Frequently asked questions

Updated at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 3, 2021

Frequently asked questions

These questions and answers have been developed to respond to feedback on Binghamton University's draft Restarting Binghamton Plan. This is a fluid process and the answers to the questions may change between now and the beginning of the fall semester. We will continue to update, and time stamp, this page as new information becomes available and new questions arise, and deliver our Restarting Plan once it has been approved by SUNY and the governor.


Search for terms within our FAQ page. Enter a search term, hit search and responses will open and be highlighted. Scroll down to find the highlighted sections.


Sections:

Vaccines and vaccinations

  • Who is eligible for the vaccine? (Updated May 19,  2021)

    All New Yorkers 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in New York state. This includes any student who currently has a New York state address. In addition, all state-operated vaccination sites are now open to walk-ins and all pharmacies particpating in the federal pharmacy program now offer second doses of COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) to individuals who recieved their first dose elsewhere or from a different provider. Students can find information on how and where they can register or walk in for a vaccination on the Decker Student Health Services COVID-19 webpages.

    Anyone who wishes to  receive a vaccination can also visit the the state's COVID-19 vaccine registration page.  

  • Do I need to show ID to receive a vaccination? (Updated May 4, 2021)

    Bring a your ID. If you are receiving a second shot, remember to bring your vaccination card from your first-dose appointment.

  • Can we assume that, regardless of vaccination, all distancing and mask rules will be enforced? (Updated June 1, 2021)

    Binghamton University, like many campuses, has adopted the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to ease outdoor mask requirements for vaccinated individuals. Students, faculty, and staff on Binghamton’s campuses who are fully vaccinated (two weeks following the final dose of any vaccine regimen) may now gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.

    While New York state has adopted the CDC guidelines allowing vaccinated individuals to not wear their masks indoors, SUNY requires that faculty, staff and students continue to wear their masks indoors. Additional guidance will be shared with the campus as it becomes available.

    We will continue to use the Campus COVID Response Team (graduate student employees) who will walk the campus on a regular basis to remind students of their responsibilities.

    In addition, we urge faculty, staff and students to remember that the vaccine does not guarantee 100% protection from the virus, and this is especially true of individuals who have taken the first dose of vaccine but haven’t yet taken the second dose. Individuals who regularly come to campus and who have not been vaccinated will still be scheduled for weekly testing and are required to be tested.

Code of Student Conduct


International students

  • What is the current guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)? (Updated May 4, 2021)

    The current guidance from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program includes flexibility for F-1 international students due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This flexibility has been extended through the 2021-2022 academic year. In brief, this guidance allows for the following:

    • F-1 students who were in Active SEVIS status as of March 9, 2020, may choose to take all of their courses online if that is most appropriate for their circumstances. Students in this group may take courses in the U.S. or outside the U.S. This guidance also applies to students who were active in SEVIS on March 9, 2020 and transferred from another school.
    • Students who began their F-1 status after March 9, 2020 (including students who started at Binghamton University during the 2020-2021 academic year) must take at least one hybrid or in-person course that counts toward their full-time enrollment requirement. 
    • Students who began their studies outside the U.S. during the 2020-2021 academic year and will be coming to the U.S. for the first time for fall 2021 must take at least one hybrid or in-person course that counts toward their full-time enrollment requirement.
    • New students who are outside the U.S. may not enter the U.S. if they will be taking all of their courses online. New international students who wish to come to the U.S. must take at least one hybrid or in-person course that counts toward their full-time enrollment requirement. New students who wish to take all of their courses online must consult with their department to see if this is possible and must remain outside the U.S. for the fall 2021 semester.
    • Note: Binghamton University plans to resume full in-person instruction for the fall 2021 semester. The continued flexibility from SEVP will provide additional options for students who are not able to be on campus full-time, where appropriate and in consultation with a student’s academic advisor. 

    For more information, visit the International Student and Scholar Services website.

  • Am I able to enroll in 100% online courses from outside the United States? (Updated May 4, 2021)

    The most recent guidance from SEVP confirms that F-1 international students who were in Active SEVIS status on March 9, 2020 may take all online courses outside the United States and maintain their F-1 status as long as they maintain a full-time course load. If you plan to take all of your fall 2021 coursework online, you must first discuss this plan with your academic advisor to ensure that you will be meeting academic requirements for your program. Binghamton University plans to resume full in-person instruction for the fall 2021 semester.
     
    If you plan to take all of your fall 2021 coursework online from outside the United States, you must complete the Continuing Student Outside the U.S. form at the start of the fall 2021 semester. ISSS will use this information to update your SEVIS record to confirm that you are maintaining your F-1 or J-1 status outside the U.S. 
     
    F-1 students whose SEVIS status started after March 9, 2020 are required to register for at least one in-person or hybrid course as part of their full-time courseload. Students in this group cannot maintain F-1 status by taking online classes from outside the United States.

  • Will Binghamton University offer courses that allow me to maintain my F-1 or J-1 status? (Updated April 16, 2021)

    Binghamton University plans to return to in-person instruction for the fall 2021 semester, and international students will be able to enroll in sufficient in-person courses to maintain their immigration status. 

  • What courses are considered to be “in person” or “hybrid”? (Updated April 16, 2021)

    Courses at Binghamton University are being coded as in person or hybrid, based on their modes of delivery. Additional courses that continue to be considered in-person courses (in that they are unchanged by this new guidance) include thesis, pre-dissertation, dissertation, final project, independent study and internship.

