Together, we are UB:

Health and Safety Guidelines

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Note: UB will be updating addtional guidelines and requirements for the summer and fall semesters, as needed, in accordance with guidance issued by SUNY. Guidelines will be adjusted based on the latest science and recommendations from health officials, and will be communicated on this site. Please regularly check this website for updates.

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.

UB officials are keeping a close eye on the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the spread of the omicron variant around the state. Our experts continue to monitor the latest scientific findings regarding the infectiousness of the variant and the new challenges that it poses.

UB will be updating addtional guidelines and requirements for the summer and fall semesters, as needed, in accordance with guidance issued by SUNY. Guidelines will be adjusted based on the latest science and recommendations from health officials, and will be communicated on this site.

In the event that university leaders need to implement additional on-campus safety measures to align with new health regulations, this guidance will be communicated broadly to all members of the university community and will include details and resources about how the UB community can effectively respond to and implement the new guidance.

Health and Safety Guideline Index

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:

*To better align with federal health guidance, UB will adopt the CDC definition of “up to date,” which means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters when eligible. This replaces the phrase “fully vaccinated,” which the CDC defines as having received the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

Vaccinations

Vaccination 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

Please bring your COVID-19 vaccination record card and a government-issued ID. No appointments are necessary.  Additional details, including locations and hours, are available at Flu Clinics and Flu Vaccine - Spring 2022.

 

Face coverings and physical distancing

Masking, distancing guidelines

Starting Saturday, March 5, the University at Buffalo will make masks optional on its campuses in most settings:

  • Students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will no longer be required to wear masks in most settings, indoors or outdoors. 
  • Anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask in a classroom, office or any other campus space is encouraged to do so. 
  • In keeping with state and federal regulations, masks will continue to be mandatory for everyone aboard UB buses and shuttles and in clinical health care settings (e.g. UB Health Services, Dental School facilities, on-campus testing sites) on campus.
  • UB faculty, staff and students who work or learn at hospitals, nursing homes, clinics or diagnostic and treatment centers off campus must continue to comply with any site-specific regulations in place.
  • All campus community members who have regular on-campus contact and are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations must continue to participate in weekly surveillance testing, including those with an approved medical or religious exemption.

Remember: There are many reasons that individuals may continue to wear a mask, including those who are:

  • Unvaccinated 
  • Immunocompromised
  • Living with someone at higher risk

Please be kind and respectful toward others in our UB community.

Faculty and academic support staff, see Guidance for faculty and academic support staff.

Mandatory COVID-19 testing

  • Semester start-up testing requirement. All students (including graduate and professional) who will have a regular physical presence on campus must get tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus. The test can be a PCR or antigen (either laboratory performed, rapid or at-home test kit). This test must be taken no more than 72 hours (three days) prior to your return to campus.  

Quarantines and isolation

Isolating/quarantining during the semester

Students who need to miss class due to COVID-19 illness, isolation or quarantine are responsible for contacting their instructors and making arrangements to make up missed work.

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.

On-campus housing

On-campus housing requirements

Restrictions for indoor and outdoor events and gatherings

Vaccination policy for campus events

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will no longer be required to attend events at UB.

Effective immediately, spectators do not need to show a vaccination card upon entering sporting events at UB Stadium or Alumni Arena, or to attend cultural events at the Center for the Arts and Slee Hall.

This also applies to students and guests attending commencement ceremonies in May.

Mask policy for campus events

Masks are no longer required at UB events, either, part of an earlier decision to lift that mandate for most campus settings on March 5, based on updated guidance from the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Summer camps

For Participants

  • Non-UB students: Non-UB students in summer camps are required to follow current UB masking guidelines and follow the current vaccination / testing guidelines of their local school districts or colleges as authorized by NYS local health departments. Home schooled students and those attending private schools would follow the rules for the school district in which they reside.
  • UB students: UB students in summer camps are required to follow current UB masking and vaccination / testing gudelines.

For Summer Camp Directors

  • Vaccinations:
    • Non-UB students: Summer camp directors are not collecting vaccination related information for these students.
    • UB students: Registered UB students have already uploaded COVID-19 vaccine documentation to their medical record via Health Services' patient portal in order to enroll  summer camps.
  • Masking: COVID related precautionary measures (i.e., any masking requirements, distancing, etc.) will be based on current guidelines in place at the time of the camp and are subject to change.

Visiting campus

Guidelines for visitors

Starting Saturday, March 5, the University at Buffalo will make masks optional on its campuses in most settings:

  • Students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will no longer be required to wear masks in most settings, indoors or outdoors. 
  • Anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask in a classroom, office or any other campus space is encouraged to do so. 
  • In keeping with state and federal regulations, masks will continue to be mandatory for everyone aboard UB buses and shuttles and in clinical health care settings (e.g. UB Health Services, Dental School facilities, on-campus testing sites) on campus.
  • UB faculty, staff and students who work or learn at hospitals, nursing homes, clinics or diagnostic and treatment centers off campus must continue to comply with any site-specific regulations in place.
  • All campus community members who have regular on-campus contact and are not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations must continue to participate in weekly surveillance testing, including those with an approved medical or religious exemption.

Remember: There are many reasons that individuals may continue to wear a mask, including those who are:

  • Unvaccinated 
  • Immunocompromised
  • Living with someone at higher risk

Please be kind and respectful toward others in our UB community.

Faculty and academic support staff, see Guidance for faculty and academic support staff.

Reporting positive cases, monitoring health

Students who test positive

Any student who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should isolate and 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 isolate/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 additional guidance.

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

Close contacts

The Erie County Department of Health asks that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 to self-isolate, notify household members and other close contacts. If you are a close contact, you must follow the CDC guidance for Quarantine and Isolation.

Notifications of Positive Cases

  • The spread of infection is expected to be low on campus due to vaccine requirements. 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.

Clinical placements

  • Students enrolled in clinical rotations or other placements off campus are advised to check with the clinical partner agency regarding its health and safety requirements.
  • Site partners have the discretion to waive COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students who are participating remotely in their rotations, but such students are not guaranteed an exemption.
  • All students, including graduate and professional students, who will have a regular physical presence on a UB campus must comply with all UB COVID-19 health and safety regulations, including the spring semester start-up testing, vaccination and booster requirements.

Get up to date. To better align with federal health guidance, UB will adopt the CDC definition of “up to date,” which means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters when eligible. This replaces the phrase “fully vaccinated,” which the CDC defines as having received the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

UB Health Guidelines committee

  • Allison Brashear, MD, MBA, Chair of the UB Health Guidelines committee, Vice President for Health Sciences, Dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Craig Abbey, Vice Provost for Institutional Analysis and Planning
  • Christopher Bartolomei, Chief of Police
  • J. Brice Bible, Vice President and Chief Information Officer
  • 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 for Human Resources
  • John DellaContrada, Vice President for University Communications
  • Jocelyn Jakubus, Director, Presidential Events and Initiatives
  • Timothy Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine,
    Senior Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research,
    Director of Clinical and Translational Science Institute,
    Director of Community Health Equity Research Institute, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo
  • 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, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • John Sellick, DO, Professor, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Physician, Student Health Services
  • Kenneth Snyder, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of 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 of 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 of the School of Public Health and Health Professions
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