COVID-19 Campus Resources

Summer & Fall-COVID-19 Policies and Protocols (updated Jul. 18, 2022)

The above link references the College’s summer and fall COVID-19 Policies and Protocols. Students, faculty, and staff should refer to the COVID-19 SharePoint site for the latest information on policies and procedure. This site has the latest memos from Dr. Heath to the college community. Email remains the primary form of communication with the campus community.

To find information on the most common COVID related protocols, click on the links below:

Sick Protocol
Exposure Guidelines
Living with an Individual who has tested positive for COVID-19
COVID-19 Positive Protocol

Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for Students

The SUNY System Student COVID-19 Vaccine Policy requires all students who will have a physical presence on campus to provide evidence of, at minimum, the initial course of COVID vaccinations. Pursuant to the Policy, students are considered fully vaccinated: (1) two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two dose COVID-19 vaccine series or (2) two weeks after receiving a single dose COVID-19 vaccine. As per the NYSDOH, medical exemption requests only can be considered. Medical exemption requests can be sent to:

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

COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Plan

The College may implement a regular surveillance testing program of all individuals, regardless of vaccination status if local COVID-19 conditions warrant for the health and safety of our community. This may include regular testing of employees pursuant to a campus level labor management agreement

Event / Meeting Guidance 

All event planning should follow the event protocols announced on July 18th [event guidance]( As the health and safety of the entire SUNY College of Optometry community and guests is paramount, we have developed guidance to assist in the event planning process. All health and safety protocols must be followed. The guidance may be changed given the evolving nature of the pandemic, additional guidance by regulatory bodies, and/or an increase in risk factors. Additionally, events may be cancelled at the last minute if the situation is determined to be unsafe. A copy of the COVID-19 attestation for event coordinators can be found in the College’s COVID-19 SharePoint under the Documents tab and College events folder.

SUNY COVID-19 Daily Tracker

SUNY is tracking testing and positive instances on all 64 campuses with updates posted to the dashboard daily. To view SUNY College of Optometry specific information, select Optometry from the list in the left-hand column after clicking the link above.

SUNY Optometry Academic and Campus Operations

The SUNY College of Optometry is following the guidelines provided by the Department of Health, CDC, SUNY System, and other appropriate regulatory bodies. Details regarding campus operations have been communicated to the SUNY Optometry community through regular email communication. Operations are subject to modification based on changing circumstances and any additional guidance issued. Changes in operations will be communicated primarily by email.

The following are our guiding principles for decision making as we develop policies and implement appropriate regulations and guidance:

  • The safety and well-being of our students, staff and patients come first;
  • The professional and personal success of our students through the continued delivery of our educational programs with on-time completion is paramount;
  • Maintain the fundamental mission of the College, providing the broadest access to world-class teaching, research and eye care services for the public;
  • Providing quality care for our patients through telehealth and in-person services, while using proper safety equipment and processes;
  • Maintain the essential infrastructure and preparedness needed to ensure we are ready to deliver our educational, research and patient care programs as the conditions around the pandemic change.
  • Ensure flexibility and agility in adapting to changing environmental conditions, balancing the needs of the College’s workforce and students with our patient care obligations to the public.

We take all claims of exposure and possible infection of COVID-19 very seriously. We have done our best to remove or prevent any symptomatic persons from being on campus and ASTM level-2 face masks or better remain the required standard on campus for our students, faculty and staff. If we have a suspected case of COVID-19 infection or exposure, we will:

  • Ask the individual to remain home or leave campus immediately.
  • Immediately disinfect the area(s) with which this person may have had in contact.
  • Follow all Department of Health guidelines, including any instructions they provide when we call for guidance.
  • Require that symptomatic individuals complete their required isolation period and are cleared to return by either the COVID Nurse Coordinator or their doctor.
  • Follow DOH guidelines and inform anyone who meets the criteria of a close and prolonged direct contact with the diagnosed individual of their potential exposure.

We are taking all reasonable measures to ensure the health and well-being of our community, and we will continue to keep you updated as circumstances change.

Key Campus Requirements

Everyone is REQUIRED to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while in public spaces such as the lobby, elevators, labs as well as in all clinical spaces regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated SUNY members who have been granted a medical exemption or a temporary medical accommodation for the COVID-19 vaccine, are required to properly wear a mask covering their nose and mouth for the duration of the time they are in the building and maintain social distancing, when possible. Please remain off campus if symptomatic or feeling ill.

Practice Good Health Habits:

We ask that all campus community members and visitors practice good health habits to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases as recommended by the CDC:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for staying healthy
  • Stay Up to Date with Your COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.

Additional Resources: