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Transition to Research Phase 5

Effective immediately, Stony Brook’s research operations are transitioning to Research Phase 5, the final phase of our Restarting Research Plan , which began in June 2020.  This action follows the announcements by the Governor and the NY State Department of Health that relax certain restrictions because of significant progress in Covid-19 vaccinations and declines in Covid-19 cases.  It is important to note that the guidelines for Research Phase 5 have been modified in order to align guidance for laboratory-based and field-based research activities with campus-wide guidance, which will be provided by Stony Brook’s Human Resource Services Office and through Coming Back Safe and Strong updates

Current campus guidance is provided here. Notable provisions that apply at the current time include:

  • Capacity:  Lab and related space capacity is only limited by the space available for individuals to maintain physical distancing based on vaccination status. 
  • Physical Distancing: Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to be physically distanced, indoors or out.  Individuals who are unvaccinated and/or whose vaccination status is unknown must continue to maintain six feet of physical distance, in accordance with federal CDC guidelines.
  • Masks: Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks, indoors or out.  Individuals who are unvaccinated and/or whose vaccination status is unknown need to wear masks in accordance with CDC guidelines. Individuals who are unvaccinated and/or whose vaccination status is unknown may remove their mask indoors while physically distanced, seated, and eating/drinking or while working at their workstation. Individuals who are unvaccinated and/or whose vaccination status is unknown may remove their mask outdoors unless they are in a gathering or crowded event where they are unable to maintain six feet of physical distancing. Note that in patient-facing areas, including Stony Brook Medicine buildings, which encompass the hospitals, the Health Sciences and Basic Sciences Towers, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks per CDC guidance.

The transition to modified Research Phase 5 lifts the requirement to maintain and update an individual lab operating plan for restarting research, including personnel lists and the need to obtain approval from department Chairs or supervisors.  Changes to signage must be consistent with current campus guidance.

It is important to remember that the relaxing of restrictions does not signal the end of the pandemic.  Compliance with campus-wide guidelines is necessary to minimize risks, while allowing research activities to resume.