At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY Empire State College quickly transitioned to 100 percent online and distance learning and instituted a series of support initiatives to keep our students on track despite new disruptions to daily life. As we approach fall, SUNY Empire is preparing for a return to some in-office work and face-to-face instruction. The following plan has been approved by the State University of New York. Please note that these plans are subject to change due to new information, guidance, and direction from the state.

 

Fall 2020 Term Action Plan at a Glance

Approx. 10-25% of workforce returns to in-office work at one of our locations for the fall term

Academic instruction predominantly online with some limited study groups that will meet face to face

Downstate faculty continue to provide virtual support for students in their independent studies

Limited operations at our Saratoga location, where much of our student support administrative actions occur


SUNY Empire’s Fall 2020 Term Action Plan

SUNY Empire has more than 30 campuses and learning hubs spanning every region of New York state. When it is safe to do so, the locations marked in blue below will be open for students, faculty, and staff on a limited basis. The remaining locations will remain in a fully distance learning model for the fall term.


Locations that will be open on a limited basis:
  • Student Center at 111 West Ave. in Saratoga Springs
  • Capital Region Campus at 113 West Ave in Saratoga Springs
  • 2 Union Ave. Administrative Offices in Saratoga Springs
  • 3 Union Ave. Information Technology Services Office in Saratoga Springs
  • Finger Lakes Campus in Rochester
  • Long Island Campus in Selden
  • Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany
Locations that will be fully distance learning:
  • Albany
  • Alfred
  • Auburn
  • Batavia
  • Binghamton
  • Brooklyn
  • Buffalo
  • Canandaigua
  • Corning
  • Dunkirk
  • Fort Drum
  • Garden City
  • Harry Van Arsdale Jr. School of Labor Studies
  • Hartsdale
  • Hauppauge
  • Ithaca
  • Johnstown
  • Lakewood
  • Latham
  • Manhattan
  • Newburgh
  • Olean
  • Plattsburgh
  • Queensbury
  • Riverhead
  • Sanborn
  • Schenectady
  • Staten Island
  • Syracuse
  • Utica
  • Watertown

We anticipate that approximately 10-25 percent of the college’s workforce will return to one of our open locations during the fall term. Staff will not be allowed to utilize any of the locations that are not part of the modified reopen schedule. In limited circumstances, faculty and staff may request special dispensation for extraordinary circumstances.

Downstate faculty will continue to provide virtual support for students in their independent studies.

Student 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:

  • Student services
  • Academic support
  • Computer labs

Location Expectations and Protocols

Social Distancing and Face Coverings

  • All students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be required to adhere to social distancing restrictions and wear face coverings in public areas and in individual office spaces (unless alone)
  • SUNY Empire employees are required to wear face coverings when in direct contact with members of the public
  • reasonable accommodation request will be needed if wearing a face covering would inhibit or impair the employee’s health

Personal Protective Equipment

  • PPE will be available to all students, staff, and faculty who enter into one of our open facilities
  • PPE will be distributed at the entrances to all of our buildings and shall include masks and hand sanitizer
Protocols for locations that will be open on a limited basis:
  • No more than 25% personnel
  • Only personnel designated by the college as mission critical
  • Pre-approval required
  • Staff may be placed on staggered work schedules
  • Wearing of masks at all times except when alone
  • Student services by appointment only
  • Meetings will satisfy social distancing protocols
  • All faculty, staff, students, and visitors will sign in upon entry to all SUNY Empire buildings to assist identification in the event that contact tracing or other emergency notification is required.
  • Classrooms, computer labs, and all meetings rooms are arranged to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines
  • Office space in the college will be designed and marked to ensure path-of-travel as well as entrance and exits to avoid two-way doorways
Office space protocols:
  • Shared offices will be reduced to a single person
  • Employees in cubicle space, if deemed mission critical, will have staggered work times to limit density
  • Bathrooms will be addressed by closing every other stall and sink
  • Floors will be marked for path-of-travel to paper towels and garbage receptacles
  • All employees will be required to follow good hygiene and infection control practices including hand washing, encouraging staff to stay home when sick, and encouraging proper respiratory etiquette for coughs and sneezes
Protocols for out-of-state travelers:
  • Any visitor, student, or employee at a SUNY Empire location who is traveling from or has visited one of the states listed in the New York State Department of Health's COVID-19 Travel Advisory must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
  • All travelers from out of state must complete the New York State Department of Health's Traveler Health Form. The form may be completed online, or a student, employee, or visitor may take a screenshot of the final page of the form and submit it to Director of Operations Antonio Bazzoffi at antonio.bazzoffi@esc.edu.

Who is Mission Critical?

  • In conjunction with Human Resources, directors and program leaders will determine which employees are necessary to carry out the mission critical functions of each department.
  • The Office of the President has final authority on designations.

