Information for Employees Regarding COVID-19

Guidance for Employees

Human Resources has compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding procedures and processes during COVID-19.

On this page:

Memos to All Employees

Return to work safely, unit plans in review - June 16, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

As you know, the university is planning to bring employees back to campus safely and prudently. To help accomplish this task, UB units were asked last week to develop and submit return-to-work plans that follow a set of best-practice health guidelines. These guidelines recommend the continuation of remote work arrangements, where effective, in order to lower the density of people on campus – with a target of having 50% less people in unit work areas. As a university community, we also will focus on maintaining social distancing in our work spaces and we will require all employees to wear face coverings where social distancing standards cannot be met.

As of June 15, more than 20 UB units have submitted return-to-work plans for review by expert teams within the offices of Facilities, Human Resources, and Environment, Health and Safety. Until a unit’s plan receives approval, employees who are working remotely should continue to work remotely

Before we begin the gradual return of employees, there are several key components that will be developed and completed university-wide:

  • Several options are being identified in order for UB to meet New York State requirement for daily screenings, which will ask employees to attest to their health status each day. When implemented, this process will include essential employees currently working on campus.
  • Supplies of disinfectant wipes will be distributed to each unit as employees return to work.
  • More information and education on what to expect upon returning to campus will be shared with employees as plans are finalized, including plans for testing and tracing at the university.

We sincerely appreciate the patience and diligence of all UB employees as we carefully plan to bring people back to campus while managing risk and implementing health and safety guidelines.

Campus planning for return to campus - June 3, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

At this time, all employees that are working remotely should continue to do so until further notice. 

UB will begin building plans to return employees to working on campus.  The approach to build a plan has been shared with all UB leaders, Unit Business Officers, and unit HR Administrators.  Plans will be developed by all units and submitted for review and approval in order to be able to support work areas with key operational services. 

Information will be shared by unit leaders for their specific areas when and how plans are finalized for employees to return to campus.  More information on return to campus guidelines is at the following: http://www.buffalo.edu/administrative-services/ub-forward-employees.html

We continue to appreciate all of the folks who have been on campus to keep it operational.  If you have any questions, please contact me at 645-8155 or mcoldren@buffalo.edu

Non-essential Employees to continue Working Remotely until May 28 - May 15, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

This message is to communicate to the UB community that the governor’s directive advising all non-essential employees to stay at home and work remotely will continue through May 28. The extension, announced this morning, comes as five regions of upstate New York can begin reopening because they have met criteria laid out by the governor's office.

When there is a change in the governor’s directive, UB will provide a planned and phased approach for any changes in operations, services and the return of non-essential employees to the campus. Until then, non-essential employees must continue to work remotely. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Again, I would like to express the gratitude of the entire UB community to all of our essential colleagues who continue to work on campus each day to maintain the operations of the university.

Working Remotely Remains in Effect for Non-essential Employees - May 7, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

This message is to remind the UB community of the governor’s directive advising all non-essential employees to stay at home and work remotely until further notice is given by the university.

If there is a change in the governor’s directive, you will receive official notification from the university indicating a date when non-essential employees can return to the campus. Until then, non-essential employees must continue to work remotely. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Again, I would like to express the gratitude of the entire UB community to all of our essential colleagues who continue to work on campus each day to maintain the operations of the university.

Non-Essential Employees to Continue to Work Remotely - April 23, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

In response to the continuing COVID-19 public health emergency, Governor Cuomo has extended to May 15 the directive indicating that all non-essential state employees in all New York State agencies and public authorities are not to report to work.

As a reminder, non-essential employees are defined as anyone who does not need to be physically present to perform job functions, or who are not required to meet the core function and programs of their agency or institution during the state’s emergency response.

Essential employees continue to be defined as anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency or institution, or who must be physically present to perform their job; and those involved in the COVID-19 emergency response, and individuals who are currently providing a vital service for students who returned to campus and who are enrolled via distance learning. Once again, I would like to express the gratitude of the entire UB community to all of our essential colleagues for their efforts to maintain the operations of the university every day.

