Section last updated:  8/18/20  at 10:16 a.m. CDT.  The latest information will be at the top of the section.

General FAQs

What is the UA facilities department doing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in campus buildings?

The heating and cooling coils in all heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC systems, have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

High efficiency air filters, known as MERV 13 filters, are being installed in the HVAC systems in all UA buildings. These filters are recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE, as effective at capturing airborne viruses and are the same type air filters used in most hospitals.

The amount of outside air being brought into the campus buildings has been increased to a level that is optimal without compromising indoor temperatures and humidity.

The HVAC systems in all buildings will operate for extended time periods each day, thus increasing air filtration, increasing the amount of outdoor air ventilation, and improving the overall indoor air quality inside the building.

The domestic water systems in every building have been flushed to ensure all areas have fresh, chlorinated water.

All drinking water fountains have been shut off, except for those that allow students and employees to fill personal water bottle from the filtered water refill station.

UA Custodial Services utilizes an EPA registered disinfectant approved for use against Covid-19 for all routine cleaning.

All academic and residential campus buildings were disinfected during the spring and summer break in preparation for campus return to standard operations.

All classrooms and restrooms are disinfected daily with an EPA registered disinfectant. In addition, public area high touch points such as door handles, light switches and elevator buttons are disinfected multiple times daily.

All Facilities and Grounds personnel are adhering to the 6-foot social distancing, wearing masks, and washing hands as directed by UA guidelines.

What do I need to know as I prepare to arrive on campus?

As students, faculty and staff begin returning to campus, everyone will be required to complete three steps:

  1. TEST. Take the return-to-campus test for the virus.
  2. TRAIN. Complete a short web-based training course about the virus, symptoms and how to mitigate risks. Learn how to access the training course.
  3. CHECK. Sign up for the online UA Healthcheck symptom assessment tool and update it regularly.

How will UA accommodate faculty, staff and students in high risk groups?

Many aspects of our plan are designed to protect vulnerable individuals. We have established multiple resources for students, faculty and staff concerned about being at higher risk of complications from the virus. These resources include ways to assist with questions, facilitate requests for accommodations and refer you to student or employee health for your personal medical questions. Students can work with the Office of Disability Services and Student Health Center. Employees can work with Human Resources and the University Medical Center.

How will health and safety practices be enforced?

Social distancing and face coverings are required. We are also requiring education and training tools for students, faculty and staff before you return to campus. Individuals who fail to complete these measures will be asked to repeat the training. Continued non-compliance will result in further review through the Office of Student Conduct or Human Resources and could result in dismissal. Human Resources and the Division of Student Life are developing protocols to address compliance issues. We will continue with messaging on the importance of and requirement to wear face coverings and other PPE. In keeping with Crimson Tide tradition, we are confident the University community will join together to help each other.


Section last updated:  8/26/20  at 5:04 p.m. CDT.  The latest information will be at the top of the section.

Employee Testing and Notification FAQs

I have symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed to the virus. What should I do?

UA faculty, staff and non-UA employees who work on the UA campus who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or might have been exposed to the virus can be tested at the University Medical Center. For more information: contact the UA COVID-19 Hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Will testing be mandatory to return to campus?

Employees: All faculty and staff currently working on campus, or planning to return to campus prior to the start of fall semester, will receive COVID-19 tests at no cost. Those who continue to work remotely need not be tested now, but must be tested before returning to campus.

For more information go to the Faculty/Staff Testing Info page or call 205-348-CV19 (205-348-2819).

Will there be sentinel testing?

Sentinel testing of faculty and staff will be conducted regularly to signal trends, identify outbreaks, and monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on a randomized sample of approximately 4% of employees. For more information call 205-348-CV19

Will sentinel testing be mandatory?

Sentinel testing will be voluntary for most of the UA campus population. Students who live in on-campus residential housing or participate in University-sponsored extracurricular activities will be required to participate in sentinel testing. For more information, call 205-348-CV19.

Will COVID-19 testing be available on campus?

Yes. For more information go to the testing information page or call 205-348-CV19.

How will testing be conducted?

All returning faculty, staff and students on UA System campuses will be tested for COVID-19 before or immediately following their return to campus. In the event universal testing is not available, UA System campuses will have procedures to test any faculty, staff or student with COVID-19-related symptoms or who is arriving from an area identified as experiencing increased community transmission. For more information, call 205-348-CV19 (205-348-2819).

