Health and Safety Guidance

In the true Canisius spirit, the college community will work together to stay safe on campus. 

An important part of the college's strategy is ensuring that people are healthy when they come to school, and modifying our facilities and procedures to mitigate risk. Through rigorous safety protocols and physical alterations to campus facilities, Canisius has created an environment intended to limit the spread of Covid-19 in our community. Everyone must adhere to some basic safety principles: monitoring your health daily, mask wearing, social distancing, frequent handwashing and avoiding large gatherings.  Everyone - students, faculty and staff alike - is being asked to acknowledge the Griff Pledge to commit to these new community expectations and practice them on a daily basis.

Health Care on Campus

The Student Health Center provides on campus medical care to students with Covid-19 signs and symptoms as well as other medical concerns.  The  Student Health Center is open for Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 3:45pm. Due to COVID 19, most visits will be via telemedicine (virtual visits), using the online telehealth platform, unless an in-person visit is deemed essential by the one of the campus health care providers.  Students should call the Student Health Center  at (716) 888-2610 to schedule their visit as there are no walk in appointment options due to the pandemic.

To ensure 24/7 access to health care during the Covid-19 pandemic, Canisius College and WellNow Urgent Care have partnered to provide off-campus urgent care and telemedicine care to our students when the Student Health Center is closed. The cost of services provided by WellNow will be the responsibility of the student and billed to the student’s private health insurance. After-hours virtual care may be accessed 24/7 online at from the comfort, safety, and privacy of the student’s home, apartment or campus residence. Alternatively, a student can go in person to any of the onsite WellNow locations. The college will continue to provide daily shuttle service to WellNow urgent care throughout the spring semester seven days a week.

There is a listing of other local urgent care centers frequently used by students on the Canisius Student Portal, at myCanisiusHealth.

Monitoring Your Health

All faculty and staff are required to complete a daily health screening prior to reporting to work on campus.  Additionally, a mobile app, Campus Clear, is available for student use. Students are encouraged to utilize this daily self-monitoring tool whenever they are on campus. Results will be assessed periodically by a designated team in the Office of Student Health. If anyone reports symptoms or has been exposed to someone potentially infected, the college will initiate its protocols to care for the student and contain, monitor and track illness.

Campus community members are also asked to complete a Daily Health Assessment, which informs a designated team of anyone who may have symptoms or who has been exposed to someone potentially infected.  This also enables the college to take appropriate measures to contain, monitor and track illness.  


Testing - Return to campus for the Spring semester

Resident Students and Division I Athletes

Canisius will expand surveillance testing on campus for the spring semester and require proof of a negative test from resident students and Division I athletes prior to the start of classes on February 5, 2021. These expectations may still change based on local, state and federal guidance. Please see below for more details regarding our expectations for a safe return to campus.

All resident students (undergraduates and graduates) and all Division I athletes (resident or commuter) must submit a negative diagnostic Covid-19 test result, taken prior to returning to campus for the spring 2021 semester.  Please be advised that:

  • Tests must be administered no more than three days before expected return to campus. Student Health recommends the SARS CoV-2 PCR test but the SARS CoV-2 antigen will also be accepted.
  • Covid-19 antibody blood tests will not be accepted.
  • Required documentation is a laboratory report showing a negative Covid-19 diagnostic test result.
  • Laboratory reports must indicate the test date, the student’s name and the student’s date of birth to fulfill this requirement. Laboratory reports must be in English and legible.
  • Documentation must be uploaded to myCanisiusHealth or faxed to 716-888-3217 within seven days after arrival to campus.  Click here to watch a 30 second video on how to upload your test results through the Student Portal.
    • Please note - Failure to do so will result in a $300 fine and possible suspension from housing and or suspension from athletic activities. 
  • If you had a positive Covid-19 test result within 90 days of returning to campus you can upload those results without having to be tested again.
  • Student Health recommends students quarantine at home after their diagnostic test to avoid the risk of additional exposure.
  • If you begin to experience Covid-19 symptoms before returning to campus such as sore throat, fever, cough, body aches, loss of taste or smell, or runny nose, do not return to campus and notify your health care provider for recommendations.

Please note that any student, resident, Division I athlete or commuter, coming from outside of New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey or Vermont must follow the New York State Covid-19 Travel Advisory, found here.

  • Upon arriving at campus, you must quarantine on campus for three days. Residents will do so in their assigned location, commuters must do so in their private residence
  • On the 4th day of quarantine, you must obtain another Covid-19 test. This test will be provided by the college. Details about how the test will be administered will be provided prior to your arrival.
    • If both  tests are negative, your quarantine period ends. If either test is positive, you must enter an isolation period until cleared by Student Health.
    •  NY State also requires you fill out a Traveler Form upon entry into New York State, Find the form here.

