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SUNY New Paltz Atrium

Coronavirus Information and Resources

Frequently Asked Questions
+  Is the College closed?

While the campus remains open, all buildings with card access will be locked to the public. All faculty, staff and students will need their New Paltz ID to access all exterior doors of those buildings (this is a similar process to our current weekend policy).

On June 17, 2020, Governor Cuomo's Office of Employee Relations announced the extension of the Telecommuting Pilot Program through Oct. 2, 2020.

The College is continuing to observe low-density staffing practices, and many offices and departments are closed or operating with reduced staff. Visit https://www.newpaltz.edu/officeclosings/ for the latest information about office staffing and contact information.

+  Will the College be open for the fall 2020 semester?

Yes, the New Paltz Forward plan to reopen our campus this fall has been approved by SUNY and New York State officials and published on our website.

The College has also published a number of Reopening FAQs to help campus community members digest the new policies and protocols outlined in the full plan.

Given the pandemic’s continued uncertainty, our approved campus plan is still subject to change due to new information, guidance and/or direction from the state. 

"We know this will not be like any other semester any of us have experienced," said President Donald P. Christian in announcing the New Paltz Forward plan to the campus community. "Our goal is to provide high-quality learning experiences in ways that prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff."

Some key takeaways for the fall 2020 semester at SUNY New Paltz include:

  • Classes will begin Monday, August 24, per our existing schedule, and instruction will cease on Wednesday, November 25. The final exam period will be on-line after Thanksgiving.
  • We will offer a mix of remote, online and face-to-face courses and employ strategies to appropriately support lecture and seminar-style courses, research activities, as well as lab-based and other face-to-face courses under strict social distancing, personal protective equipment and cleaning protocols from guidance provided by the Governor, New York State and Ulster County Health Department and SUNY,
  • Residence hall capacity will be reduced. Students will be required to quarantine for a period before the start of seated classes, per the Governor’s recent directive. International students must quarantine for two weeks upon arrival; those living on campus should arrive by Aug. 5. New students must quarantine at home for seven days prior to arriving on campus. New students will move in Aug. 16-18 and will be expected to comply with safe behavior measures and practices during their first seven days on campus. Returning students will move in Aug. 20-23 and will quarantine at home for seven days prior to arriving on campus.
  • All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks or other face coverings in classrooms, restrooms, elevators, lecture halls, common spaces, studios and labs whenever they are occupied by more than one person. 
  • All students will be required to complete a daily health screening (self-screening) and self- report. This screening will be required for two weeks prior to arrival on campus and for each day they will be on campus. Student Health Service will offer some COVID-19 testing. They will also be able to write prescriptions to allow students to get tested at community sites.
  • Employees will also complete a daily health screening, but we will not require employees to test prior to returning to campus.
  • A process to request ADA accommodations for faculty, staff and students who may have health issues that raise particular concerns related to COVID-19 is available. The college will also support, to the extent possible, employees with non-ADA, work-life balance concerns or general concerns about returning to campus.
+  What community resources are available to support students right now?

The Division of Student Affairs has compiled a list of local agencies and support networks that are open and providing valuable services to members of the public, including students.

Use this link to view the Local Resources List on the Student Affairs website.

The list is being updated regularly with contact information for organizations offering information about COVID-19; crisis intervention and assistance; help with food insecurity; substance abuse disorder treatment, including Narcan kits and training; resources for LGBTQ+-identifying individuals; and more.

+  What is the College doing to protect the community?

Consistent with SUNY and state guidance, the College implemented distance learning plans to reduce campus density through the end of the spring semester.

We are partnering with state and local health officials and have created a task force to provide guidance to campus units in preparing for any potential future occurrence of the virus in the region.

We continue encouraging all campus community members to wash their hands frequently with soap and water, and use hand sanitizer and wipes to avoid transmission of germs.

In addition to actively monitoring the latest developments in the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, the College is conducting cleaning across campus, including focused cleaning on high-contact areas like doors, handrails and public computers.