  • Will the University continue to accept Duolingo scores to satisfy language proficiency? (Updated May 7, 2021)

    It appears that TOEFL and IELTS are being administered in person in countries where conditions permit; they are being administered online in many places where in-person testing is not possible. Students in China cannot take the TOEFL online. Given the uncertainties that remain, we will continue to accept Duolingo for the 2021 application cycle.


Graduate students (this entire section was updated Dec. 17, 2020)

Health

  • How is the University screening students, faculty and staff for COVID-19? (Updated Feb. 4, 2021)

    Until further notice and in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines, every Binghamton University student, faculty and staff member physically reporting to campus must complete a daily NYS-mandated COVID-19 health screening questionnaire either before arriving on campus or within the first hour of physically reporting to campus. It will take less than a minute to complete.

    The questionnaire is located on the MyBinghamton portal. Respond to the question that automatically pops up with one of two options: you do not have any of the risk options listed, or you have one or more of the risk options listed.

    If you are a student and indicate you have any of the risk options, stay home/in your room or immediately leave the campus. Decker Student Health Services Center will receive any responses that indicate a student was affirmative for any of the screening criteria and will follow up with the student accordingly.

    In addition, all students, faculty and staff who come to campus will be required to report for weekly surveillance testing at the University's Surveillance Testing Center in Old Union Hall.

  • Wear a mask indoors! (Updated June 3, 2021)

    Face coverings must be used in the following instances:

    • Noses and mouths must be covered with a mask or face covering when in public spaces in the libraries including in the stacks, and in residence halls including but not limited to hallways, kitchens, lounges, laundry rooms and elevators.
    • Following CDC and NYS guidelines, vaccinated individuals may now gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
    • Anyone in a Binghamton University (or University affiliated) space (including buildings, grounds, shared laboratory areas, conference rooms, restrooms, elevators, parking structures, etc.) must wear a face covering or mask that covers both nose and mouth at all times, except when alone in a private room, private office, private vehicle, cubicle space when appropriate social distancing can be maintained, or in a more isolated area with no other people in proximity.
    • Face coverings must be worn in classrooms at all times. 
  • What kind of mask is best, and how should it be worn?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people wear masks in public settings, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people. Effective February 2, 2021, masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

    In addition, bandanas and neck gaiters are not allowed in the East Gym Recreation Center, as they are not effective barriers when in that environment. 

    For information on masks, how to wear them properly and how to put on and remove them properly, visit the CDC website

  • How are individuals diagnosed with COVID-19?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) people with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    This list does not include all possible symptoms. Individuals may be diagnosed by a medical professional to have COVID-19, and will be considered a Person Under Investigation (PUI) and must be isolated. Their close contacts must be quarantined.

  • What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

    Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to COVID-19 before any symptoms might arise, to see if they become sick. Isolation separates people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 from people who are not sick. Individuals who are isolated should:

    • Stay in their own room and not share a bathroom.
    • Only leave their room for medical appointments or emergencies. If one must leave their room, a mask should be worn.
    • Monitor for fever, cough or shortness of breath and report to a medical provider should those symptoms occur.
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or with hand sanitize that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid sharing personal items like towels, dishes and bedding.
    • Clean all surfaces in rooms/bathrooms that are touched often, every day, with normal household sprays or wipes.
    • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue or elbow.
    • Get rest and stay hydrated.
    • If a medical emergency occurs, call 911. Notify the dispatcher that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and put on a mask before the ambulance arrives.

    Individuals who are quarantined should follow compulsory separation from others, including restriction of movement.

  • How are students who test positive for COVID-19 isolated? (Updated Jan. 27, 2021)

    The University practices with respect to quarantine/isolation of students have been and will continue to be in consultation with the Broome County Health Department (BCHD).

    Returning home for quarantine/isolation is always an option for students if they are able and have private transportation.

    Residence hall space has been reserved for on-campus residing students who need quarantine/isolation and who wish to remain on campus. Separate space is reserved for those who require isolation and for those who require quarantine.

    Off-campus students will be quarantined/isolated in their off-campus residences as per the guidance of the BCHD.

    For answers to frequently asked questions about on-campus isolation and quarantine, visit the on-campus student Isolation and Quarantine FAQ page.

  • Do on-campus students have to notify campus if ordered to quarantine or isolate? (New March 17, 2021)

    Yes. If you live in a residence hall on campus and you are notified by a public health authority such as the Broome County Health Department or the New York State Department of Heatlh that you have to quarantine or isolate, you must tell University representatives right away.

    Send your quarantine or isolation order to qihelp@binghamton.edu and the information will be shared with the team on campus that will get you into the appropriate housing. You cannot quarantine or isolate in your room even if you live in a single residence. 

  • How are isolated students cared for? (Updated March 19, 2021)

    Residentail students in on- or off-campus quarantine/isolation spaces are provided with a “care” kit that includes items such as a thermometer, Tylenol, masks, hand sanitizer, water pitcher, etc. This kit also includes educational materials on what students should do in quarantine/isolation; expectations of behavior in the designated spaces; instructions on meal ordering, laundry and trash removal; and resource and emergency numbers.

    Safe Housing staff are available to assist residential students in on- and off-campus isolation and quarantine. For answers to frequently asked questions about on-campus isolation and quarantine, visit the on-campus student Isolation and Quarantine FAQ page.

