Campus Update: COVID-19

Published March 4, 2020


Since January, senior leadership and key staff at the University at Buffalo have been carefully and actively monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of the UB community.  Please review President’s Tripathi’s message to the campus community sent yesterday, which contains additional information regarding the university’s response to this evolving situation.  Most of those impacted to date are international students who were not able to return to campus from China as a result of travel restrictions.  We have been working with each of our impacted students and their faculty on a one on one basis to ensure academic continuity to the greatest extent possible.  

During this time, we have relied on guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Health Department and the Erie County Health Department. Accurate, up to date information regarding this virus may be found on UB’s COVID-19 website:   Please familiarize yourself with the information on the site including a comprehensive list of FAQs.  Because this is a fluid situation that is changing daily, I encourage you to visit the university’s website frequently for the most up to date information.  What follows is important information related to our current situation.


  • The university is suspending all study abroad programs in Italy, Japan and Korea for the spring, 2020 semester.
  • The university is suspending all international experiential learning programs planned for the spring, 2020 semester, including those planned over the university’s spring break period.
  • In partnership with New York State and SUNY, travel arrangements are being made for UB students engaged in study abroad programs in Italy, Japan and Korea to return to the United States.  The university will do all it can to accommodate academic continuation for these students locally or in partnership with their host institutions. 
  • The university is working to understand the financial implications for students who have incurred non-refundable costs associated with current or upcoming study abroad or experiential learning programs and will communicate directly with students through the program coordinator.   


  • UB and SUNY have cancelled all campus sponsored travel to impacted countries for the remainder of the spring, 2020 semester. 
  • We strongly recommend that faculty and staff demonstrate discretion on planned travel to countries beyond those that are currently impacted and within the United States where current outbreaks of COVID-19 have been identified.  
  • In all cases, faculty, staff and students should consult with their unit leadership regarding any planned travel related to university business.
  • As CDC guidance is in flux, faculty and staff who choose to travel overseas may be impacted by forced quarantine upon returning to the US. 
  • Faculty and staff who have incurred non-refundable costs as a result of cancelling international travel plans should consult with their unit leadership regarding reimbursement of related expenses. 
  • Faculty and staff should direct questions to unit leadership who will assist in triaging your questions and concerns.


  • The university is taking all appropriate measures to protect the health and welfare of faculty, staff and students.
  • Faculty and staff who are not feeling well are encouraged to stay home and consult their family physician as needed.
  • Students who are not feeling well are encouraged to consult with their family physician or UB Student Health Services where the staff is prepared to answer questions and provide support.
  • To ensure the health and safety of the university community, UB Student Health Services is coordinating with local and state health authorities to implement multiple measures — including screening UB students who report possible symptoms or recent travel to areas impacted by the novel coronavirus.
  • Students, faculty and staff are cautioned from making judgments regarding a fellow student or colleague’s health.  If you see a person who is clearly ill, encourage them to contact their family physician or Student Health Services. 

We are actively planning to ensure academic continuity should there be a disruption to our planned academic calendar and will keep you informed in the days and weeks ahead.

Please share this communication with faculty and staff in your departments. 



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