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Student Affairs Issues Thanksgiving Guidance

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Rick Gatteau, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, has issued guidance for students as they prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. His message reads as follows:

Coming Back Safe and StrongAs the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we know it is a time when family and friends often gather. With COVID cases increasing rapidly in the United States, we all need to be vigilant to make sure that our families remain healthy. It is thanks to your commitment to following health and safety guidelines that we have kept COVID at bay in our campus community. To that end, below is important information to help you celebrate the holidays safely.

In accordance with SUNY policy, all students must complete a COVID test within the 10-day period prior to the start of the Thanksgiving break. Many COVID cases are asymptomatic, meaning you can be infected, and unknowingly and unintentionally spread the disease to others. Therefore, we want you to know your health status before Thanksgiving to help keep you and your family safe.

For Resident Students
If you’re a resident student, schedule an appointment for your required on-campus, free COVID PCR test this week according to this testing schedule. If you have already communicated with Campus Residences your intent to stay on campus or return to campus after Thanksgiving, a new schedule of required testing starting November 23 will be shared with you. Starting November 30, required testing will increase to twice a week. Residents who do not comply with testing requirements will be placed on interim housing suspension.

Please read the additional travel guidelines below if you are planning to leave campus and return after Thanksgiving or traveling anytime through the end of the semester.

If you go home for an extended period of time, please take all valuables and important belongings with you.

Note that we will send you information in early December about the spring semester move-in process, including details on signing up for precautionary quarantine housing on campus if you are traveling to New York from overseas or a restricted state.

For Commuter Students
If you’re a commuter student, last week you received an email about testing requirements.

  • If you are a fully online student and do not visit campus for any reason, including working in an on-campus job or internship, and you will not be coming to campus November 9-25, you DO NOT need to get tested. To be exempt from this requirement, please fill out this exemption form.
  • If you are in at least one in-person class and/or visiting campus anytime from November 9-25, you are required to obtain a COVID test November 9-20 either on campus at one of our three testing locations or off-campus. If you choose an off-campus location, you must upload your test result to Medicat, our Student Health Services records system, within 48 hours of receiving your result:

New York State recently released an updated quarantine travel policy. If you are traveling to New York from out of state (excluding the states contiguous to New York: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Vermont), from a US territory, or from any CDC level 2 and 3 country, New York State has a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. You can test out of the quarantine by doing the following:

If you were in another state that’s not contiguous to New York for more than 24 hours and are coming to New York you must:

  • Obtain a COVID PCR test within three days of departure from that state.
  • Upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days. If you are a resident student, you are not permitted to quarantine on campus.
  • On day four of your quarantine, obtain another COVID PCR test. If both tests come back negative, you may exit quarantine upon receiving the second negative test.
  • Do not come back to campus for any reason until you receive both negative COVID PCR test results. If you are a resident student, once you receive both negative test results, you may return to your on-campus residence.

If you were in another state for less than 24 hours:

  • You do not need a test before leaving the other state, and do not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.

ALL travelers must:

  • Fill out New York State’s traveler form upon entering New York State, and take a COVID test four days after your arrival in New York.

You know how to stay safe during this pandemic: wash your hands, wear a face covering over your nose and mouth, and stay six feet apart from others. But since Thanksgiving and other holidays are a time when many families and friends get together, it has the potential to further increase transmission of COVID.

Please follow these tips to have a safe holiday:

  • Consider the community levels of COVID in your location to assess your risk of infection. You can find this information on your community’s Health Department website.
  • Keep gatherings small: celebrate with your immediate family who live with you, or include only those with whom you routinely interact and who have taken the same pandemic-related precautions as you.
  • If gathering indoors, open the windows to maximize air circulation.
  • Require everyone to wear a mask.
  • If your gathering is multigenerational, set up a kids’ table. Separate older or higher risk individuals from others when eating.
  • If you or any guests are feeling under the weather, stay home.
  • Remember your Red Watch Band training. Alcohol use may alter judgment and impact good decision-making around COVID safety measures.

If you have any questions about the COVID testing process, please refer to these FAQs for more information or contact Student Health Services at (631) 632-6740.

Wishing you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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