Category: Faculty Staff Messages

Sign up for sentinel testing – Sept. 14

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

Sign up for Sentinel Testing 

The University is moving to the COVID-19 sentinel testing phase of the campus health and safety plan. To participate, go to healthy.verily.com now to set up an account. Use your myBama username @ua.edu email address to create your account. Answer some basic questions and verify your email. Once your account is created, you are all done for now. You do not need to set up an account if you are working remotely only and it is unlikely you will be coming to campus for any reason.

For-cause Testing Begins in Residence Halls 

Free for-cause testing is conducted on-site for those in a shared location, such as a Greek house, residence hall floor, student group or classroom. It can be associated with an increase in positive test results, but it is also a valuable monitoring tool in preventing outbreaks.

New Classes of Crimson Startup Open

Crimson Startup is a six-week National Science Foundation I-Corps site program designed to help entrepreneurs develop tools needed for a successful startup business. Faculty, staff and students are welcome to join the program during this year’s virtual classes that begin Sept. 18. Register on the I-Corps website or email Dr. Ying Qin.

myBama Maintenance Sept. 19 

On Saturday, Sept. 19, myBama will be unavailable from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. for scheduled database maintenance. Banner, Blackboard, DegreeWorks and other applications will remain available. More information is available on the OIT Status Page.

Do Your Part to  STOMP COVID-19
S – Sanitize your hands frequently.
T – Track your symptoms daily.
O – Observe social distancing.
M – Mask up when indoors or near others.
P – Plan to stay home when sick.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Annual Bama Blitz Campaign Begins Sept. 15 

Dean’s List Students Named for UA Summer 2020 Term

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Message from the President – Sept. 14

Dear students, faculty, staff and parents,

I want to thank each of you for your commitment, patience and resilience. Your actions are making a measureable and positive impact on our campus.

Last week provided strong and encouraging data affirming that we are on course and on mission.

  • The UA System dashboard update showed a 65% drop in COVID-positive cases on our campus week-over-week.
  • Our Division of Student Life outlined areas of relaxation to the in-person gatherings moratorium.
  • We announced fall enrollment of 37,842, reflecting the high value our students and parents see in an on-campus education here at the Capstone.
  • Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Response, visited Tuscaloosa Friday to meet with System and University leaders, including a number of our outstanding students. An esteemed physician and global health leader, Dr. Birx was highly complimentary of our comprehensive Health and Safety program and our campus initiatives.

I am very proud of the progress we have made, and we can’t stop now.

  • Wear your mask.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Avoid large gatherings.

This week we continue implementing our sentinel testing program. For students, faculty and staff: if you haven’t set up your account, please go to healthy.verily.com to participate in this important initiative. Those with questions are encouraged to utilize the newly enhanced COVID19 hotline at 205-348-2819.

The University of Alabama is known worldwide as the Capstone because we look after one another and set an example for those around us. Thank you for helping lead the way. Because of you, we are all Tide Together.

Stuart R. Bell
President

Fall 2020 enrollment announced – Sept. 11

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

In-State Increase, Record Number of Graduate Students Highlights UA Enrollment

A 2% increase in the number of in-state undergraduate students and record-setting Graduate School enrollment highlight The University of Alabama’s fall 2020 total student headcount, which surpasses the 37,800 mark.

UA Army ROTC Marks 9/11

The Crimson Tide Battalion of UA’s Army ROTC commemorated the 19th anniversary of 9/11 with a tribute. Watch the video. 

UREC: Helping Keep UA Safe While Active 

Many University Recreation facilities are now open and back to regular operating hours, with safety procedures in place.

Use UA Healthcheck Daily 

Share your current health status – even if you are symptom free – to ensure a safe return to campus. UA Healthcheck, a daily, 30-second assessment tool for students and employees, allows you to report any current COVID-19-related symptoms, exposure history and testing history.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Nominations for Sam S. May Award Due Sept. 15 

Mark G. Foster Scholarship Applications Due Sept. 30 

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Create an Account in Verily for Sentinel Testing – Sept. 11

The University of Alabama is moving to the COVID-19 sentinel testing phase of our campus health and safety plan.

The sentinel test is a self-administered nasal swab that takes less than one minute. Find out more about UA’s sentinel testing on the UA News Center.

To participate, go to healthy.verily.com now to set up an account. Use your myBamausername@ua.edu email address to create your account. You will answer some basic questions and verify your email. Once your account is created, you are all done for now.

You do not need to set up an account if you are working remotely only and it is unlikely you will be coming to campus for any reason.