When we are alerted that a community member has tested positive, we are taking additional steps in any affected buildings, including temporary closure and enhanced cleaning by Facilities staff with appropriate training and Personal Protective Equipment, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.

The College maintains Emergency Response Plans for students and faculty that can be reviewed on our website. Additional resources are available at the webpages of the Office of Emergency Management and the University Police Department.

+  What do I do if I was exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19?

Follow this guidance provided by the NYS Department of Health here.

Student Accounts Credits and Refunds

+  Are students getting refunds or credits for unused fees for the spring 2020 semester?

Yes. As announced on May 12, 2020, SUNY New Paltz has been working with SUNY System Administration to determine a credit/refunding schedule specific to spring 2020 student charges most impacted by COVID-19, including room, meal plan and some fees (Athletic, Parking, Course Fees, etc.). 

The majority of eligible credits have already been applied to student accounts. Students can find revised invoices on my.newpaltz.edu.

Credit percentages are being assessed to the SPRING 2020 student accounts as follows:

  • *Room: 49%
  • *Meal Plan: Up to 49% (depending on actual Dining Dollar usage)
  • Athletic Fee: 49%
  • Course Fees: Individually calculated
  • Student Activity Fee: 17% (determined by your elected Student Association leadership)
  • Study Abroad Fees: Various – individually calculated by student

* If you were granted permission to remain in on-campus housing for the remainder of the spring 2020 term, you are not eligible for any room rental or meal plan credits/refunds. For others, certain scholarships and waivers, particularly those specific to room/meal charges, may impact the dollar amount credited to your account.

For questions related to the campus refund process, please email us at Covid19questions@newpaltz.edu.

+  Are international students eligible to receive credits or refunds for the spring 2020 semester?

Yes. International students should have received an email from the Center for International Programs (CIP) regarding the refund process. These students should please complete the information that CIP is requesting, and the College will follow up with refunds accordingly.

For questions related to the campus refund process, please email us at Covid19questions@newpaltz.edu.

+  Will the College offer refunds for spring 2020 tuition?

No. The College continued to deliver credit for coursework via distance learning and remote instruction, and faculty and staff took every available measure to ensure students continue to receive a high-quality education.

As a reminder, tuition at all State University of New York campuses is set at the state level. The SUNY New Paltz campus administration has no authority to raise, lower or otherwise adjust student tuition costs.

+  What resources are available for students in financial crisis?

The Student Crisis Fund provides quick-response, one-time grants in the event of a qualifying emergency. Funds can be used toward essential academic needs (books and supplies); replacement of lost or damaged items; or basic needs such as utilities, childcare, short-term housing or transportation. Average awards are $100-$1,000.

Click here for the Student Crisis Fund application.

Students with special circumstances are encouraged to contact Student Financial Services to learn more about what additional resources are available. Please note that the office is practicing social distancing strategies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). To help us maintain the best customer service possible, please submit any financial aid questions or concerns via e-mail to fao@newpaltz.edu.

Student Services

+  Are campus dining options open?

Limited dining options are open on campus, but will be to-go only until further notice.

Nester’s and Pomodoro’s are currently open with limited hours. Students must place to-go orders with the GrubHub app.

Click here to read more about how campus dining will work during the fall 2020 semester.

+  Who should I contact with questions about my meal plan?

Campus Auxiliary Services is available to help students with questions about campus dining and meal plans. Please direct questions to the following CAS staff:  

+  Is the Student Health Center open?

Yes, but effective March 18, the Health Center is no longer open to walk-in visitors. 

Only those who have called first and set an appointment will be allowed to enter the building.  

Students can call 845-257-3400 to set up an appointment at the Student Health Center. Phones will be on from Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–4:30 p.m. Saturday hours have been suspended until further notice.  

When you arrive to your appointment, please call the front desk at 845-257-3400 to let us know that you are here, and a staff member will come to the door and let you inside. 

+  Are any campus computer labs open?

