Together, we are UB:

Health and Safety Guidelines

Updated: Nov. 18, 2021

Protecting the university community

The University at Buffalo is committed to protecting the health and safety of the UB community while remaining focused on our academic, research and community service mission. Ensuring the safety of the entire university community is paramount as UB responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and implements plans for a safe return to campus.

Guidelines at a Glance: Know the Rules

UB’s health and safety guidelines are multifaceted and comprehensive. While we encourage you to familiarize yourself with them in full, here are a few key takeaways:

Health and Safety Guideline Index

Vaccinations

COVID, flu vaccines available at on-campus clinics

Free COVID-19 vaccines are now available to all members of the UB community at three on-campus clinics. To receive a vaccination, students, faculty and staff must present a UB identification card. No appointments are necessary. The clinics are closed the week of Nov. 23 and will reopen and operate each week Nov. 30 through Dec. 16.

  • North Campus: Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 10 Talbert Hall.
  • South Campus: Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 7 Diefendorf Hall.
  • Downtown Campus: Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Room 2211 Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination record card and a government-issued ID.

Mandatory vaccination for in-person students

  • All UB students are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend classes in person and participate in on-campus activities in the fall, according to a SUNY mandate. Full approval of the vaccine has been granted by the FDA. 
  • Students may qualify for an exemption due to medical reasons or religious beliefs, or if they are learning fully remotely.

Vaccine guidance for international students

  • For UB’s international student and faculty populations, the SUNY requirement recognizes vaccines that have been authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • International students who have received a vaccine not authorized for emergency use either by the FDA or the World Health Organization will need an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccine guidance for employees

  • All employees are strongly urged to get vaccinated for COVID-19. State employees who do not get vaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. 
  • Human Resources has provided guidance to employees on how to provide proof of vaccination.

Vaccine booster guidance

  • UB is strongly encouraging COVID-19 booster shots for those on campus who are eligible, but has not made them mandatory for students as it did with the initial round of vaccinations.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on October 21, expanded the number of those eligible for boosters, which includes anyone 18 and older who received the initial one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago and selected groups 18 and older that received the second Pfizer or Moderna shot at least 6 months ago.
  • UB students who live in university-run housing and received the two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago also are eligible for a booster because they live in a high-risk congregate setting.
  • Educators and support staff who received the initial one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than two months ago or the second Pfizer or Moderna shot at least 6 months ago are also eligible for boosters.
  • Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination record card and a government-issued ID.

Face coverings and physical distancing

Masking, distancing guidelines

In accordance with updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Erie County Department of Health, UB  requires all students, employees and visitors — regardless of their vaccination status — to wear face coverings while inside campus buildings.

Face Coverings

Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings are required in classrooms, hallways, libraries, research and teaching laboratories and other common spaces, as well as UB buses and shuttles.

For fully vaccinated individuals, face coverings are not required inside personal rooms at residence halls, while eating in on-campus dining areas and spaces, and when alone in personal offices or workstations that are not accessible to the general public. Vaccinated individuals must wear masks when moving around the office and interacting with other employees. Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals must wear a face covering at all times, including personal offices and workstations.

UB defines a personal workstation as workspace assigned to one individual, such as a cubicle, that allows for a comfortable amount of physical distance to be maintained between colleagues.

OUTDOOR SETTINGS

  • Vaccinated UB students and employees will not be required to wear face coverings outdoors on UB campuses.
  • Unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear face coverings in all outdoor settings. 
  • Face coverings will be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at outdoor events or settings with more than 100 people in attendance. Individuals can remove their face coverings to eat or drink but must replace the face covering when finished.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

  • Physical distancing is not required for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals indoors or outdoors on UB campuses.
  • Unvaccinated persons are encouraged to observe physical distancing wherever practical.

Mandatory COVID testing

COVID testing

  • Mandatory weekly testing still will be required for students and employees who have not been vaccinated and have a regular presence on campus.
  • Those who are fully vaccinated may opt out of the weekly testing by showing proof of completion of vaccination series. 

