Together, we are UB:

Classroom guidance for faculty

Protecting the university community

Updated January 19, 2022

As a course instructor, you play a critical role in allowing students to adhere to UB’s comprehensive Health and Safety Guidelines, which help protect the health and safety of all of us at UB. 

Please be prepared to accommodate students who are requesting to stay home due to illness or who indicate they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

We recommend clearly communicating opportunities and expectations around alternative assignments or makeup work and maintaining flexibility with respect to student circumstances and normal course attendance policies. 

Class absences due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine are considered excusable per the university’s Class Attendance policies. Please use all means at your disposal to allow students to make up work and engage in class activities while in isolation, depending on the circumstances relevant to your course.

The FAQ below describe steps to take when a faculty member learns that one of their students has tested positive. 

FAQ

  • Are quarantine and/or isolation considered excusable class absences by UB?

    Yes. Class absences due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine are considered excusable per the university’s Class Attendance policies. Please use all means at your disposal to allow students to make up work and engage in class activities while in isolation, depending on the circumstances relevant to your course.

    Updated August 23, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill excuse missed absence
  • What if a student feels sick?

    Encourage them to stay out of class and get tested immediately for COVID-19. All students, regardless of vaccination status, should closely monitor their health and get tested if they develop symptoms.

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

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill
  • What concessions should I make for a student who is out of class with COVID-19 or is quarantining?

    Please be prepared to accommodate students who are requesting to stay home due to illness or who indicate they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. We recommend clearly communicating opportunities and expectations around alternative assignments or makeup work and maintaining flexibility with respect to student circumstances and normal course attendance policies. 

    Class absences due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine are considered excusable per the university’s Class Attendance policies. Please use all means at your disposal to allow students to make up work and engage in class activities while in isolation, depending on the circumstances relevant to your course

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill
  • Has UB addressed ventilation and air flow in the classroom, labs and other learning spaces to help reduce transmission?

    Yes. Ventilation systems have been adjusted to increase the flow of outside air into the buildings, per CDC recommendations.

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom ventilation airflow
  • If I learn that one of my students tested positive for COVID-19, what should I tell the rest of my class?

    Please inform students that the risk of transmission within classrooms is still considered very low because all UB students are expected to be masked and, with few exceptions, fully vaccinated. Also, in order to protect the privacy of the student who tests positive, faculty should not share the identity of the student in any communication to the class.

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill
  • If there is a positive case in the class, do the other students have to quarantine?

    No. As long as students in the class were properly masked and were sufficiently distanced from the person who tested positive.

    See "Close Contacts," below, for additional details on close contacts and quarantine and isolation requirements.

    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 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.

    Updated October 20, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill quarantine
  • What should I tell students who say they are immunocompromised or have other medical conditions that do not allow them to complete course requirements?

    Refer them to Accessibility Resources for assistance with accommodations.

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill immunocompromised
  • How will UB keep me updated about the number of positive cases at the university?

    The university’s COVID-19 dashboard will be updated daily to report new cases among UB students and employees.

    UB students, faculty and staff are reminded to monitor their health each day, stay home if they are sick, practice good hand hygiene and follow UB’s guidelines on face coverings and other protocols. 

    Updated August 19, 2021

    positive cases dashboard communicate
  • Do instructors need to wear masks in the classroom?

    Yes. UB instructors are expected to be masked when teaching in the classrooms, even if they are beyond 6 feet from students.  Masks are required indoors, even if you are fully vaccinated.

    Updated October 6, 2021

    mask classroom covering instructor faculty
  • Will all students in my classroom be fully vaccinated before the first day of classes?

    99% will have received a complete series of an FDA-approved/authorized or WHO-authorized COVID-19 vaccine, but not all will be eligible for the booster before the spring semester begins on Jan. 31 due to the eligibility timing considerations associated with receiving a booster. Note that UB will be enforcing compliance throughout the semester.

    Updated January 19, 2022

    mask classroom covering instructor faculty Booster