Fall 2022 COVID Guidance

​For Fall 2022, SUNY Old Westbury continues to follow all public health and state guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic as we seek to provide an engaging, dynamic educational experience for our students while maintaining the safety of our campus community as our first priority.

Should revisions or additions to the requirements and guidance outlined here be warranted, such information will be announced to the campus. 

​For Fall 2022, SUNY Old Westbury continues to follow all public health and state guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic as we seek to provide an engaging, dynamic educational experience for our students while maintaining the safety of our campus community as our first priority.

Should revisions or additions to the requirements and guidance outlined here be warranted, such information will be announced to the campus. 

Information for Students

SUNY Old Westbury continues to successfully navigate the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. The cooperation of all associated with campus will allow us to move even further towards a more traditional, extensive, and meaningful educational campus experience. 

The State University of New York system is continuing its policy that requires all students engaged in in-person learning or having any on-campus presence to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. If you are already vaccinated, please submit your Proof of Vaccination to the Student Health Center by emailing studenthealth@oldwestbury.edu

Students who provided evidence of vaccination for classes taken during the 2021-2022 academic year do not need to resubmit. 

VaccineS & Boosters

All SUNY students who plan to have an on-campus presence, including any use of campus facilities, must comply with the SUNY COVID-19  Vaccination Policy. Such students may receive any of the three vaccines available in the United States (i.e., Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson).

Students must be fully vaccinated and submit proof of complete vaccination by emailing a picture of your CDC vaccination card to studenthealth@oldwestbury.edu.

 All evidence of vaccination submitted will be verified via the New York State Immunization Information System.

Residential students cannot move onto campus and no student, whether living on or off campus, can begin classes or other activities that have an on-campus component unless they are fully vaccinated.

The deadline for all students to submit evidence of vaccination to the Student Health Center is 4 p.m. on Monday, August 15, 2022.

To be considered fully vaccinated by the first day of the semester, you must have received your inoculations to allow for sufficient time for both a possible second dose and a 14-day period after the last vaccination in the series.

No remote learning options are available for students who do not want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of any courses already offered remotely. 

Students may not request a change in course modality to avoid receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, and faculty may not accommodate such requests received. 

Students who will have an on-campus presence who fail to comply with the vaccine mandate and are not approved for a medical or religious exemption will be disenrolled from in-person classes subject to the College’s withdrawal liability policies

Requirements for Special Services and Programs 

Internships & Field Experiences

Students must follow the COVID-19 related health and safety guidelines, including COVID-19 vaccination, for the third-party location at which their placement/engagement is scheduled to take place. This relates to such experiences as student teaching, field experience for applied learning internships and licensed professions, corporate and private sector internships, etc. 

The College reserves the right to issue further guidance regarding these and other programs as conditions created by the pandemic warrant. 

Booster Requirement

All students are strongly encouraged to stay up to date on their COVID-19 boosters as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including obtaining any booster authorized by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and recommended by the CDC for their age group. 

Those who have received or do receive booster doses should update their records with the Student Health Center by forwarding updated vaccine information as soon as possible to the Student Health Center via studenthealth@oldwestbury.edu.

Vaccine Verification & available Exemptions

All evidence of vaccination submitted to the campus is verified against the New York State Immunization Information System.

Medical or religious exemptions may be requested by qualifying students.  

  • Deadline to have a Fall 2022 religious or medical exemption request considered: August 15, 2022  

Students who were approved by SUNY Old Westbury for a religious exemption during the 2021-2022 academic year do not need to re-apply for Fall 2022.

Requests received after August 15, 2022 will only be considered if those requests come from a student newly admitted to the College for Fall 2022.  

All medical exemptions approved for Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 are being reviewed and students who were approved for medical exemptions for the Spring  or Summer2022 will be informed by the Student Health Center of the status of the exemption. 

Students with approved medical or religious exemptions for a Fall 2022 session should be aware that they may be excluded from all in-person classes and activities at the College’s discretion should a COVID-19 outbreak occur at the campus.

Students with approved exemptions must also undergo regular COVID-19 testing (once per week). Students must test regardless of their class schedule (i.e. missed classes or a change in class meeting times/schedules are not permitted as an excuse for missing testing) as students with exemptions are still able to use resources on campus such as tutoring, office hours and the library. Failure to test will result in conduct proceedings and could lead to College suspension.