  • What happens when a student's quarantine or isolation ends? (Updated Feb. 4, 2021)

    The isolation/quarantine period typically lasts 10 days. Safe Housing and Decker Student Health Services staff do not have control over your release date. The Broome County Health Department determines when your isolation/quarantine period begins, with the first day being “day zero.” It is common that you will be released at midnight on day 10. If you have questions about your release date, please bring it up with the Health Department during their check-ins with you.

    On your last day of isolation/quarantine, you should receive an official communication from the Broome County Health Department. Once you receive this communication (usually via email), forward it to safehousing@binghamton.edu and text Safe Housing to organize a time to leave. The Safe Housing staff will assist you in planning your move back to your residence hall. Students must wait for this release from the Broome County Health Department and for approval from Residential Life before returning to their residence hall.

  • How do I know if I have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19?

    Binghamton University works with the Broome County Health Department (BCHD) — the lead agency in our county for COVID-19 — to support the health and wellness of anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19. Individuals with the diagnosis are isolated and receive medical care, and the BCHD works with them to identify anyone they may have had significant contact with. Those individuals will be notified by the BCHD of actions they should take to care for themselves. If there is no significant contact, no significant exposure has occurred. 

  • What if a student is directed to quarantine?

    In most cases, quarantined individuals will not be sick, but are being quarantined on the chance that they could become symptomatic and therefore infect others. This is a strategy to reduce transmission. A student who has had a potential exposure to someone with COVID-19 may be directed by medical professionals to quarantine. If so, the student will be strongly advised to go home for a period of 10 days post-exposure. If there is an extraordinary reason why an on-campus residing student is unable to travel home (international student, lives with a frail grandparent, etc.), the on-campus residing student may have an option of moving into quarantine housing on campus or at a local hotel as space allows.

    On-campus students who are quarantined should follow these nine steps. If you are an off-campus student who is quarantined, follow these nine steps

  • What should I do if I suspect someone I know has COVID-19?

    If the individual is a student, urge the person to contact the Decker Student Health Services Center (DSHSC) at 607-777-2221, or the person's medical provider. If the individual is an employee, urge the person to contact the person's medical provider. The individuals should call the DSHSC or their medical provider first to be screened and, based on responses to questions about symptoms, will be told next steps.

  • What should students who think they are sick do?

    Students who think they may have coronavirus must CALL THE DECKER STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES CENTER at 607-777-2221 within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms and as early in the day as possible.

    There are no walk-in appointments. All appointments will begin via telehealth. Students must call for medical care, at which time they will be routed to a nurse for a Doxy.me session (similar to Zoom) to triage their problem. If necessary, a Doxy.me appointment will be arranged with a physician or nurse practitioner. The medical provider will treat most conditions via telehealth, but in-person visits are available at the provider's discretion.

    Students using an off-campus walk-in or urgent care facility should also call ahead, and faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider by phone to make an appointment.

  • Do I have to make an appointment to be seen at Decker Student Health Services Center?

    There are no walk-in appointments at Decker Student Health Services Center. All appointments will begin at Decker Student Health Services Center via teleheath.

    All students wishing to receive medical care at Decker Student Health Services must call 607-777-2221 to begin the triage process.

  • What if a student needs medical attention when Decker Student Health Services is closed?

    Medical care is available to all students through Decker Student Health Services Center (DSHSC) from 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, and information about COVID-19 symptoms, prevention and testing is also available on the DSHSC website

    If students believe they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should call ahead before visiting any healthcare facility to allow providers to properly prepare. 

    For emergency and after-hours care on nights and weekends, students have several options, including through emergency room, walk-in and telehealth care. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911, call Harpur's Ferry at 607-777-3333 (campus emergency response squad) or go directly to the nearest hospital emergency department:

    For minor emergencies, visit a walk-in center, which is appropriate for acute illness that isn't life threatening. Some walk-in centers have X-ray, lab and suturing capability. Call the location first if you need special services.

    Telehealth options are also available for remote evaluation, care and advice.

    Students who visit a local emergency room or urgent care center are responsible for all costs incurred. Students with Binghamton University student insurance can also see a doctor 24/7 through healthiest you. Many insurances are also currently offering no out-of-pocket expense tele-doctor visits.

  • What counseling and support options are available to students? (Updated Feb. 7, 2021)

    Both the CARE Team and the University Counseling Center (UCC) are available to all students who may need to speak with a case manager or counselor.

    To contact the CARE Team

    Appointments with case managers can be conducted through Zoom, email or phone:

    The CARE Team will provide same day phone-in services Monday through Friday at 607-777-2804. Students can call for an over-the-phone consultation with a case manager. 

    To contact the University Counseling Center (UCC)