Please note - We need to reserve the right to modify these requirements at any time to comply with updated Covid-19 state mandates or as new information regarding Covid-19 becomes available.

 Return Dates

January 25, 2021

All residents and athletes (resident or commuter) from outside of NY, PA, CT, NH, VT and NJ begin three-day quarantine and test period. Meals will be provided.

January 28, 2021

All residents and athletes in quarantine take second Covid test, arranged and provided by the college.

February 1 – 4, 2021 – all resident students who are returning from NY, PA, CT, NH, VT and NJ will need to make an appointment through the Housing Self-Service page.

Surveillance testing for Covid-19 may also be required during the semester. We will provide details when plans are finalized.

This is the most accurate information we have at this time.  We will share additional information as we receive it from state and county authorities, so please stay tuned for further updates.

If you have any questions about the required testing to return to campus or process for submitting the results, please call the Student Health center at 716-888-2610.  Other questions related to move-in can be directed to the Office of Student Life at 716-888-8300.

Move In/Residence Halls

Residence Hall occupancy has been reduced so that density in each building has been decreased in response to CDC guidelines to provide a safe living and learning environment. Undergraduate students who have roommates will be considered a family unit, which will enable us to monitor, quarantine and isolate students efficiently if cases of infection occur.  Graduate students were able to arrive on campus for classes consistent with their specific program schedule. 

New Onset of Signs and Symptoms of Covid-19 Disease

Students should contact the Student Health Center as soon as possible to be screened by a registered nurse if they develop Covid-19 signs and symptoms or have had a close contact exposure. The nurse will schedule the student for a telehealth visit with the Student Health Center physician, refer the student to their local physician or urgent care center. While awaiting medical evaluation students will also be advised to:

  • Remain in their current housing location and self-isolate effective immediately
  • Refrain from attending any in-person classes, employment, or other campus activities
  • Follow all infection control recommendations including wearing face coverings, cover cough/sneezes properly, maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance from others, practice good hygiene including frequent handwashing etc.
  • Notify parents/emergency contacts of illness
  • Students living within a 250-mile radius of campus should plan to return to their primary residence as soon as possible
  • Notify faculty via email of illness and missing class
  • Check email for link to telehealth visit with the college physician

Telehealth visits in Student Health will be prioritize for high risk students such as those with asthma, obesity, diabetes, heart, liver or kidney disease, as well as those students who are pregnant or immunocompromised to ensure they get timely health care. Students at high risk for complication from COVID 19 should be check that complete physical examination and updated medical history are on file in Student Health at the start of the spring semester.

Identified Contacts of Confirmed Students with Covid-19

Infection If a student is exposed to a Covid-19 positive individual, the Student Health Center will contact them by phone to discuss quarantine requirements and screen them for signs and symptoms of disease. It is very important that students check that the college has the best phone number on file to ensure timely notification.

Student Health will not disclose personal or confidential information regarding the Covid-19 affected individual or the circumstances surrounding the exposure to exposed persons to protect the privacy of the sick student.

Students exposed to a confirmed case of COVID 19 will be required to quarantine as outlined below.

Isolation for Covid-19

It is important to distinguish the differences between isolation and quarantine. Isolation is for persons with Covid-19 symptoms, anyone with Covid symptoms who is awaiting a test results or anyone with a laboratory confirmed case of Covid-19 infection. Isolation means staying in one’s own room with the door closed and not leaving the room for any reason aside for medical care. An isolated student should have their own bathroom; if this is not possible, then the isolated student should wear a mask when using the washroom and should wipe down all surfaces after use. Isolated students should have meals delivered to their bedroom door if possible. At present, NYS guidelines stipulate that a person should be isolated for Covid-19 for ten days after the onset of symptoms, or in asymptomatic individuals, 10 days following the positive test result. Student Health does not require students to test negative prior to release from isolation.

Students living within a 250-mile radius of campus are expected to return home to their primary residence to isolate for Covid-19 illness. If a student’s primary residence is outside of the 250-mile radius, or if they are unable to return home, then on-campus isolation will be managed by the Office of Student Life (716) 888- 8300. Meals would be provided by Chartwells (716) 888-2565 and delivered to the student’s isolation room; issues regarding on-campus housing and meals should be directed to the above contacts.

The Student Health Center nurse or physician will notify students of their positive Covid-19 test results via telehealth visits or by phone, and a plan for medical care will be implemented. Students isolating on campus will receive either a daily nurse phone call and periodic telehealth visit from a physician. They will be provided with tips on self-care, infection control, isolation requirements, emergency symptoms and signs that would warrant a trip to the ER, and an action plan for recovery. It is recognized that isolation can be a stressful and difficult time for many students, and the Canisius Counseling Center (716 888-2620) is available to provide support via virtual visits at this time.