Will there be regular notification of testing and positive tests among students and employees?

Students and employees who participate in sentinel testing will be notified directly of their results. We will make efforts to notify individual members of the campus community that they may have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive. Private medical information will not be shared.

All of our preparation now and when implemented is designed to return the University to its fundamental mission while being consistent with public health policies, supplementing the notification process of the Alabama Department of Public Health. For more information, call 205-348-CV19.

Will we be notified of positive cases among students and employees?

We plan to provide exposure notification when we have reason to believe a person with a positive test result has been in close contact with other members of the campus community. Private medical information will not be shared. UA’s plan, in compliance with the UA System Health and Safety Plan, focuses on ways we can continue to educate our community to avoid infection, reasonably modify our physical surroundings and actions, test, track, isolate those at risk, and treat those who are infected. For more information, call 205-348-CV19.

How will I be notified if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus?

As required by the UA System Health and Safety Plan, we will be using the GuideSafe Program platform developed by UAB. This includes a mandatory Healthcheck feature where you can routinely assess your symptoms. It takes less than a minute to sign up for the UA Healthcheck, which is already being used by thousands of people. The platform also includes a voluntary COVID-19 exposure notification app that will alert users when they have come in close contact with individuals who tested positive. Additionally, the University will employ a team dedicated to manage exposure notifications.


Section last updated:  8/28/20  at 51:55 p.m. CDT.  The latest information will be at the top of the section.

Student Testing and Notification FAQs

I have been in isolation or quarantine. When can I return to class and campus events?

IF YOU HAVE TESTED POSITIVE THIS SEMESTER:

  1.  You don’t need a negative test to come out of isolation
  2.  Finish your isolation and be cleared by your case manager
  3.  You should not need another test or isolation/quarantine this semester

What should I do if I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to the virus?

COVID-19 testing is provided for University of Alabama students who are experiencing virus symptoms or who might have been exposed to the virus. Exposure means being within six feet of someone who might have COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes and with either person not wearing a face mask.

COVID19 testing for symptomatic or students who have been exposed will be at Coleman Coliseum Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. until further notice.

Schedule a student appointment at Coleman.

Bring your health insurance card, ACT card, CWID and driver’s license. Students without health insurance will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but the goal is not to turn any students away if testing is warranted.

COVID-19 symptoms include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, unexplained headache, sore throat, nausea and diarrhea.vere symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in chest, bluish lips or face, new confusion, or the inability to wake or stay awake.

Are Distance Learning Students required to be tested?

Distance learning students who will not be on campus for any reason this fall are not required to be tested for COVID-19 at this time. However, those planning to return to campus in any capacity will need to be tested. Completion of the training learning plans and participation in HealthCheck is strongly encouraged for everyone, but not required for those not immediately returning to campus.

Will there be sentinel testing?

Sentinel testing of students will be conducted regularly to signal trends, identify outbreaks, and monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on a randomized sample of approximately 4% of students. For more information call 205-348-CV19 (205-348-2819).

Will sentinel testing be mandatory?

Sentinel testing will be voluntary for most of the UA campus population. Students who live in on-campus residential housing or participate in University-sponsored extracurricular activities will be required to participate in sentinel testing. For more information, call 205-348-CV19 (205-348-8219).


Academic Calendar and Schedule FAQs

Will fall course delivery methods change again?

Faculty and academic teams in each college have been working hard to modify classrooms and plan teaching modes to provide as much in-person learning as possible. Updates to course delivery methods were posted July 21. Students will receive a message from their academic programs with any details. Course delivery methods reflect the evolving nature of planning to return to campus in conjunction with health and safety guidelines. A vast majority of all classes scheduled are planning to provide some type of in-person instruction. Details are being determined based on the best and most current guidance from health experts and the UA Systemwide Task Force.

Is the semester going to end early?

As outlined in the August updates to the Return Plan, UA’s fall semester will cease in-person instruction on or before Thanksgiving when only study week and final exams remain.

Will an increase in cases affect the fall schedule?

Changes to our timeline will be based on facts and evidence, including the number of positive cases, methods of transmission, hospitalizations and ability of campus and local officials to manage the impact of the virus on our campus. Decisions will be made in consultation with the UA System Health and Safety Taskforce and will be based on how best to maintain and protect the health and safety of faculty, staff, students and visitors.