    • Telemental health services at the UCC are being delivered primarily through the Zoom platform, and may also include some telephone calls depending upon the technology available to students and/or staff. The UCC uses procedures and settings in Zoom to ensure full IT security of sessions. We can offer face-to-face services in certain circumstances when it is clinically necessary.
    • Students can call us at 607-777-2772 to set up an appointment, to find out more about our services or to make other inquiries. You do not need to come in person to be served quickly. We ask that you call before coming in, since we can assist with many requests or questions via phone and we want to maintain a safe lobby density. After calling, appropriately masked students may access the lobby, in limited numbers and for a limited duration, with proper social distancing.
    • Services: We offer a wide range of telemental health services including:
      • Individual counseling
      • Group counseling
      • Workshops
      • Consultation for concerned parents, guardians, friends and family
      • A secure room if needed for urgent telemental health appointments
      • Referrals to providers and treatment coordination
      • Mindfulness practices for stress management
      • Same-day urgent counseling
    • Initial visit: If you are a student interested in counseling, we will schedule a tele-triage consultation with you to discuss therapy needs and provide support. We will discuss treatment recommendation(s) (e.g., telecounseling at the UCC, tele-group counseling, off-campus referral, psychiatry referral) at the end of this consultation with consideration of the UCC's scope of services. 
    • Group counseling is currently available at the UCC through Zoom. Information about groups will be updated the first week of classes and as offerings evolve thereafter. You can learn more about how groups work and the spring groups schedule on our group counseling webpage. 
    • Urgent and emergent needs: We will provide same-day urgent teleservice, with emergencies triaged to determine what is the appropriate level of care. You can arrange an urgent telemental health appointment from your room or other private location. If that does not work for you, we can arrange for you to use a private, sanitized Zoom room at the UCC for urgent telemental health with a counselor when space and a counselor are available. If you need urgent access to care, call us at 607-777-2772. 
    • After-hours support remains available through the main counseling number at 607-777-2772 and press #2.
    • For assistance during regular hours and after hours, call the UCC main number at 607-777-2772. 
    • For emergency assistance call 911 or your local hospital, or see the emergencies page on our website for other resources.
    • Due to current state laws, telemental health services can only be offered to students who are physically located in New York state at the time of service. As legal situations change, we will provide any updates on eligibility for students who are physically out of state. If you are located out of state, we can still assist with discussing available treatment options in your state.
       
  • What resources are available to help me stay healthy, mentally and physically?

    A number of resources are available to students, faculty and staff to help them through this unusual spring semester — all available virtually.

    For faculty and staff:

    For students:


COVID-19 testing

  • What kind of testing is being done? (Updated June 3, 2021)

    The University will continue to test asymptomatic members of the campus community who are not vaccinated or who have not provided proof of vaccination at a surveillance testing center in the University Union. All non-vaccinated students living on campus as well as those off-campus students who are attending classes in person or who regularly come to campus are expected to be tested weekly. Non-vaccinated faculty and staff who regularly come to campus will also be tested weekly.

    Students will receive an email reminder to register for a time that is convenient for them. (Students who are symptomatic should contact the Decker Student Health Services Center by phone to be considered for diagnostic testing. )

    The campus is currently using Abbott's rapid antigen test for all students, faculty and staff in the Surveillance Testing Center. For more information about the testing, visit the surveillance testing FAQ page

    Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by staff and required to isolate, either at home or on campus if they are resident students, or at home or their off-campus residence if they are off-campus students, until medically cleared.

    Visit the Decker Student Health Services Center website for complete information on testing.

    In addition, individuals interested in COVID-19 testing can find a nearby test site using the search tool available on the governor's website

  • How do I change my appointment time, reschedule for the next week and/or cancel my appointment? (Updated Feb. 25, 2021)

    For any appointments to be scheduled Monday, March 1 or after, there is now one link for all students, faculty and staff who are not excempt from COVID-19 testing to use to schedule, or cancel and reschedule their test appointments. Use this link to return to the page where you scheduled your original appointment. Click on "Cancel" to cancel your appointment. Click on "Register" to select a different date/time. The system allows only one time slot at a time, so by changing the time slot you are rescheduling your appointment.

  • Where do I find my testing date/time in the confirmation email? (New Feb. 16, 2021)

    Scroll down the email to the "Slot(s) Reserved" section.  

  • I have had COVID-19. Am I now exempt from testing? (New March 8, 2021)

    If an individual becomes positive, Surveillance Testing will mark them as such and exempt them from testing for 90 days. It is possible that they could get the email communication their first week as they could have tested positive after the scheduling email for that week was launched, however, they should not be retested and no further action is needed on their part.   

  • How will I know if the testing center is open during inclement weather? (New Feb. 16, 2021)

    Watch for a B-ALERT with information on weather related closings. Testing at the Surveillance Testing Center will be canceled for the day if in-person classes are to be taught remotely. Those who were scheduled for testing on a day when classes go fully remote due to the weather will not be tested during that week and are asked to schedule their next test for the following week.

  • Do I have to get tested if I come to campus intermittently, e.g., to get items from my office? (New June 3, 2021)

    Non-vaccinated faculty and staff will be part of the testing pool if they regularly come to campus. This includes instructors who teach in-person classes, staff who come to campus, or either faculty or staff who come to campus to conduct classes or other business. 

    Vaccinated faculty and staff may opt out of the weekly testing by presenting proof of vaccination to Human Resources. A copy of your vaccination card, a screenshot of the New York State Excelsior app or other proof of vaccination may be emailed confidentially to Sara DeClemente-Hammoud at declemen@binghamton.edu. Alternatively, you can stop up in Human Resources (AD-242) to drop off your proof of vaccination.

  • Can we assume that, regardless of vaccination, all distancing and mask rules will be enforced?  (Updated June 3, 2021)

    Binghamton University, like many campuses, has adopted the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance to ease outdoor mask requirements for vaccinated individuals. Students, faculty, and staff on Binghamton’s campuses who are fully vaccinated (two weeks following the final dose of any vaccine regimen) may now gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask, except in certain crowded settings and venues.

    While New York state has adopted the CDC guidelines allowing vaccinated individuals to not wear their masks indoors, SUNY requires that individuals continue to wear their masks indoors. Additional guidance will be shared with the campus as it becomes available.

    We will continue to use the Campus COVID Response Team (graduate student employees) who will walk the campus on a regular basis to remind students of their responsibilities.