Students residing off campus are encouraged to seek medical management of Covid-19 through their primary care physician. Student Health Center services are available to students who reside in community who do not have a local health care provider. Student Health will not however provide daily nurse phone calls to students living in Western New York. Students can schedule regular visits with the college physician throughout their illness and recovery if needed or desired.

Quarantine for Covid-19

Quarantine procedures are the same as for isolation, but this term is reserved for persons who have had close contact with someone known to have a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 or someone who is subject to the NYS travel advisory. Quarantined individuals do not have symptoms of Covid-19 and have not had a positive Covid-19 test. A mandatory quarantine will be implemented for any student who has had close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of an affected individual for more than 10 minutes with or without face coverings. Mandatory quarantine may be required by Erie County Health Department if a student is exposed to a confirmed case in a class room setting, on campus meeting or any campus activity even  when physical distancing and face coverings have been maintained.

Students who live within a 250-mile radius of campus will be expected to return home to quarantine. If unable to travel home, then the decision to quarantine an individual on campus will be made by Student Life (716) 888-8300. During quarantine, on-campus students are required to complete the online daily quarantine assessment for Covid-19 infection symptoms and a temperature log which will be reviewed by the nurses at the Student Health Center. The college recognizes that the process of isolation or quarantine is very difficult for many students. For this reason, virtual support from the Canisius Counseling Center (716) 888-2620 is available for those students who are struggling with anxiety or mental health issues during the quarantine time.

NYS requires that individuals remain in quarantine for 10 days following a close contact with someone with confirmed Covid-19. After release from quarantine on day 10, students should continue to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID 19 for a full 14 days after last exposure. The Student Health Center follows all up to date guidance put forward by the NYS Department of Health as well as the CDC; it is important to note that this guidance is constantly evolving and changing, and this may be reflected in the health center policies.

Students quarantining on campus may be tested for Covid-19 through the Student Health Center, and off-campus students will be referred to a community test site. Testing is best performed at days 5-7 following exposure. It is important to note that a negative test does not necessarily mean that a student can leave quarantine. A positive test would require the student to begin isolation for ten days after the date of test collection or onset of any symptoms.


Testing for Covid-19 Infection

The Student Health Center will work with all sick or exposed students, on an individual basis, to determine a testing plan that works best for the student. The decisions surrounding testing are multifactorial, based on some of the following criteria: underlying medical conditions, high-risk status for complications of illness, severity of current signs and symptoms, local primary medical provider, health insurance status, transportation options, and family support. Diagnostic testing will be recommended by the Student Health physician following a telemedicine visit for students who present with signs and symptoms of Covid-19 infection, students who have been exposed to a confirmed case of Covid-19 infection, or students who have been placed in quarantine.

Resident students in isolation will be tested by Student Health with the use of self-collected molecular tests, performed under the observation of a nurse. These samples will be processed by Quest Diagnostics and billed to the student’s health insurance.

Resident students in quarantine will be tested by the Student Health Center if they either develop signs or symptoms of Covid-19 infection, or if recommended by the college physician/the local Erie County Department of Health.

Local students are always encouraged to discuss testing options with their local primary care providers.

There is free off-campus testing available through the Erie County Department of Health by contacting (716) 858-2929 or the NYS Department of Health Hotline at 1-888-364-3065.

Student Health will continue to follow the New York State Department of Health Protocols for Covid-19 testing as well as the Erie County Department of Health Commissioner’s Standing

Orders Directives for Medical Professionals and Individuals who Collect Specimens for Covid-19 Testing in Erie County. It is important to realize that these recommendations and guidelines are changing rapidly. All positive results from SARS CoV-2 testing will be reported to the Erie County Department of Health, as per state and county guidelines.

NOTE: Serological or antibody testing is not indicated for the diagnosis of acute Covid-19 infection. It is recommended that students requesting serological testing for the presence of IgG antibodies schedule a telehealth visit with the college physician to determine if this testing is required. Serological testing will be billed to the student's health insurance or will be billed to the student directly via private pay. Blood collection for serological testing can be collected at the following locations with a physician’s order: Canisius College Student Health Center, Sisters of Charity Outpatient Laboratory, and Quest Diagnostic Collection Site.

Contact Tracing

Student Health reaches out to all students when notified of a positive COVID 19 test result. Registered nurses will ensure the student has needed medical care and also a conduct a case investigation to identify campus close contacts. Student Health and the Erie County Health Department will work together to notify exposed students as quickly as possible. It is very important that students provide up to date cell phone numbers to the college to ensure timely notification of exposure and need to quarantine.

Covid-19 Vaccination

The Student Health Center is exploring ways to provide Covid-19 vaccine to students during the spring semester. Distribution of the vaccine will be controlled by New York State and will be prioritized to different populations. Updates regarding Covid-19 vaccination, will be sent throughout the winter break via email. Student Health recommends that students speak with their private health care provider now about the benefit of Covid-19 vaccination. For more detailed information on the Covid-19 vaccine, students may review the CDC website or their state health department website.

