University Planning: COVID-19

Looking ahead to the spring semester

Published December 20, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

First, we want to thank you for your diligence in helping to keep the UB campus and community safe this fall. The health and safety measures we followed made for a semester that was different in many ways but, in the end, successful—and for that, we are grateful.

Please know that UB officials are keeping a close eye on the continuing COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid spread of the omicron variant. Our experts continue to monitor the latest scientific findings regarding the increased infectiousness of the variant and the new challenges it poses.

The following points highlight some of the important steps our community will need to take:

  • All vaccinated students have been advised to get a booster shot as soon as they become time eligible. Boosters will be required next semester for all students in university-owned housing within one month after they become time eligible, and we anticipate that boosters will become a state-mandated requirement for all students during the semester. We are also recommending that all students get tested within 72 hours prior to their return to campus.
  • While vaccinations are not mandated for employees, UB officials and infectious disease experts strongly recommend that all faculty and staff get vaccinated and get boosted when eligible without delay. Boosters are a critical line of defense against the omicron variant, which is expected to be widespread within our region in the coming months.
  • Weekly testing will continue next semester for all employees and students who are not vaccinated, and testing also may be required of vaccinated individuals who delay getting a booster shot.

Everyone in the UB community—students, faculty and staff—is urged to strictly adhere to good health practices during the winter break and throughout the spring semester. Booster shots provide very good protection, but we must continue to practice other healthy behaviors in order to be as well-protected as possible. That means wearing a face covering indoors and in public settings; avoiding high-risk indoor settings where mask wearing and/or vaccination is not in practice; frequent handwashing; staying home when sick; and getting tested if symptomatic or in close contact with someone who is positive.

We remain confident in UB’s ability to safely conduct in-person operations this spring as we did in the fall, with a comprehensive range of health and safety protocols in place. We will adjust our guidelines based on latest science and recommendations from health officials, and communicate them to you through UB’s COVID-19 Planning and Response site and in other ways as needed.

Please be assured that the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors remains paramount in all we do.



A. Scott Weber
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Allison Brashear, MD, MBA
Vice President for Health Sciences; Dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; and Chair, Health and Safety Committee