Check your UA email regularly to see if you have been selected. Randomly selected individuals will receive an email from Verily (healthy@verily.com) directing them to sign up for a testing appointment on campus within the next seven days. If you are randomly selected, you will be prompted in the email to log into your Verily account and request a test.

The sentinel test is a self-administered nasal swab that takes less than one minute.

We all have a role to play in keeping our campus as healthy as possible. If you have any questions, call UA’s COVID19 hotline (205-348-2819) or contact GuideSafe at testing@guidesafe.org or 1-866-839-5308.

HR news, mental health services – Sept. 10

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

UA Offers Mental Health Services to Employees, Families 

UA launched a clinic that offers mental health services and wellness resources exclusively for University employees and their families.

FSA & HSA Account Upgrades Coming Soon

UA employees with a Flexible Spending Account, Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account will receive information from Total Administrative Services Corp., or TASC, about upgrades, including new cards. Carefully read all communications; for detailed information visit the Human Resources website.  

New Tool to Answer HR questions 24/7

The Office of Human Resources has a new tool, Bamabot, available to answer employee HR questions 24/7. A live chat feature will be added soon. Visit the HR website.

Check Junk Email Folder 

OIT continuously adjusts Microsoft 365 security tools and settings to combat evolving phishing email attacks. Occasionally, “good” email can be accidentally marked as spam and delivered to the junk folder. Regularly check the junk folder. If a message in the junk folder is a good email, mark the message as “Not Junk” to help train the inbox to better recognize and deliver messages appropriately. Additional instructions are available on the OIT website.

BFSA Panel Discussion Sept. 14 

The Black Faculty Staff Association will host a Zoom panel discussion, Black in the Ivory, on Monday, Sept. 14, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. A link to the discussion and calendar of BFSA Fall 2020 events is on the BFSA website.

Fight COVID-19 with the GuideSafe App

The COVID-19 Exposure Notification App will anonymously notify users if they have been in potential close contact with someone who later reports a positive COVID-19 test result — without sharing the identity of either person. It is a critical component to mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

UREC: Helping Keep UA Safe While Active 

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Message from the President – Sept. 9

Dear students, faculty, staff and parents,

Hoping your Labor Day weekend was safe and relaxing, I want to update you on three COVID-19 steps we have implemented effective today.

  • For our students who test positive and prepare to move to campus isolation space, staffing and medical resources have been enhanced to ensure prompt communication and expanded services.
  • The COVID19 hotline (205-348-2819) has been upgraded to speed the delivery of answers to your questions. The UA healthinfo website is another good resource.
  • A key component of our plan, sentinel testing for asymptomatic students, faculty and staff, began yesterday and will continue weekly. Participation is required for all students who live on campus and other select groups. Verily, the company that has worked with us on many aspects of our testing program, will notify you if you are selected for sentinel screening.

Other testing reminders:

  • Testing for students who are symptomatic or have been exposed is 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. each weekday at Coleman Coliseum.
  • Testing for employees who are symptomatic or have been exposed is 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. each weekday at University Medical Center.
  • For-cause testing in geographic areas or groups continues as determined by UA health officials.
  • The Student Health Center will remain open for any weekend testing needs.

As a reminder from the Division of Student Life, we are continuing the moratorium on student events through Sept. 13 as we meet with student leaders and health officials to determine the appropriate next steps.

The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we will use every resource available to assist with testing, education and enforcement. Thank you for your commitment, patience and resiliency in the face of these challenges as they are making a difference.

Tide Together,

Stuart R. Bell
President

Crimson Ride, testing and more – Sept. 4

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

Crimson Ride & 348-RIDE Labor Day Schedule

Crimson Ride will provide regular service from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. All routes will run. There will be no bus service on Monday, Sept. 7. Regular service will resume 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

348-RIDE will provide regular service beginning 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, to midnight Monday, Sept. 7.  There will be no 348-RIDE service on Monday, Sept. 7. Regular service will resume 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Call 205-348-7433 with questions.

COVID-19 Sentinel Testing Begins Next Week

UA will begin COVID-19 sentinel testing members of the campus community next week. Sentinel testing is a random sampling of all asymptomatic students, faculty and staff to understand the underlying prevalence of infection on campus so UA can respond promptly to any outbreaks or increases in infection rates. The goal is to test around 3% of the total campus population each week. Although voluntary for most, sentinel testing is strongly encouraged to help provide a snapshot of infection on campus and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

When Should I Get Tested? 

