotline at (631) 638-1396, 8 am to 4:30 pm daily.
  • Staffing Needed for NYS Vaccination POD – Stony Brook Medicine is responsible for staffing the NYSDOH POD at Stony Brook. If you are interested in working, please fill out our recruitment survey.

Keep Us Safe This Spring, Too

  • 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/disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your workplace every day.
  • 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. Faculty/staff: remember that you need to screen every day for two weeks prior to returning in-person, so you would start this Monday, January 18.

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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