What You Need to Know About COVID-19 at SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College is taking proactive measures to protect the safety and security of students, faculty, and staff while closely monitoring the development of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The college is in close contact with SUNY System Administration and the New York State Department of Health and will share updates and new guidance quickly with the SUNY Empire community. 

In order to help reduce density, most of our campus locations will follow a distance learning model beginning March 17, 2020 and continuing through the Spring 2021 Term. Some locations began to phase-in employees and staff in Fall 2020. During Summer 2021, SUNY Empire State College will initiate a phase-in of the rest of its faculty and staff, planning for return to full-time onsite work by August. This will also coincide with a transition from appointment-only student visits to full walk-in service. For further details, please review these important documents:

Return to Onsite Work Report (PDF 418kB)

Return to Onsite Work Location Plan (PDF 676kB)

Return to Onsite Work FAQ (PDF 242kB)

Updated May SUNY Mask Guidance (PDF 315kB)


For additional location-by-location guidance, please review 

SUNY Empire's Return to Onsite Work Plan

With the anticipated expiration of the telecommuting agreement on July 2 and the fall semester beginning in September, the phase-in window is small. To best accomplish a phased-in return to onsite work, we asked supervistors and department leaders to place staff into two groups in each location: Group A and Group B. In order to better accommodate employees and reduce building density, groups will go to work on consecutive two-day blocks. To facilitate a smooth return, we have developed the following guidelines and phases:    

Phase 1    

Who:    

Notes:    

Phase 2    

Who:    

Faculty on reading period may remain on reading period and are expected to return to their onsite locations at the end of reading period. However, faculty are welcome to use their offices as needed. For access, please email:COVID@esc.edu. 

Notes:    

Meetings may take place, and should be limited to room capacities and socially distanced. SeNYSDOH Guidance. 

Phase 3    

Who:    

Notes:    

Phase 4    

Who: 

Notes:    

Locations in Transition:    

During the past year, SUNY Empire has closed certain locations. If you have a question regarding your new onsite location, or are not certain about where you should report, please reach out to the Office of Human Resources.    

We are currently finishing construction projects at several new locations, which may cause a delay in opening at these sites specifically:  

Student Support Services

SUNY Empire continues to offer robust student services virtually, including:

At the limited-open locations noted above, we will offer the following in-person services by appointment only:

Mental Health Resources

In addition to the mental health resources that SUNY provides all students, as well as our own health and wellness offeringsSUNY Empire also partners with ThrivingCampus, an application providing access to local mental health professionals. This application allows students to find local mental health options by filtering for the types of requirements they are looking for in a mental health provider. Students without health insurance are able to find providers who work on a sliding scale based upon income for payment.  

Testing and Tracing

Fully vaccinated employees will be exempt from mandatory weekly testing, once they provide documentation showing they’ve completed a full vaccination series. Employees can provide proof of vaccination by scanning and submitting a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or proof of vaccination from the NYS Excelsior Pass to Kyle Parker (kyle.parker@esc.edu) in the Office of Human Resources.

Weekly COVID testing will be required for ALL onsite employees and students  who are not vaccinated.  Test kits will be made available to all employees and students per set schedule outlined below. Per SUNY guidelines, COVID testing will need to be submitted once a week. Tests are submitted to testing labs. Depending on the size of your location, you will be using either a pooled or individual testing protocol.  

Pooled Testing 

Pooled testing combines test swabs from several people, which are then tested in a single batch.  Here is the process for pooled testing:    

You will be notified only if your pool tests positive.  

If your pool tests positive, you will hear from contact tracer and be required to quarantine until the positive test(s) is identified, which usually takes a day or two. Positive tests will be reported to your county health department.  Those who test positive will be interviewed for contact tracing purposes and required to quarantine at home for 10 days from the date of the positive result. If you are negative in that pool and were not in close contact with the positive test, you may return to work the next day. 

Anyone identified as being in close contact for a prolonged period with the individual who tested positive will be required to quarantine for 10 days, unless vaccinated and showing no symptoms (based on current guidance). 

Individual Testing 

Individual testing is done on one person at a time. The process is:  

You will be notified only if your pool tests positive.  

If your individual test comes back positive, you will hear from a contact tracer and be required to quarantine. Positive tests will be reported to your county health department.  Those who test positive will be interviewed for contact tracing purposes and required to quarantine at home for 10 days from the date of the positive result.  

Anyone identified as being in close contact for a prolonged period with the individual who tested positive will be required to quarantine for 10 days, unless vaccinated and showing no symptoms (based on current guidance). 

 

SUNY Empire State College is taking proactive measures to protect the safety and security of students, faculty, and staff while closely monitoring the development of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The college is in close contact with SUNY System Administration and the New York State Department of Health and will share updates and new guidance quickly with the SUNY Empire community.

Summer/Fall 2021 SUNY Empire Reopening Plan

SUNY Empire State College has developed its Summer and Fall 2021 Reopening Plan. Please continue to check back for updates based on the latest CDC, state, and SUNY System Administration guidance.

Read the plan

SUNY Empire COVID-19 Emergency Educational Grant

Our Emergency Educational Grant program has helped more than 900 SUNY Empire students continue their academic pursuits despite new financial challenges imposed by the pandemic. While funds for the fall term have been awarded, we are still accepting gifts.

Students, please continue to check back for updates on the availability for new awards

Support the Effort

Important Resources

The SUNY Empire State College community is volunteering, organizing, and donating their time and services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read about the good work being done across the state.

Contact Us with Questions or Concerns

Students: Contact the Student Information Center at 1stop@esc.edu or 1-800-847-3000, ext. 2285.

Employees: Contact Director of Facilities Joshua Fleming at joshua.fleming@esc.edu.

Media: Contact Assistant Vice President of Communications and Marketing Solomon Syed at solomon.syed@esc.edu@esc.edu

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