University at Buffalo to transition to remote instruction after Thanksgiving break

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Posted at 3:37 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 15:37:24-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The University at Buffalo announced Tuesday it will transition to fully remote instruction following the Thanksgiving break schedule from November 25 to November 29.

UB will maintain in-person instruction until November 25 and will transition to fully remote instruction after the break ends on November 29 until the end of the fall semester on December 21.

The school says it will still complete SUNY-mandated pre-break COVID-19 testing of students.

“As we prepare to wind down in-person instruction on Tuesday, November 24, in accordance with our fall 2020 academic semester calendar, it is absolutely critical that our students are tested before leaving for the Thanksgiving break,” UB President Satish K. Tripathi said.

Previous guidance from New York State required SUNY colleges and universities to transition to remote instruction when they hit the 100-case threshold for on-campus COVID-19 cases. UB says it is projected to hit that threshold this week.

However, the school says a sudden shift in operations would disrupt plans to test more than 5,000 on-campus students and it would allow them to leave before being testing.

"More than 11,500 UB students, faculty and staff have completed their required testing since Nov. 9. UB’s low positivity rate – 0.44% compared to nearly 6% in Erie County over a rolling 7-day average – was another major factor in deciding that the university could safely continue campus operations until Nov. 24, the last day of in-person instruction before UB transitions to remote learning on Nov. 30," the school said in a release.

Campus dining will offer takeout service only beginning November 19 and athletics will continue strictly following the NCAA, Mid-American Conference and UB health guidelines.

The only exception to fully remote instruction will be students who need to complete in-person clinical, laboratory or other activities required to obtain or maintain a professional licensure or research that must be conducted in person.