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Thursday, January 6, 2022

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From the President

Posted: Thursday, January 6, 2022

SUNY Releases COVID-19 Guidance for Spring 2022 Semester

Governor Kathy Hochul and the State University of New York announced over the holiday break new guidance to help keep our campuses open, safe, and healthy for the spring 2022 semester.

On Wednesday, January 5, I shared with our students information about the continuation of SUNY’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all students regularly accessing campus facilities, as well as a new requirement that all students receive a COVID-19 booster shot within seven days of becoming eligible. My message to students can be found on the Coronavirus Information website.

Additionally, all students with an in-person presence will be required to participate in COVID-19 arrival testing for the spring semester. More information about arrival testing protocols and regular surveillance testing during the semester will be shared with students in the coming days. 

Surveillance testing of faculty and staff will continue on a weekly basis for those employees who are not yet vaccinated. Fully vaccinated employees who voluntarily provide confirmation of vaccination to Human Resource Management shall be tested less frequently during the spring semester on a sampling basis to monitor for breakthrough infections. Human Resources will share information with employees soon about planned testing intervals for vaccinated employees and protocols for the spring semester. Please monitor the Daily Bulletin for updates.

Also of note, we are aware of Governor Hochul’s announcement on December 31 regarding a vaccination requirement for SUNY faculty. The requirement will be initiated and negotiated by the state and not by SUNY. As a result, it is not included in SUNY’s spring guidance at this time. We will continue to monitor this requirement and work with the governor and SUNY on such implementation as it is further developed.

Governor Hochul also announced this week that campus-based COVID-19 testing sites will open around the state beginning Friday, January 7, including a test site at Buffalo State College. The Buffalo State College Community Testing Site will be operated by Quadrant Biosciences and provide free, appointment-based and walk-in COVID-19 testing for the general public. More information about the community testing site is available online. Please note, faculty and staff members who are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing during J-Term should continue to report for testing in Buckham Hall.

As we prepare for the return of our students and the start of the spring semester on January 31, all members of our campus community are reminded that, regardless of vaccination status, close-fitting face masks are required to be worn in all indoor spaces on campus. The only exceptions to the indoor mask mandate are when faculty or staff members are alone in their personal offices, when students are inside their private residence hall rooms, or when someone is actively eating or drinking in a campus dining area. High-quality face masks remain one of the best protections we have against the spread of illness, including the highly transmissible Omicron variant. It is critically important that we adhere to these protocols for everyone’s safety.

Thank you for all that you do to support Buffalo State College.

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