Coronavirus Information

Monitoring developments related to the Coronavirus and responding as needed is a top campus priority. We are working very closely with local and state health departments and are implementing all recommendations of SUNY, the New York State Department of Health, and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

If you are experiencing respiratory symptoms such as a dry cough, fever or difficulty breathing, please call ahead to your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center so we can prepare for your visit and offer further advice.  The telephone number to the Student Health Center is 516-876-3250.

COVID-19 FAQs

What is the current status of COVID-19 in New York State?

Visit the New York State Department of Health’s Novel Coronavirus web page for the latest information on the status of COVID-19 in New York State.

What is the current status of COVID-19 at the Old Westbury campus?

Two cases of students within the Old Westbury campus community have reported positive diagnoses for COVID-19 (as of March 25, 2020). Both students are under doctors' care and are following directives from their respective departments of health. Use the menus on this page to read dated campus updates for more information about the campus’ response to COVID-19.  If you have not done so, please also sign up for Emergency Alert Communications from the campus.

What should I do if I have been in contact with someone who has this Coronavirus?

If it has been 14 days or less since you have been in direct contact with someone who has been found to have COVID-19, you should immediately self-quarantine yourself for a period of 14 days, whether you have symptoms or not. Should symptoms be present or begin to develop, you must contact your personal healthcare provider immediately. Employees must report to their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources if they have symptoms of the virus and then must follow the Governor's guidance for state employees. Students are asked to call the Student Health Center to report a positive test for COVID-19 or a situation that has resulted a mandatory or precautionary quarantine.  Be sure to follow CDC recommendations on what to do if you've been exposed to the virus.  

Is the campus closed?

No. However, effective March 16 and until notified otherwise, campus offices and services are minimally staffed. In keeping with the directive of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, all non-essential employees of SUNY Old Westbury will not report to work at least until April 15, although new directives may change that status. If you have an immediate question or need, please call or email the office responsible, as all emails and calls are being monitored.

Are classes canceled?

No, classes are not canceled for the semester. Spring Break was extended for an extra week, with classes scheduled to resume on Monday March 30. We are working to modify instructional modes in classes to comply with New York State, SUNY and CDC guidelines.  After Spring Break, most classes will move to an alternative form of delivery, including online. This will allow classes to continue while reducing social density and unnecessary travel. There is still some possibility of some classes having some face-to-face activity in small group situations.  This situation is rapidly evolving and may change. We will continue to monitor this situation.  Students should check their campus email regularly for updates from their faculty.

How will classes continue?

Faculty have developed plans to transition classes to one alternative method of instruction or another. Contact the professor for each of your classes for details about how to complete the work for each course.

How is attendance being tracked for the rest of the semester?

Please contact your instructor for updated information on attendance policies.

What if I don’t have access to the internet?

Internet service is available on campus. Some companies are offering additional free services to help finish the school year. Samples of such resources are available on the college website.  All students are asked to complete the Technology Needs survey, the results from which will be used to determine supports the College might need to provide to ensure the highest quality academic experience possible. To ask questions or report issues with the functionality of Blackboard or the campus email system, please send an email to servicedesk [at] oldwestbury.edu.

Will professors be available outside of class time (especially adjuncts)?

All faculty will be available via email.  Some faculty will be available via virtual meetings, using tools such as Collaborate or MS Teams, and may maintain virtual office hours. Some faculty will be available on campus for individual or small group meetings, following all CDC guidelines for social distancing.  Contact your professor for further guidance on their plans.

Is the library staying open and, if so, what are their hours?

The Library is closed to visitors until further notice. Electronic resources of the Library are available 24 hours a day. All librarians are available for help electronically, via email or virtual meeting.  See the Campus Library webpage for more information.

Will the computer and science labs still be open?

Since every attempt has been made to provide alternatives for face-to-face laboratory instruction, please contact your professor before visiting the campus. To adhere to state guidelines that require social distancing and limiting non-essential travel, no science labs will be open on campus. NAB computer labs 0104 and 0105 will be available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Occupancy limits are in place and social distancing practices will be required of visitors to those labs. 

