End-of-Semester Update and COVID-19 Testing Protocols

After the Thanksgiving break (Nov. 25-29), the University at Buffalo will transition to remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester.

In consultation with our local health department, SUNY, NYS Department of Health and pursuant to current guidance, UB intends to maintain in-person instruction as scheduled until Tuesday, November 24.  This will give the university time to complete SUNY-mandated pre-break testing of thousands of students before they leave for the break.

The following FAQ explain the circumstances under which UB implemented this plan, and what it means for students, faculty and staff. 

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FAQ

What is UB’s plan now that parts of Erie County are placed in the 'orange zone'?

The university continues to follow New York State and SUNY guidance for higher education, and will offer in-person instruction until Nov. 24 as planned.

However:

  • On-campus gatherings are now limited to 10 people
  • Beginning Thursday, Nov. 19, in-person student clubs and activities will be suspended
  • Campus dining and food service operations will offer takeout service only.

Athletics activities for fall sports will continue as scheduled, with strict adherence to NCAA, Mid-American Conference and UB health guidelines.

On. Nov. 30, after the Thanksgiving break, UB will transition to remote instruction with the exception of clinical, laboratory or other activities required to obtain or maintain professional licensure, or research that must be conducted in person.

Updated November 18, 2020

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  • What is UB’s plan now that on-campus cases have reached/approached 100?

    University officials are working closely with New York State, SUNY and our local health department on an orderly plan to wind down operations over the next several days pursuant to the Fall Semester Departure Guidance that was issued by the SUNY chancellor. In consultation with our local health department, SUNY, NYS Department of Health and pursuant to current guidance, the university intends to maintain in-person instruction as scheduled until Tuesday, November 24. After the Thanksgiving break (Nov. 25-29), the University at Buffalo will transition to remote learning for the remainder of the fall semester.

    Updated November 17, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines thanksgiving
  • Are UB campuses safe?

    On Monday, Nov. 9, the University at Buffalo began pre-Thanksgiving break testing for COVID-19. To date, we have tested over 11,500 UB students, faculty and staff. While we are nearing 100 positive cases among members of our on-campus community within a 14-day period, the positivity rate has steadily maintained a rate well below 1% (0.44%) compared to nearly 6% in Erie County over a 7-day rolling average.

    UB’s rigorous surveillance testing program, strict adherence to on-campus and classroom health guidelines, and a significant reduction in density within classrooms and residence halls have helped the university prevent significant outbreaks for most of the fall semester.

    Updated November 17, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines thanksgiving
  • What factors caused an increase in on-campus cases?

    The uptick in positive cases at UB over the past week mirrors the widespread increase seen across Erie County, where UB’s three campuses are located. According to university data, there isn’t a discernable hot spot or pattern to the increase in on-campus cases.

    Updated November 17, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines thanksgiving
  • What additional precautions is UB taking to ensure safety?

    To further prevent spread of the virus while testing continues at UB, in-person student clubs and activities will be suspended and campus dining and food service operations will offer takeout service only beginning Thursday, Nov. 19.  Informal gatherings on campus are limited to 10 or fewer people.

    Updated November 17, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines thanksgiving
  • Will UB continue pre-break testing for students?

    Yes. As the university prepares to wind down in-person instruction on Tuesday, Nov. 24, in accordance with our fall 2020 academic semester calendar, it is absolutely critical that students are tested before leaving for the Thanksgiving break. If our campus is required to end in-person instruction sooner due to New York State guidance requirements, students are still required to be tested prior to departure.

    Per SUNY policy, the following groups of undergraduate, graduate and professional students are required to be tested by UB or by other means during the 10-day period before leaving for Thanksgiving break:

    • Residential students
    • Students who are taking at least one class on UB’s North, South and/or Downtown campus
    • Students who use on-campus services such as dining, libraries or fitness facilities
    • Student employees who work on UB’s North, South and/or Downtown campus

    For information about how to get tested, please see UB’s pre-Thanksgiving testing page

    Updated November 17, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines thanksgiving
  • Will faculty and staff still be required to participate in surveillance testing?

    UB is required to conduct COVID-19 weekly testing of at least 20% of in-person employees. More information regarding this can be found here.

    Updated November 17, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines thanksgiving
  • Will UB’s fall and winter athletics continue?

    Athletics activities will continue as scheduled, strictly following NCAA, Mid-American Conference and UB health guidelines.

    Updated November 17, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines thanksgiving
  • What is the schedule for the rest of the fall semester?

    After the break (Nov. 25-29), UB will transition to fully remote instruction, with the exception of students who need to complete either in-person clinical, laboratory or other activities required to obtain or maintain professional licensure, or research that must be conducted in person. The fall semester concludes Dec. 21.

    Updated November 17, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines thanksgiving