Respiratory Illness



Based on updated CDC recommendations, the state Department of Health is revising its guidance for when to stay home and when individuals can return to normal activities after respiratory infections including COVID-19, influenza, and RSV. 

Note: These changes DO NOT pertain to people working in healthcare settings. Healthcare facilities should continue to follow the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Managing  Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 


  • Stay home, wear a mask, and stay away from others as much as possible.
  • You may return to normal activity (classes, practices, rehearsals) when you have been fever-free for 24 hours (without medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen) and your symptoms are generally improving. Stay at home until you reach that fever-free, improving symptoms status.
  • When returning to normal activities, you should take added precautions over the next 5 days, including taking additional steps for cleaner airhygiene, and masks when you will be around other people, especially older adults, young children, and those with weakened immune systems. 
  • Keep in mind that you may still be able to spread the virus that made you sick, even if you are feeling better, so it is important to take extra precautions after resuming normal activities.
  • If you develop a fever or start to feel worse, you should stay home and away from others again. You should use the same criteria for returning to normal activities as when you first had symptoms and take added precautions over the next 5 days. 
  • Contact the Office of Student Success at to notify the University that you have tested positive for COVID-19, RSV or Flu and will be absent from the classroom for 5 days, or until you are fever-free for 24 hours and your symptoms are improving. The University will send a “notification of absence” alert through the Flyer Success System to notify instructors of students who will be absent from class for 3 or more consecutive days. 
  • You no longer need to retest to determine your readiness to return.
  • You should wear a mask indoors until day 10 from symptom onset. 
  • Please read Health Instructions: Caring for a Respiratory Illness for more information.


  • The testing and isolation protocols are the same as for students (above) in terms of symptoms and exposure. But contact your own health care provider for testing and care, test at home, or see the find-a-test-site website.
  • If you must stay home, notify your manager or department chair that you are unable to come to campus.
  • Contact Human Resources to review your situation and discuss the next steps.
  • If you are able to work remotely, you will be asked to continue to do so for five days from symptom onset, or until you are fever-free and your symptoms are generally improving.
  • Employees follow the same isolation timeline as students (above); arrange your own testing. Email your test results to Human Resources, At-home tests should have your name, date of birth, and test date written on the test.

If you are unable to work due to symptoms, you may have leave time options available to you (employee sick time/short term disability or family sick/paid family leave). In addition, New York state has passed legislation providing paid COVID sick leave for employees who are to isolate or quarantine due to an order of quarantine issued by the state or local health department. If you have been quarantined by a medical professional, you can request an order of quarantine from the state. 



  • If you have mild symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, or mild cough without the more concerning symptoms listed below):
    • Students who have mild respiratory symptoms are advised to self-treat with OTC supportive measures at home, including taking a COVID-19 self-test at home. Students may also schedule a tele-health visit with a nurse in Health & Counseling by visiting the Naz Student Health Portal and selecting Cold or Flu-like Symptoms (mild). A nurse will contact you to discuss your symptoms and recommendations for next steps. .
    • Get a test: COVID-19 tests are available for purchase at most local pharmacies and health centers, and online through retail pharmacies.

      PCR testing for COVID-19, RSV and Flu is offered at Health and Counseling, by appointment, for students with more significant/ worrisome symptoms, especially those with underlying medical conditions who warrant a medical visit.

    • Contact your professors to keep them in the loop. 
  • If you have more concerning symptoms (ie: headache, fever, cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and/or persistent diarrhea), contact Health and Counseling at 585-389-2500 for an appointment for a medical evaluation, which may include COVID-19, RSV or Flu testing as part of a diagnostic strategy.
  • After-hours: if after-hours, visit a local Urgent Care. Please visit Health & Counseling's after hours webpage for more information.
  • Academics: 
    • Stay in contact with your instructors to discuss strategies to support you in achieving course learning goals. If your ability to maintain progress changes at any point, it is important that you reach out to your instructors right away to explore options.
    • If you are not well enough to participate in classes remotely during this period, regardless of the course delivery format, or if you have any concerns regarding accommodation plans, contact The Student Accessiblity Services at . This office will work with you and your instructors to determine appropriate accommodations that ensure there will be no academic penalty during this time.


Do not come to campus. Contact Human Resources,, to review your situation and discuss the next steps.