How can I access software I need to use for my classes (e.g. Adobe Photoshop)?

In developing their plans for alternative instructional methodologies, your faculty are being mindful of maintaining access for all students. Some faculty may alter their assignments to incorporate readily available software or materials. We are striving to ensure that access to programs such as Adobe is available for all students who are required to use it.

How will we take exams?

This will vary from class to class.  Your faculty member will provide guidance on how to take exams.

How can I get an advising appointment with my faculty or staff advisor?

Please contact your advisor via email or Navigate. Advising sessions will be conducted remotely using phone, Zoom, MS Teams, etc. Please visit Access to Resources for Spring 2020 to see how advising and the many other resources available to you can be contacted for the remainder of the semester. 

How can I remove my advising hold if my professor (faculty advisor) is not on campus?

Contact your advisor via email or Navigate. Advising sessions can be conducted remotely (phone, Zoom, Collaborate, etc.) and the faculty member can then have the advising hold removed. Please visit Access to Resources for Spring 2020 to see how advising and the many other resources available to you can be contacted for the remainder of the semester. 

Can I still come to campus?

To maintain social distancing protocols recommended by the CDC and other health agencies, we encourage students not to come to campus and to communicate via email and phone whenever possible.  Many offices have been required to reduce staffing on campus, but faculty and staff are monitoring all electronic communications remotely. However, if you must come to campus, strict social distancing practices must be followed. Effective March 24, campus entrances along the L.I.E. service road will be closed until further notice.  Additionally, the main gate on Route 107 will be staffed by University Police 24 hours a day and ALL individuals arriving to campus, whether faculty, staff or students, must display through their window a valid Old Westbury identification card to be permitted onto campus. Some delays entering campus must therefore be anticipated. These steps are being taken to reduce the number of unanticipated guests on campus as we work to meet the State’s social distancing expectations.

Will the Commencement ceremony still be held?

The 54th Commencement Ceremony of SUNY Old Westbury has been postponed. An announcement about a rescheduled date will be made to all members of the Class of 2020 and the campus community when available.

Can I stay in the residence halls?

In an effort to significantly reduce the population density on campus and ensure social distancing measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we made the difficult decision to close on-campus housing. Students who had special circumstances, including international students and students where other safe living and dining arrangements cannot be made, have already been provided with the dispensation to stay on campus and no further applications are being accepted at this time. 

Can guests visit in the residence halls?

As an additional safety precaution, for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, those residents able to live on campus may not host off-campus guests or visitors (daytime, evening or overnight) in their room, or common areas in the building, unless assisting with move-out. For the remainder of the spring semester, unless otherwise noted, any student found in violation of the Guide to Campus Living or Code for Student Conduct will likely be placed on immediate interim suspension pending a hearing.

Will the college be refunding money for food and housing for people who move out of the residence halls?

We are waiting for final Federal, New York State and SUNY guidance on how financial adjustments related to room, board and some fees will be applied to students' accounts. Once we have that information, students will be notified of the amount of the credit that will be applied to an account. A refund will be processed for graduating seniors and distributed either by e-refund or check. All adjustments will be made at the end of the Spring 2020 semester. Questions on credits and refunds should be directed to covid_financial [at] oldwestbury.edu.

Will tuition be refunded?

No. Since students will be able continue the academic semester via online classes supplemented with alternative modes of instruction such as video, teleconferencing, delivery of materials  by mail and email, etc., no refunds will be provided.

Will there be access to food on campus?

The Market in the Student Union Building will be available on campus but strict adherence to social distancing protocols is expected.

Is the College Bookstore open?

The campus bookstore in the Student Union will be closed with a tentative plan to reopen on April 6, 2020. The bookstore will continue to accept orders via its website for delivery, though you may experience longer shipping times than ordinary. Any returns shipped to the store will be processed when the store reopens. Please watch for further updates.

Will summer classes be canceled?

No. However, all courses offered in summer 2020 will be presented through distance learning and other alternative instructional modalities. Face-to-face instruction, if it occurs at all, will be minimal and will be subject to established social distancing protocols. Please visit the Summer Session-related webpages for updates.