Social Distancing Guidelines 


The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) currently recommends that people remain a minimum of six feet apart. Here are some additional steps you can take:

  • Limit non-essential interaction across the campus
  • Increase physical space between you and others
  • Limit gatherings 
  • Use Zoom or alternative meeting tools for person-to-person meetings
  • Avoid physical contact, such as handshakes or fist bumps

Physical distancing of at least six feet of separation will be implemented throughout the campus - in the classrooms and in all other public spaces.  

Signage is prominently placed on floors for queues and at designated entrance and exit points.  Building “flow plans” reduce bi-directional foot traffic within buildings and maximize physical distancing.  Informational signs placed throughout campus remind everyone about the importance of excellent hygiene, symptoms of illness and ways to seek assistance. 

Face Covering Guidelines 


All students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings that completely cover mouth and nose at all times when on campus, in both indoor and outdoor spaces when social distancing of at least six feet is not possible. The only times face coverings are not required are when students are (1) in their bedroom/suite/apartment with only their roommate or suite/apartment mates, (2) eating with adequate physical distancing, or (3) undertaking personal grooming.

Canisius has provided two cloth face coverings to all students, free of charge. Students are expected to obtain additional face coverings as needed and to launder and care for their cloth masks according to the CDC’s instructions on use of and care for face coverings. Appropriate use of face coverings is critical in minimizing risks to others. Keep in mind, a face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.


Wear face covering while on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.)


Ensure the face covering fits properly over your nose and under your chin
Wash cloth face coverings with regular laundry detergent as directed by the vendor
Replace cloth face coverings immediately if they become soiled, damaged (e.g., ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated
Do not use disposable face coverings for more than one day and place them in the trash after use or if they become soiled or damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material) or visibly contaminated.


Hygiene Basics

hand washing
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Facilities will strive to ensure hand washing and/or hand sanitizer supplies are stocked and readily available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Stay home if you feel sick. That includes staying home from work, school, errands and travel.
If not wearing a face covering, cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
If not wearing a face covering and you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands

Symptom Monitoring

Currently, COVID-19 symptoms include one or more of the following: 

covid chart

Testing and Contact Tracing

All faculty and staff are required to complete a daily health screening prior to reporting to work on campus.

Testing Sites 

Call 716-858-2929 for additional testing sites in Erie County or visit
Call 1-888-364-3065 for additional testing information from New York State Department of Health or visit

Contact tracing will be conducted under the direction of the Erie County Health Department. Close contacts ( those individuals within 6 feet of confirmed COVID 19 case for 10-15 minutes with or without face coverings) will be notified as quickly as possible. If you get a call from” NYS Contact Tracing” or 518-387-9993, please answer your phone.  

Cleaning and Disinfection

Canisius has enhanced cleaning and disinfecting efforts across campus. Common areas and restrooms will be cleaned and maintained by Facilities Management, and faculty, staff and students will have a shared responsibility for cleaning high touch surfaces and shared work areas (desktop, keyboards, chairs, etc.) before and after use, as well as public surfaces before/after eating. 

New hand-sanitizing stations have been installed at each building entrance and near elevator lobbies.  In addition, new procedures were instituted for waste and recycling receptacles, which are aimed at reducing touch points where germs are easily exchanged and supporting campus sustainability efforts to reduce waste. Canisius has also optimized engineering controls to introduce fresh air into the campus HVAC without sacrificing theormocontrols. 

Important On-Campus Supports During Covid-19

  • Student Health Center, Tunnel Level, Frisch Hall (716) 888-2610 Clinic Hours Monday to Friday, mornings 9:00am to 12:00pm and afternoons 1:00 to 3:45pm
  • Canisius Counseling Center, Bosch Hall Room 105 (716) 888-2620
  • Student Life, Lower Level, Dugan Hall, (716) 888-8300
  • Campus Ministry Old Main Room 207 (716) 888-2420 Griff Center for Student Success, Old Main Room 013, (716) 888-2170
  • Chartwells Dining Services (716) 888-2565
  • WellNow – on campus testing every Wednesday throughout the month of February (extended on campus testing beyond February is possible based on utilization and need) Important

Off-Campus Supports During Covid-19

Student Health Center and After Hours Care

Students with further questions or in need of care should contact:

Student Health Center

Tunnel Level, Frisch Hall


Clinic Hours

Monday - Friday / 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

(No clinic hours are available between 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.)

Students in need of care after hours should contact:

Telemedicine 24/7 from anywhere on campus

Well Now Virtual Care

Any Urgent Care provider in WNY, these include:

Well Now  

Western New York Immediate Care

Public Safety (available 24/7 for medical and emotional emergencies)







Help Line

New York State COVID-19 Hotline




Travel Advisories