    In addition, we urge faculty, staff and students to remember that the vaccine does not guarantee 100% protection from the virus, and this is especially true of individuals who have taken the first dose of vaccine but haven’t yet taken the second dose. Individuals who regularly come to campus and who have not been vaccinated will still be scheduled for weekly testing and are required to be tested.

  • I think I was in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Can I stop into the University Union for a COVID-19 test?

    Do not simply show up to the University Union to get a test. If you have been exposed you should expect to be contacted by the Broome County Department of Health. If you don’t receive a call, they have not determined you must be tested or quarantined.

    The surveillance site in Old Union Hall is only for individuals with appointments. The site is unable to accommodate people who wish to receive a test.

    Other testing sites are available:

    • For people who are symptomatic, contact Decker Student Health Services at 607-777-2221.
    • For anyone who wants a test, make an appointment to be tested at the drive-up NYS Testing Site in Lot ZZ south by calling 888-364-3065. This is a drive-up site and you must arrive and remain in a car. 
  • Will I have to be tested throughout the semester? (Updated June 3, 2021)

    Per new SUNY guidelines, all non-vaccinated students, faculty and staff who regularly come to campus will be tested weekly.

    Binghamton University is conducting what is known as COVID-19 surveillance testing.

    Individuals who are required to be tested are notified by email to their University account, typically two days before their assigned testing date. If you are so notified, you will have the opportunity to register for a two-hour window on your designated day and are required to arrive for testing as directed at the testing center in the University Union. The testing notice will provide additional details on the location, parking and process.

    Students who fail to show on their assigned testing date will be rescheduled as possible. Pursuant to the Rights and Responsibiities document, persistent non-compliance may result in disciplinary action. Penalities can include denial of access to campus and loss of housing.

  • What happens if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

    If someone tests positive, the University works in consultation with the Broome County Health Department (BCHD) to isolate that individual until the individual's health has improved and they are no longer considered infectious. Returning home to recover is the first option explored. For on-campus residing students who are unable to return home to recover, designated isolation spaces are available on campus. For off-campus students, recommendations regarding isolation are made in consultation with the BCHD considering the student's current off-campus living situation. Case investigators and contact tracers from the BCHD work with students to identify and educate contacts in need of quarantine, and to provide support. 

  • How does the University protect the privacy of someone who takes a COVID-19 test?

    Individuals submitting to a COVID-19 test for the purpose of detection of SARS-CoV-2 have the right to be assured of the confidential treatment of disclosures and records and to have the opportunity to approve or refuse the release of such information except when release of specific information is required by law or is necessary to safeguard you or the University community. All COVID-19 test results, positive or negative, are required to be reported to the New York State Department of Health.

    If you have concerns about privacy, tell us. We want, expect and need your feedback. For concerns regarding medical care, contact the medical director at 607-777-2221. If you feel the issue is not resolved, you may appeal to the University’s privacy compliance officer — Office of University Counsel, Binghamton University, AD-614, Binghamton, New York, 13902-6000. Complaints may also be registered at the U.S. Office of Civil Rights N.Y. Office at 1- 800-368-1019; TDD: 1-800-537-7697.


Parking and transportation

  • Will OCCT and/or BC Transit be operating?

    Yes, both OCCT and BC Transit are operating this fall. 

  • What passenger limits will there be on OCCT and/or BC Transit buses? (Updated Feb. 3, 2021)

    Both services are operating under the latest guidance for transit provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Transportation, the governor’s office and/or the Federal Transit Administration.

    OCCT

    OCCT is limiting ridership to 17 passengers per blue bus and eight passengers per green campus shuttle. Passengers must wear masks and social distance at all times, both inside the bus and while waiting in line with other passengers. Riders not wearing masks will be denied entry. When riding OCCT, passengers enter through the front of the bus and scan their University IDs and are required to exit through the rear doors.

    Buses are cleaned and disinfected at night and high-touch points are wiped down mid-day. Cleaning and disinfecting is performed in accordance with guidelines from the CDC and the Department of Transportation. This includes using approved disinfectants and following manufacturer’s instructions for all products, including concentrations, application and method.

    BC Transit

    BC Transit is limiting ridership to 20 passengers per bus and requires that masks be worn and social distancing take place. Riders not wearing masks will be denied entry. Passengers enter through the front of the bus and are required to scan their University IDs. BC Transit is cleaning and disinfecting their buses regularly following required guidelines.

  • What are the spring schedules for OCCT and BC Transit? (Updated Feb. 5, 2021)

    The OCCT schedule for the spring semester can be found on the OCCT website. Download the ETA SPOT application for real-time bus tracking information. OCCT and TAPS will closely monitor usage to make necessary changes if overcrowding occurs.

    BC Transit continues to operate between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. BC Transit routes and schedule information are available at the BC Transit website. All routes are available and run at similar frequencies. Download the DoubleMap application for real-time bus tracking information.

  • Will first-year resident students be able to bring a vehicle to campus? (Updated Jan. 21, 2021)

    Due to COVID-19 and a lower on-campus density, first-year resident students will be able to purchase a parking permit for the spring 2021 semester. Semester parking permits will be available for purchase online at the TAPS portal. First-year resident students are only permitted to park in first-year designated parking lots, Lot G1 and Lot M1. See the campus map for parking lot locations.

  • Do parking rules and regulations still apply? (Updated Jan. 21, 2021)

    Parking rules and regulations are in effect. When parking from 7 a.m. Monday through 4 p.m. Friday, a valid parking permit is needed. Permits are available for purchase online. In order to limit in-office visits, office staff will be available to answer questions by email at parking@binghamton.edu or by phone call at 607-777-2279. Parking Services requests that all transactions be completed online when possible. In person transactions can be done at the Events Center ticket booth.

