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January 1, 2022

 

Subject:  Important COVID Updates - What You Need to Know and Do for Spring ‘22

Dear Seawolves, 

Happy New Year! Last semester, we successfully worked together to minimize COVID infection rates on campus. As we begin the winter session and prepare for the spring semester, we will again need everyone’s help given the Omicron variant and the sharp increase in COVID cases in the country. While preliminary data shows that Omicron results in mild symptoms for vaccinated and boosted individuals, it is still important to take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs and keep our community safe and healthy.

As guidance evolves, we continue to periodically adjust some of our COVID policies and procedures. For Spring 2022, this includes a required booster, a negative COVID test before coming to campus, surveillance testing during the spring semester, and updated quarantine and isolation protocols. Please take the time to carefully read the FAQs and details below. If you have any general questions, please email studentaffairs@stonybrook.edu . If you have vaccine booster specific questions, please email vaccinations@stonybrook.edu .

If you are living on campus, in signing your housing agreement, you acknowledged the potential for changing COVID policies. Campus Residences will not consider financial appeals to end agreements on the basis of these latest policy changes.

 

COVID VACCINE BOOSTER REQUIREMENT

Is a COVID vaccine booster required for the spring semester?

Per New York State’s mandate, if you are living on campus, enrolled in at least one in-person class, or accessing in-person services or facilities at any Stony Brook campus, you are required to obtain a COVID vaccine booster as soon as you are eligible in order to continue your spring enrollment at Stony Brook. If you are eligible now based upon the details below, you must obtain a booster and submit proof to the Wolfie Health Portal by Thursday, January 20. If you are not yet eligible, you must submit proof within 15 days of becoming eligible for a booster. 

If you already have an approved medical or religious exemption, you are not required to obtain a booster, but must test weekly as noted below. If you do not already have an approved medical or religious exemption, you are required to obtain the booster. 

If you are a fully online or study abroad, non-residential student, and will not access in-person campus services or facilities for the Spring 2022 semester , please complete this SPRING 2022 attestation by Thursday, January 20 . We will review your registration to verify that you are, in fact, enrolled in fully online classes or studying abroad. If you complete the attestation and you are enrolled in any in-person classes as noted on SOLAR, you will not be permitted to continue in those in-person classes.

 

When am I eligible to receive a booster?

Per CDC guidelines , you are eligible (check the link for specific age requirements and vaccine options) to receive a COVID vaccine booster as follows:

*Given the updated guidance regarding boosters, we strongly recommend students get their booster 5 months after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, but will allow up to 6 months as the deadline to receive the booster as initially communicated.

Where can I obtain a booster?

To find a COVID vaccination site near you, visit vaccines.gov . In New York State, you can get your booster at various state-run COVID vaccine sites . You can also get a booster at your local pharmacy. Appointments may be required, so check with your pharmacy for details. 

Student Health Services will also be offering boosters over the next several weeks. Please visit their website for details.

How do I submit proof of my booster?

Upon receiving your COVID vaccine booster, please upload this additional vaccination documentation to the Wolfie Health Portal within 2 days, but no later than Thursday, January 20 .  

If your eligibility date is after January 20, upload your booster vaccination confirmation to the Wolfie Health Portal within 15 days of becoming eligible

If you do not receive a booster and submit proof within 15 days of becoming eligible, you will not be permitted to continue enrollment in in-person spring classes and will not be permitted to utilize any in-person campus services until you submit proof. If you live on campus, you will be required to move out of the residence halls until you submit proof of receiving the booster.  If you are deregistered from in-person classes or are required to move out of the residence halls for not submitting proof of your booster, you will be held financially responsible for tuition, fees, room, and board.

 

COVID SURVEILLANCE TESTING 

Should I get a COVID test on campus if I recently tested positive for COVID or am currently sick?

Surveillance testing is an important tool that we utilize for well, asymptomatic students to help keep our campus community safe. For the safety of others, do not come to on-campus COVID testing centers if you have had COVID symptoms in the last 10 days or have tested positive on a home rapid test, antigen test, or PCR test in the last 90 days.    If you do not feel well or have COVID symptoms, please contact Student Health Services at (631) 632-6740.

 

COVID TESTING REQUIREMENT DURING WINTER SESSION

What COVID testing is required over the winter break?

If you are currently on campus or will be coming to campus during the winter session, either as a resident or commuter, you are required to participate in Winter Session surveillance testing. Please visit the Student Health Services website for information about the schedule and locations. 

 

COVID TESTING REQUIREMENT IF I’M NOT YET ON CAMPUS

What COVID test do I need to take and when do I need to take it if I’m not yet on campus, but will be returning between today and the start of the spring semester?

For everyone’s safety, as you plan your return to campus anytime from today through the start of the winter or spring semester, you are required to get a COVID test (PCR or antigen/rapid) and produce a negative result. This test must be taken no more than 3 days prior to move-in (for residential students) or your first day of in-person winter or spring classes (for commuter and off-campus students) .  

Given the recent high demand for COVID tests, plan ahead and make an appointment in advance with a local provider. If appointments are not available, you can purchase at-home test kits from your local pharmacy or online sites, and take a photo of your negative test results. If you plan to order an at-home test, we recommend doing so now given the high demand. 

Please bring your negative test result with you when you come to campus and have it available to show to Student Health Services or Student Affairs staff.