Please also note that state-funded student workers are still operating under the governor’s executive order, which provides direction on pay, working from home, and reporting to work only if deemed essential. Supervisors of student employees should continue to submit timesheets for work up until May 15. Federal Work Study (FWS) students should also continue to be paid until the identified funding is depleted. If any department has questions regarding FWS student funding, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Included with the governor’s May 15 extension is a host of tools for campuses to use, including but not limited to:

  1. The ability to work remotely.
  2. The ability to redeploy staff and provide alternate assignments.
  3. Continuation of pay for full-time and part-time employees currently through May 15 for anyone not working or not assigned to work.
  4. Continuation of pay for any employee quarantined up to 14 days.

In compliance with the State Executive Order for face coverings, UB’s Environment Health & Safety team is currently facilitating the distribution of masks for all essential employees. In anticipation of non-essential employees returning to UB campuses, we will need to prepare for resources and materials, per State guidance and mandates. To be more efficient and effective in this transition, all Personal Protective Equipment and disinfectant materials will be sourced centrally for the entire university. This would include face coverings and disinfectant cleaning materials such as Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. Centralizing this process will enable consistent, compliance-based and cost-effective purchasing to be accomplished. Individual units should not initiate purchasing transactions for any of these items. Acquisition, storage and distribution will be managed centrally. More information about this process will provided as plans are developed for the return of non-essential employees to campus.

Face Coverings at UB - All Employees - April 13, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

In accordance with the recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo (4/12/20) and guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the voluntary use of face coverings, UB intends to supply our essential employees with suitable face covering materials for use in the workplace.  As was shared previously, we are working to have these materials to be distributed with area supervisors as soon as they are sourced and available.

It is important to note that the use of a face covering is not intended to protect the wearer from exposure to the virus.  Face coverings are a physical barrier intended to stop the spread of respiratory droplets from the wearer into the environment.  While proper social distancing protocols are the best method against transmission, the use of face coverings is an important tool to help prevent the spread of the virus because individuals can be contagious before they develop symptoms of the viral infection, or may not be aware they are infectious.  Higher levels of respiratory protection (N95 masks or other filtering-type respirators) are in short supply and are being reserved for use by medical professionals and first responders.  NYS and the CDC is not recommending these types of respirators for general use face coverings in the workplace or in public settings.

Essential employees are now required to wear a face covering only in situations where they are interacting with a customer, or where they are unable to maintain proper social distancing.  For other job activities where essential workers are able to properly social distance, the face coverings being supplied are for voluntary use.  Supplies of manufactured surgical masks may be prioritized for use by customer interacting personnel. 

The face covering being supplied to employees may vary depending on what is readily available.  Options supplied may include: 

Level 1 surgical mask.

Level 1 surgical mask

Manufactured cloth mask.

Manufactured cloth mask

Homemade cloth masks.

Homemade cloth masks

Scarfs.

Scarfs

*The CDC provides guidance for those wishing to make their own face covering https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Some work activities require the use of a higher level of respiratory protection. If an individual is performing a work activity which they believe may require additional respiratory protection, they should contact their supervisor for guidance. Supervisors may consult with EH&S to determine the most appropriate respiratory protection for such activities. 

For additional information University Facilities has created a helpful video for essential employees: (UBITName and password required) https://buffalo.box.com/s/4f1nj7s9x5s141mib6928ypi6r0irq2p

We know that these are challenging and fluid times. Please know that everyone’s health and safety is our top priority.  Thank you for your continued support and cooperation to help us conserve higher levels of respiratory protection for medical professionals and first responders. This guideline is designed to be consistent with local, state, SUNY and federal guidelines so we can continue to protect the well-being of the entire campus community. Again, many thanks to all of our essential colleagues for all that they are doing for our campus community.

SUNY and NYS - Non-essential employees to work remotely until 4/29/20 - All Employees - April 13, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

UB received confirmation in response to the continuing public health emergency for the COVID-19 virus, that the Governor extended his directive for all non-essential State employees for New York State’s agencies and public authorities in every county, to not report to work until April 29.  

Essential employees continue to be defined as anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency or authority, or who must be physically present to perform their job, those involved in the COVID-19 emergency response, and individuals who are currently providing a vital service for students who returned to campus and are undergoing distance learning. I know that the entire UB community joins me in appreciation for all our essential colleagues are doing to maintain the operations of the university every day.

