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Coming Back Safe and Strong Update (March 25, 2021)

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

Coming Back Safe and StrongVACCINES: What, Where, Why

Vaccine supply, eligibility and appointment availability continue to open up in New York State, with eligibility most recently expanding to include those age 50+, public-facing Government/Public workers and not-for-profit workers.

At Stony Brook University, we vaccinated 2,500 campus community members at the Student Union last Wednesday (March 17). And, just this Tuesday (March 23), we reached a major milestone of administering our 100,000th COVID vaccine to eligible members of our campus and surrounding community at the R&D Park. That’s in addition to the 75,000 vaccinations Stony Brook Medicine administered at SBU Hospital-run PODs.

We strongly encourage everyone eligible to get their vaccines. If you haven’t yet, here are the top three things you should know:

Where The choice of where to get vaccinated is, of course, yours. We urge you to regularly visit the ‘I Am Eligible’ New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) website for available appointments at locations across the State. That includes the newly opened point of distribution (POD) site at our Stony Brook Southampton campus announced in the last edition of the CBSS Update. We will also continue to alert you to opportunities as they arise based on NYS supplies and distribution and eligibility guidelines.

Why Dr. Sharon Nachman states the facts and dispels the myths around vaccines, explaining why they’re safe, effective and critical to our overall health and well-being. Check out three video messages from Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease here. Also see a recent Newsday article where Stony Brook researcher/epidemiologist Sean Clouston joins other experts to explain why more shots in arms should lead to fewer COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths in New York State.

What Find out all you need to know about vaccines on our newly updated Vaccine Information web page on the Coming Back Safe and Strong site, including FAQs that address concerns ranging from testing after the vaccine, to who’s eligible at Stony Brook and why. Have a question? Write to us at

KEEP DOING THE RIGHT THINGS: Guidance for Students and All of Us
We can’t stress enough the importance of continuing to follow the safety protocols that have made us one of the safest university campuses and allowed us to stay open for in-person learning (see below).

Please note, too, that all faculty, staff and students are required to participate in surveillance testing, even if you’re fully vaccinated for COVID-19. In fact, with the COVID variants, this testing is more important than ever. That means weekly anterior nasal swab testing for all Stony Brook University Hospital staff, FSA hospital colleagues and School of Medicine clinical faculty … weekly pooled testing for West Campus faculty, staff and commuter students … and twice-a-week pooled testing for resident students.

Spring weather, more people getting vaccinated and other promising signs and tempting conditions don’t, unfortunately, make any of us immune from the threat of COVID-19. Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Rick Gatteau asked Seawolves to continue to ‘play it safe’. See the full message here. Please let’s all stay safe through the spring holidays coming up and beyond.

Springtime also signals event planning, while safer conditions have people questioning when, where and how to return to in-person meetings. As we work to prepare and share guidelines with you, please email us with any questions you may have.

Remember …

  • 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 at all times, including in classrooms, conference rooms and other spaces, even when six feet social distancing exists.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your workplace every day.
  • Avoid using other people’s phones, desks, offices, tools and equipment.
  • Sanitize shared items after use.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Avoid large gatherings.

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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