COVID-19 Campus Resources

Returning to Campus: What Students Should Know For Fall 2021

As of August 21, 2021, students are required to be vaccinated. See the Mandatory Vaccination Policy below. Students, faculty, and staff should refer to the COVID-19 SharePoint site for the latest information on policies and procedures as well as the July 28 and August 9 memos from Dr. Heath. Email remains the primary form of communication with the campus community.

Mandatory Vaccination Policy for Students (Updated 8/24/2021)

This policy adopts the State of New York directive that public colleges and universities mandate that all students who intend to engage in-person at a SUNY campus or facility must receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Non-Vaccinated Individuals Testing Plan

Weekly surveillance pool testing is required for unvaccinated students, residents, staff, and faculty who are regularly on campus. Nurse Gomez sends regular correspondence via email and maintains an updated resource file for off-campus testing available to the campus community through SharePoint.

SUNY COVID-19 Daily Tracker

SUNY is tracking testing and positive instances on all 64 campuses with updates posted to the dashboard daily. To view SUNY College of Optometry specific information, select Optometry from the list in the left-hand column after clicking the link above.

SUNY Optometry Academic and Campus Operations

The SUNY College of Optometry is following the guidelines provided by the Department of Health, CDC, SUNY system, and other appropriate regulatory bodies. Details regarding campus operations have been communicated to the SUNY Optometry community through regular email communication. Operations are subject to modification based on changing circumstances and any additional guidance issued. Changes in operations will be communicated primarily by email.

The following are our guiding principles for decision making as we develop policies and implement appropriate regulations and guidance:

  • The safety and well-being of our students, staff and patients come first;
  • The professional and personal success of our students through the continued delivery of our educational programs with on-time completion is paramount;
  • Maintain the fundamental mission of the College, providing the broadest access to world-class teaching, research and eye care services to the public;
  • Providing quality care for our patients through telehealth and in-person services, while using proper safety equipment and processes;
  • Maintain the essential infrastructure and preparedness needed to ensure we are ready to deliver our educational, research and patient care programs as the conditions around the pandemic change.
  • Ensure flexibility and agility in adapting to changing environmental conditions, balancing the needs of the College’s workforce and students with our patient care obligations to the public.

We take all claims of exposure and possible infection of COVID-19 very seriously. We have done our best to remove or prevent any symptomatic persons from being on campus, implemented social distancing (including fewer people present), and increased cleaning. If we have a suspected case of COVID-19 infection or exposure, we will:

  • Ask the individual to remain home or leave campus immediately.
  • Immediately disinfect the area(s) with which this person may have had in contact.
  • Follow all Department of Health guidelines, including any instructions they provide when we call for guidance.
  • Require that symptomatic people remain away from campus until all symptoms have cleared and their doctor has indicated they may return to work.
  • Follow DOH guidelines, and inform anyone who was in direct contact with the diagnosed individual of their potential exposure.

We are taking all reasonable measures to ensure the health and well-being of our community, and we will continue to keep you updated as circumstances change.

Key Campus Requirements

Everyone is REQUIRED to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in public spaces such as the lobby, elevators, classrooms, and labs as well as in all clinical spaces regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated individuals are REQUIRED to properly wear a mask covering their nose and mouth for the duration of the time they are in the building and maintain social distancing if possible.
Remain off campus if symptomatic or feeling ill.

Practice Good Health Habits:

We ask that all campus community members and visitors practice good health habits to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases as recommended by the CDC and WHO:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for staying healthy
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.

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