August 2, 2021
Subject: Fall Planning at Stony Brook - Important COVID-19 Health & Safety Updates
We want to update you on our plans to help ensure the health and safety of our community, which has been our highest priority throughout the pandemic.
In planning for the fall semester, we’ve drawn upon the knowledge and expertise of our healthcare experts. Working closely with administrative leadership, we’ve followed the guidance of New York State (NYS) and local health agencies, and all of our planning efforts have been in line with State guidelines and timing.
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. There are many different data points we continuously monitor, including Suffolk County’s daily COVID-19 tracking updates. On our campus, there has been one positive case in the last week, and the overall positivity rate from pooled testing remains at 0.0%. Throughout the fall semester, we will continue to closely watch and monitor the scientific data and medical recommendations of our public health officials.
Vaccine mandates and aggressive testing requirements. Over the past year, we have used regular, frequent pooled surveillance testing for both students and employees to help ensure a healthy campus. This fall, we are requiring:
Residential students to be vaccinated (with limited medical and religious exemptions) and provide a negative COVID PCR or antigen test result at check-in taken within 5 days prior to arrival. Vaccinated residents will be required to participate in monthly surveillance testing. Unvaccinated residents who receive a medical or religious exemption will be required to participate in twice a week testing.
Commuter students to submit an initial negative COVID PCR or antigen test result to the Wolfie Health Portal taken within 5 days prior to their first day on campus, and to be vaccinated or subject to weekly testing.
Employees to be vaccinated or subject to weekly mandatory testing, among other requirements, in accordance with the NYS mandatory vaccine requirement, currently under negotiation. Vaccinated employees will also be subject to monthly surveillance testing.
Tracking and tracing for those who test positive, to ensure prompt isolation and quarantine.
Consistently aligning with State and local (Suffolk County) Department of Health Guidance. Currently, both State and local health authorities are requiring those who are unvaccinated to wear masks indoors.
Prioritizing these three areas, we are prepared to start the fall semester in a safe and healthy manner. To help ensure we are doing all we can to accomplish this, we are requiring, effective tomorrow, August 3, through Tuesday, September 7, that all faculty, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, wear facecoverings while inside campus buildings. This includes classrooms, hallways, libraries and other common spaces, as well as SBU buses and shuttles. Facecoverings are not required inside personal rooms, suites, or apartments in residence halls, or while eating in on-campus dining areas. With this and other areas, we will continue to monitor, adapt and respond to changing data and guidance, keeping you informed as situations evolve.
We’d like to close with a few important notes about vaccines …
If you are vaccinated and have not already done so, please upload your vaccination status to the Wolfie Health Portal at https://stonybrook.medicatconnect.com/.
Vaccines are the strongest weapon we have in the fight against this pandemic. If you have not already done so, we are offering vaccination PODs this week and next week on campus. Please visit the Student Health Services website for dates and times: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/studentaffairs/shs/august_vaccine_pods.php
Stay healthy and help us stay #StrongerTogether this fall.
Rick Gatteau, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs
Marisa Bisiani, DNP, ANP-BC
Assistant Vice President
Student Health, Wellness, & Prevention Services