UA has implemented a testing program to help keep campus open and students, faculty and staff safe. But when should an individual be tested for COVID-19? Testing at UA is conducted in five different circumstances: initial return to campus, symptomatic individuals, possible exposure, sentinel testing and for-cause testing. Students and employees are encouraged to be tested on campus, instead of with an off-campus provider so the information can be confidentially used to alert others of possible exposure.

Appointments with TIAA Consultants 

TIAA has suspended on-site visits to institutions by financial consultants and other members of their service team. If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet with a TIAA representative online or by phone, go to the TIAA consultation webpage or call 1-800-732-8353, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET).

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

UA Team to Build Opioid Prevention, Recovery Network in State

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Message from the President – Sept. 3

Dear students, faculty and staff,

As Labor Day approaches, we must all remain vigilant in following the Health and Safety protocols designed to help protect you, your family and our University community.

Wherever you spend the holiday, remember to:

  • Wear your mask.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • Complete isolation or quarantine, if applicable.

Our robust testing, isolation and quarantine protocols make it possible for us to contain the coronavirus and keep us together this fall. To accomplish our goals, it is imperative that all of us do our part, in all settings on and off campus. Violations of our Health and Safety directives will continue to be investigated and appropriate actions will follow.

Our COVID hotline will remain open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. throughout the weekend, so please call 205-348-CV19 if you have questions or health concerns. Our Healthinfo website is continually updated with the latest information and is an excellent resource.

Your continued commitment is the key to unlock the Alabama experience this fall and beyond. I hope you have a safe holiday weekend!

Tide Together,

Stuart R. Bell
President

UA COVID testing program and more – Sept 2

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

UA Testing Program Keeps Health and Safety Paramount

UA’s robust testing program provides both sentinel and for-cause testing, and allows students and employees to be tested on campus. Detailed information on sentinel testing, which begins next week, for-cause testing and testing options for students and employees experiencing systems or possibly exposed to COVID is available on the UA News Center.

UA Student Discusses COVID-19 Isolation Experience 

Zachary Bourg, a freshman majoring in biology, talks about his experience in isolation housing following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, including meal delivery and access to his classes. Watch the video. 

Students Gather Gift Bags for Those in New Housing 

The Capstone Men and Women, official ambassadors for UA, recently put together gift bags for some of their peers who have been directly impacted by COVID-19.

Mask Up! It’s Required.

Cloth face coverings are required on campus and are proven to limit coronavirus spread. One of the best ways to demonstrate your care for others during this time — both on campus and off — is by wearing a mask. Face coverings help protect other people in case you are infected, and help limit you from inhaling the virus. Wear them over the mouth and nose when within 6 feet of others. Throughout the state of Alabama, masks are currently required in public spaces. This statewide mask requirement supports the UA System Health and Safety Task Force’s requirement that face coverings must be worn in all University buildings with limited exceptions.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Tax Tip: 60-Day Rule for Expense Reports

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

UA System plan update – Message for faculty/staff

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

Two Easy Things to Help Stop COVID-19 Spread

Two ways to help reduce the spread of COVID-19:  use UA Healthcheck and download the GuideSafe Exposure Notification App.

Dodd Shares Experience with COVID-19

John Dodd, a junior majoring in political science and public relations, talks about his battle with COVID-19 over the summer, which included a severe fever and shortness of breath, and shares why it’s important for fellow students to get tested and do their part in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

UA System Updates Comprehensive Health and Safety Plan

The University of Alabama System updated the Comprehensive Health and Safety Plan with the following changes.

  • Students participating in clinical activities – provided that student also has or will have a presence on campus throughout the semester – will be required to participate in sentinel testing.
  • For-cause testing will be conducted when campus health officials determine the need based on a notable increase in reported positive tests or COVID-related symptoms in a common geographic area or group of people. Students required to participate in sentinel testing must also participate in for-cause testing. Students participating in organized student groups that would hold in-person meetings of 10 or more absent the interim prohibition on in-person events are still required to participate in sentinel and for-cause testing. Those who refuse to participate in for-cause testing will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • On-campus residents required to relocate from housing for isolation and quarantine have the option to return home in lieu of moving into dedicated campus isolation space for their quarantine and isolate period. Campus protocols for isolation and quarantine will be implemented consistent with current CDC guidance.

UA Alerts Test Sept. 2

Weather permitting, the University will test its emergency notification systems, including UA Alerts, the public address system and digital signage Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 11:55 a.m.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

UA Program Helps Small Businesses During Pandemic 

Cahaba Mural in Ferg Depicts Biodiversity, Beauty 

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).