Together, we are UB:

Health and Safety Guidelines

Updated: Aug. 19, 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 will operate each week through Nov. 18.

  • 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.

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 New York State employees are strongly urged to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Sept. 6, 2021. 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.

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.

Make sure your mask completely covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly against your face.

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

  • In order to continue monitoring the health of the university community, particularly at the start of the fall semester, all students and employees will be asked to continue to submit a daily health screening.

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

Restrictions for large indoor events

  • 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, effective Aug. 3.
  • Additional COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect for large indoor events with more than 5,000 people in attendance.
  • Indoor fall sports competitions will be held at full capacity in front of fans, in accordance with New York State guidelines. Masks will be required for individuals regardless of vaccination status. The university will provide guidance about men’s and women’s basketball games at a later date.

Restrictions for large outdoor events

  • 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. 
  • UB football games and other outdoor fall sports competitions will be held at full capacity in front of fans, in accordance with New York State guidelines. Masks will be required for individuals regardless of vaccination status. 

Visiting campus

Guidelines for visitors

  • All visitors to campus are required to complete the Daily Health Check prior to their arrival on campus.
  • 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.
    • at outdoor events or settings where large groups of people congregate, such as at on-campus football games.  
  • Unvaccinated visitors must wear face coverings in all outdoor settings.

Reporting positive cases, monitoring health

Positive case notification

  • 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.

If a student or instructor tests positive:

  • Vaccinated individuals identified by Erie County Department of Health as close contacts in a classroom or other indoor learning environment are advised to monitor their health and get tested.  Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated will be asked to quarantine.  As per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals who are identified as close contacts are not subject to quarantine.

Monitoring 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.
  • Any student who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should 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. 
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 DellaContrada, 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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