  • Will Safe Ride be operating? (Updated Feb. 3, 2021)

    Due to COVID-19 concerns, Safe Ride is unable to provide vehicle escorts. University Police will continue to provide walking escorts for anyone who does not feel safe walking on campus. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Students, faculty and staff can request a safe walking escort by calling University Police at 607-777-2393.

    For those navigating campus, TAPS encourages students, faculty and staff to utilize the OCCT campus shuttle. The shuttle continuously loops the main campus and runs until 1 a.m., stopping at multiple locations. The route is performed by a green shuttle Monday through Friday and a blue bus Saturdays and Sundays. During peak times, the buses run more frequently and will arrive at stop locations every 7-10 minutes. The campus shuttle is displayed in the ETA SPOT application for real-time tracking information.

    For more information on the safe escort program and the campus shuttle, visit the TAPS website. For additional information, email TAPS at taps@binghamton.edu.


Off campus


Dining

  • How will dining on campus work? (Updated Jan. 25, 2021)

    Campus dining facilities, both resident and retail, has adopted operating procedures that provides food in single-serving, ready-for-takeout packaging and also institutes increased sanitation at customer touch points. Dining facilities are configured so diners will have designated entry points and exit points, with patrons queued in lines that adhere to social distancing guidelines. In resident dining facilities, a greeter will control the entry to the serving area. Some seating will be available consistent with social distancing guidelines provided by New York state and SUNY. Self-service condiments, food and beverage stations have been discontinued. Touchless payment is being used at all locations and Plexiglass barriers have been installed at cashier stations. 

    For additional details, visit the Binghamton University Dining Services website.

  • What has been done to reduce points of contact in dining operations? (Updated Jan. 25, 2021)

    A number of measures have been taken for the safety of our students, as well as the Dining Services staff. We have created “touchless” payment options at all points of sale, removed all self-service options throughout our operations, streamlined our production and queuing to create less waiting time in lines, and serving all food in carry out containers for the utmost safety, quality and speed of service. 

  • Is online ordering an option? (Updated Jan. 25, 2021)

    Yes! Check our retail locations in the MarketPlace and around campus. To provide an additional level of service, Dining Services now offers online ordering in many of our retail locations through the Bing Bite app.

  • How will Dining Dollar rollovers work? (Updated Jan. 21, 2021)

    If you live in a residence hall on campus this fall (Mountainview, Hinman, CIW, Dickinson or Newing), your dining dollars will automatically roll over to your spring meal plan account. This happens about a week after classes start. The default meal plan selection is Plan C, but if you have a large carryover balance, you may want to select a smaller meal plan for the upcoming semester. You will make this change using BU BRAIN.

    If you are a commuter student this spring  (including students living in Hillside and Susquehanna communities) and have:

    • A spending balance greater than $100, your meal plan dining dollars can be easily transferred, dollar for dollar, to the $25 Plan at no additional cost. This is a retail plan and does not include resident pricing. Details can be found on our website. You will need to contact the meal plan office at mealplans@budining.com or 607-777-6000 to choose this option. You cannot choose this option online.
    • A spending balance greater than $340 can be used to purchase a Commuter Semester Plan at no additional cost. You will need to contact the meal plan office at mealplans@budining.com or 607-777-6000 to choose this option. You cannot choose this option online. *Note: You can select a $25 Plan mentioned above if you prefer. 

    If you took fall 2020 off, or attended only online classes and plan to return to campus for spring 2021:

    • And your dining dollars spending balance is greater than $100, the balance will be carried over to the meal plan you purchase for the spring 2021 semester.
    • If your balance is less than $100, it will not automatically be carried forward and will not be refunded. If you return to live on campus for the spring 2021 semester, you will be required to enroll in a resident meal plan for that semester.

    If you are transferring to another university or discontinuing your studies at Binghamton for more than one semester, you will not be eligible for a refund.

    Additional information is available in the https://binghamton.sodexomyway.com/my-meal-plan/questionse.


Employees

  • I have been told by the NYS Department of Health that I need to quarantine due to close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. What do I do? (Updated Jan. 20, 2021)

    Contact Human Resources at 607-777-4939 to report this. State employees are eligible for a one time 14-day quarantine period without charge to leave credits from March 2020 to the present.

  • I know someone who is not following appropriate face mask, social distancing or other health and safety guidelines. Is there anything I can do?

    Everyone on campus is subject to following the same health and safety guidelines that have been established to deal with COVID-19, including: following social distancing directives, limiting the number of people in gatherings, wearing a face covering wherever required, adhering to quarantine/isolation requirements and complying with our no-guest policy.

    Any member of the Binghamton University community who observes another community member not following these guidelines may submit a form online noting the noncompliance. The form can be submitted anonymously, or the reporter can also include contact information for potential follow-up.

  • Where do I find the daily health questionnaire that I am supposed to complete when I work on campus?

    Until further notice and in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines, every Binghamton University or Research Foundation employee physically reporting to campus must complete a daily NYS-mandated COVID-19 health screening questionnaire. If you are working remotely or are taking a vacation/sick/personal day, the form does not need to be completed that day. Note that this does not change the department call-in procedure that is already established if you need to take a sick day.

