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Stronger Together: Facts About COVID Guidance

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Facts About COVID Guidance for the Stony Brook Community

Stronger togetherIn this message we give you the facts about:

  • Fall 2021 Vaccine and Testing Mandates
  • Mask Mandates
  • Fall 2021 Modes of Instruction
  • In-Person and Remote Telework

Fall 2021 Vaccine and Testing Mandates

Residential students must submit proof of vaccination and produce a negative COVID test result upon arrival at the residence halls. These students will also be subject to monthly surveillance testing.

  • As of August 6, 95% of residents have submitted the required documentation to indicate that they are vaccinated.
  • By August 15, the rate is projected to be near 100%.

Commuter students must produce an initial negative COVID test result prior to their first day on campus, and must provide proof of vaccination by August 15, or will be subject to weekly testing.

  • As of August 6, 72% of commuters have submitted the required documentation to indicate that they are vaccinated.
  • By August 15, the rate is projected to be at or above 85%.

Faculty and staff on West Campus, and non-patient-facing staff at HSC and RSOM, must be vaccinated or subject to weekly mandatory testing, in accordance with the NYS mandatory vaccine requirement.

  • Vaccinated employees will be subject to less frequent, monthly surveillance testing.
  • Notice of testing requirements is being sent to individual employees based on current compliance (or lack thereof) with this requirement.
  • As of August 10, 61% of these employees have reported in SOLAR that they are vaccinated.

For healthcare employees of Stony Brook Medicine in patient-facing roles, it is anticipated that they will need to submit proof of vaccination by September 6, in accordance with the Governor’s recent announcement. We await additional guidance on the plan for implementation of this requirement and will update affected employees accordingly.

  • As of August 6, 82% of these employees have provided their vaccination status and 68% are fully vaccinated. Efforts to collect vaccine status data are continuing.

Mask Mandates

All faculty, staff, students and visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear face coverings while inside University and Hospital buildings. This includes classrooms, hallways, libraries and other common spaces, as well as SBU buses and shuttles. It also includes the Health Sciences and Basic Sciences Towers, offices in Flowerfield, Tech Park, Ronkonkoma and Commack, and administrative areas within outpatient facilities and physician practices. Face coverings are not required inside personal rooms at residence halls, while eating in on-campus dining areas, within personal offices or in non-public-facing personal workstations. Masks are not required outdoors.

We will continuously monitor, reassess and adapt to changing data and guidance, keeping you informed as conditions evolve.

Fall 2021 Mode of Instruction

More than 90% of students are registered for some or all of their courses in person. 9.8% of students are registered only for online classes.

A total of 15% of class sections across all campus locations will be online. This includes sections of courses that were originally designed to be online and were offered in that mode prior to the pandemic, as well as classes that were moved online due to the renovation of Javits Hall.

  • Vaccinations are the strongest weapon against the spread of COVID and masking is the primary indoor mitigation strategy recommended by the CDC in locations where community spread is high or substantial.
  • As of August 6, 80% of all registered students have submitted proof of vaccination. With upcoming deadlines for commuter students to submit documentation, this rate is expected to rise.

In-Person and Remote Work

August 1, 2021 marked the date for all employees who were working remotely during the pandemic to return to regular work schedules onsite. Some flexibility was extended until September 7 for employees who needed a bit more time to make child or eldercare arrangements.

Meanwhile, recognizing the value of increased flexibility to a competitive talent pool, SUNY recently announced a pilot Telecommuting Policy that is distinct from accomodations that were made for remote work during the pandemic. The pilot allows for up to a maximum of 5 days of remote work per two-week pay period for full-time employees (or 50% of hours for part-time employees) who hold positions deemed suitable for telework.

The needs of the operation are a primary consideration in decisions about telework. In these decisions, supervisors will determine the extent to which a position can be performed remotely; and to be eligible, employees in such positions must have performance reviews of “meets” or “exceeds” expectations.

The pilot policy was just sent to supervisors, who will consider operational needs in their departments. Employees will also receive program information including eligibility details. The pilot runs through December 2021.

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