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Coming Back Safe and Strong Update (April 29, 2021)

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

Coming Back Safe and StrongStony Brook Adopts New Outdoor Mask Guidelines

As we move ahead in our spring semester and look forward to summer and fall, we’re excited about progress we’ve been making in the COVID-19 battle … across the country, in New York State and right here at Stony Brook. With COVID counts continuing to fall, the Governor announced Tuesday afternoon that NY would adopt the CDC’s new federal guidance on mask use for fully vaccinated people, effective immediately. Stony Brook University is also now following the new protocols, which state that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.”

The new guidelines also indicate the conditions under which masks should still be worn indoors. This includes public settings, where people “should continue to protect themselves and others by wearing a well-fitted mask … and following any applicable workplace or school guidance.”

Please note that since upcoming Commencement celebrations are considered large gatherings, participants will be required to wear their masks, indoors and outdoors, in addition to providing proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests, as described below under ‘And We’re Live …’

ABCs of Vaccine Safety

On campus and off, vaccines are helping keep COVID-19 cases low. They’re providing the additional freedom to ‘unmask’ when outdoors, according to new CDC guidelines. They’re allowing us to open up more live events. They’re also helping ensure we stay on a positive path to Coming Back Safe and Strong this summer and fall, with more opportunities for in-person learning and teaching.

Stony Brook has administered more than 350,000 vaccines at our various Point of Distribution (POD) sites, including Stony Brook University Hospital, the Stony Brook Union, the Stony Brook Advanced Specialty Care offices in Commack and other community locations. Nearly 200,000 of those were administered right at our Innovation and Discovery Center (IDC), located in the Research and Development (R&D) Park on campus, in partnership with our New York State colleagues. And it’s estimated that the majority of the Stony Brook community has been or will be vaccinated soon. This incredible momentum is critical to the safety of our community and we strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated yet to watch for opportunities, on campus and off, and take advantage.

Got vaccinated and want to share a positive experience? Contact us at so we can feature you in a vaccine testimonial.

CDC Spells Out the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines:

Johnson & Johnson Janssen Vaccine Rewards Outweigh the Risks

Millions of People Have Safely Received a Vaccine

They’re Proven To Be Effective

CampusClear on Vaccines and a Call to Action

To help us get a clear view of the total number of vaccinated individuals on campus faculty, staff and students we’ve added a Vaccine Question to the CampusClear app that you’ll only need to answer once, after you’ve received at least one shot. See details and instructions in this SBU News story and visit our new webpage for general information on the CampusClear app.

And We’re Live …

With Commencement around the corner and sporting events taking place with more spectator presence, here’s what you should know …

Check out our freshly updated Commencement webpage for details on the May 19-21 series of ceremonies celebrating the academic achievements of the Class of 2021. You’ll find information on who can come and how to get tickets. Please pay special attention to our new ‘Entry Requirements’ section, which outlines the proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test results documentation attendees will need to show.

Stony Brook Athletics is excited to welcome spectators to events, including the Women’s Lacrosse game this Saturday, May 1. Find details and order complimentary tickets here. Or take in a baseball or softball game … no tickets required, just show up!

Testing 1,2,3

Here are the top three things you should know about COVID-19 testing as we continue to expand and enhance the campus-wide testing program that has helped keep us all Coming Back Safe and Strong:

  1. Have you noticed? Many locations on West Campus are now using the Stony Brook University Hospital COVID-19 Surveillance Laboratory to perform anterior nasal swab (ANS) testing, similar to what East Campus has been using for Hospital and clinical faculty. The main benefits include: same reliability as saliva pooled testing, no pre-registration or food or drink restrictions, and faster results.
  2. Fully vaccinated? You still need to test according to our protocols to continue to keep us all safe.
  3. Have questions? Find all the details you’ll need on our updated Coming Back Safe and Strong Testing webpage, including how, when and where to get tested, and specifics on ANS testing.

Two Requests …

Programs such as the Student Emergency Fund provided vital support to students in need during unprecedented pandemic conditions, and continues to serve these students today. If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to support University programs such as this by making a Giving Day contribution.

The pandemic also proved how important effective communication is in a time of crisis. Employees please help us provide you with the most meaningful communications going forward by taking just a few minutes to complete the short internal communication survey we emailed you Tuesday, April 27.

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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