Vulnerable Populations

  • SUNY Empire is able to accommodate students and employees that are concerned about returning to on-site work and studies due to health concerns and personal circumstances
  • Accommodations may include but are not limited to: use of remote working agreements, online courses, staggered work schedules, and reasonable accommodation requests

Testing and Tracing

two screenshots from COVID tracking app
  • We will continue to work closely with local health departments to participate in the region’s contact tracing program in case of any COVID-19 positive cases.
  • Any individual may get a COVID-19 test at a state location. Find a testing site near you.
  • A mobile application (shown at right) has been developed by SUNY that will aid in the screening and tracking of employees reporting to on-site work. It is also available as a web-based application.
  • SUNY Empire will utilize this technology to ensure that we are meeting our density targets as well reaffirming our daily COVID screening questions.
  • This application will help us work with state and local health departments’ contact tracing program to ensure the fastest possible notification in the event of a positive case.

Cleaning Protocols

SUNY Empire Leased Space
  • Each custodial service provider (external contractor) will be required to submit their COVID cleaning protocols and procedures to the Office of Facilities, which will review each plan to ensure it complies with New York State and SUNY Empire guidelines and maintain a copy on file. Checks will be completed by the Office of Facilities and the Office of Safety and Security to ensure quality control on at least a monthly basis.
  • SUNY Empire cleaning staff will coordinate their daily cleaning schedules based on pre-approved staff that are working on site and the surrounding common areas. The custodial staff clean and disinfect common areas including entrance doors, kitchens and bathrooms on a daily basis.
  • SUNY Empire will continue the cleaning and disinfection of high-density and high-touch areas at an increased frequency. These areas include building and elevator lobbies, restrooms, common area furniture and fixtures, countertops, shared conference spaces, and building mats and handrails. Office of Human Resources will coordinate with Facilities regarding supplemental cleanings as part of contact tracing and suspected infected employee or student protocols.
  • HVAC/air filtration systems are tested on a regular preventative maintenance schedule. SUNY Empire also works closely with property management staff to ensure that all leased properties also are in compliance with air quality regulations and preventative maintenance
SUNY Empire Owned Space
  • SUNY Empire cleaning staff will coordinate their daily cleaning schedules based on pre-approved staff that are working on site and the surrounding common areas. The custodial staff clean and disinfect common areas including entrance doors, kitchens and bathrooms on a daily basis.
  • SUNY Empire will continue the cleaning and disinfection of high-density and high-touch areas at an increased frequency. These areas include building and elevator lobbies, restrooms, common area furniture and fixtures, countertops, shared conference spaces, and building mats and handrails. Office of Human Resources will coordinate with Facilities regarding supplemental cleanings as part of contact tracing and suspected infected employee or student protocols.
  • HVAC/air filtration systems are tested on a regular preventative maintenance schedule and will be maintained in compliance with state regulations and guidelines. SUNY Empire also works closely with property management staff to ensure that all leased properties also are in compliance with air quality regulations and preventative maintenance

Campus Activities

  • Campus activities will be moved to virtual for fall 2020.
  • There may be some special exceptions, which must be approved by the Office of Administration.

Transportation, Mail and General Delivery Services

SUNY Empire continues to provide mail services to all of our locations twice per week and will expand this service to three days per week when limited staff return to on-site operations. The mail room sorts the mail by department and scans documents to the requisite departments based on their instructions.

Shutdown Contingency Plan

In the event the State of New York determines there is a significant risk of a second phase of COVID-19 to students and staff at higher educational institutions, SUNY Empire has prepared a Shutdown Contingency Plan that is activated under the direction of the college president.

The scope of the plan includes the administrative operations of the college as well as academic activities, including those performed online or from a distance. An essential component of the plan is mission critical activities (MCAs). These are activities that cannot be stopped for the given time period and examples include the disbursement of financial aid, student academic services or the disbursement of employee paychecks.

The plan is based on a process that can be followed to activate continuity measures within 12 hours of notification.

Campus Planning Task Force

SUNY Empire has created a planning task force including representatives from every area of the college. The group also represents every geographic region that makes up SUNY Empire’s footprint. The task force will review the Onsite Restart Plan every two weeks and adjust protocols and procedures as necessary.

Task Force Members:

Antonio Bazzoffi

Jennifer Bent

Eric Bridges

Joseph Centanni

Diane Conard

Joan Dubois

David Fullard

Julie Gedro

Treavor Gilday

Andrea Hennessy

Lindsay Holcomb

Jillian Johnis

Jeanine Jones

John Lawless

Deborah McEligot

Tracey Meek

Todd Myles

Robin Oliver

Constance Rodriguez

Sadie Ross

Debbie Staulters

Kim Stote

Heather Trela

Lauren Webb

Chris Whann

LeeToya Young

 

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 Operations Antonio Bazzoffi at antonio.bazzoffi@esc.edu.

Media: Contact Director of Communications Jamie Tario at jamie.tario@esc.edu

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