If you are an HSC, medical, or dental student who has classes that begin on Monday, January 3, or a West campus student taking an in-person class that begins on Tuesday, January 4, please obtain a negative COVID test before coming to campus or within the first few days of your arrival.  DO NOT come to campus if you are not feeling well or have any COVID symptoms. 

Note that Student Health Services will not be offering COVID tests to students prior to their return to campus. Student Health Services offers and requires periodic COVID testing during the semester once students are on campus.

 

What if I test positive for COVID or have tested positive in the last 90 days?

If you test positive, please isolate yourself in your home for the duration of time required by your state or local health department . After the required time and if you’re not showing any symptoms, please obtain a note from your healthcare provider stating the date of your positive test result and that you are symptom-free. Upon receipt of this note, you are eligible to attend in-person classes, access in-person campus services and facilities, and move into your residence hall if you are living on campus. 

  If you have tested positive for COVID in the last 90 days, do not obtain a new test. Instead, obtain a note from your healthcare provider stating the date of your positive test result and that you are symptom-free. 

SPRING COVID TESTING

What are the COVID testing requirements for the spring semester?

Commuting to Campus: Vaccinated commuter and off-campus students must participate in on-campus surveillance testing once a month. Unvaccinated commuter and off-campus students who received a limited exemption are required to get tested once a week. To view the full schedule, testing locations, and hours of operation, visit: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/studentaffairs/shs/services/COVID_Testing/Index.php  

We carefully monitor testing compliance.  If you do not comply with your required testing, you will be referred to Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Living on Campus :  Vaccinated residential students must participate in on-campus surveillance testing every other week. Unvaccinated residents who received a limited exemption are required to get tested once a week. To view the full schedule, testing locations, and hours of operation, visit: https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/studentaffairs/shs/services/COVID_Testing/Index.php  

We carefully monitor testing compliance.  If you do not comply with your required testing, you will be referred to Residential Conduct and Community Standards.

 

What if I test positive for COVID?

If you test positive for COVID, call Student Health Services at (631) 632-6176 and leave a message. A contact tracer will return your call and advise on appropriate next steps. If you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention right away. In case of emergency, contact University Police at (631) 632-3333 if you are on-campus, or call 911 if you are off-campus.


QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION PROTOCOLS

We are awaiting guidance from the New York State  Department of Health (NYSDOH) to inform us if they will be following the  recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in shortening isolation restrictions for those who are infected with COVID-19 from 10 days to five days. As of today, 1/1/2022, NYSDOH has adopted this recommendation for essential work personnel. 

What if I commute to campus and test positive for COVID and need to isolate or quarantine?   

You must establish a plan to quarantine/isolate off-campus should you test positive for COVID, or have an approved COVID vaccine exemption and be exposed to a COVID-positive individual.  Note that COVID-positive individuals cannot take public transportation. Y ou will need to isolate yourself for the duration of time noted by your local health department . After this period, if you have no symptoms, you can return to the campus and in-person classes.  


What if I live on campus, test positive for COVID and need to isolate or quarantine, and have a home address within a 50-mile radius of Stony Brook?

You must establish a plan in advance to quarantine/isolate off-campus should you test positive for COVID, or have an approved COVID vaccine exemption and be exposed to a COVID-positive individual. If you have a home address that is within a 50-mile radius of Stony Brook, you will be required to quarantine/isolate at home (or other safe off-campus location), and should proactively determine travel arrangements with family members since COVID-positive individuals cannot take public transportation. You will need to isolate yourself for the duration of time noted by your local health department.  After this period, if you have no symptoms, you can return to your residence hall and in-person classes.  If you have a vulnerable or high-risk individual in your household, the Contact Tracing Team will discuss ways you can isolate yourself at home utilizing safety precautions.

 

What if I live on campus, test positive for COVID and need to isolate or quarantine, and have a home address beyond a 50-mile radius of Stony Brook?

Based upon the recommendation of Student Health Services, including your campus living situation and symptoms, and if your home address is beyond a 50-mile radius of campus, you may either be instructed to isolate in your room or isolate in a designated campus residence hall for the duration of time required by New York State’s health department. After this period, if you have no symptoms, you can return to your in-person classes.

 

FACE COVERINGS

When and where must I wear a face covering?

Regardless of vaccination status, you must wear face masks/coverings while inside all University and Hospital buildings. This includes classrooms, hallways, libraries, and other common spaces, as well as Stony Brook buses and shuttles. Face coverings are not required while eating in on-campus dining areas or, for resident students, inside your personal residence hall room. Masks are not required outdoors, but please wear one if you are in a crowd and cannot maintain physical distance.

 

RESIDENTIAL GUEST POLICY  

If I am living on campus, what is the guest policy?

Given the Omicron variant, we will have a limited guest policy from now through at least the first two weeks of the semester:

  • Each resident is permitted to have one resident guest. 
  • No overnight guests are permitted in campus residence hall rooms, suites, or apartments. 
  • Non-resident guests are not permitted, including commuter or off-campus students, family members, or friends, except when moving a student into the residence halls.

We will continue to monitor infection rates and send you an update by February 4 regarding any modifications to the guest policy. 

Thank you for your continued commitment to ensuring the health and safety of our campus community. We will keep you informed of additional updates throughout the semester.

Sincerely,

Rick Gatteau, PhD
Vice President for Student Affairs

Marisa Bisiani, DNP, ANP-BC
Assistant Vice President 
Student Health, Wellness, and Prevention Services

Catherine-Mary Rivera
Assistant Vice President for Campus Residences