Student quick reference guide

Spring semester 2021 arrival guide

The University is working with SUNY to finalize the re-opening plan for the spring 2021 semester. When approved by SUNY, the plan can be accessed on the Restarting Binghamton website. In the meantime, the following provides an overview of what will be expected of students when they return to campus.

We’ve broken it down by student category based on where you live (on or off campus) and where you are coming from (within New York state, from contiguous states, from noncontiguous states or from abroad). We’re looking forward to seeing you in February!

  • Residential (on-campus) students

    Residential students will be required to schedule a move-in time slot. Sign-up for slots is available on the Res Life website

    Move-in will occur between Friday, Feb. 5 and Wednesday, Feb. 10. New admits will generally be scheduled in the first few days of that window. Binghamton is requiring COVID-19 testing of all students who will be residing on campus upon arrival to campus as was done in the fall semester. Move-in testing will be done in the University Union in Old Union Hall.

    Other requirements for returning to/moving on to campus that must be completed in order for a student to be eligible for testing and access to residence halls are:

    • Students will affirm that for the 14 days prior to coming to campus they have been symptom-free, have not traveled out of state and have not been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual.
    • Students will affirm that they have completed a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to coming to campus.
    • Students must have signed the Housing License and Housing License Addendum.
    • Students must have acknowledged the Rights and Responsibilities document.

    Prior to your move-in date, the University will provide students notice and the opportunity to complete all of the above items. Students not eligible for testing due to a prior positive test or other reason recognized by New York State Department of Health guidance will be required to submit proof of such status through Decker Student Health Services. The form to upload a test result can be found on the web and the form to request an exemption from testing is available on the web. If a student tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Nov. 4, 2020, a test is still required.

  • Off-campus students

    There are several COVID-19 related requirements for students living off campus for the spring 2021 term. Students must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible to return to campus:

    • Students will affirm that for the 14 days prior to coming to campus they have been symptom-free, have not traveled out of state and have not been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual.
    • Students will affirm that they have completed a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to coming to campus.
    • Students must be tested for COVID-19 and upload a negative test result to the University. The test must be recent to the date of upload. Students returning to the Binghamton area from another part of New York or from a state not subject to travel restrictions are required to have the test administered within three days of their return to the Binghamton area. Students not eligible for testing due to a prior positive test or other reason recognized by New York State Department of Health guidance will be required to submit proof of such status through Decker Student Health Services. The form to upload a test result can be found on the web and the form to request an exemption from testing is available on the web. If a student tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Nov. 4, 2020, a test is still required.
    • Students must have acknowledged the Rights and Responsibilities document.

    Students who quarantine at an off-campus location of their choosing should simply complete the 10-day quarantine and will not be subject to a day-four follow-up test.

  • Students arriving from noncontiguous states (other than New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut or Vermont)

    The University has previously provided the opportunity for students traveling from restricted states to inform the University as to their status through the my.binghamton.edu portal. Any residential (on-campus) student arriving from a restricted state will be offered the opportunity to complete quarantine at a hotel adjacent to campus at University expense. If choosing this option, students must first proceed to campus to be tested during their assigned move-in/testing time slot. Off-campus students may also choose to quarantine at the hotel and will have the benefit of the University-negotiated rate but will be responsible to pay the hotel directly.

    All students from restricted states may choose to complete their quarantine privately, but will be required to attest that they have complied and to provide the University with a copy of the New York State Traveler Form.

    More information will be sent to affected students directly and will be added to the COVID-19 information page

    There is an option under New York state guidance to test out of quarantine after four days for individuals traveling from restricted states/countries. Those students quarantining at the hotel will be afforded the opportunity to be tested. For more information on NY State Travel/Quarantine Guidance, visit the state website

  • International students residing on campus

    International students traveling to Binghamton from CDC level 1 countries or from within New York state, and who will be living on campus, will be required to schedule a move-in time slot. Sign-up for slots is available on the Res Life website

    Move-in will occur between Friday, Feb. 5 and Wednesday, Feb. 10. New admits will generally be scheduled in the first few days of that window. Binghamton is requiring COVID-19 testing of all students who will be residing on campus upon arrival to campus as was done in the fall semester. Move-in testing will be done in the University Union in Old Union Hall.

    Other requirements for returning to/moving on to campus that must be completed in order for a student to be eligible for testing and access to residence halls are:

    • Students will affirm that for the 14 days prior to coming to campus they have been symptom-free, have not traveled out of state and have not been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual.
    • Students will affirm that they have completed a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to coming to campus.
    • Students must have signed the Housing License and Housing License Addendum.
    • Students must have acknowledged the Rights and Responsibilities document.

