Preparing for a Potential Pause in In-Person Instruction

In accordance with New York State Department of Health guidence, the university is prepared to implement a 14-day pause of in-person instruction if 100 members of the on-campus population test positive for COVID-19 within a two-week period.

The following FAQ explain the circumstances under which UB would be required to pause in-person instruction, and what such a pause would mean for students, faculty and staff. 

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FAQ

  • Under what circumstances must colleges and universities in New York State pause in-person instruction?

    New York State Department of Health guidance states that colleges and universities must transition all in-person learning to remote, when 100 members of the on-campus population – including students, faculty, and staff – test positive for COVID-19 within a 14-day period. 

    Please see the following for more information:

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • What are NYS guidelines for colleges and universities during a pause of in-person instruction?

    The NYS DOH Guidance on Returning to Remote Learning specifies that:

    • All campus dining and food services options must be converted to takeout/delivery only.
    • All classes must be delivered remotely. However, the university, in consultation with the local health department(s), may continue to conduct certain academic activities in-person provided that the health and safety of participating individuals and the larger community can be protected. These may include clinical or laboratory activities required to obtain or maintain professional licensure, or research that must be conducted in-person.
    • In-person athletics, extracurricular programs, and non-essential student activities must be suspended. Essential student services, such as medical care or mental health counseling, would not be suspended, but relevant offices may no longer accept walk-ins and instead provide consultations by appointment only.
    • Residential facilities must remain open. Only those students who have been identified as contacts of a positive case will be required to quarantine and only positive cases will be ordered into isolation.

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • Is UB prepared to pause in-person instruction if mandated by NYS?

    UB quickly and successfully shifted to remote learning at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, and the university is prepared to implement a 14-day pause if necessary. 

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • In the event UB pauses in-person instruction, will UB staff continue to report to campus?

    Yes. During a temporary pause of in-person instruction, employees who have been coming to campus to work should continue to do so. Employees who have been working remotely should continue to do so as well. If there are any changes in work directives, the university will send an official notice. 

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • How will academics be affected if UB pauses in-person instruction?

    Instructors will notify students as soon as possible about any changes to their syllabus or instructional plans during the remote learning period.

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • Would graduate/professional/clinical classes continue to meet in-person if UB pauses in-person instruction?

    Graduate, professional, in-person clinical, laboratory, or other activities required to obtain or maintain professional licensure, or research that must be conducted in-person, can be continued, provided all university health and safety guidelines are followed, and public health and safety can be maintained.

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • What campus services would be available during a pause of in-person instruction?

    If UB pauses in-person instruction:

    • On-campus residence halls and apartments will remain open, and Campus Living services will remain available. During this time, residential students will be encouraged to remain in the dorms. Students living on campus will not be restricted from moving around campus during this time as long as they follow all health and safety guidelines.
    • Dining locations will remain open and will follow health and safety guidelines. Dining information will be posted at each location. Updates will also be made to the along with an update on the Campus Dining COVID-19 webpage. 
    • If the university pauses in-person instruction, Lockwood, Abbott and Silverman libraries will remain open to current UB students, faculty and staff. All library study spaces will be monitored to ensure that building capacity does not exceed NYS guidelines and that groups do not gather. Most library services will also continue to be available remotely.
    • Transportation service levels will be similar to that of winter session. A Stampede bus will service each stop approximately every 12 minutes, Red Line service will continue between the Ellicott Complex and the Academic Spine, and the North Campus Shuttle will service stops approximatively every 20 minutes. 
    • Essential student services, such as medical care and counseling, will continue.
    • 1Capen services will be delivered remotely. 

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • How would campus residents be affected?

    If the university pauses in-person instruction, students living on campus may remain in their dorms and will not be restricted from moving around campus as long as they follow all health and safety guidelines.

    During this period of time, we would encourage students to continue to reside in their on-campus housing to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. We do understand that some students may have circumstances that require them to leave their on-campus housing. If students need to temporarily leave on-campus housing, they must take any items necessary to continue their remote instruction with them. 

    While the temporary transition to remote instruction is not, by itself, an acceptable reason for students to cancel their housing agreement, students may submit a request to cancel their housing agreement at any time. If they are approved to formally move out, theymust remove all of their belongings, and they will not be permitted to return to their former campus residence for the duration of the fall semester. If students wish to live on campus in the spring, they will be required to complete a new housing application and will receive a new housing assignment.

    Related links:

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • Will refunds for tuition/housing/fees/dining be issued if UB pauses in-person instruction?

    No refunds will be issued during this period, as instruction would continue to be delivered and services will continue to be available to students.

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • When would UB return to in-person instruction?

    After the 14-day pause of in-person instruction, the Erie County Department of Health will evaluate the university's progress in containing COVID-19 transmission. If ECDOH, in consultation with NYSDOH, determines that community spread of COVID-19 has been effectively contained, the university will be authorized to reopen for in-person learning.

    However, if after the 14-day period, community spread of COVID-19 has not been contained, the ECDOH, in consultation with NYSDOH, may require a continued suspension of in-person learning (i.e., an extended period of remote learning) and/or further mitigation measures by the institution.

    Please see the following for more information:

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines
  • How will the university communicate important information during a pause of in-person instruction?

    The university has developed a comprehensive communication strategy for all coronavirus-related information, including:

    • COVID-19 website
    • Regular updates via UB Forward, leadership emails and web postings.
    • Regular coverage of planning and implementation in UBNow.
    • Updates via UB's social media channels. 
    • Periodic briefings and interviews with local media.

    Updated October 2, 2020

    remote pause threshold guidelines