Update: March 9, 2020, 6:15 p.m.
To the Buffalo State Community:
Over the weekend, I shared with you an update on the State University of New York’s efforts to safely return SUNY and CUNY students who were studying abroad in countries (Italy, Japan, and South Korea) classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with Level 2 and 3 Travel Health Notices because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
I am writing tonight to inform you that SUNY has confirmed that Buffalo State College will not serve as a precautionary quarantine site for SUNY or CUNY students returning from study-abroad experiences in Italy, Japan, or South Korea.
To be clear, as of Monday, March 9, there were no confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Erie County or among any members of the Buffalo State community; however, planning and preparations continue in earnest should our campus become directly affected by the coronavirus. Staff and faculty members from Academic Affairs and Information Technology are working vigorously on options and technology to ensure academic continuity and flexibility for our students and faculty in the event that the novel coronavirus should affect our operations. We are also in constant communication with the Erie County Department of Health regarding guidance on large events and gatherings. Currently, no restrictions have been issued for local events, but as we have seen in recent days in other parts of the country, guidance can change quickly. I will continue to share information as it becomes available.
As a reminder, all work-related travel to CDC Level 2 and 3 countries is prohibited. We are in regular consultation with public health officials for guidance on any other international travel. Last week, we announced that Buffalo State employees must review all planned travel—both domestic and international—with supervisors, chairs, and respective vice presidents. All future state-funded travel now requires pre-authorization from an employee’s respective vice president. Guidance regarding summer international travel and summer study-abroad trips will be forthcoming.
Links to important resources from the CDC, state, and local health departments, as well as information about campus preparedness and updates, are now available on my website: https://president.buffalostate.edu/coronavirus-updates. If you have general questions about the novel coronavirus, I urge you to call the New York State novel coronavirus hotline at (888) 364-3065.
Please remember that our best protection from the novel coronavirus remains to practice simple good-health habits, such as washing our hands often and thoroughly, coughing or sneezing into the crooks of our arms, avoiding touching our faces, and staying home when we are sick.
Thank you for your continued patience, attention, and understanding. We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available.
Buffalo State College
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