FAQs About COVID-19

Published October 3, 2023

We know that COVID-19 infections continue to be present in our community and we appreciate you reaching out for direction. Please know that our priority is your health. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to be able to help you navigate this. The answers to these questions come from the CDC and Jacobs Medical School.

What is a “close contact”?

Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread SARS-CoV-2 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days before the positive specimen collection).

What should I do if I had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

If you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after your exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should also wear a mask indoors in public for 10 days following exposure or until your test result is negative.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

The first day of symptoms is day 0 and you should stay in isolation through day 5.

Isolate for 5 days immediately and also:

  • Preclinical Students - email and Laura Willgohs to report your positive test. 
  • Clinical Students - email Dr. Milling, Dr. Silvestri and Dr. Lesse as well as your clerkship/elective course director to report your positive test.  

When can I return to school/clinic rotation after I test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, you can return to work when:

  • at least 5 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and
  • at least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
  • symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have resolved or are improving. Rhinorrhea, if present, has fully resolved.

*Please note that our hospital partners, Roswell and the VA, require students to wait at least 10 days since symptoms have passed before returning to clinic.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

A positive home test is acceptable if you are symptomatic. If your home test is negative, continue masking for the next five days. Symptomatic students should also consider getting a PCR test if the rapid antigen home test is negative as the PCR testing is more sensitive.

You can order free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests kits starting September 25, 2023 on COVIDTests.gov.

Covid Vaccination

Covid vaccine is encouraged for everyone and a single dose of the new vaccine (2023) is considered “up to date” regardless of prior vaccine Hx. Anyone with significant immunosuppression should discuss additional doses with the PCP.

To maintain updated immunization record with UB Health Services, you can upload your Covid vaccination via the patient portal.


We urge you to consider voluntary mask use as a responsible and proactive step in mitigating the impact of the current increase in disease activity.

Our hospital partners may institute varying mandates regarding masking at their respective sites related to the level of COVID-19 infection within our community. Please adhere to our hospital partners who have resumed masking mandates.  

Questions ?

Please contact OME Deans:

Executive Director for Medical Education and Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs

Milling, David

David Milling, MD

Associate Professor

955 Main Street Room 1201 Buffalo, NY 14203-1121

Phone: 716-829-2802; Fax: 716-829-2798

Email: dmilling@buffalo.edu

Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs

Silvestri, Nicholas

Nicholas Silvestri, MD, FAAN

Professor of Neurology, Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs

Office of Medical Education Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 955 Main St. Buffalo, NY 14203

Phone: (716) 932-6080; Fax: (716) 829-3010

Email: njs6@buffalo.edu

Associate Dean for Medical Curriculum

Lesse, Alan

Alan Lesse, MD

Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Education; Associate Dean for Medical Curriculum

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences 955 Main Street, Room 7165 Buffalo, NY 14203-1121

Phone: (716) 829-3467

Email: camlesse@buffalo.edu