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Collage of activities like donation drives and virtual gatherings taking place at SUNY schools in response to COVID19 outbreak.
Health Alert - Novel Coronavirus

Message from Chancellor Kristina Johnson 


Dear SUNY Students,

Community Response to COVID19

See what SUNY campuses, students, and faculty are doing to come together and help recover from the COVID19 crisis.

When you chose SUNY as the place to pursue your college and career ambitions, you became part of the SUNY family. We made a commitment to you to support you along the way and that commitment remains – especially now during these challenging times. While on campus, you've made friends, developed traditions and enjoyed expanding your vision of what the world is and your unique role in it. I've heard from many of you regarding the anxiety and uncertainty you feel about your future, so I would like to offer a few thoughts and give you my personal support because that is what family does for one another.

Your safety and well-being are our number one priority. That is why we decided to cancel or postpone all study abroad programs, extended spring break up to a week, and encouraged those of you who can stay at home or with friends to not come back to your campuses until further notice. We took this action to blunt the spread of the COVID19 by reducing the density of exposure.

As part of our commitment to your academic pursuits, we worked over the past year to upgrade our online learning platform which is now accessible to provide you the tools to complete your coursework remotely. While the learning environment is different, you will have the network and backing of all of SUNY at your fingertips to help you finish the semester. And for seniors—don't worry. If necessary, we will reschedule your commencement to make sure you walk across the stage and we proudly celebrate your accomplishments. It is also important to mention that you will receive credits or refunds for the services that you do not use this semester, such as room, board and activity fees.

As a result, campus life has been turned upside down. I know what that is like. When I was at university, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph system. It was also a major disruption that took six months of my life to overcome. What got me through it was the strong support of my family and my college network of friends, colleagues, and faculty. That same network will help support you through the COVID19 crisis.

Your SUNY family is here for you. The SUNY system and each campus president, the faculty and staff are committed to supporting you and to delivering a great education. I will continue to communicate with you weekly, and with your presidents daily. I encourage you to reach out for support. While everything may seem different, take comfort in the things that remain the same—studying, completing projects and connecting with each other virtually. Together we will get through this and come out even stronger. I promise you.

Take care of yourselves, your family, your friends, your SUNY.

Sincerely,

Kristina M. Johnson, PhD. 
Chancellor, The State University of New York

 

 

SUNY's response to COVID-19

  

For Immediate Assistance

New York State Coronavirus health hotline:
888-364-3065

Call with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms

 
Resources for Remote Learning:
Open SUNY and SUNY Online - Leading Learning and Teaching

The entire SUNY system is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the action steps being taken will be updated continuously as the situation evolves. The World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus as a pandemic, and we recognize that this virus is rapidly spreading across communities at home and abroad. SUNY is taking all the necessary precautions to protect our students. SUNY is and will continue to abide by all guidelines recommended by the New York State Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control. SUNY is comprised of 64 campuses, and each campus will be working with system administrators to develop plans tailored to the risk level in their area. Information will be forthcoming to students before they return to campus.

We have compiled helpful FAQs for both students and their families below:

 

Campus Operations

SUNY campuses are limiting exposure to the coronavirus by transitioning in-person classroom instruction to distance learning education. This is taking place during an extended spring break. Campus officials are currently assessing student needs, faculty are reviewing their curriculum, and spaces are to receive enhanced cleaning.

Students are being discouraged from returning to campus until further notice. Campuses remain open to accommodate those students with special circumstances: international students and students where other safe living and dining arrangements cannot be made or have limited or no access to technology may return to campus facilities.

SUNY campuses are not closed, but campuses are transitioning in-person classroom instruction to distance learning education so students can get their education remotely. Students are being discouraged from returning to campus until further notice. Campuses remain open to accommodate those students with special circumstances: international students and students where other safe living and dining arrangements cannot be made or have limited or no access to technology may return to campus facilities.

Yes, all campuses are following the same guidelines while addressing the specific student needs on campus, and in consultation with their local public health official. Each campus will make the transition to online or other distance learning programs following an extended spring break to reduce campus density. Before students continue their studies, they will be informed on what to expect, including any changes to schedules and operational processes.

SUNY is aware of cases at certain campuses. In each case, the school has alerted students, faculty, and staff. For information about a specific campus, please visit their website.

No, health facilities are open to help those students with special circumstances who need to stay on campus.

SUNY campuses are not closed, but campuses are transitioning in-person classroom instruction to distance learning education so students can get their education remotely. Students are being discouraged from returning to campus until further notice. Campuses remain open to accommodate those students with special circumstances: international students and students where other safe living and dining arrangements cannot be made or have limited or no access to technology may return to campus facilities.