Will classes continue if the state or local governments require another lockdown or issue stay-at-home orders?

The Situational Response Team will announce adjustments to instruction and campus operations if our local, state or federal government issues rules affecting the University.


Student Life and Athletics FAQs

Will UA support services be open?

Yes. Critical services such as the Career Center, Counseling Center, WGRC and Student Health Center will continue with enhanced remote availability. Academic support services such as tutoring and the Writing Center will continue with enhanced remote options.

Will the Rec Center be open?

Yes. University Recreation will be open with enhanced distancing and cleaning.

Can student groups meet?

Yes, but under strict guidelines. UA Student Life will assist student organizations, including Greek organizations, to comply with all campus restrictions on social events.

Online options such as Zoom meetings remain the first choice for campus events. For in-person events, outdoor events are encouraged.

There will be no large social gatherings. This includes band parties, swaps, formals, out-of-town and off-campus parties or large social gatherings of any kind. The guidelines for indoor events are no more than 50 individuals, with no more than 100 for outdoor events. Most importantly, attendance limits depend on the distance capacity of the space, so each event space is different and may only allow for a smaller gathering.

Larger physical spaces will be identified to allow for greater social distancing for face-to-face events and meetings. Student groups will be assisted in their efforts to educate and train on health promotions, and to maintain required distancing and other safety protocols.

Attendance restrictions for UA social events will be strictly applied, and all on-campus events, meetings, and programs held by student organizations must be registered through the Office of Student Involvement, including virtual events and meetings.

Off-campus social events sponsored by, or on behalf of, student organizations are impermissible, absent special approval from the Vice President of Student Life or his designee.

Student organizations hosting events will be required to complete and pass with 90% proficiency the Event Smart training module or will be asked to meet with the Office of Student Involvement and other campus partners before their first on-campus event. Capacity restrictions outlined above apply to service organizations, honoraries and others.

If at any point a member of our community does not adhere to University regulations and guidelines, disciplinary action will be taken pursuant to the Code of Student Conduct. Student organizations that do not adhere to University Health and Safety guidelines will have privileges revoked following the first offense.

Read more about hosting campus events and the rules of student conduct in Fall 2020.

Will recruitment for Greek organizations be different?

The University of Alabama Panhellenic Association sorority recruitment rounds were held virtually, with potential new members interacting with current sorority members via Zoom. New members visited their new chapter houses at scheduled staggered times throughout the afternoon. Visitors were not allowed. For information on fraternity recruitment, visit the IFC recruitment website.

Will there be campus events?

Yes, under strict guidelines. Social events and group experiences, such as Get-on-Board Day, career fairs, swaps, get-togethers, and recruitment activities will be planned to preserve the experience, consistent with health and safety requirements. Details will be released for each event. Students should take personal responsibility to protect themselves and others from infection.

Student groups, including Greek organizations, are strongly encouraged to move events outside and use online meeting platforms when possible. Student groups must abide by all stated occupancy limitations when hosting events or gatherings indoors. More guidance will be available at healthinfo.ua.edu. Those with questions can call 205-348-CV19.

Are student parties and get-togethers going to be monitored for risks?

UA, in compliance with the UA System Health and Safety Plan, has implemented additional restrictions on certain events in an effort to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Event attendees should enter a facility or event only after having completed the UA Healthcheck assessment tool and using the event passport.

How is UA protecting student-athletes?

Student-athletes who are on campus are receiving targeted education, daily screening and regular testing by our sports medicine staff, in conjunction with NCAA and conference recommendations.

Will there be athletic events, including football, in the fall?

Final plans about athletic events will adhere to NCAA, SEC, CDC and all applicable health guidelines. Information on changes about events, venues and guidelines for attendees will be made available as soon as they are known.


Section last updated:  8/18/20  at 10:16 a.m. CDT.  The latest information will be at the top of the section.

Face Covering and PPE FAQs

Do I have to wear a mask in class? Are other safety measures are required?

All students must be familiar with and abide by the requirements outlined in the UA Return Plan and UA System Comprehensive Health and Safety Plan.  Students must (1) wear a mask or face covering at all times while participating in face-to-face class; (2) adhere to social distancing standards; and (3) comply with all other health and safety restrictions. If a student refuses to comply with the requirements, the student will be asked to leave the class and reported for a conduct violation. Unless a student has an exemption from the requirement to wear a face covering, the student will be reported to Student Life for further disciplinary action. More information on these requirements and UA Healthcheck system and screening can be found at healthinfo.ua.edu/returnplan.  You are expected to visit the site and comply with all noted requirements related to in-person class attendance.

