What criteria would lead to UB to move instruction from a mix of in-person and online instruction to all remote instruction as it did in March?

The university will continue to monitor and follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health and SUNY to guide its operations and decision making.

Factors prompting a return to remote operations could include:

  • An increase in the rate of coronavirus transmission such that Western New York hospitals are at capacity or are overwhelmed.
  • A significant increase in the rate of transmission within the UB community.
  • Guidance from the Erie County Department of Health.
  • Guidance or a directive from the Governor of New York State

NYS Guidance

NYS issued guidance that beginning with the 14-day period starting August 28, 2020 to September 11, 2020, whenever the lesser of 100 individuals or 5% of the total on-campus population – inclusive of students, faculty, and staff – of a higher education institution location* test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period, the location must immediately (1) transition all in-person learning to remote format(s) and (2) limit on-campus activities for a period of 14 days. During such period, in-person athletic events, extracurricular programs, and other non-essential student activities must be suspended, and dining hall(s) and other on-campus food services must be converted into take-out or delivery models, as appropriate. Essential on-campus functions are authorized to continue as described in the “Limitations of On-Campus Activity” section

If at any time a cluster or clusters of positive COVID-19 cases develop at an area of a higher education institution location (e.g., a dormitory or residence hall) and such cluster(s) exceed the institution’s ability to contact trace, quarantine, or isolate, the local health department, in consultation with DOH, may require the institution to transition all in-person learning to remote format(s) and limit on-campus activities, even if the location may have fewer than 100 individuals or less than 5% of the total on-campus population who have tested positive for COVID-19 over a 14- day period.

“Total on-campus population” includes all students, faculty, and staff who are on the campus location, including those students living on campus and those attending class on campus, as well as all staff and faculty working on campus.

Those students, faculty, and staff members testing positive for COVID-19 prior to arrival on campus and those testing positive while quarantined due to out-of-state travel restrictions prior to participation in on-campus activities shall not be used by the higher education institution or local health department(s) when calculating the percentage or total number of positive cases, unless it is determined that the student, faculty, or staff member participated in an on-campus activity in, for instance, violation of the quarantine restrictions.

*A higher education institution location shall refer to a self-contained location or campus of a given institution. For instance, a campus may have graduate schools, specialty schools, or research facilities removed from a main campus. To the extent that those locations, while under the same college or university, have no significant interaction with each other, they may be treated separately for purposes of this threshold.

Updated August 31, 2020

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