Protect Each Other

Green logo reading Defend the Den Against COVID-19

"Defend the Den!" Help our community stay safer and decrease the spread of COVID-19 by making these behaviors part of your routine.

Get Tested

SUNY Old Westbury is conducting surveillance testing for COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff to maintain an understanding of the status of the disease in our community and to learn early on of any cases that might lead to spread.

As the fall semester comes to a close, all students who engage in classes between November 8 and 18th will be required to participate in testing as per the new SUNY Testing Policy for Departing Campus in Fall 2020 policy.  All faculty and staff on campus between November 15 and 25th will be encouraged to participate as well.

Read complete details of the program.

Feeling Sick? Stay home.

  • Before you leave home, do the Daily COVID-19 symptom self-check in the ConnectOW portal every day.
  • Stay home and contact the Student Health Center or your health care provider if you are sick or experiencing any symptoms.


New information about COVID-19 symptoms is being confirmed often. As of this writing, common COVID-19 symptoms include the following. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever 
  • Cough (new or worsening)
  • Trouble breathing (new or worsening)
  • Shortness of breath (new or worsening)
  • Chills
  • Muscle or body aches (new or worsening)
  • Headache (new or worsening)
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Make sure you’re taking care of your mental health and wellness, too. 

Masks: Fully Cover Your Nose & Mouth

It’s required that you wear a face mask whenever social distancing isn’t possible. This includes hallways, lounges, elevators and other shared and communal spaces.

Learn More About Masks

Face masks (preferably cloth) are mandatory in New York State and at SUNY Old Westbury to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Check back shortly for campus recommendations and distribution sites.

New York State 's Public Service Announcement about wearing a mask

Keep Things Clean

Wash your hands frequently, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow.
  • Dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Hand Washing

Make sure you’re washing your hands correctly.

Proper handwashing is always the preferred method for infection control. When that is not possible, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Wash hands frequently and thoroughly (20 seconds) using soap and warm water.

The most important thing to do in restrooms is to wash your hands immediately after using the facilities.  

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer dispensers are available campus-wide, including:

  • in high-traffic customer service locations
  • in unit or department locations recommended by the Maintenance and Facilities Department
  • in all campus dining facilities.

Cleaning Surfaces

Frequent handwashing and cleaning of work spaces will reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Disinfect Your Surroundings

College Facilities staff works hard to routinely clean and disinfect spaces across campus in accordance with CDC guidelines. But we all need to do our part and wipe down personal work surfaces and commonly touched areas to stop the spread of illness.

Keep your personal and shared workspaces clean by wiping down with disinfectant wipes or sprays at the start and end of every work shift. The College has these supplies available to offices so request what you need from the Maintenance & Facilities Department.

Clean common areas and equipment immediately before and after use, including frequently touched surfaces (e.g., tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, touch screens, printers/copiers, and coffee makers).

Disinfect commonly used/shared items such as:

  • Computers, keyboards, mouse
  • Coffee pots, water spigots, water fountains
  • Lab equipment
  • Remote controls (clickers) in shared meeting spaces
  • Workshop tools
  • Copier keyboards
  • Phone dials and panels

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person, rather than via contaminated surfaces, according to the CDC.

How to Disinfect Surfaces

Simply wipe down with an antibacterial wipe or alcohol-based spray. Allow the surfaces to remain wet for three to four minutes before allowing them to air dry or wiping away. Discard wipe or paper towel immediately after use; wash hands.

Key Contacts

  • Maintenance and Facilities Department
  • Office of Environmental Health and Safety
  • Office of Human Resources



What’s the current status of COVID-19 at SUNY Old Westbury?

Currently, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 on campus.

Do I need to get a COVID-19 test?/What kind of health care screening will be done?

The answer depends on your role on campus.  SUNY Old Westbury is conducting COVID-19 testing as a means to survey the prevalence of the disease within our community. Each week, students who visit campus will be tested for COVID-19 at random and all faculty and staff who come to campus will be urged to undergo testing multiple times during the remainder of the semester. The College will collect samples using nasal swabs. This form of testing was selected due to the reduced number of people visiting campus during the semester and to ensure the fastest, most accurate results for all in our community. For details, visit the COVID-19 Testing page.

If the screening tells me not to come to campus does that count as an absence in class or are we able to continue that day’s work from home? 

Absences will be excused. Students who experience this situation should contact his or her professor about alternate work arrangements.

If I am not feeling well or showing a symptom, do I go to Student Health for a test?

No. Please call the Student Health Center for instructions. The Center is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. The Center is not conducting COVID-19 testing since many laboratories are performing antigen and antibody tests free of charge. These tests are much more sensitive than any testing we are authorized to do on campus.

Who do I inform on campus if I am positive for COVID-19?

Please notify the Student Health Nurses. The nurses will track students testing positive and provide follow-up. If consent is given, the nurse will gladly notify student's professors so arrangements can be made. The health and safety of our students is our top priority and the Student Health Center staff is here to help in any way possible.

Will I need to wear a mask in class? In the hallways/bathrooms?

All who come to SUNY Old Westbury will be required to wear masks or other face coverings if they can medically tolerate doing so. Masks/face coverings will be required in all common areas including elevators, lobbies, hallways, restrooms, when traveling around offices, etc., and in any instance indoors or outdoors where social distancing of 6-feet between parties cannot be achieved (including classrooms and laboratories).

How often will the classrooms be wiped down?

Spaces used for facilities-dependent courses will be thoroughly cleaned after each use. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Maintenance & Facilities Department are coordinating on a staggered schedule for those spaces so that no concurrent use of such facilities takes place to allow time for cleaning. 

Will there be wipes in each classroom if students/faculty choose to wipe down their space?

The College welcomes everyone’s helping in creating a safer environment. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Maintenance & Facilities Department are developing a plan to make wipes available through the academic departments for classroom and lab spaces. Wipes will also be made available to administrative offices upon request.

How often will the restrooms and elevators be sanitized?

Restrooms and elevators are among the spaces that are a priority for cleaning and will be serviced multiple times in the workday. Bathrooms in occupied facilities will be cleaned at least three times daily, as per CDC guidelines.

Will more hand sanitizer be available in the buildings?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers are already located in most public spaces on campus. This supply is being augmented by the installation of more dispensers during the summer, especially in such areas as building entrances/exits and major points of reception.

Is the COVID-19 hospital being used on campus?

The Alternate Care Facility built on campus in the spring has not been used to date. Governor Cuomo has directed that the facility stay in place and be ready to function through the coming flu season in case the spread of COVID-19 worsens.