As a reminder, non-essential employees are defined as anyone who does not need to be physically present to perform job functions, or they are not required to meet the core function and programs of their agency during this emergency response.

State part time and student workers are still operating under the Governor’s executive order which includes receiving pay, potential working from home, and reporting to work only if deemed essential. With this extension comes a host of tools for campuses to use including, but are not limited to:

  1. The ability to work remotely.
  2. The ability to redeploy staff and provide alternate assignments.
  3. Continuation of pay for full-time and part-time employees currently through April 29, 2020 for anyone not working or not assigned to work.
  4. Continuation of pay for any employee quarantined up to 14 days.

Face Coverings and Social Distancing recommended on all UB campuses - April 6, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

On April 4 the CDC recommended that, in addition to maintaining 6-feet social distancing, the use of face coverings can help prevent spread of the coronavirus by people who have the virus but who have yet to show symptoms. Based on these new guidelines, we would like to update our recommended safety measures for essential personnel who are still working on UB’s campuses.

It is important to remember that social distancing is still the primary way to slow the spread of COVID-19,  and should be maintained regardless of whether a person is wearing a mask or face covering. If social distancing is not an option or is not feasible, essential staff members are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when they are in close proximity of other individuals or when providing customer services. Essential staff members are not required to wear face coverings in situations when they are working alone in an area where they are isolated from other staff.

Currently, commercial masks are in short supply and UB may not be able to provide you with a commercial mask at this time. The university is attempting to obtain a supply of masks and as they become available, we will attempt to provide you with one.

Essential staff are welcome to wear a face covering they bring from home. Face coverings from home may include such items as cloth masks, surgical masks, shop/carpenter masks, bandanas, scarfs, etc. CDC guidance for making your own face covering is available here. Cloth face coverings can be laundered at home and used multiple times. UB encourages their re-use, unless the user suspects their face covering has been contaminated.

If an employee brings an N95 respirator from home, they must report their intent to use the equipment to their supervisor.  Because N95 respirators are tight-fitting, filtering face-pieces, their use requires UB to maintain compliance with the OSHA respiratory protection standard. Therefore, the employee may be required to read OSHA appendix D regarding the voluntary use of respirators, and sign off that they have read and understood the material. Your supervisor will assist you with this task.

Individuals who work in patient-care situations or areas of special risk (Dental Clinics, Student Health Services, LAF, and University Police) should continue to wear personal proactive equipment as prescribed by their departmental manager. If anyone has questions, please contact your direct supervisor or you can contact Mark Coldren in Human Resources at 716-645-8155 or mcoldren@buffalo.edu. Thanks very much – be safe and well.

Non-Essential Employees to continue to work remotely until 4/15/20 - March 30, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Governor extended his directive for all non-essential State employees for New York State’s agencies and public authorities in every county, to continue to work remotely until April 15

With this directive, UB essential employees will continue to follow their assigned work schedules to ensure we are providing vital services for our students, distance learning, and campus-wide essential operations. 

Please know, that this extension includes New York State funded and Federal Work-study student workers. 

As a reminder, employee guidance shared previously will continue. This includes:

  1. The ability to work remotely.
  2. The ability to redeploy staff and provide alternate assignments.
  3. Continuation of pay full-time and part-time employees currently through April 15, 2020.

If anyone has questions, please contact Mark Coldren in the Office of Human Resources at 716-645-8155 or mcoldren@buffalo.edu.  Thank you.

Non-Essential Employees Continue to Work Remotely - All Employees - March 21, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

Hello everyone. I would first like to express a great deal of thanks to everyone for their patience, diligence, concern, and compliance with all of our institution’s efforts this past week in the face of a rapidly changing and evolving situation.  On March 20, the governor issued an executive order mandating that all employees from “non-essential businesses” stay home beginning March 22. This message is to reinforce that UB is still operating under guidance from the governor issued on March 17 regarding essential and non-essential employees at SUNY institutions.