If you have questions please email covid19-remote@oldwestbury.edu

  • Medical Exemption: Medical Exemptions must come from a licensed healthcare provider (MD, DO, NP, PA).  
    Access the Medical Exemption Form (PDF)
  • Religious Exemption: Students who hold genuine religious beliefs that are contrary to COVID-19 vaccination must fill out a religious waiver. The student must explain how receiving the COVID-19 vaccination conflicts with the student’s deeply held religious belief or practice. 
    Access the Religious Exemption Form (PDF)
NET and Remote Students (Online Student Exemptions)

Students whose entire class schedule is comprised of NET and Remote courses may apply for a Summer 2022 Remote Exemption. 

This option is only available to commuter students. Registration in any course taught in-person, as a hybrid or as a blended course nullifies eligibility for this exemption.

Any student applying for and receiving this exemption will agree not to have a physical presence at any SUNY Old Westbury owned facilities, including for the purpose of classes or accessing on-campus services, for the duration of the 2022 spring semester.  

Access the NET/Remote Exemption Request Form (PDF)

Submit signed forms to covid-19-remote@oldwestbury.edu.

covid-19 testing
Required Testing for Those Without Vaccines

Weekly testing is required for those students with approved medical or religious exemptions.

Students must test regardless of their class schedule (i.e. missed classes or a change in class meeting times/schedules are not permitted as an excuse for missing testing) as students with exemptions are still able to use resources on campus such as tutoring, office hours and the library. Failure to test will result in conduct proceedings and could lead to College suspension.

Testing will be available as follows:

  • Wednesdays from 12 p.m.-4 p.m., Student Union Room 210
  • Thursdays from 12 p.m.-4 p.m., Student Union Room 210 

Antigen (rapid) testing with same day results will be used for on-campus testing. Students and staff will self-test. Please be prepared to spend approximately 30 minutes at the testing site to conduct your test and receive your result.

Students who choose to use an off-campus provider should submit the results of a PCR COVID-19 test no later than the Wednesday of the following week to remain eligible for access to campus. Results can be sent to the Student Health Center via studenthealth@oldwestbury.edu.  

masking

 CDC has rated Nassau County's transmission rate as MEDIUM (as of Sept. 22, 2022). Based on guidance from the CDC, SUNY Old Westbury is operating in a mask optional status for all facilities, except as follows:

  • in an instructional setting when required by the instructor
  • in a healthcare setting (i.e., Student Health Center, Office of Counseling and Psychological Wellness, COVID-19 testing site)
  • if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, wear a mask, get tested immediately and self-quarantine while you await results.
  • if you test positive and must be isolated (i.e., you will also be required to mask for five days after ending isolation, days 6-10).

NOTE: This status is subject to change at any time depending on evolving metrics and conditions. If infection numbers increase, the College may reinstate further the mask requirements on campus.

All on campus are strongly encouraged to consider masking and all other methods that provide vigilance regarding COVID-19 safety on our campus and in the community.

Further, it is important to remember that some members of the campus community (students, faculty, staff, and visitors/guests) may choose to continue wearing face masks because of COVID-19 or for any number of reasons. Other individuals value masking as a way to remain healthy and prevent other respiratory illnesses. Some may just feel more comfortable wearing a mask. In addition, a mask should not be interpreted as a symbol of vaccination status. Welcoming and accepting those who wear masks on campus is an important part of being a caring and respectful community.

In addition, and as mentioned in the bulleted list above, individual faculty retain the right to mandate masks in their classroom, and do not need to offer a justification, as discussion of such factors could raise privacy concerns. Reasons could include health concerns of faculty or students in the class, or those who have vulnerable family members.
 
Please note that failure to comply with the mask requirements as noted here will result in a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, which may result in sanctions that include suspension from class and the campus.
 
feeling ill

Any student within the campus community should not report to work or class if they are sick or feel sick.

Prior to returning to campus after an illness you should consult with your healthcare provider in order to determine that it is safe to do so.

Students who are unable to attend a scheduled face to face class session are required to notify their course instructor and Student Health Center.

covid-19 positive test results

The campus' Student Health team will contact any students who receives a positive test result through any campus testing program.

Students who receive a positive test result through off-campus testing must contact the Student Health Center immediately. 

Due to federal HIPAA laws, the identity of those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 cannot be disclosed and the College is limited in the amount of information it can make public in such situations.