Yes. The following computer labs will remain open effective March 30, 2020:

  • College Theatre 126
  • Wooster Hall 221 and 223
  • Resnick Engineering Hall 211/212
  • Science Hall 231
  • Coykendall science Building 55, 118/119 and 321
  • van den Berg Hall 221
  • Lecture Center and Wooster Hall kiosks

All other computer labs, including residence hall labs, will be closed.

Please use this link for more details on public computer lab hours of operation.

All computer lab spaces that are remaining open will be at 50% reduced capacity as part of the College’s social distancing practice.

Sanitizing supplies will remain available in open labs but will be removed from closed labs.

+  Can students and faculty still access textbooks and research materials?

The Library is here to support campus community members as they continue teaching and learning online.

For help finding e-resources like e-books, streaming video, and e-versions of textbooks, check out the E-Resources for Online Learning Guide.

Have a research question? You can still Ask a Librarian via email, text or phone. You can reach out any time but we’ll be able to respond the quickest during our Research Help Remote Hours.

+  Are any other resources available to students who have limited access to textbooks?

Yes. The campus bookstore is now able to offer free ebooks thanks to a partnership between Follett and RedShelf.

Students must use their “.edu” email address to access this program, and there is a limit of seven ebook units that can be borrowed per student.

To learn more about this program and borrow the free ebooks, visit www.sunynewpaltzshop.com.

+  Is the Disability Resource Center still open and operational?

Yes. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) will continue to provide services to students remotely. 

Please note that students should request support directly, as federal law prohibits staff from disclosing student information without the student’s expressed consent. 

Contact the DRC at drc@newpaltz.edu for more information. 

Use this link to learn more about how the Disability Resource Center will support students during the fall 2020 semester.

+  Can students still get support from the Career Resource Center?

Yes. The Career Resource Center (CRC) is available to help students practice for job interview, search for an internship, have their résumé reviewed or discuss graduate school options.

Students can schedule a virtual appointment to meet remotely with a career coach via phone, WebEx, Skype or Facetime. Use this link to learn more.

The CRC has also created a comprehensive page of available online services for students' convenience. See that list via this link.

+  Can students still get services from the Psychological Counseling Center?

Yes, the Psychological Counseling Center is open and offering services remotely.

Staff are responding to phone calls at (845) 257-2920 during regular business hours, Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Students who are experiencing a mental health crisis after business hours are encouraged to call University Police at (845) 257-2222 to connect with the Psychological Counseling Center’s emergency counselor.

+  Is the Campus Food Pantry still open?

Yes, but the Food Pantry is no longer accepting walk-in visitors as part of the College’s practice of social distancing.

The Food Pantry has created a Google Form for accepting emergency requests from students living off campus.

Access the Food Pantry emergency request form using this link.

Requests should be submitted Sunday – Wednesday to allow staff to gather items in a reasonable time frame. Students will receive email confirmation when their requests have been received and are ready for pickup. The confirmation email will include additional instructions for pickup.

The Food Pantry staff is available to answer questions at nppantry@gmail.com. You can also follow on Instagram (@nppantry) and Facebook (@SUNY New Paltz Food Pantry).

+  Is the University Police Department still open and operational?

Yes. UPD continues to operate with dispatchers on-duty 24/7 to answer calls.

However, as part of the campus-wide effort to practice responsible social distancing, UPD has restricted public access via the UPD Service Building entry doors.

In-person visitors to the station are asked to use the phone in the UPD Service Building vestibule, which will directly connect them with the dispatcher. Requests reported this way will either be handled over the phone, or by an officer who will meet the visitor at the vestibule phone.

As UPD works to limit unnecessary contact while still providing necessary police services for the campus community, the department asks that community members report less urgent matters over the phone using the non-emergency line at x2222 (845-257-2222).

Those who require copies of records or reports are asked to call x3802 (845-257-3802) for assistance.

Faculty & Staff

+  Should I be working from home?

While the College remains open, Governor Cuomo has issued a directive that nonessential state employees should work from home effective Tuesday, March 17.

For the purpose of this directive, the definition of essential employee is not the same as with weather emergencies. See the question below for information on essential and nonessential employees.