According to this guidance, the essential employee designation includes those employees whose worksite presence is necessary to the continued operation of the university, who are integrally involved in the COVID-19 response effort, or those who must be present at the workplace in order to carry out their work-related duties and responsibilities. Under this guidance, essential employees include:

  • Faculty members who need to access offices to teach remotely
  • On-campus housing employees
  • Food service employees
  • Facilities employees

All non-essential SUNY employees have been assigned to perform their work-related duties and responsibilities from alternate work locations, via telecommuting. Non-essential status may change at the discretion of management; accordingly, employees should contact their supervisor daily to confirm their status. As the operational needs of the COVID-19 response change, management may modify specific job functions and/or work locations. For more information, please refer to UB’s March 17 memo “Information for Employees Regarding COVID-19.”

I encourage all non-essential employees working remotely to stay in regular contact with your supervisors and your co-workers via phone/Webex/Zoom/text, etc. It is very important for us to stay connected as a community. I know we all have a special appreciation for UB’s essential employees as they continue to support our students and University’s operations moving forward.  Please continue to monitor information on UB’s web site focused on COVID-19. Thank you very much.

Temporary Alternate Work Assignments - All Employees - March 17, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

In this continuing evolving situation, UB is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of the UB community in accordance with the guidance provided by Federal and State governments, including the SUNY Chancellor, SUNY Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Erie County Department of Health. It is important that you review UB’s COVID-19 website to receive the latest information and guidance from the University (https://www.buffalo.edu/coronavirus/).

While we understand that the novel coronavirus is creating anxiety and uncertainty, we must follow university policies and practices regarding health and safety issues including the approval of alternate work locations.

University Guidance

  1. Students, faculty and staff are cautioned against making judgments regarding a fellow student or colleague’s health. If you see someone who is clearly ill, encourage them to contact their health care provider or UB’s Student Health Services.
  2. Faculty and staff who are not feeling well are asked to stay home and consult their health care provider as needed. Please notify your supervisor that you will be absent.
  3. If faculty or staff are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, contact your health care provider. Be sure to call ahead and tell your provider about any travel and symptoms you are experiencing.   Faculty or staff must notify their supervisor and then Mark Coldren, associate vice president for human resources, at (716) 645-8155 or mcoldren@buffalo.edu to ensure that the University takes appropriate preventive actions. 
  4. In the event that the Erie County Health Department determines an employee meets the criteria for possible infection, local and state health authorities will work with the university to determine appropriate steps.  Information about an individual’s medical condition is confidential, and should be disclosed only to HR, supervisors, medical and safety personnel and others with a need to know.
  1. If you voluntarily disclose that you have a specific medical condition or disability that puts you at increased risk for COVID-19, or that you are living with someone with such a condition or disability, the department will keep this information confidential.  Your supervisor will consult with their unit HR manager to determine the type of assistance that will be needed to mitigate your risk. The appropriate response will depend upon your job duties, responsibilities, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Temporary Alternate Work Assignments

By direction from the NYS Governor’s office, effective March 17, 2020 and until further notice, all non-essential SUNY employees shall be assigned to perform their work-related duties and responsibilities from alternate work locations, via telecommuting.  This telecommuting assignment is part of a telecommuting pilot program, recently negotiated by New York State and the CSEA, PEF and UUP labor organizations.  Both the telecommuting assignment and the telecommuting program apply to all SUNY employees, including M/C designated employees.

The Essential employee designation includes those employees whose worksite presence is necessary to the continued operation of the University, who are integrally involved in the COVID-19 response effort, or those who must be present at the workplace in order to carry out their work-related duties and responsibilities.  Non-essential status may change at the discretion of management; accordingly, employees should contact their supervisor daily to confirm their status.  As the operational needs of the COVID-19 response change, management may modify specific job functions and/or work locations.

All telecommuters will be required to submit a work plan that includes hours worked and work completed. Employees must treat a telecommuting day as a regular workday in which the employee must maintain a regular work routine. More information about this policy as well as necessary forms will be provided as soon as possible.  Employees will be required to complete the UB Temporary Alternate Work Assignment form (attached to this email).  Completed forms will require unit leadership signatures and then should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources.  If you have any questions, please contact Mark Coldren at mcoldren@buffalo.edu, or 645-8155, or the HR Service Center at 645-7777. 

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County State of Emergency, UB Open - All Employees - March 15, 2020

To all employees from Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

Erie County officials declared a state of emergency for the county on Sunday, March 15, 2020. At this time, the University at Buffalo remains open and operational. Employees and supervisors may have questions regarding their work arrangements.The university will provide more guidance on how best to support remote work in the coming days. Supervisors should maintain communication with and support their employees as circumstances evolve. 