Quarantines and isolation

Quarantining for unvaccinated students

  • Unvaccinated students will need to provide proof they tested negative for COVID-19 within five days prior to arriving on campus for the semester.
    • That must be followed up by another COVID-19 test on their day of arrival on campus.
  • In lieu of a negative test, unvaccinated students need to attest to UB that they quarantined at least 10 days prior to or upon arrival to campus.

Isolating/quarantining during the fall semester

RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS

  • UB has designated space in residence halls where students will be required to isolate or quarantine.
    • Students will be provided food and care while they are in quarantine.
    • High-speed Wi-Fi and access to all remote learning resources will be available so students can meet their academic commitments.

OFF-CAMPUS STUDENTS

  • Off-campus students will be advised to quarantine or isolate at their residence. The university will assist any off-campus student who has difficulty obtaining food and care.

EMPLOYEES

  • Employees who test positive or who are a close contact of someone who has tested positive should stay home and isolate and quarantine.

Health Screening

Daily Health Screenings

The Daily Health Check is no longer required

Beginning the week of Nov. 1, students, faculty, staff and visitors are no longer required to complete the Daily Health Check. Those who had signed up for text message reminders and receive a text after Nov. 1 may disregard it—no further action is required.

>10/29/21: The Daily Health Check is no longer required starting Nov. 1

On-campus Housing

On-campus housing requirements

  • All students and advisers living in residence halls and university-owned-and-operated apartments are required to be fully vaccinated upon move in to their assigned, on-campus residence.
    • Accepted vaccines are those that have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA or the WHO. Students may request an exemption due to medical reasons or religious beliefs.
  • UB will plan to designate space for quarantine and isolation uses. CDC guidance indicates that fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 do not have to quarantine unless they are symptomatic.
    • Fully vaccinated individuals who test positive must isolate for the 10 days.

Restrictions for indoor and outdoor events and gatherings

Requirements for certain sports, cultural events

Restrictions for large indoor events

  • All spectators attending men's and women's basketball games in Alumni Arena must provide proof they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. A vaccination card, a photo of a vaccination card, an Excelsior Pass or a digital vaccine card are all acceptable. Attendees should be prepared to show photo ID as well.
  • The vacination policy also applies to public cultural events in Slee Hall and the Center for the Arts. 
  • Individuals will not be able to attend events at Alumni Arena, the Center for the Arts and Slee Hall without proof of at least one dose of the vaccine, even if they have a medical or religious exemption.
  • Masks will be required within indoor locations (concourse, club-level suites) in UB Stadium. Masks also will be required at all times while attending events inside Alumni Arena, the Center for the Arts and Slee Hall. Masks will also be required on the concourse and within club-level suites in UB Stadium.       
  • Children under 12 who are not vaccinated will still be admitted to the game but must wear a mask at all times.
  • In accordance with updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Erie County Department of Health, the University at Buffalo will require all students, employees and visitors – regardless of their vaccination status – to wear face coverings while inside campus buildings.
  • Additional COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect for large indoor events with more than 5,000 people in attendance.

Restrictions for large outdoor events

  • All spectators attending football games at UB Stadium must provide proof they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 
    • A vaccination card, a photo of a vaccination card, an Excelsior Pass or a digital vaccine card are all acceptable. Attendees should be prepared to show photo ID as well. 
    • Masks will no longer be required when spectators are outdoors at UB Stadium, but will be required within indoor locations in UB Stadium, such as the concourse and club-level suites.
    • Individuals will not be able to attend events at UB Stadium without proof of at least one dose of the vaccine, even if they have a medical or religious exemption.
    • Children under 12 who are not vaccinated will still be admitted to the game but must wear a mask at all times.
  • Face coverings will be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at outdoor events or settings with more than 100 people in attendance. Individuals can remove their face coverings to eat or drink but must replace the face covering when finished.

Visiting campus

Guidelines for visitors

  • All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering:
    • inside all campus buildings. This includes classrooms, hallways, libraries and other common spaces, as well as UB buses and shuttles.
    • within indoor locations in UB Stadium, including on the concourse and within club-level suites.
    • at outdoor events or settings where large groups of people congregate.
  • Unvaccinated visitors must wear face coverings in all outdoor settings.