    The questionnaire must be completed either before arriving on campus or within the first hour of physically reporting to the workplace. It will take you less than a minute to complete. The questionnaire is located on the University portal that can be accessed (via your computer or smartphone) as follows:

    If you need to reset your password, visit http://password.binghamton.edu

    In some cases, you may find that you are already logged in and you will not have to enter your username or password.

    Individuals who indicate “yes” to any of the questions should either stay home or immediately leave the workplace. Human Resources will receive any responses that indicate an employee was affirmative for any of the screening criteria and will follow up with the employee accordingly.

    Physical Facilities CSEA-OSU employees will follow a different process and this information will be communicated from your supervisor.

  • If I am working remotely do I need to fill out the daily health questionnaire?

    If you are on vacation or working remotely and will not physically visit the campus, you do not need to fill out the daily questionnaire.

  • I'm stressed. Where can I find help on campus?

    The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at Binghamton University is a resource available to all employees. As critical/essential employees, our New York state EAP coordinators are professionally trained to respond to critical incidents that impact the University’s community, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees can schedule a virtual appointment with EAP between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 607-777-6655 or eap@binghamton.edu. Contact EAP for guidance, referrals or simply a confidential sounding board for anyone in distress.

    EAP offers the following information and resources for faculty and staff:

    • Information on coping with stress and managing social distancing during a pandemic
    • Childcare resources for essential workers
    • Financial relief and guidance
    • Online medical assistance
    • Relief available to workers under New York state law

    More information about these resources is available on the EAP website.

    New Yorkers can also call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.

    Remember, to schedule an appointment with EAP, call 607-777-6655 or email eap@binghamton.edu.

  • Will all regular state employees continue to be paid?

    All employees, whether considered critical or non-essential, and whether you have been given an alternative work assignment or not, will continue to be paid. A timesheet must be submitted and approved as detailed below to generate the payments. Until further notice:

    • Hourly employees who work a set schedule or less than a set schedule should complete their timesheets by the regular deadline (or have a designated timekeeper do so) reflecting their normal schedule, and be paid accordingly.
    • Hourly employees who receive supervisor approval to work more than their set schedule should be paid for actual hours worked.
    • Hourly employees without a recurring work schedule should submit their average number of hours worked in the previous two pay periods, as they normally do, by the HR deadlines to be paid.

    As a reminder, employees should be working from home/remotely to the greatest extent possible until they are notified by their supervisors otherwise.

    The University reminds all employees that the critical designation can be granted or removed as needed, depending upon the University’s needs.

  • I haven't been designated a critical employee. Does this mean I won't be?

    Agencies and authorities may change an employee’s designation as either essential or non-essential at any time and, as the operational needs of the response shift, the specific functions or locations may be modified accordingly at any time. The University will reassess the current designations to assure it is still meeting the operating needs of the University.

  • I am a supervisor and I need to designate someone as critical. Can I do this now?

    Agencies and authorities may change an employee’s designation as either essential or non-essential at any time and, as the operational needs of the response shift, the specific functions or locations may be modified accordingly at any time.

  • I have been designated critical. Is remote work still an option?

    Those designated critical may be able to accomplish their work with a combination of remote work and physical work. You should discuss this potential option with your supervisor.

  • I might have symptoms of COVID-19. How will this affect my employment? (Updated Feb. 4, 2021)

    Binghamton University has received the following guidance from the governor regarding employees experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19:

    Any symptomatic employee should not report to work. As the number of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases, all New York state employees must monitor themselves for possible symptoms, such as:

    • Fever or chills
    • Cough Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    Any employee experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 shall immediately report symptoms to their supervisor and the agency/authority’s human resources (HR) personnel. The supervisor and HR official will immediately direct the employee to leave work, if they are currently at work, or to stay home if they are not at work, and self-quarantine as a precaution.

    The supervisor shall request and record the latest contact information for the employee, including home or mobile telephone numbers, so that HR personnel can reach them for follow up information. If the employee is experiencing severe symptoms and requires urgent medical attention, the supervisor should call 911 and notify the dispatcher that the distressed employee may have COVID-19 symptoms, so that emergency medical service responders may use appropriate precautions.

    An employee exhibiting symptoms who is sent home/not allowed to work should not be required to charge sick leave accruals. They should be given an at-home work assignment. If an at-home assignment is not available, they remain in paid status without charge to accruals. Contact Human Resources at 607-777-4939 to report a case or for questions.

    Research Foundation employees are subject to the same procedures as above, except they are to contact their supervisors and the Research Foundation Human Resources Office at 607-777-4264 to report a case or for questions.

  • If an employee I supervise is quarantined or isolated, what do I do and what information can I share?

    An employee may choose to self-disclose medical information to anyone they wish, but that does not mean that supervisors/managers, Human Resources, University leadership or colleagues can then release that information to others, or discuss it with anyone.

    Guidance for supervisors:

    • If an employee will be absent from or unable to work, you may share an estimated time that they will return to work if one is known.
    • If employees ask about a colleague, remind them that we have a policy of assisting any employee who encounters difficulty in the workplace and that we respect employees’ privacy.
    • If an employee provides medical documentation to you, forward it to Human Resources. Medical documentation may be sent directly to Human Resources, who will then advise you, the supervisor, of the expected duration that the employee is expected to be out, without divulging any specific medical information.

    If you have specific questions, contact Human Resources at 607-777-4939.

    Be aware that any medical information is considered confidential by both union contracts and federal law, which has strict rules regarding what information can be released about an employee. While an employee may voluntarily share information about themselves, it is not information that a manager/supervisor can ask about or share. Contact HR at 607-777-4939 with any questions.