Isolation and Quarantine Responsibilities
  • Students who are not feeling well should not attend classes or congregate with others and should contact the Student Health Center for guidance. 
Isolation Following Positive Test Result  

Individuals symptomatic of COVID-19 are expected to isolate until their COVID-19 test results are known, at which time they will be instructed on the next steps to be followed.  

In the event of a positive test result, a minimum of a 5-day isolation period would be required. 

Upon a positive test, commuter students and faculty/staff would be expected to self-isolate in their homes. Residents of campus residence halls who are required to either quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure or a confirmed diagnosis will have the option to conduct that quarantine or isolation period at home or to be moved to space that has been reserved for such purposes in the Academic Village Residence Halls.  
 

Quarantine Guidelines Following Exposure 

Those individuals not fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but not yet been boosted who are found to have had recent COVID-19 exposure must wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure. Best practice also includes a COVID-19 PCR test at day 5 after exposure.   

Those individuals fully vaccinated and boosted or not yet eligible for a booster are not required to quarantine but should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure and area advised to test on day 5 after the exposure even if no symptoms are present.  ​  

Distancing

Physical distancing requirements are no longer in force. The College encourages all campus constituents to continue to do so when practicable and to respect others comfort level in regards to distancing.

Student COVID-19 Sanctions

SUNY Old Westbury remains committed to ensuring a healthy campus environment for all members of its community. The Office of Student Conduct intends to continue addressing COVID-19 related behaviors that threaten or endanger the health and safety of others. 

mental health

The Office of Counseling and Psychological Wellness Services (CPWS) remains committed to providing clinical services to the students of SUNY Old Westbury as we together adjust to the challenges posed by this pandemic. Supported via the Student Health Fee, these services are available for all students. 

Information for Faculty & Staff  

Employees who provided evidence of vaccination related to employment during the 2021-2022 academic year do not need to resubmit. Employees who have received booster doses since last updating their record with Human Resources are encouraged to submit updated information when available.

Masking

CDC has rated Nassau County's transmission rate as MEDIUM (as of Sept. 22, 2022). Based on guidance from the CDC, SUNY Old Westbury is operating in a mask optional status for all facilities, except as follows:

  • in an instructional setting when required by the instructor
  • in a healthcare setting (i.e., Student Health Center, Office of Counseling and Psychological Wellness, COVID-19 testing site)
  • if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, wear a mask, get tested immediately and self-quarantine while you await results.
  • if you test positive and must be isolated (i.e., you will also be required to mask for five days after ending isolation, days 6-10).

NOTE: This status is subject to change at any time depending on evolving metrics and conditions. If infection numbers increase, the College may reinstate further the mask requirements on campus.

All on campus are strongly encouraged to consider masking and all other methods that provide vigilance regarding COVID-19 safety on our campus and in the community.

Further, it is important to remember that some members of the campus community (students, faculty, staff, and visitors/guests) may choose to continue wearing face masks because of COVID-19 or for any number of reasons. Other individuals value masking as a way to remain healthy and prevent other respiratory illnesses. Some may just feel more comfortable wearing a mask. In addition, a mask should not be interpreted as a symbol of vaccination status. Welcoming and accepting those who wear masks on campus is an important part of being a caring and respectful community.

In addition, and as mentioned in the bulleted list above, individual faculty retain the right to mandate masks in their classroom, and do not need to offer a justification, as discussion of such factors could raise privacy concerns. Reasons could include health concerns of faculty or students in the class, or those who have vulnerable family members.
 
Please note that failure to comply with the mask requirements as noted here will result in a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, which may result in sanctions that include suspension from class and the campus.
Faculty Management of Classrooms in COVID-19 Times

SUNY Old Westbury remains committed to ensuring a healthy campus environment for all members of its community. Pursuant to guidance issued by the SUNY Chancellor’s Office, the Office of Student Conduct intends to address COVID-19 related behaviors that threaten or endanger the health and safety of others. 

Instructors are often best positioned to evaluate if a disruption warrants an escalation in action. Good faith efforts to resolve the matter at the lowest level possible is always encouraged. For those spaces where masks are required by the instructor, students should be reminded that masks are essential “no mask = no class.”

Faculty members can inform the student that wearing a mask is a health and safety requirement and the College will provide one if needed. If a student refuses the instruction, please inform them they are in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, which may result in sanctions that include suspension from class and the campus. If they still refuse, please report the student via the “COVID Policy Non-Compliance Reporting Form” available in the ConnectOW portal

feeling ill

Employees should not report to work if they are sick or feel sick.

