Together, we are UB:

Clinical and Practical Experiences

Protecting the university community

Published August 10, 2020

Some clinical programs and programs that require practical in-person experiences are unable to fully comply with health and safety requirements related to COVID-19 because of the nature of the training or the experience, for example, in-person clinical experiences or community placements. These programs must develop plans to minimize potential exposure following guidelines given below.

On this page:

Programs should submit plans for review by Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) regarding building and classroom occupancy, and should submit plans for final review and approval by  the cognizant dean or dean’s designee. Upon approval, the dean should submitted plans to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs ( for record keeping.

Schools or programs that have developed plans to meet health and safety standards as established by accrediting or licensing agencies may be exempt from this process, so long as those plans meet UB’s general guidelines for clinical and practical programs.


To reduce the risks of faculty, students, staff and clients/guests being exposed in the classroom or clinic settings, programs will:

  • Reduce the density of simulation rooms, labs and clinics to be able to maintain physical distancing.
  • Require use of PPE as appropriate for each experience, following UB, New York State, CDC or other appropriate guidelines.
  • Ensure that in-person training or experiential learning is flexible to meet accreditation and licensing minimum standards of the profession and to provide sufficient experiential learning for each student to demonstrate competency. Supplemental instruction may be offered in a distance format wherever feasible.
  • Provide students with a means to request consideration for accommodations or deferrals due to personal health or safety concerns.
  • Communicate health and safety guidelines and protocols to students. This could include a document or link to a website in the syllabus, a program handbook, video training or other means for students to understand expectations and risks.
  • Expect that similar health and safety minimum standards be upheld at external placements, which are under the control and guidance of the host location. Generally, PPE and protective equipment should be made available at the host site. In instances where this is not possible, students should work with program directors to secure minimum PPE.

Plan Components

Physical Distancing Measures

  • Expectations for distancing must be described. These may include restricted access to buildings, classrooms and clinics, staggered modules/schedules, entry/egress instructions and control, and physical space distancing plan / diagram for instructional settings
  • Method of communicating expectations for distancing should also be described.

Personal Safety Practices and PPEs:

  • All students, faculty, instructors, staff and clients will be required to wear a face mask or face covering in classrooms and clinics.
  • Regular hand-washing is required. In areas where sinks are not readily available for hand-washing, clinics should make alcohol based hand sanitizer available for hand hygiene.
  • Additional safety requirements (e.g. face shields, gowns) may be implemented in specific instances.

Symptom monitoring and testing

  • All faculty, staff, students and clients in clinical settings will follow university guidelines on symptom monitoring, testing, and tracing. In specific instances, additional symptom monitoring and testing may be required.
  • Protocols for when to stay at home, as well as when to isolate, quarantine and return to campus will follow guidelines established by the university.   

Cleaning / sanitizing protocols for each course, program and facility

Updated 8/11/2020

  • These will be the shared responsibility of UB Facilities, Departments, and each individual in these settings.
  • UB Facilities will be responsible for routine disinfection, cleaning and intermittent disinfection of frequently touched surfaces in common areas. Departments are responsible for routine disinfection cleaning of designated clinic space and other departmental spaces.
  • Departments should contact their FPMO to clearly delineate cleaning responsibilities
  • Start-up supplies for these plans were provided by UB facilities. On-going supplies are the responsibility of the department.


  • Requests made for deferral of required clinical or practical experience will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Accommodations should be made for individuals who are required or encouraged to isolate or self-quarantine.

Because of the higher personal contact and potential to expose others in training situations, all participants in these higher contact disciplines will be expected to maintain physical distancing and protections, as feasible, in and outside the instructional settings to reduce risk of transmission to themselves and others as part of collective responsibility to maintain the safety and health of the campus.

Modifications to plans due to increasing or decreasing requirements or restriction should be reviewed for approval by the cognizant dean or designee and submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

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