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Stronger Together Update (August 20, 2021)

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Stronger togetherFacts About COVID Guidance for the Stony Brook Community 

In this message we give you facts about:

  • Fall 2021 Vaccine and Testing Mandates
  • Mask Mandates
  • Fall 2021 Modes of Instruction
  • Health and Safety Measures

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 surveillance testing.

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 19, 87% of all registered students in at least one in-person class and 97% of residential students have submitted the required documentation to indicate that they are vaccinated.
  • Our updated testing plan for students is as follows:
    • Vaccinated residents –> testing every other week (was monthly)
    • Residents with approved/provisional exemptions –> testing twice per week
    • Vaccinated commuters –> testing once every four weeks
    • Partially vaccinated/unvaccinated commuters –> testing once per week
    • Fully remote students who don’t live on campus or come to campus –> no testing required; however, a negative test is required should a student visit our campus

Students can find details on their required COVID testing schedule, based on their specific student status, on the Student Health Service webpage.

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.

  • Fully vaccinated employees who have shared their vaccination status with us have been notified of their monthly COVID-19 Surveillance testing schedule.
  • Unvaccinated/Unknown Status Employees: Mandatory weekly surveillance testing will continue to be required for any person who has a physical presence on campus and who has not been fully vaccinated or who has not shared their  vaccinated status with us.
  • As of August 19, 67% of these employees have reported in SOLAR that they are vaccinated.

Employees of Stony Brook Medicine:

  • As of August 19, 68% of these employees have submitted proof of being fully vaccinated. Efforts to collect vaccine status data are continuing.

Please note that we have opened a vaccination Point of Distribution (POD) site in the Student Activities Center – Rooms 226 and 227 where employees can receive a one-dose J&J vaccine now and throughout the month of September. Please visit this website for details.

Mask Mandates

Until further notice, 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.

Health and Safety Measures

As we’ve been communicating with you, we continue to follow the carefully considered, flexible, science-based model for keeping our campus community as safe as possible this fall semester. We remain nimble, resilient and ready to adjust our courses of action if/as changing conditions warrant. And, our planning will continue to rely on three important elements that allowed us to keep COVID-19 case counts low, keep the University open to in-person learning, as well as be recognized as a role model for COVID response and minimization:

  • Following science and closely monitoring data.
  • Maintaining agressive vaccine and testing requirements.
  • Consistently aligning with State and local (Suffolk County) Department of Health guidance.Remember, 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. Learn more about vaccination facts from our Stony Brook physicians.

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