Reporting positive cases, monitoring health

If your individual sample tests positive, you will be required to isolate.

Any student who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should isolate and report it via UB’s confidential reporting form.

Any employee who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should report it to their supervisor and to UB’s Office of Human Resources - HR will provide guidance.

Students who test positive

Any student who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should report it via UB’s confidential reporting form.

If students need to miss class due to illness, isolation or quarantine, they must notify their instructor by email as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours after missing class. Residential students may request assistance from Campus Living to provide faculty notifications.

Residential students have the option to isolation/quarantine in designated on-campus housing. See Quarantine Information for Residence Hall Students for more information.

Employees who test positive

Any employee who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should isolate and report it to their supervisor and to UB’s Office of Human Resources - HR will provide guidance.

UB Human Resources
716-645-7777
ub-hr@buffalo.edu

Close contacts

The county health department will notify you if you are believed to be a close contact of someone who has tested positive. If you are a close contact, you must take the following steps, per CDC guidelines.

Fully vaccinated individuals:

  • People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after close contact with someone who had COVID-19, unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 5-7 days after their exposure to the virus, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

Unvaccinated individuals:

  • Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine for 14 days if they are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive. They should also contact their health care provider to arrange for a COVID-19 test.
  • Unvaccinated people who are close contacts can leave quarantine after seven days under the following conditions:
    • A COVID-19 test collected five days after exposure comes back negative and the person does not have any symptoms.
    • Quarantine cannot end earlier than a full seven days - or on day eight. Accepted COVID-19 tests include NAAT (PCR) tests or antigen tests conducted and reported by a licensed laboratory.
    • People leaving quarantine are recommended to monitor symptoms and wear a mask when around others for two weeks following their exposure.

Notifications of Positive Cases

  • The spread of infection is expected to be low on campus due to vaccine requirements and indoor masking policies. However, positive COVID-19 cases on campus are anticipated.
  • Notifications will not necessarily be sent out for each reported case.
  • The university will continue to report the number of on-campus positive cases to the COVID-19 dashboard.
Monitor Your Health

All students and employees, regardless of vaccination status, should closely monitor their health, stay home if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested immediately.

Vaccine Non-Compliance Consequences

Students who do not meet the vaccine requirement by the deadlines will be immediately resigned from all courses with an in-person instructional component and will be assigned a grade of "R" for those courses.  Students are financially liable for all courses unless they have dropped or resigned by published deadlines

UB Health Guidelines committee

  • Michael Cain, MD, Chair, Vice President for Health Sciences, Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Craig Abbey, Vice Provost for Institutional Analysis and Planning, Institutional Analysis
  • Christopher Bartolomei, Chief of Police
  • Brice Bible, Vice President and Chief Information Officer
  • Ian Bradley, Assistant Professor, Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Brian Bratta, PhD, Associate Athletic Director, Sports Medicine and Wellness Services
  • Gale R. Burstein, MD, MPH, Commissioner, Erie County Department of Health
  • Robert Cenczyk, PhD, Director of Academic Operations, School of Nursing
  • Mark Coldren, Associate Vice President, Human Resources
  • John Della Contrada, Vice President for University Communications
  • Jocelyn Jakubus, Director, Presidential Events and Initiatives
  • David Pawlowski, PhD, Biosafety Officer, Environment, Health & Safety
  • Chris Putrino, Director of Employee Relations
  • Chunming Qiao, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Chair, Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Joseph Raab, Director, Environment, Health & Safety
  • Andrea Roy, Project Coordinator, Business Reporting Systems
  • Thomas Russo, MD, Professor and Chief of Infectious Disease, Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • John Sellick, DO, Professor, Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Physician, Student Health Services
  • Kenneth Snyder, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurosurgery, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Vice President of Physician Quality, Kaleida Health
  • Susan Snyder, MS, Director, Student Health Services
  • Mary E. Stock, Clinical Assistant Professor, Health Services
  • John Tomaszewski, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Peter A. Nickerson, PhD Chair, Pathology and Anatomical Sciences, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • David Vasbinder, Associate Director, Environment, Health & Safety
  • Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Dean, School of Public Health and Health Professions
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