These guidelines will remain in effect so long as current circumstances, involving the COVID-19 pandemic, warrant. These guidelines are subject to change, and may be rescinded, at any time. Please continue to monitor official UB communications

In order to consider a remote work option for UB employees, all of the following criteria must be met:

  • All core duties can be efficiently performed from a remote work location.
  • The location must be conducive and appropriate for completing core duties with the same level of privacy or security and productivity as in the usual work environment. Among other things, there must be a stable internet connection, telephone connection and a UB compliant device. 
  • These duties will continue to be performed during the normal work shift or the agreed work shift.
  • The employee must be available and responsive to work related requests and discussions via email, phone or online throughout the work shift.
  • The employee must continue to fulfill their professional obligation and must continue to meet the performance expectations of the position.

Departments should ensure that there is an auditable record of work performed for each employee.

The alternate work location arrangement will be re-evaluated as needed. Remote work assignments may be modified or revoked at any time. Key things for supervisors and employees to work through include:

  • A telephone number where the employee can be reached during the agreed-upon work schedule.
  • The employee will use his/her own equipment, supplies, and telephone/Internet connection to perform his/her job duties.
  • The University is not responsible for operating costs, home maintenance and any other cost associated with the use of the home as an alternate work location.
  • In the event of delay in repair or replacement, or any other circumstance, which makes work from the home location impracticable, the employee understands that the supervisor may require the employee to report to the regular work site or charge appropriate accruals. 
  • All information security, and records management and policies that apply at the regular worksite apply when the employee works from home.
  • Whether or not specifically articulated in these procedures, Alternate Work Assignment employees are subject to the same federal and state laws, and policies and procedures applicable to employees at the regular university worksite.
  • The university is not liable for injuries to third parties at the remote work site. The university is not liable for damages to the employee’s personal or real property.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • Where can I find the latest information about COVID-19 and how UB is preparing and responding?

    Where can I find the latest information about COVID-19 and how UB is preparing and responding?

    Updated June 8, 2020

  • What kind of guidance has the New York State Department of Health provided to state employees regarding COVID-19?

    What kind of guidance has the New York State Department of Health provided to state employees regarding COVID-19?

    New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker issued a letter to state employees on March 4, 2020. You can read the letter here.

    Updated March 11, 2020

  • Who is at higher risk for developing serious consequences from COVID-19?

    Who is at higher risk for developing serious consequences from COVID-19?

    The Center for Disease control has found that people at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 include the following:

    • Older adults
    • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease

    It is important to consider not only the risk of exposure to UB students and employees, but also those they come into regular contact with due to living or caregiving arrangements.

    Updated March 13, 2020

  • What should I do if I feel ill at work or need to call in sick?

    What should I do if I feel ill at work or need to call in sick?

    Faculty and staff who are not feeling well are asked to stay home and consult their health care provider as needed. Please notify your supervisor that you will be absent. 

    If faculty or staff are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, contact your health care provider. Be sure to call ahead and tell your provider about any travel and symptoms you are experiencing.   Faculty or staff must notify their supervisor and then Mark Coldren, associate vice president for human resources, at (716) 645-8155 or mcoldren@buffalo.edu to ensure that the University takes appropriate preventive actions. 

    Students experiencing symptoms should call UB Student Health Services at 716-829-3316.

    If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have it, stay in your apartment or residence hall room unless you need URGENT medical care. The most common symptoms reported include:

    • Fever of 100.4 F or higher
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue
    • Other symptoms like body aches, sore throat, headache, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, chills, congestion or runny nose and new loss of taste or smell can also occur.

    Most people have only mild to moderate symptoms and are able to manage their symptoms at home.