Prior to returning to campus after an illness you should consult with your healthcare provider in order to determine that it is safe to do so.

Employees are required to contact the Office of Human Resources immediately if a COVID-19 positive diagnosis is received. 

COVID-19 Testing & Positive Test Results
Required Testing for Those Without Vaccines

Fully vaccinated faculty and staff are exempt from weekly testing once they have provided their COVID-19 vaccination documentation. Faculty and staff should submit their vaccination information to the Office of Human Resources via email to HR@oldwestbury.edu.

Required weekly testing of employees who do not provide evidence of vaccination to test weekly for COVID-19 concluded on August 31, 2022 with the expiration of agreements between SUNY and the union's representing its employees. 

Those employees experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home, be tested for the virus and, if having tested positive, report your condition immediately to the Office of Human Resources:

Due to federal HIPPA laws, the identity of those who are diagnosed with COVID-19 cannot be disclosed and the College is limited in the amount of information it can make public in such situations.

Distancing

Physical distancing requirements are no longer in force. The College encourages all campus constituents to continue to do so when practicable and to respect others comfort level in regards to distancing.

Isolation and Quarantine 
  • Employees  who are not feeling well should not attend work or congregate with others and should contact the Office of Human Resources for guidance.
Isolation Following Positive Test Result  

Individuals symptomatic of COVID-19 are expected to isolate until their COVID-19 test results are known, at which time they will be instructed on the next steps to be followed.  

In the event of a positive test result, a minimum of a 5-day isolation period would be required. 

Upon a positive test, faculty/staff would be expected to self-isolate in their homes.  

Quarantine Guidelines Following Exposure 

Those individuals not fully vaccinated or fully vaccinated and eligible for a booster but not yet been boosted who are found to have had recent COVID-19 exposure must wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure. Best practice also includes a COVID-19 PCR test at day 5 after exposure.   

Those individuals fully vaccinated and boosted or not yet eligible for a booster are not required to quarantine but should wear a well-fitting mask while around others for 10 days after the last date of exposure and area advised to test on day 5 after the exposure even if no symptoms are present.  ​  

vaccination 

The College urges everyone to take steps now to receive the COVID vaccine. It is free and will help ensure a safer campus for all who comprise our College community. Once you provide your proof of vaccination to the Office of Human Resources (via email to HR@oldwestbury.edu), you will be exempt from the required weekly testing.

Faculty & Staff send their proof of vaccination and updated information related any boosters to the Office of Human Resources via email to HR@oldwestbury.edu.

If you provided information for the 2021-2022 academic year, you do not need to resubmit. 

In-Person Meetings

In-person meetings are permitted, however the College strongly encourages the continued use of virtual meetings (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) where possible and practical. 

Campus-wide Guidance 

visitors

CDC has rated Nassau County's transmission rate as MEDIUM (as of Sept. 15, 2022). Based on guidance from the CDC, SUNY Old Westbury is operating in a mask optional status for all facilities. All who visit are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all indoor settings, no matter their vaccination status as it relates to COVID-19.

Campus Activities

Non-residential visitors to campus are allowed for campus events and activities. All visitors must adhere to six foot social distancing norms, where practicable.

Campus Offices

For guests of administrative and/or academic departments, the department(s) responsible for the invitation must ensure guests comply with campus policies and procedures while on campus, including those related to unvaccinated individuals.

Masks are required in administrative offices, except for employees when working alone in their workspace.

Campus Residence Halls

Please refer to the Guide to Campus Living for more detailed information about COVID 19 guidelines for residence hall visitation.

Access the Guide to Campus Living

Campus Transportation

The College Shuttle Bus will run on its regular schedule in concert with the College’s class schedule.

All drivers and riders have the option to wear face masks while on the shuttle bus, but masks are no longer required. Buses will be cleaned at the end of each driver's shift.

Reporting Violations

Along with providing the excellent instruction, dynamic campus life, and extensive student development opportunities for which the SUNY Old Westbury community is known, all members of campus community must do their best to ensure the health and safety of their peers, colleagues, and campus at-large.

In those instances where a member of the campus witnesses a violation the College’s announced COVID-19 practices – whether in class, in a public space, or otherwise on campus -- that they believe must be reported, please follow the procedures below:

  • Instances involving student conduct: Complete the “COVID Policy Non-Compliance Reporting Form” available in the ConnectOW portal
  • Instances involving employee conduct: Contact the Office of Human Resources via extension 3179 or email to HR@oldwestbury.edu