Dear UB Students:
Recent news reports indicate a rising number of COVID-19 cases in our region. We have been paying close attention to the available data and we are comforted by the fact that the infection rate is generally not attributed to schools returning to campus for the Fall semester.
Here at UB, students have been able to move back into the residence halls and attend in-person classes without additional exposure. This is in large part because of your compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines we have in place (e.g. mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing). While there have been a few incidents and infractions, I commend you on your commitment and vigilance to control the spread of COVID-19.
Although classrooms, residence halls, cafeterias, and libraries remain relatively safe, many of the new infections have resulted from informal gatherings, where 10-15 people get together at a private residence with friends or family, become careless, and disregard the guidelines. While these gatherings may seem harmless, in our current situation they can be the seeds that lead to mass infection at our school and in our community.
As you may have read in the news or on social media, some colleges and universities in our area have needed to quarantine large groups of students. Others have needed to take the drastic step of transitioning to cancelling on-ground classes and moving to a fully virtual environment.
With only six weeks to go until the Thanksgiving break and our planned move to online classes for the completion of the Fall semester, I appeal to you to keep up the good work.
I also encourage you to take UB’s COVID-19 testing program seriously. Each week a portion of our community is chosen at random and screened for COVID-19. As a gentle reminder, testing is mandatory at UB and not optional. Ihope you'll look at your active participation as an act of community – something we do to keep each other safe and healthy.
We would all love to go back to the days before the pandemic – gathering with friends and family, sharing in a friend’s success or milestone, and letting off some steam after a hard week. But in the face of the ongoing crisis, we need to remain cautious and alert so we can stay on campus as planned until Thanksgiving.
Thank you again for everything you do each and every day to protect yourself and the UB community.