    RELATED HR MEMOS
    EVERYONE SHOULD PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND GOOD HYGIENE

    Everyone should practice social distancing and good hygiene. UB is asking members of the campus community to follow these public health recommendations to avoid the spread of respiratory illnesses:

    • Avoid close contact with sick individuals
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Cover your cough
    • Sneeze into a tissue
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others*
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Stay in your apartment or residence hall room when you are sick

    For your day-to-day life in the coming weeks or months, this guidance translates to the following points:

    • Do not get together with groups of friends for parties, study sessions or hang outs. Even something simple like sitting on a couch with others to watch a movie goes against CDC recommendations.
    • Strictly minimize the network of people you maintain in-person contact with.
    • Limit shopping trips to those needed for essential supplies.
    • Avoid any unnecessary travel.
    • Continue to follow tips for frequent and thorough handwashing and sanitation of regularly touched surfaces.
    • Stay home if you are sick. Learn the CDC recommendations for what to do if you are sick.

    *The CDC provides guidance for those wishing to make their own face covering https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-n

    Updated March 17, 2020

  • Can I stay home from work or work remotely?

    Can I stay home from work or work remotely?

    Information on working remotely and other updates pertaining to employees’ safe return to campus will be provided on the Administrative Services Gateway page.

    Visit the employee Return to Campus website for important guidance as our phased return-to-campus plan is implemented, including information and protocols such as:

    • Important information you need to know
    • Self Monitoring
    • HR/Employee Guidance
    • Safe Workplace
    • Health and Well-being

    Updated June 8, 2020

  • At this time, can I travel to countries that the CDC has indicated are a level 2 alert or level 3 warning?

    At this time, can I travel to countries that the CDC has indicated are a level 2 alert or level 3 warning?

    Several states in the U.S. and many regions of the world are experiencing a high number of cases of COVID-19. The university is strongly recommending that UB faculty, staff and students avoid traveling to regions that are being impacted by the virus.

    14 day mandatory quarantines for travel from designed states

    Travel Advisory

    Mandatory 14-day quarantine for travel to high-COVID-19 areas for longer than 24 hours.

    > More Information
    > List of restricted states

    International Travel

    > CDC International Travel FAQ
    > CDC's after travel guidance

    New York State has issued a travel advisory for anyone entering the state from states or territories that are experiencing recent, significant, community-wide spread of COVID-19*.

    All travelers to New York State must fill out the NYS Traveler Health Form to determine whether a 14-day precautionary quarantine is required.

    In coordination with New York State officials, the university will follow guidance on mandatory 14-day quarantines when a person travels to the university from a region or country experiencing heightened prevalence of COVID-19. Students, faculty, staff and visitors arriving in New York State from designated states that have significant community spread of COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 14 days before coming onto campus. This requirement does not apply to any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel. Additional information for UB employees is available this UB employee website.

    *For a list of states and territories that meet the criteria for required quarantine due to significant community transmission, visit https://ny.gov/states. This is based upon a seven-day rolling average, of positive tests in excess of 10%, or number of positive cases exceeding 10 per 100,000 residents.

    Travel Advisories and Recommendations

    Travel Advisory

    Mandatory 14-day quarantine for travel to high-COVID-19 areas for longer than 24 hours.

    > More Information
    > List of restricted states

    International Travel

    > CDC International Travel FAQ
    > CDC's after travel guidance

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to countries with Level 3 Health Notices, and cautions against high-risk travelers from traveling to countries with Level 2 Health Notices. 

    In accordance with this recommendation from the CDC, the State of New York has prohibited all New York State work-related employee travel to level 2 and level 3 countries until further notice.

    CDC Travel Advisories are being updated and changed frequently. Travelers should visit the CDC's advisories website for the latest notices.

    Returning from areas designated by the CDC with Level 3 Travel Health Notices

    Employees returning from areas designated by the CDC with Level 3 Travel Health Notices will be required to follow CDC guidelines for limiting exposure.

    Employees should contact their supervisor to report their plan to self-quarantine.  Employees in self-quarantine who develop symptoms of illness should contact their health care provider.  Employees with questions related to local health department guidelines should call the Erie County Department of Health helpline at 716-859-2929. 

    Support for students abroad

    The university is assisting students on a one-on-one basis if they are unable to travel to UB because of travel bans. International students who are unable to return are advised to contact International Student Services (isss@buffalo.edu) to discuss the best course of action for continuing their academic careers at UB.

    UB business-related travel expenses

    Faculty and staff might have already made travel arrangements and incurred UB business-related expenses for upcoming travel that may have been cancelled due to concerns related to COVID-19. Visit the UB Administrative Services website for information on UB and SUNY policies on reimbursement.

