What steps do I need to take before coming to campus for the Fall '20 semester?

New York State has issued a travel advisory for anyone entering the state from designated states 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. Students must complete the New York State online traveler health form and submit a copy of the last page of the form to StudentNYSTravelForm@buffalo.edu once for each time you travel outside of New York State to a hotspot area and stay for 24 hours or longer.

Precautionary Quarantine

To reduce the risk of virus transmission, and in accordance with SUNY guidelines, a precautionary seven-day quarantine at their own residence is highly recommended for all UB students, faculty and staff who return to or come to campus in August (or thereafter) to start the academic year.

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.

Screening and testing

The university has developed a protocol for screening, testing and contact tracing based on evidence-based methods recommended by the most recent scientific research. UB’s protocol is based on SUNY and state guidelines, the expertise of UB faculty specializing in infectious disease and public health, and on the most recent CDC guidance, which does not recommend viral testing of all returning students, faculty and staff. UB’s protocol involves a process of screening, targeted testing and surveillance, as outlined below:

UB has implemented a process of daily screenings (Daily Health Check) of all students, faculty, staff. visitors and affiliates* using chatbot technology, followed by targeted viral testing of those who have COVID-19 symptoms or who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to undergo isolation for 10 days.

The Daily Health Check will ask, at minimum, whether the participant:

  • Has experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the past 10 days.
  • Has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the past 10 days.
  • Has had contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in the past 14 days.
  • Has traveled to a location on New York State's COVID-19 Travel Advisory list for more than 24 hours (except to and from Canada) in the past 14 days.

*Affiliates includes RF, State, UBF employees, adjunct faculty, volunteers, vendors, visitors and invited guests to campus. 

The university will require viral testing for individuals who report symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or develop such symptoms during quarantine. Faculty and staff should arrange testing through their health care provider. Students will be directed to available testing off-campus. The cost of testing is the responsibility of each person through their health insurance carrier. Any person who has a positive viral test will be immediately sent home or to a designated isolation location.

UB put in place a COVID-19 surveillance testing program, which is more targeted than mass testing programs used by other schools. It focuses on testing students and employees who are asymptomatic, meaning that they are not showing symptoms of disease. This helps UB monitor COVID-19 trends within the UB community, including identifying potential hotspots, and make timely decisions to prevent outbreaks from occurring. Morinformation about this program can be found here

Updated October 29, 2020

precautions travel daily health check return testing screening quarantine