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SUNY Sullivan Reopens With Hybrid Learning Format for Fall Semester

Four months after SUNY Sullivan moved all instruction to a distance-based format the college is announcing a hybrid reopening for the fall semester.  The majority of courses will be offered remotely, with classes that meet at specific times and feature real-time interaction through distance learning platforms. Students will also be able to stay on track with flexible study options. Certain classes will be conducted in a hybrid environment with a combination of in-person and distance learning instruction. And student support activities, such as tutoring, advising, counseling, and club activities, all of which help provide the full college experience, will take place in virtually networked communities.

“The SUNY Sullivan working groups have produced a plan that is designed to balance the desire to open against the risk of COVID-19 outbreak,” said SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance. “The college has opted for a moderate course that ensures access to high quality programming without sacrificing safety concerns.”

Courses that do not require specialized equipment will be taught at a distance, limiting both faculty and student traffic on campus and further reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure.  Classes that involve laboratory experiences or clinical experiences, including nursing, respiratory care, medical assisting, culinary arts and pastry arts lab classes, and theater will include in-person instruction. This will help facilitate social distancing as the on-campus programs will have virtually unlimited space, and address social distancing issues in hallways and classrooms. These programs will front-load experiences to minimize disruption if there is a general campus shutdown, and most on campus instruction should conclude by Thanksgiving week. The semester will continue via distance learning instruction through Friday, December 18.

Given the circumstances of the current environment, all plans are subject to change due to new information, guidance, or direction from the state.  

In coordination with the NJCAA, SUNY Sullivan will shift Volleyball, Men’s & Women’s Basketball and Wrestling to the Spring 2021 semester.  At this time, Cross Country will remain as scheduled in the Fall 2020 semester. Spring sports, including Baseball, Men’s & Women’s Golf and Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Track and Field will remain intact with minor adjustments to dates.

Sullivan County Public Health has inspected the residence halls, and made recommendations which will be closely followed.  The college will reopen and house between 150 and 170 students in single units.  Students will be assigned to social “families” on their floor numbering 25 individuals, and each family will have designated times in bathroom and recreational facilities.  In the event of an exposure the entire family would be tested and quarantined.  Boxed meals would be available to quarantined students. The link for the application for housing will be available online and emailed to students during the last week of July.

Students who arrive on campus will complete a health screening on the day of arrival, and at recommended intervals thereafter.  The college does not plan to conduct mass testing of all students, but will test students who are symptomatic, who have a documented exposure, or who have traveled outside of New York State in the previous 14-day period.

Students in the residence hall will have access to wireless internet, and will be issued a laptop computer if needed.  Campus computer labs will be reconfigured to ensure socially-distanced use.  Keyboards will be cleaned before and after each use, and the enhanced room cleaning protocol will be followed.

The campus provides and maintains hand hygiene stations throughout campus, including dispensers at all entrances, in bathrooms, and in public spaces.  All employees, students, and visitors must wear face coverings when they come within 6 feet of another person on campus, with the exception of individuals who reside in the same residence.

Staff and students will each receive two reusable PPE masks.  Programs that make social distancing difficult or improbable will have higher levels of PPE available, including face shields and, if appropriate (for instance, for our campus health service).

The campus health office will conduct training with students and staff designed to ensure that all individuals follow proper pandemic hygiene precautions – hand washing, social distancing, self-reporting and mask wearing.  Campus Health and the Human Resources department will be responsible for health screenings, evaluating ill students or staff, and contacting public health.

The campus will adhere to CDC requirements for hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements as outlined in the CDC/EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting and the Cleaning and Disinfecting Decision Tool.  Staff have access to sanitizer and cleaning wipes to disinfect frequently touched surfaces both before and after use, and our cleaning staff disinfect occupied spaces twice a week, keeping a log to ensure compliance.  Restrooms, in particular, will receive regular cleaning and disinfection. In the event of a confirmed exposure on campus the facility will be closed, and a complete disinfection will occur after droplets have been allowed to settle.  Our campus safety monitors are responsibility for disinfection compliance.

Public spaces have been redesigned to maintain social distancing requirements.  In areas where staff and public must interact droplet barriers have been installed or planned – for instance, at the college’s One Stop registration center.  Bathrooms have had their capacities lowered, and droplet barriers have been or will be placed between sinks and other fixtures, as required.

Sullivan uses a contract vendor for our cafeteria, and food options have been redesigned to prevent self-service options.  This fall, the college will establish a reservation system to ensure social distancing in the dining room, and will package most food options in to-go boxes.

Students and staff who present as vulnerable populations will have a range of options available to them.  After consultation with our disability services or HR office, as appropriate, they may be offered higher levels of PPE, increased social distancing, or modified content to ensure that they meet the learning outcomes of the course safely.  Alternatively, students and staff may be allowed to complete assignments remotely.

Individuals who report an exposure, who report a positive test, or who are not feeling well will not be allowed to enter campus buildings.  Individuals who meet the criteria for suspected COVID-19 exposure will, if staff or commuter students, be sent home immediately, and, if residential students, isolated in their private room pending transport to their permanent residence.  If that transport cannot be facilitated quickly, then residential students will be transferred to an isolation room in our dorms.  Sullivan County Public Health will lead the contact tracing efforts.

Students will complete health screenings at least twice a week.  Those with influenza like symptoms or other indicators of potential COVID-19 will be isolated and sent for testing, and our tracing protocol with Sullivan County Public Health will be activated.  The college will monitor our daily isolation/tested/positive rate to ensure that an outbreak is not occurring, and we will remain in constant contact with Sullivan County Public Health to ensure that we are following recommendations regarding any possible shutdown.

Given the circumstances of the current environment, all plans are subject to change due to new information, guidance, or direction from the state.  In the event of a shutdown decision, faculty are prepared to move to remote instruction for the fall semester.

For a summary of our policies click here to go to our FAQs page.

If you have additional questions or concerns please reach out to the following campus contacts who are here to help:

Academic Policy question:

Register for classes or contact a personal counselor:

Financial Aid questions:

Billing Questions:

For questions regarding campus health services:

Pamela J. Jones, RN

Questions regarding Athletics Programs:

Brent Wilson

or Chris DePew

Questions regarding campus housing:

Deb Waller-Frederick

For a summary of our policies click here to go to our FAQs page.

For Information about student grants through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, click here.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation is changing rapidly, both domestically and abroad. SUNY Sullivan is working closely with the Sullivan County Department of Health, the State University of New York and other authorities to do our part to protect against the spread of the virus in our region.

We are closely monitoring this fluid situation and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Sullivan County Department of Health and the New York State Education Department.

There are a number of steps that students, staff and community members can take to minimize the spread of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, according to the state Department of Health:

If you or a family member begin showing symptoms of a respiratory disease and suspect it may be COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider. Before going to your healthcare provider’s office, inform them that a case of COVID-19 is suspected, and follow their advice.

In addition, New York has established a Novel Coronavirus Hotline, which can provide additional information. Call 1-888-364-3065 with questions or concerns about travel and symptoms.  SUNY Sullivan will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Please know that, as always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our highest priority, and we will remain vigilant in our efforts to help prevent the spread of this illness.

About the Novel Coronavirus

Recently, a new coronavirus – 2019 Novel (New) Coronavirus which causes an illness called COVID-19 – was detected that has not been previously found in humans. This coronavirus can lead to fever, cough and shortness of breath. There are thousands of confirmed cases in China and additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States with several cases recently reported in New York.

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