    Please check with event organizers for the most updated information about scheduled UB conferences or events.

    Updated June 4, 2020

  • If I return from travel from an area designated by the CDC as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission, am I required to stay at home?

    If I return from travel from an area designated by the CDC as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission, am I required to stay at home?

    Employees returning from areas designated by the CDC with Level 3 Travel Health Notices will be required to follow CDC guidelines for limiting exposure, including self-quarantine (staying at home) for  14 days. 

    Employees should contact their supervisor to report their plan to self-quarantine.  Employees in self-quarantine who develop symptoms of illness should contact their health care provider.  Employees with questions related to local health department guidelines should call the Erie County Department of Health helpline at 716-859-2929. 

    Updated June 4, 2020

    travel, reimbursement, reimburse, costs, ban, expenses
  • If I return from travel from an area that has not been designated by the CDC as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission but where there have been identified cases of COVID-19, and I have no symptoms of COVID-19, am I required to stay home?

    If I return from travel from an area that has not been designated by the CDC as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission but where there have been identified cases of COVID-19, and I have no symptoms of COVID-19, am I required to stay home?

    No.  The University can only require this for areas specified by the CDC or state or local public health officials as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission.  Individuals with medical conditions, disabilities, or other circumstances that render them vulnerable in cases of exposure should contact their department supervisor, manager, or Human Resources liaison to discuss their options.

    Updated March 13, 2020

  • If I do not have COVID-19 symptoms, am I expected to disclose whether I have a medical condition that the CDC says could make me especially vulnerable?

    If I do not have COVID-19 symptoms, am I expected to disclose whether I have a medical condition that the CDC says could make me especially vulnerable?

    No.  You are not required to disclose whether you have a medical condition that might place you at higher risk.  The laws prohibiting discrimination based on disability prohibit UB from making these inquiries or requiring medical examinations of employees without symptoms.

    If you voluntarily disclose that you have a specific medical condition or disability that puts you at increased risk for COVID-19, or that you are living with someone with such a condition or disability, the department will keep this information confidential.  Your supervisor will consult with their unit HR manager to determine the type of assistance that will be needed to mitigate your risk. The appropriate response will depend upon your job duties, responsibilities, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

    Updated March 17, 2020

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  • What if I am unable to report to work because of a non-medical COVID-19 related situation (i.e. caring for a child whose school or day care center is closed, caring for a family member who has an illness associated with COVID-19)?

    What if I am unable to report to work because of a non-medical COVID-19 related situation (i.e. caring for a child whose school or day care center is closed, caring for a family member who has an illness associated with COVID-19)?

    You should contact your supervisor who will consult with HR to determine what benefits or leave options may be available to you (i.e. accrual usage, NYSPFL, FMLA, or leaves as may be appropriate), and to consider whether there are any alternative work arrangements that would allow you to perform essential job duties.  Alternative arrangements will be considered on a case-by-case basis and their appropriateness will depend upon the nature of your essential duties and responsibilities.   

    Updated March 13, 2020

  • Does Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) apply if I contract COVID-19? Does FMLA apply if my spouse or child contracts COVID-19 and I must stay home to care for them?

    Does FMLA apply if I contract COVID-19? Does FMLA apply if my spouse or child contracts COVID-19 and I must stay home to care for them?

    FMLA will be administered at UB by the Office of Human Resources based on the legal requirements and individual circumstances with approriate medical documentation.

    Updated March 11, 2020

  • What do I do if I feel unsafe at work because I fear I might be exposed to COVID-19 by coworkers or students who have traveled to an area with widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission?

    What do I do if I feel unsafe at work because I fear I might be exposed to COVID-19 by coworkers or students who have traveled to an area with widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission?

    If you voluntarily disclose that you have a specific medical condition or disability that puts you at increased risk COVID-19, or that you are living with someone with such a condition or disability, the department will keep this information confidential.  You and your supervisor will determine the type of assistance that will be needed to mitigate your risk.  The appropriate response will depend upon your job duties and responsibilities, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

    Updated March 13, 2020

  • I meet with students (employees, patients) frequently as part of my job responsibilities. What should I do if I encounter someone who is obviously sick?