  • If a colleague is diagnosed with a confirmed case, how will I know if I'm at risk?

    If someone is diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the Broome County Health Department, or the local health department for non-Broome County resident employees, is responsible for determining those individuals who may have been exposed and for contacting them. The employee may choose to self-disclose medical information to anyone, but that does not mean that supervisors/managers, Human Resources, University leadership or colleagues can then release that information to others, or discuss it with anyone.


Quarantine restrictions for out-of-state travelers 

  • What are the quarantine guidelines for travelers coming to New York from other countries and states? (Updated June 3, 2021)

    Asymptomatic travelers are no longer required to quarantine after entering New York from another country, U.S. state or U.S. territory. While no longer required, the NYS Department of Health still recommends quarantine for all travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the previous three months as an added precaution. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact their local health department of their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testings.

    All travelers except those who have left New York state for less than 24 hours or is coming to New York from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts or Vermont must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Individuals should continue strict adherence to all safety guidelines to stop the spread — wearing masks, socially distancing and avoiding gatherings.

    Find complete guidelines for travelers entering New York state on the New York state COVID-19 Travel Advisory page

    For general inquires contact the call the Hotline: 1-888-364-3065 or Ask a Question of New York state.

  • What does quarantine mean?

    The requirements to safely quarantine include:

    • The individual must not be in public or otherwise leave the quarters that they have identified as suitable.

    • The individual must be situated in separate quarters with a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group. Access to a sink with soap, water, and paper towels is necessary. Cleaning supplies (e.g. household cleaning wipes, bleach) must be provided in any shared bathroom.

    • The individual must have a way to self-quarantine from household members as soon as fever or other symptoms develop, in a separate room(s) with a separate door. Given that an exposed person might become ill while sleeping, the exposed person must sleep in a separate bedroom from household members. 

    • Food must be delivered to the person’s quarters.

    • Quarters must have a supply of face masks for individuals to put on if they become symptomatic.

    • Garbage must be bagged and left outside for routine pick up. Special handling is not required.

    • A system for temperature and symptom monitoring must be implemented to provide assessment in-place for the quarantined persons in their separate quarters.

    • Nearby medical facilities must be notified, if the individual begins to experience more than mild symptoms and may require medical assistance.

    • The quarters must be secure against unauthorized access.


Campus services/operations

  • Campus Mail Services

    Departments that still want mail held at CMS must email CMS at mailsvce@binghamton.edu. Those coming to the window will need to wear a mask to receive service.

  • Customer Service Center

    The Customer Service Center and monitor board remain in operation. CSC operates from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and can be reached at 607-777-2226 or pfcsc@binghamton.edu. The monitor board or Emergency Customer Service Center operates from 3:30 p.m.-7 a.m. Monday-Friday and 24 hours/day on weekends. The phone number is 607-777-2341. Emergency calls are responded to immediately. Non-emergency calls are referred to the CSC on the next business day.

  • Custodial services and cleaning

    Cleaning activities are prioritized and focused on common areas to allow for attention to trash removal, cleaning restrooms, touch points and health-sensitive areas (locker rooms etc.). Unoccupied offices may not be cleaned on a regular basis and perishables should be disposed of in common-area trash cans. Cleaning activities such as floor finishing and carpet extraction will not be a priority.

  • Central Receiving

    Packages (with the exception of next-day or two-day air that will be delivered directly to recipients by the courier) will be received at Central Receiving and delivered to department/recipient locations. All attempts will be made to deliver packages within one to three business days. Direct delivery by couriers to one-drop locations (including ITC) is suspended. Contact Central Receiving at cntrlrec@binghamton.edu with any questions.

  • Ventilation systems

    The University is following all current and emerging guidelines regarding mechanical and ventilation systems to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. While ventilation is not capable of addressing all aspects of infection control, modifications to HVAC systems can help in some manner. Accordingly, the University is running air systems for longer durations, has increase outdoor air ventilation, and has upgraded filtration and made other adjustments as part of the larger mitigation effort.

    Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, commonly known as MERV, is a measurement scale designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to report the effectiveness of air filters. Most code compliant commercial buildings (gyms, malls, etc.) use MERV 8 filters. Our typical buildings have MERV 14 with some cases of MERV 13. MERV 14 filters are typically used in hospital inpatient and general surgery applications.

  • Plexiglass

    Physical Facilities will assist any department that has a need for plexiglass barriers. To begin the process, put in a service request with as much relevant information as possible including:

      • Building and room number
      • Application (desk-top, counter, etc.)
      • Required height and width of the plexi and whether a pass through slot is needed

    Physical Facilities will assign someone to visit the space to evaluate any potential code/ventilation issues etc. For common sizes and applications, the barriers will be ordered from a vendor, but in some cases, the barriers may have to be fabricated. At this point, departments are to provide a funding source. Departments are asked to notify Joe Turdo in the Business Office of the expenses incurred. If departments are comfortable in ordering barriers themselves, they may do so.

  • Repairs/maintenance

    Physical Facilities will prioritize repair and maintenance work orders based on life safety and critical needs. Non-maintenance work orders such as minor alterations will be given a lower priority, resulting in delays.

  • Event work orders
    Binghamton University has made the difficult decision to suspend external conferences and events through spring 2021, so event work orders will not be processed until further notice, unless exempted. We look forward to a time we will again have the opportunity to welcome guests back to campus to provide premier conference and event services. You are encouraged to complete an interest form to inquire about dates beginning January 2021, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in order of receipt, with priority given to returning clients.