UB to implement weekly COVID-19 testing for on-campus population

Student wearing a Bulls T-shirt prepares to take a saliva test.

Per SUNY guidelines, all faculty, staff and students who live on campus or plan to be on campus regularly during the spring semester will be tested weekly for COVID-19. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

Release Date: January 25, 2021


BUFFALO, N.Y. — The University at Buffalo will implement a policy in the spring semester, as required by the State University of New York, to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing for the entire on-campus population.

SUNY’s updated policy on surveillance testing will require UB to test all students, faculty and staff who live on campus or plan to be on campus regularly during the spring semester. UB’s spring semester starts Feb. 1 and will follow a modified in-person format using a mix of in-person and online instruction.

The health and safety of UB’s students, faculty and staff remains the university’s highest priority. Weekly coronavirus testing — in addition to UB’s other science-based health and safety protocols — will help ensure a safe, productive spring semester for the entire UB community, university officials said.

UB’s additional health and safety measures include:

  • A requirement that all students, faculty and staff complete the Daily Health Check for 14 days before their planned return to campus. The Daily Health Check tool screens for travel history, COVID-19 history and COVID-19 symptoms. Students who plan to be on campus must continue completing the Daily Health Check throughout the spring semester, while faculty and staff must also complete it, but only the days they will be on campus.
  • A precautionary seven-day quarantine required of any students planning to live, work or take classes on campus, or use campus facilities such as libraries, dining halls and fitness or recreation facilities. Exemptions to this requirement have been made for health sciences students and students who live off campus but are employed and will be on campus to attend class or use campus services.
  • Mandatory pre-semester COVID-19 testing for undergraduate, graduate and professional students who will be on campus during the spring. These students must get tested within three days prior to returning to campus, or no later than five days after arriving on campus, per SUNY guidelines.
  • Mandatory mask wearing, whether indoors or outside, for all members of the UB community.
  • Reduced population density each day in all classrooms, labs, dining halls and other facilities across UB’s campuses in order to maintain safe physical distancing throughout the semester.

Additional information is available on UB’s COVID-19 planning and response website.

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