Keep in mind that the spirit of this directive is to thin out density of employees on campus to protect health and safety and to alleviate the impact on employees whose children’s schools and daycares have closed. Therefore, where possible we encourage you to work from home.

+  Who qualifies as a nonessential employee?

For the purpose of this directive, essential employees are any person whose job function is essential to the effective operation of the campus, or who must be physically present to perform their job, or who is involved in the emergency response to COVID19.

Nonessential employees should be considered any person who does not need to be physically present to perform their job functions, or who is not currently required to meet the core functions of their agency or authority during this emergency response.

Academic faculty are considered essential employees to provide continuity of instruction via distance learning. They have the option of doing this remotely or from their offices.

The campus may change an employee’s designation as either essential or nonessential at any time and will provide notice if that change is necessary.

+  If I work from home, will my accrued time off be charged?

No. Throughout state government, nonessential employees will not be charged accruals during this time.

+  Is there anything I need to do before I begin working from home?

Yes. Campus employees are asked to consult their supervisors as soon as possible to complete the Telecommuting Pilot Program Application and develop an off-site work plan, if they have not done so already.

The Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion is working with supervisors and providing trainings to help units plan for these telecommuting requests. Additional guidance, including opportunities for training on best practices for telecommuting, will be forthcoming.

+  What is the Telecommuting Pilot Program?

The State of New York has entered into agreements with the CSEA, PEF and UUP bargaining units to create telecommuting arrangements as part of the state-wide response to COVID-19. The Pilot Program also applies to M/C employees.

The full bulletin announcing the Telecommuting Pilot Program can be read via this link.

Note: On June 17, 2020, Governor Cuomo's Office of Employee Relations announced the extension of the Telecommuting Pilot Program through Oct. 2, 2020.

+  How do I properly handle and use procedure masks?

For training on how to safely handle, use and dispose of procedure masks, contact Michael Malloy.

+  How do I properly handle and use cloth face coverings?

Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Before donning your cloth face covering, thoroughly wash your hands. Make sure the mask fits snugly but comfortably against the sides of your face, secure the ties or ear loops

When doffing or removing the cloth face covering, unsecure the ties or ear loops, bend your face down and remove the cloth mask allowing it to drop away from your face. Immediately wash your hands thoroughly

Cloth face coverings should be routinely washed or otherwise cleaned regularly depending on the frequency of use. A washing machine will suffice in properly washing a face covering.  

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

For more information from the CDC please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

+  Is the campus sponsoring professional travel by faculty and staff during the COVID-19 response?

All work-related travel after Jun. 30, 2020, will be very limited and will require pre-approval by the applicable Dean and Provost or Vice President. All pre-approved travel requisitions must be submitted to the travel office prior to travel taking place. If travel is not pre-approved, it will not be reimbursed. All Travel cards have been deactivated to discourage fraudulent activity.

Please be advised that the Governor has also issued a Travel Advisory directing that state employees who voluntarily travel to high-risk states or other countries after June 25 will not be eligible for COVID-19 paid sick leave.

Information about the College’s standard employee travel policy is available online.

+  What should employees do if they begin experiencing symptoms?

According to guidance issued on March 15 by the State of New York Executive Chamber, any employee who is experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (including fever, cough, shortness of breath and respiratory infection/distress) should not report to work.

Any employee experiencing symptoms should immediately report to their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion.

The employee should first contact their primary health care practitioner to see if they are available and able to collect a sample for testing. If not, the employee should contact the New York State COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to be referred to a regional testing site that can collect and submit a sample for testing. The employee must notify HR of the test results as soon as they are received. 

If the test results for the employee are positive (+), HR officials will immediately direct the employee to maintain their quarantine for fourteen (14) days and advise the professional contacts to maintain their quarantine and, if they become symptomatic, seek testing from their health care provider. HR will also notify the supervisor of the positive test result and send a notice to all employees who work within the nearby work location.

If the test results for the employee are negative (-), HR officials will expect the employee to return to work after they have recovered from their illness and direct the professional contacts under quarantine to resume their daily activities and return to work after the 14-day period if they are asymptomatic.