5/5/22: Rising COVID rates prompt commencement caution

Western New York continues to experience a swift rise in COVID-19 rates, due to the spread of the omicron subvariant BA.2 and a general loosening of restrictions.

Though the increase is expected to ease in the coming weeks, UB health and safety officials recommend that visitors to UB and members of the campus community use their best personal judgment in protecting themselves as the semester draws to a close.

Individuals who should be extra cautious when attending commencement ceremonies or graduation parties — this includes the unvaccinated, undervaccinated (not boosted), elderly and immunocompromised, and those who interact with these groups — are strongly encouraged to wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask (e.g., N95, KN95, KF94).

Anyone who feels unwell or experiences symptoms such as sore throat, headache, runny nose, fever, shortness of breath and coughing should stay home and get tested. Anyone testing positive should isolate, according to CDC guidelines.

While masks are not required at commencement ceremonies for participants or attendees, they are mandatory for passengers aboard UB buses and shuttles, per guidance from the governor and CDC. Complimentary face masks are available to riders upon request.

For those unable to attend in person, degree conferral ceremonies will be available for livestream and post-ceremony viewing.

For more information, visit UB’s Countdown to Commencement website.