    Students traveling to New York state from any state other than New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut or Vermont, or traveling from any U.S. territory or CDC level 2 and higher country (See the CDC website) who cannot meet the top two bullets noted above may follow these guidelines to test out of the mandatory 10-day quarantine period:

    • The student must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York. (Find additional information about travel from CDC level 2 and higher countries on the CDC website.)
    • Upon arrival in New York, the student must quarantine and, on day four of the quarantine, the student must obtain another COVID test.
    • If both the test obtained within three days of departure and the day-four test come back negative, the student may exit quarantine early, after the University has received documentation of the second negative diagnostic test, which can be uploaded on the web
    • If a student is not eligible for testing due to a reason recognized by New York State Department of Health guidance, the form to request an exemption from testing is available on the web
    • If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 within the window of Nov. 4, 2020, to Feb. 1, 2021, and is asymptomatic, that student should not be re-tested. The testing requirement can be met by having the student upload a copy of their COVID-19 test result to the Decker Student Health Services Center (DSHSC) and the DSHSC will respond with appropriate follow-up instructions pending review of test results. If a student tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Nov. 4, 2020, a test is still required.
  • International students residing off campus

    There are several COVID-19 related requirements for international students living off campus for the spring 2021 term who did not leave New York or the contiguous states during the winter break. Students must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible to return to campus:

    • Students will affirm that for the 14 days prior to coming to campus they have been symptom-free, have not traveled out of state and have not been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual.
    • Students will affirm that they have completed a seven-day precautionary quarantine prior to coming to campus.
      Students must be tested for COVID-19 and upload a negative test result to the University. The test must be recent to the date of upload. Students returning to the Binghamton area from another part of New York or from a state not subject to travel restrictions are required to have the test administered within three days of their return to the Binghamton area. Students not eligible for testing due to a prior positive test or other reason recognized by New York State Department of Health guidance will be required to submit proof of such status through Decker Student Health Services. The form to upload a test result can be found on the web and the form to request an exemption from testing is available on the web.
    • Students must have acknowledged the Rights and Responsibilities document.

    Students traveling to New York state from any state other than New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut or Vermont, or traveling from any U.S. territory or CDC level 2 and higher country (See the CDC website) may follow these guidelines to test out of the mandatory 10-day quarantine period:

    • The student must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York. (Find additional information about travel from CDC level 2 and higher countries on the CDC website.)
    • Upon arrival in New York, the student must quarantine and, on day four of the quarantine, the student must obtain another COVID test.
    • If both the test obtained within three days of departure and the day-four test come back negative, the student may exit quarantine early, after the University has received documentation of the second negative diagnostic test, which can be uploaded on the web.
    • If a student is not eligible for testing due to a reason recognized by New York State Department of Health guidance, the form to request an exemption from testing is available on the web.
    • If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 within the window of Nov. 4, 2020, to Feb. 1, 2021, and is asymptomatic, that student should not be re-tested. The testing requirement can be met by having the student upload a copy of their COVID-19 test result to the Decker Student Health Services Center (DSHSC) and the DSHSC will respond with appropriate follow-up instructions pending review of test results. If a student tested positive for COVID-19 prior to Nov. 4, 2020, a test is still required.

    International students who quarantine at an off-campus location of their choosing should simply complete the 10-day quarantine and will not be subject to a day-four follow-up test.

  • Students in break housing (who have remained on campus for the winter session)