Campuses are making arrangements for students to retrieve their belongings. In the meantime, their belongings will remain safe on campus. Please contact your campus for further details.

There will be food service, mainly take out, on campus for essential employees and students with special circumstances who need to stay on campus. Please contact your campus for details.

Campuses are making significant changes to stop the spread of the coronavirus including restricting visitors. Please contact your campus for more details.

SUNY stands ready to do everything it can to help Governor Cuomo's efforts to support the state's public health system in dealing with the increase in novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

Classes

Most classes will be transitioning to distance learning education, including SUNY's online platform, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, email, and even traditional mail. Campuses are taking all measures to limit the need for in-person classes. Laboratory instruction, for example, is also being reviewed to be taught remotely where possible, and, if not, campuses will follow social-distancing protocols of less than 10 students per lab and more than 6 feet separation between lab benches and benches must be wiped down after each use. Campuses will contact students with further details.

Distance learning will be in place until further notice. The safety and well-being of students is our first priority.

SUNY is strongly discouraging students from doing so. Most classes will be transitioning to distance learning education, including SUNY's online platform, videoconferencing, teleconferencing, email, and even traditional mail. Campuses are taking all measures to limit the need for in-person classes.

Yes, please visit https://innovate.suny.edu/covid19/students/, developed by the SUNY Online team, for resources to help with online learning. These include: Resources for Success in Your Online Course; Resources for Active Military and Veteran Students; Mental Health, Nutrition, and Technology Resources; as well as links to the Support Guides for Working with Blackboard, brightspace, Canvas, and Moodle.

In addition, the Open SUNY Helpdesk is available to assist students at all campuses with technical support, including how to access their courses using online tools/technology. Access the helpdesk at: https://online.suny.edu/help/.

 

SUNY has organized live, drop-in, sessions via Collaborate to assist students with the transition to remote course instruction. Sessions are staffed by SUNY personnel familiar with how to quickly address common student questions about participation in online/remote courses, connect students with technical support for remote access to their courses, and point them to appropriate campus resources.

Staff will continue to be available at the days and times listed below:

  • Monday - Friday 7:00AM - 12:00AM Midnight EST
  • Saturday 10:00AM - 5:00PM EST
  • Sunday 1:00PM - 9:00PM EST

Visit http://innovate.suny.edu/covid19/students to register for a session.

Most answers to questions about technology can be found at https://innovate.suny.edu/covid19/students/.

If you don’t have a computer, you should contact your campus IT department. SUNY System has ordered 7,000 laptops to help campuses with their computer loan program for students. We are also working on internet access issues for both faculty and students.

These unwanted intrusions (also known as "Zoom bombings") are most likely a result of the way a Zoom session was set up and the way the link is being shared. Here’s how you can mitigate Zoom bombings:

  • Set up Zoom sessions to require passcodes beyond the meeting ID. Allow only signed-in users to join.
  • Share the Zoom link through your LMS course site, which requires a user ID and password.
  • If faculty are sharing information about Zoom sessions in email, do not include the Zoom link or passcode to the Zoom session. Let students know they have to get into the LMS course site to access the Zoom session.
  • Do not use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI). Instead, use randomly generated meeting ID and passcode for each course.
  • Use Zoom’s waiting room feature, which allows the host to approve each person who enters the room.

Additional guidance is available in this recently posted blog on how to prevent Zoom bombings: https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-the-party-crashers-from-crashing-your-zoom-eve.

We will also highlight these issues and strategies in future Zoom trainings and webinars through the SUNY Remote Teaching Clinic.  

For additional help, faculty may wish to join the Faculty ID Drop-in Sessions at https://innovate.suny.edu/covid19/course-support-session/.

Please report all Zoom bombings to Ken Runyon at 518-320-1368 or ken.runyon@suny.edu.

Events

SUNY campuses will be limiting large gatherings in consultation with their respective local public health department.

The coronavirus may affect spring commencements. Graduation ceremonies will be held for graduating students at some point.

Health

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing but do not always require emergency care. If you do not need urgent care, stay in your home or dorm room, and do not go into public. Follow CDC guidelines for good hygiene.

Call your doctor to discuss your symptoms and recent travels. Do not go to your doctor or campus health center without calling first. Avoid contact with other people and pets.

Monitor your health, and call your healthcare provider or your campus health center immediately if you develop symptoms, such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Follow the directions of your healthcare provider and/or the local health department.

Practice good hygiene, which includes frequent handwashing, and social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away). Follow CDC recommendations on what to do to prevent household and community spread.

Contact student services, your healthcare provider, and the local health department, and alert them of the results. Strictly follow their directions, which may include self-isolating until symptoms subside. The campus community will be notified that someone on campus has tested positive.