    I meet with students (employees, patients, etc.) frequently as part of my job responsibilities. What should I do if I encounter someone who is obviously sick?

    Students, faculty and staff are cautioned against making judgments regarding a fellow student or colleague’s health. If you see someone who is clearly ill, encourage them to contact their health care provider or UB’s Student Health Services at 716-829-3316

    As with other forms of influenza (flu) or contagious illnesses such as colds, maintaining a reasonable distance from the person is a starting point. Do not shake hands or make other physical contact. Use a sanitary wipe after the person has left to wipe areas of your work station that the person has touched and follow good hand-washing practices.  There may be situations in which a meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better, or the business can be conducted by phone or e-mail.

    EVERYONE SHOULD PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND GOOD HYGIENE

    Everyone should practice social distancing and good hygiene. UB is asking members of the campus community to follow these public health recommendations to avoid the spread of respiratory illnesses:

    • Avoid close contact with sick individuals
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Cover your cough
    • Sneeze into a tissue
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others*
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Stay in your apartment or residence hall room when you are sick

    For your day-to-day life in the coming weeks or months, this guidance translates to the following points:

    • Do not get together with groups of friends for parties, study sessions or hang outs. Even something simple like sitting on a couch with others to watch a movie goes against CDC recommendations.
    • Strictly minimize the network of people you maintain in-person contact with.
    • Limit shopping trips to those needed for essential supplies.
    • Avoid any unnecessary travel.
    • Continue to follow tips for frequent and thorough handwashing and sanitation of regularly touched surfaces.
    • Stay home if you are sick. Learn the CDC recommendations for what to do if you are sick.

    *The CDC provides guidance for those wishing to make their own face covering https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-n

    Updated March 23, 2020

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  • What assistance is available to help me cope with the emotional impact of this COVID-19 issue?

    What assistance is available to help me cope with the emotional impact of this COVID-19 issue?

    UB provides resources to help full-time academic and staff employees and eligible dependents cope with these types of life events through its Employee Assistance Program Hotline (EAP). Call 716-645-4461 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year). The EAP provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee.

    You can also find guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on mental health and coping here:

    Updated March 11, 2020

  • Should I cancel my personal travel plans?

    Should I cancel my personal travel plans?

    CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. A list of destinations with travel notices is available on the CDC website.

    Updated March 13, 2020

  • What can employees do now to prepare for any potential changes to normal business operations?

    What can employees do now to prepare for any potential changes to normal business operations?

    UB Human Resources encourages employees to take the following four actions now to prepare for any possible future changes to normal business operations:

    1. Sign up for direct deposit (state employees):
      If you are still receiving paper paychecks and are a state employee, HR strongly recommends that you sign up for direct deposit now to avoid any disruption in your pay in the case that it may become challenging to obtain your paycheck.

    2. Update your time and attendance records:
      Ensure that your time and attendance records are updated to the current month (through February 2020). If your timesheets are incomplete, HR may be unable to determine your eligibility to remain in paid status in the event that you are absent from work. Learn more about managing your time on the HR website.

    3. Sign up for UB Alerts:
      The University at Buffalo offers a free service that delivers text messages and email messages to UB students, faculty, and staff during emergencies, incidents that may affect personal safety and when adverse weather conditions affect normal campus operations. Sign up for UB Alerts here.

    4. Update your emergency contact information:
      State employees can update their phone number and emergency contact information using the SUNY HR Self Service portal. After logging in, click on SUNY HR Self Service and enter your date of birth. Use the Phone and Emergency Contacts tabs at the top of the screen to make additions and changes.

      Research Foundation (RF) employees can update emergency contact information using this form.

      UBF employees can update their phone number and emergency contact information by sending an email to ubfhr@buffalo.edu.

    For help with these or additional questions, contact UB's Office of Human Resources at 645-7777 or ub-hr@buffalo.edu.

    Updated March 6, 2020

  • Who should I contact if I have further questions about employment and the COVID-19 issue?

    Who should I contact if I have further questions about employment and the COVID-19 issue?

    Please contact your supervisor or UB Human Resources’ Service Center at (716) 645-7777 for specific guidance regarding your personal work situation.

    Updated March 11, 2020

Contact for Questions

Customer Service

Human Resources

120 Crofts Hall

Phone: 716-645-7777