When to wear your face covering, even if you have had COVID-19 or the vaccine

  • In your room on campus
    • By yourself: no mask required
    • With your roommate: no mask required
    • With a person other than your roommate: mask on AND socially distanced
    • Notes:
      • Flats, suites and apartments are considered a "unit” and not expected to socially distance within a resident’s own unit 
  • In your residence hall
    • In the bathroom
      • No mask if it is a private bath (in-suite, single-use).
      • Mask on if it is public/shared when possible (not when showering/brushing teeth/washing face).
    • In a lounge or study space alone: mask on
    • In a lounge or study space with other people: mask on AND socially distanced
    • In the hallway: mask on AND socially distanced
    • In stairwells and elevators
    • In any other building space: mask on AND socially distanced
  • Outside
    • By yourself, where no one will come within 6 feet: mask optional, but be prepared to put one on if someone approaches
    • By yourself, but near other people or when you might pass other people (sidewalks): mask on
    • With your roommate: mask optional, unless others approach whom you do not live with
    • With friend: mask on AND socially distanced
    • With multiple friends: mask on AND socially distanced
      • The limit for number of people gathering is based on the size of the space with people 6 feet apart.
    • Playing a sport
      • Mask optional if socially distanced.
      • Mask on if closer than 6 feet to others.
    • Exercising (jogging, etc.): mask optional if alone AND socially distanced
  • In a dining hall
    • By yourself: mask off to eat
    • With your roommate: mask off to eat
    • With friends: mask off to eat AND socially distanced
    • Notes:
      • Put mask back on as soon as you are done eating.
      • Furniture may not be moved to avoid social distancing.
  • In any campus building
    • All spaces: mask on AND socially distanced
      • Except when in a single-person study space by yourself that you have reserved and where you can lock the door: no mask required
    • Notes
      • Furniture has been reduced in common areas and maximum occupancy numbers are posted for indoor spaces. Furniture may not be moved to avoid social distancing.

The Big Three guidelines to follow

  • Face coverings

    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, in a more isolated area with no other people in proximity, or when exercising outside when appropriate social distancing can be maintained. In residence halls, flats, suites and apartments are considered a unit and residents are not expected to wear face coverings when accompanied only by room/suitemats within their own room or unit.

    Students must wear a mask or face covering when in public spaces in the residence halls including but not limited to hallways, kitchens, lounges, laundry rooms, elevators and stairwells.

    Face coverings must be worn in classrooms at all times.

    While on public transportation, passengers must wear masks and social distance at all times, both inside the bus and while waiting in line with other passengers.

  • Social distancing

    Social distancing is defined as keeping a safe space (6 feet, which is about 2 arms’ lengths) between yourself and others in both indoor and outdoor spaces. In indoor spaces, furniture will be reduced in communal areas and maximum occupancy numbers will be posted. Furniture may not be moved.

    In the residence halls, flats, suites and apartments are considered a "unit." We do not expect residents within their own room or unit to socially distance.

  • Gatherings

    In person events, co-curricular gatherings and meetings of student organizations may occur only with appropriate social distancing and will require participants to wear masks. 

    Indoors: Furniture will be reduced in common areas and maximum occupancy numbers will be posted for indoor spaces.

    Outdoors: The limit for the number of people permitted in an outdoor space is based on the size of the space and the ability to keep a distance of at least six feet between attendees.  In no case should it exceed 50 people.

    In the residence halls, students may have residents from their own buildings visit them if they adhere to occupancy rates of double the amount of people (i.e., if it's a double room, they can have a total of four persons in the room). Social distancing guidelines apply. Gatherings of over 10 people are not permitted.

COVID-19 testing options and eligibility

There is confusion about what COVID-19 testing is available to students, faculty and staff on campus. Follow these guidelines to determine what testing you are eligible for:

  • If you are symptomatic

    Students should contact Decker Student Health Services (DSHSC) at 607-777-2221 for a phone or telehealth evaluation within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. If deemed necessary, on-campus students will be given a diagnostic test at DSHSC; off-campus students will be given an order for a test to be administered at an off-campus location.

    Do not simply show up to Old Union Hall 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.

    Faculty and staff should contact their primary care health provider.

  • If you are contacted for surveillance testing in Old Union Hall

    Surveillance testing is being conducted through random sampling and only those who are contacted by email are eligible to be tested. Those contacted are expected to sign up for a time to be tested and to arrive at Old Union Hall at that time. Students, faculty and staff who have not received an email message should not show up for a test; they cannot be accommodated. Instead, students should contact Decker Student Health Services Center at 607-777-2221, and faculty and staff should contact their primary care health provider.

  • If you want a test for any reason
    • Anyone may go to the drive-through New York State testing site located in lot ZZ on campus. You must have a vehicle. Appointments are required; call 888-364-3065 to make an appointment. The site is open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
    • UHS Walk-in (physician order required)
      4417 Vestal Parkway East, Vestal (directly across from Binghamton University main entrance)
      607-729-2144
      https://www.nyuhs.org/locations/locations-profile/?id=21
      • Physician order required-may be faxed to 607-729-2145.
      • Patient will be called with appointment time.Testing site not limited to vehicles.
      • To schedule virtual walk-in appointment with a UHS provider-go to nyuhs.org and click on “Start a Virtual Health Visit”
      • Must wear a mask to visit clinic.
    • Additionally, individuals have the option of searching for a nearby test site through the search tool on the governor's website.

Report issues of non-compliance online