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Coming Back Safe and Strong Update (July 24, 2020)

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From the classroom, to the office, to the hospital, to the lab, see the latest on our return to the workplace activities and plans. As always, visit our dedicated Coming Back Safe and Strong (CBS&S) website for the full stories, latest FAQs, guidance, and contact information.

Coning Back Safe and StrongThe Latest Travel Guidance and Where to Find It
Which states are considered the highest risk for COVID-19? Do I have to quarantine if I visit one of them? What’s the return to work policy after travel? Find the latest, evolving travel advisory guidance in the ‘Travel’ section of the Coming Back Safe and Strong website.

International Students Get Answers and Updates in Webinar with the President
On July 20, international students got to have ‘A Conversation with President McInnis’ covering everything from her perspectives on fall semester; to the significance the University places on our talented global community of students, faculty, and staff; to questions about President McInnis’ background and interests.

Seventy-five people participated in the Zoom webinar, designed to be a ‘get-to-know-you’ session between President McInnis and SBU international students. Diverse student panelists and webinar participants asked President McInnis a range of questions.

In the webinar, Dr. McInnis emphasized that Stony Brook’s actions to help ensure international students could continue to study here this fall were “immediate and swift,” including communications with Congressional delegations and close collaborations with our partners in New York State that helped overturn the original Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) plan. She also talked about how fall planning is putting safety first for all students, faculty, and staff as we create an environment that gives students the flexibility they need to most effectively follow their individual academic paths and faculty the flexible teaching options they need to most effectively design their courses. And she stressed the need for all of us to take the steps we need to “stay healthy together.”

Focusing on Accessibility
The Office of the Provost is urging faculty to design courses this fall with student accessibility in mind to ensure individuals of all backgrounds, abilities, and learning styles can fully and equally participate, whether in online, in-person or hybrid environments. See the tips and resources offered in the July 15 message here.

Dr. McInnis Tells the Campus: We’re Listening
President McInnis shared a video on classroom safety redesigns and the reassurance that all campus community changes this fall were made “so that we may continue to bring forward all of the talent and dynamism contained within our university community — while prioritizing health and safety throughout campus.” See the full message and view the video here.

Ramping Research Up
As of July 9, Research has entered into Phase 4 of its return to work schedule … with 60-80% of the research work force back in the labs and following all outlined safety protocols, including appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, daily employee health self-screenings, and more, as outlined in the University’s Return to the Workplace Plan. And on July 16, researchers conducting human research received updated guidance. Find additional updates and resources on the Coming Back Safe and Strong site’s Research page.

A Note About Hybrid Learning
Michael Bernstein, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, reminded students about hybrid learning scenarios for most students and potential mandatory quarantines for out-of-state and international students. Find out more.

Fall Athletics Postponed for Well-Being of Student-Athletes
Stony Brook Athletics joined its fellow conference members within America East and the Colonial Athletic Association in postponing fall athletic competitions to the spring. The decision came with the health and safety of the University community and overall well-being of student‐athletes in mind. It primarily affects cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball. Several other conferences within the region also have decided to postpone fall athletic competitions, including the Ivy and Patriot leagues. Plans will be devised for each of those teams to compete during the spring semester

A small group of off-campus student-athletes have returned to campus for voluntary workouts with strict health protocols in place.

SBUH Prepares for Phase 1 Return to the Workplace; Spreads the Word on Face Masks
Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) is beginning its phased-in approach to returning remote workers to the workplace by designated groups. Hospital Group 1 return will start July 30 with about 14% of remote workers returning to the workplace. Group 2 is tentatively scheduled to return on August 27 and Group 3 on September 24. Staff is required to complete an online educational program, Working Together for a Safe Return to the Workplace, before returning to the office. This program can be accessed through the HealthStream Learning Management System (LMS) and will take up to 30 minutes to complete.

The Hospital is also finalizing a ‘face mask champions’ program, which includes training to help champions educate others on compliance.

Health Screener Updates
With the Daily Employee Health Self-Screener deployed last week on the West Campus, feedback is showing some employees are waiting until they get to work to do the screening. Please remember that it’s critical to screen before coming to campus. The screener has also been shared with Stony Brook Hospital so they can adopt the tool for their use, and students are using a Qualtrics version similar to the employee screener. Human Resource Services (HRS) is also working with DoIT to enhance supervisor report options on the employee health screener. You can find instructions for supervisors here and more information on the Daily Employee Health Self-Screener in this update on the Coming Back Safe and Strong website.


  • Keep at least six feet between yourself and others
  • Wear your face mask if social distancing isn’t possible
  • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean, then disinfect, frequently used surfaces
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available
  • Avoid touching your face and stay home if you’re sick!

Have a Comment? Need an Answer?
Visit our continuously updated return to the workplace FAQs on our Coming Back Safe and Strong website.


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