What sort of face covering am I required to wear?

Cloth face coverings made of common materials such as cotton that cover the mouth and nose and can be re-worn after proper cleaning are appropriate to wear on campus. Use of medical-grade N95 masks will be required for certain employees, including student employees, who are in situations where they are likely to come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, like clinical settings.

Will the University provide face coverings to students?

Yes. The University will provide two cloth masks to each student.

Am I required to wear only UA-issued face covering?

No. Students, faculty and staff are not required to wear only UA-issued face coverings. Cloth face coverings made of common materials such as cotton that cover the mouth and nose and can be re-worn after proper cleaning are appropriate to wear on campus.

What if I cannot wear a face covering?

Reasonable accommodations can be requested for those unable to meet these requirements. Students requesting accommodations should contact the UA Office of Disability Services. Faculty and staff requesting accommodations should contact Human Resources for assistance.

What is the consequence if I do not wear a face covering where required?

Appropriate face coverings are required. We will continue with messaging to remind our campus community of the importance of and requirement to wearing face coverings and other PPE. We believe the University community will join together to help each other. Enforcement policies and directives are outlined in the University’s Return Plan updates posted in August.

Will I have to wear a face covering in class? How about in my residence hall room?

Face coverings are required in all UA facilities, with limited exceptions. A face covering is not required in your own room or suite in University housing. However, it will be required in common areas, like residence hall lobbies. We also strongly encourage you to use a face covering in all public settings.

Where else do I have to wear a face covering?

Face coverings are required inside all University-owned buildings, and outside during on-campus gatherings and in other on-campus settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Employees: Face coverings are required in classrooms and labs; open office spaces; and on-campus gatherings and other on-campus settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Face coverings will not be required in private offices, your vehicle or outdoors where social distancing is possible.

Students: Along with your personal room and suite in University housing, you do not have to wear a face covering in enclosed offices, enclosed study spaces, your vehicles, outdoors where distancing is met and when doing certain physical activities such as working out at specified University Recreation facilities. Although not required in these instances, use of a face covering in all settings is strongly encouraged.

Those with questions can call 205-348-CV19.

Is UA going to provide PPE for faculty and staff free of charge?

Yes. Each faculty and staff member will be provided PPE. Please contact your supervisor before returning to campus.


Section last updated:  8/18/20  at 10:16 a.m. CDT.  The latest information will be at the top of the section.

Housing FAQs

What will be different about my University housing?

COVID-19 will require some changes, especially in common areas such as building kitchens and laundry where social distancing is required. We will remove most items that can be touched by multiple people, and will arrange furniture to promote social distancing.

Housing access by non-UA visitors will be limited; staff will wear personal protective equipment; education and training will be required for re-entry; and staff will utilize enhanced cleaning techniques to ensure high-touch surfaces are disinfected.

Will move-in be different this year?

Yes, and no. Move-in will be more staggered with distancing to best protect the safety of students, families and staff. The same Bama spirit and helpfulness will greet you and welcome you back. Details, including the schedule and information on the sign-up process for fall move-in, can be found at UA Housing and Residential Communities.

What happens if I or one of my roommates is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Isolation spaces will be provided for any on-campus students who test positive, are asymptomatic, and/or who may have come into close contact with someone who tested positive.

UA has had a designated location since March and will increase access as needed.

Isolation and quarantine procedures will be in accordance with medical guidance, and will be consistent with the latest CDC and Alabama Department of Public Health guidance. Those with questions can call 205-348-CV19 or submit a request through the COVID Support Program.

Will I be required to isolate or quarantine if I live off campus?

The expectation to abide by requirements applies equally to students living on- and off-campus. Students who live off campus are strongly encouraged to follow isolation/quarantine guidance as required by law and public health guidelines. Students in off-campus housing who fail to follow isolation requirements and return to campus will be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct and subject to disciplinary measures.

Will dining halls be open?