If you are on campus, contact your student health center or counseling center for assistance. Campus counseling centers are still providing service online and/or over the phone, and seeing students residing both on and off-campus. You can also find resources about emotional well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak from your local health department or your primary care doctor.

Additional information:

 

Financial Impacts

SUNY will be transitioning in-person classes to distance learning, or other appropriate modalities, so that students may continue to have their educational needs met for Spring 2020. Therefore, it is SUNY's expectation that all students will have the opportunity to complete their educational requirements.

Students living on campus prior to the COVID-19 crisis will receive a refund or credit for housing fees and meal plan fees (if applicable) based on the proportionate time between when they leave campus housing -- or as cleared by Residence Life -- and the end of the spring term.

Students living off campus with meal plans will receive a refund or credit for the unused portion of their meal plans.

Students may also receive prorated refunds or credits for certain other fees for services that have been discontinued due to the COVID-19 emergency.  Campuses will communicate with students as further details are finalized.

 

Study Abroad

COVID-19 is a global issue, and therefore SUNY leadership guidance reaches beyond its physical infrastructure to locations outside the United States where SUNY students participate in study abroad programs. Ensuring student safety and success is a priority for SUNY.

SUNY has determined that it is necessary to cancel all campus-administered study abroad programs for the 2020 spring semester in response to the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak. This means that program participants in all countries have been returning to the United States, including students who are studying in countries at low risk for the virus.

Campuses and SUNY System Administration are actively working on course/credit recovery options for all students. SUNY is also working with Federal and State officials to understand policy flexibilities to accommodate students with financial aid due to these exceptional circumstances.

We have compiled helpful FAQs about study abroad for both students and their families below:

SUNY campuses are considering options to help students finish the semester. Those options include distance learning programs.

SUNY is taking every measure to resolve or minimize any impact.

SUNY and campus representatives are in close communication with students so they understand why they should return to the United States. The global impact of coronavirus is unknown, so bringing back students is a necessary precaution. Students will not be penalized academically, and SUNY is working to mitigate the academic and financial hurdles caused by the cancellation of these study abroad programs.

Travel guidance has been changing, so please contact your campus before travelling. They will be able to inform you about what to expect when returning to the United States.

SUNY has cancelled student study abroad for Spring 2020 and Summer 2020. SUNY is closely monitoring the evolving situation and had not yet made a determination about the Fall.

 

International Students at SUNY during New York State PAUSE

New York State is on PAUSE, which means that all non-essential workers are directed to work from home, and everyone is required to maintain a 6-foot distance from others in public. If you have questions regarding immigration status, travel, employment and campus operations you must reach out to your international student services office for advice and guidance.

Immigration Status

U.S. universities received guidance from the Department of Homeland Security that allows students to continue this semester's courses online without jeopardizing their immigration status. The Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP) has confirmed that "If a school closes temporarily but offers online instruction or another alternative learning procedure, nonimmigrant students should participate in online or other alternate learning procedures and remain in active status in SEVIS." Furthermore, SEVP confirmed that international students may take full-time courses online either from within the U.S. or from abroad. This means that to maintain your immigration status you need to participate in online learning, continue to be enrolled full-time, and make normal progress toward your degree. Regardless of where you are participating in online classes, your immigration status will remain active.

On March 13, the U.S. government announced that as long as you maintain full-time enrollment online during the COVID-19 emergency, there will be no negative impact on your immigration status, even if you depart the United States and complete your classes via distance education from elsewhere. This temporary provision is in effect for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

If you are maintaining full-time status until the end of the Spring Semester, then you are entitled to your annual summer vacation. According to the immigration regulations, an F-1 or J-1 student is in status during the annual (or summer) vacation if the student is eligible and intends to register for the next term. If you maintain your immigration status, the 5-month rule does not come into effect. Remember that when classes resume in person, you must return to campus to maintain your immigration status.

Travel

Most SUNY campuses will be able to work with you to ensure there are accommodations for housing.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict if and when further restrictions will be put in place by the U.S. Administration for travelers returning from high risk countries.

You need to check the travel and visa restrictions that may be in place at the time you are planning to travel as the situation is changing daily. If you are currently outside the U.S. or plan to travel outside the U.S., we recommend that you continue to monitor travel updates by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). As of March 18, 2020 routine U.S. visa issuance has been suspended worldwide and daily restrictions on travel are being implemented.

You may stay in the U.S. on an expired F-1 or J-1 visa as long as you maintain your immigration status by being in possession of a valid I-20 or DS-2019 and by meeting normal enrollment requirements. (Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S.)

 

News and Resources

Stay up to date with the latest news and resources on SUNY's efforts against the COVID-19 coronavirus:

 

More health advisories:

Mumps and Zika Advisories