Posted: March 20, 2020, 8:33 p.m.
As efforts intensify to limit the spread of COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that effective 8:00 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 100 percent of employees across all nonessential businesses in New York State must stay home. Although this order does not apply to State University of New York campuses, we continue to do our part to reduce density.
Earlier this week, the governor ordered all nonessential state employees to work from home, and many of our faculty and staff members have been navigating that change as we all work together to ensure academic continuity and prepare for remote instruction starting on March 30. Plans are also being formalized across divisions to make certain that we can respond to questions and meet the support needs of our students and community virtually, as many campus offices are physically closed.
As a follow-up to our residential student communication on Wednesday, we again encourage any students who currently remain in the residence halls to please reconsider. While no student will be forced to leave campus, we are urging remaining residents to make a socially responsible decision to limit density and, if feasible, return home. We’re also strongly encouraging students who left campus for Spring Break and had planned to return to campus not to return—again to limit the spread of the virus.
To our students who must remain in the residence halls, although our physical campus and in-person services will look much different in the days and weeks ahead, please know that our faculty and staff still stand ready to support you. Chartwells will continue to deliver meals to residence halls at scheduled times. University Police officers will still patrol campus to ensure your safety. Residence Life staff members will be available to answer your questions. And the dedicated staff in the Weigel Wellness Center will be here to care for you.
I urge ALL remaining resident students—and all students no matter where you are currently residing—to take social distancing seriously. The best way to protect yourself and limit the spread of COVID-19 is by limiting social contact with others and maintaining at least a 6-foot distance when you must leave your rooms or residence halls. Now is not the time to congregate with others in a friend’s residence hall room, common space, or off-campus home. In order to keep yourself and our community safe, I urge you to limit your contact with others and stay in your individual rooms, apartments, or homes as much as possible.
If you are a residential student and suspect that you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, or respiratory distress), isolate yourself immediately and call the Weigel Wellness Center at (716) 878-6711. Please do not go to the clinic if you have symptoms. Call first and await instructions from a Weigel staff member. During evenings and weekends, please call our after-hours nurse line at (866) 710-1002. All other students are encouraged to self-isolate and call their family physician if they are experiencing symptoms.
If you are a faculty or staff member and are experiencing any one of the symptoms of coronavirus, stay home, isolate yourself, and contact your personal health-care provider. Please call before going to the provider’s office or clinic. Additionally, any faculty or staff members must also report their symptom(s) to their supervisor and to Human Resource Management by telephone or e-mail at (716) 878-4822 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Employees who develop symptoms outside of their normal business hours should not report to work and should instead immediately call University Police at (716) 878-6333 to report their symptom(s).
As the circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak continue to change, please know that we will continue to keep you informed through e-mail and online. All past messages to all of our audiences are logged on the Coronavirus Information Updates web page. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other. Be well, Bengals.
President, Buffalo State College
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