Update: November 19, 2020, 11:15 a.m.
As COVID-19 continues to spread through the Western New York community at a concerning rate, Governor Cuomo has designated parts of Erie County—including the Buffalo State College campus and surrounding neighborhood—as a COVID-19 micro-cluster orange zone.
An orange zone designation furthers the number of restrictions on certain activities in a community to reduce the spread of the virus. Restrictions include limits on residential and nonresidential gatherings to no more than 10 people. Gyms and fitness centers must close, and personal-care businesses such as barber shops and hair salons must also shut down. Restaurants may remain open, but indoor dining is now prohibited. An orange zone designation also requires area schools to move exclusively to remote instruction.
With our comprehensive exit testing underway, and the college already planning a transition to remote instruction for the final three weeks of the fall semester, Buffalo State is continuing with its plan to conclude limited in-person instruction on Tuesday, November 24. Because of the new orange zone designation, in-person dining in the Bengal Kitchen will be discontinued for the remainder of the semester. Grab-and-go meals will still be available, but students must show their green dot from the COVID-19 Daily Symptom Tracker in order to gain access to the grab-and-go area. Hours and access for campus facilities such as Butler Library, the Campbell Student Union, and the Barnes & Noble at Buffalo State Bookstore will remain unchanged through November 24. More information about on-campus services and building hours after Thanksgiving, through winter break, and during J-Term will be communicated in the coming days.
Campus employees should continue to follow existing work schedules and arrangements through Sunday, November 29. Starting Monday, November 30, only essential employees will be allowed to report to campus. All non-essential employees must work remotely starting November 30 and ensure that an updated alternate work arrangement agreement is on file with Human Resource Management. Any employees with questions about their work arrangements, or who are experiencing new scheduling challenges related to child care or K–12 schools moving to remote instruction, are encouraged to communicate with their direct supervisors.
We are urging all students to complete their exit testing and remain vigilant in the days and weeks ahead. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and avoid social gatherings—large or small—with anyone other than your housemates or roommates. Epidemiologists continue to cite “living room spread” as the No. 1 contributor to the increase in COVID-19 cases across our region.
Residential students, please continue to monitor communications from Residence Life about the move-out process next week. If you have questions about the move-out process, please e-mail Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buffalo State will remain in close consultation with SUNY System Administration, the New York State Department of Health, and the Erie County Department of Health regarding the region’s orange micro-cluster designation and its impact on the campus. We will continue to post updates on the Campus Updates section of the college’s Coronavirus Information website.
Be well and be safe,
Buffalo State College
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