Together, we are UB:

Health and Safety Guidelines

Updated: July 9, 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.

Health and Safety Guideline Index


Mandatory vaccination for in-person students

  • All UB students will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend classes in person in the fall, according to a mandate from the state.
    • The requirement is pending final approval from SUNY and is also still subject to full approval of the vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, which we expect to be granted soon.
  • 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.

Face coverings and physical distancing

New masking, distancing guidelines

  • Students and employees who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks.
    • Students and employees who are not vaccinated are responsible for wearing a mask indoors and outdoors on UB’s campuses, with the exception of in their personal residence hall rooms or personal workstations, or while eating in university dining areas.
  • 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.
  • Masks are required for all passengers on UB buses, in keeping with guidance from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
    • Masks are also required within certain campus health care settings (e.g. Student Health Services, the UB Dental Clinic). 
  • Vaccinated students and employees may choose to wear a mask in all settings for their own comfort or personal medical reasons.

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. 


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.

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.

Capacity limits

Capacity limits for large indoor events

  • COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect only for large indoor events with more than 5,000 people in attendance.
    • At UB, this means that most activities and events on campus will resume in-person, without masking or physical distancing for those students and employees who are vaccinated.
  • UB football games and other 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 unvaccinated individuals.
    • The university will provide guidance about men’s and women’s basketball games at a later date.

Visiting campus

Guidelines for visitors

  • All visitors to campus are required to complete the Daily Health Check prior to their arrival on campus.
  • Fully vaccinated visitors on UB campuses are no longer required to wear face masks indoors or outdoors, except while riding on UB buses and shuttles or in health care settings.
    • Visitors to UB who are not vaccinated must wear a mask.
Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination for In-Person Students

In accordance with the directive issued by New York State on May 10, beginning in the fall semester all students will be required to be vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes. This directive is contingent on final FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, which we expect to be granted soon. learn more at UB Vaccination Updates and Protocols

UB Health Guidelines committee

  • Michael Cain, MD, Chair, Vice President for Health Sciences, Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Christopher Bartolomei, Chief of Police
  • Brian Bratta, PhD, Associate Athletic Director, Sports Medicine and Wellness Services
  • Robert Cenczyk, PhD, Director of Academic Operations, School of Nursing
  • 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
  • Jay Roorbach, Senior Emergency Planning Coordinator 
  • 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
  • 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
Your feedback is important to us.

> Send us your thoughts and comments