Yes. The health and safety of all diners and food service staff is a top priority. Bama Dining is taking great care to promote continued high standards of cleanliness. Along with PPE worn by staff and markers and signs to identify appropriate social distancing, the dining halls will offer more grab-and-go options. Students can use the GrubHub application to order from a dining hall, get it to go, and return their reusable containers for more food in a clean container.

Inside the dining halls, the number of diners will be limited to ensure compliance with state and local guidelines for restaurants. Tables will be spaced to accommodate social distancing; high-touch areas will be eliminated as much as possible; and single-use condiments and utensils will be provided.

For up-to-date information on schedule and service options, visit Bama Dining.

Will Greek houses have a meal plan this year?

Yes. Campus dining, including Greek dining, will require adjustments to maintain distancing.


Section last updated:  8/18/20  at 10:16 a.m. CDT.  The latest information will be at the top of the section.

Class and Academic FAQs

If I can’t be in class in person, or the semester is cut short, what happens with tuition?

In the interest of your health and safety and that of all UA students, faculty, staff, the University reserves the right to change the mode of instruction or schedule of delivery of instruction at any time, in its sole discretion, based upon prevailing public health and other guidance. This could include the transition from our planned methods of delivery including on-campus, hybrid, and remote classes and experiences to – if circumstances warrant – the exclusive provision of University services, classes, and other instruction or experiences on a remote basis, as practicable, or on an alternative schedule.

We are committed to maintaining the delivery of instruction to allow students to continue their education with minimal disruption, but the University cannot guarantee or promise to provide a specific mode of delivery of services, classes, instruction, or experiences, or that the mode of delivery will not change during the semester.  While the method of delivery may change, educational instruction and opportunities will continue. As such, the University will not provide any refund of tuition, in whole or in-part, based on a change in the mode of instruction or schedule of delivery of any services, classes or other instruction or experiences.

Are any of my classes going to be by remote instruction?

Some may be, but the expectation is for the vast majority of courses to feature weekly in-person instruction. When necessary, UA faculty will use a rotating attendance approach for teaching that blends in-class instruction with remote instruction to prevent the spread of the virus. All classrooms will be equipped with webcams for recording or streaming lectures.

How a rotating attendance course is offered will depend on many variables, including the course topic, class size, current environment, expert guidance and other issues.

Will all courses be hybrid?

No. We are planning for in-person classes wherever and whenever possible. It is impossible to predict exactly what the health environment will look like later this fall, and we will be nimble to adjust to changing circumstances. We know that risk mitigation can be achieved through social distancing, the use of face coverings and rotating attendance and remote delivery for appropriate classes or segments of courses.

How do I attend classes if I am isolated?

Remote instruction will be available to you.

Can I complete all my classes remotely?

There are options available should you wish to only take classes remotely. Not all classes, however, will be offered in that capacity.

What if I am too sick to attend class remotely?

Email your professor and consult your syllabus. Those with questions can call 205-348-CV19or submit a request through the COVID Support Program..

How will classrooms be different?

Classrooms have been modified and safety protection provided. Physical distancing will be in place in the classroom, plexiglass dividers may be added, and face coverings will be required for students and faculty. Sanitation stations and hand sanitizers will be strategically located and enhanced cleaning measures will be in place.

Will professors and advisers have office hours?

Faculty and academic advisers will have online options for office hours. In instances where an in-person meeting is needed, face coverings will be required.

Can I go study in the library with a group of classmates?

Yes. Face coverings will be required inside all UA Libraries. Groups of students who do not live together should consider meeting outside or meeting remotely. UA Libraries will offer additional remote options to access resources.


Section last updated:  8/06/20  at 12:25 p.m. CDT.  The latest information will be at the top of the section.

Employee FAQs

When will matching retirement return for eligible employees?

UA plans to reinstate the 403(b) employer match for participating employees beginning October 1. This may change based on enrollment or a loss of other appropriations.

When will employees know when to come back to work on campus?

Some employees will continue to work remotely after the end of limited business operations. For employees working on campus, staggered schedules and social distancing may be implemented. Details will be forthcoming from supervisors.

Will employees have to use their sick leave if they test positive?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18, 2020 and requires The University of Alabama to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Will employees who have been exposed to someone testing positive have to use their leave time for the quarantine period?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law on March 18, 2020 and requires The University of Alabama to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Can I travel to a professional conference or a professional development opportunity?

UA has discontinued all non-essential travel for faculty, staff and students. A waiver process is, and will remain, in place.