Health and Safety

Education is key.

Education is key to preventing the spread and impact of COVID-19. Prior to the Fall 2020 semester, our employees and students will be provided with an educational program on the risks and mitigation strategies for COVID-19. In addition to providing educational and training tools associated with COVID-19, our campus must continue our primary mission of education, along with research and service.

Training Prior to Return to Campus

  • Education for UA employees was formally rolled out in May.
  • This applied to both returning employees and to those who had been working.
  • Training for students will be in place by mid-summer.

Posters and Communication Strategies

  • UA’s Division of Strategic Communications has maintained a single website to share essential information, healthinfo.ua.edu.
  • Strategic Communications will also continue to publish and make available posters, PSAs, routine updates to faculty, staff, and students, and other communications.

Help for Vulnerable Individuals

CDC Advice on Vulnerable Individuals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified broad categories of individuals who are at higher risk for severe COVID illness:

  • 65 and older.
  • Nursing home / long-term care residents.
  • Those with certain underlying conditions that are not well controlled, such as lung and heart conditions, immunocompromised individuals, severely obese, diabetics, and those with kidney and liver diseases.

For the latest, please see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html

For Individual Concerns

If you are concerned that you may be at higher risk, UA has established individuals to assist with your questions and requests for accommodations. Please contact:

FOR STUDENTS – Office of Disability Services

FOR STAFF – Human Resources

FOR FACULTY – Human Resources

For Individual Medical Questions, Please Contact:

FOR STUDENTS – Student Health Center

FOR FACULTY AND STAFF – Faculty-Staff Clinic


Personal Safety Practices

Know the Symptoms

This list of COVID symptoms is not all-inclusive and the latest data indicates many are asymptomatic. Please consult a University health care provider to discuss any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. Additional information is also available on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. The Healthcheck symptom tracker will assist you to protect yourself and those around you.

PRIMARY SYMPTOMS:

  • 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*
  • Diarrhea*

SEVERE SYMPTOMS:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Bluish lips or face
  • New confusion or inability to arouse

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medial provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
*If any of these are the only symptoms, they can potentially have non-COVID-19 causes. Promptly contact a University health care provider for guidance.

Personal Safety Practices – Handwashing

Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

HAND HYGIENE TECHNIQUE WITH SOAP AND WATER:
Duration of procedure: 40-60 Seconds

Personal Safety Practices – Tips to Stay Healthy

PERSONAL PREVENTION PRACTICES:
Certain measures are needed to reduce the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19. Cloth masks/face coverings will be used to minimize the risks to others near you.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, lather for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close, unprotected contact with anyone with respiratory symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfacers with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Stay healthy: stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, get rest, avoid stress.

Personal Safety Practices – Face Coverings

The UA System Health and Safety Task Force has established rules on PPE and Face Coverings that will apply to students, faculty, and staff while on-campus. For details, please see the UA System Comprehensive Health & Safety Plan. These rules will include:

When physical distancing cannot be achieved, all faculty, staff, and students are required to wear face coverings. Masks will be required in:

  • Classrooms and labs.
  • Communal office space.
  • On-campus gatherings and other on-campus settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Face coverings will not be required, but are still encouraged in:

  • One’s own room or suite in University housing.
  • Enclosed offices.
  • Enclosed study spaces.
  • Personal vehicles.
  • Public outdoor settings where distancing is met.
  • Certain physical activities, such as exercising at University Recreation facilities.

Reasonable accommodations will be made for those unable to meet these requirements.

Faculty, staff, and students are responsible for maintaining their personal PPE.

Practice Social Distancing and Avoid Close Contact

Social or physical distancing advice includes:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

All members of the campus community must practice social distancing.

Personal Items/Cleaning

Students, faculty, and staff need to keep their personal items (e.g., cellphones, other electronics) and personal work and living spaces clean, especially shared desks, lap equipment, and other shared objects and surfaces.


Supervisor and Staffing Tips

Even after a return to full operations, UA will encourage or require employees to work remotely, stagger shifts and functions, maintain social distancing, and use PPE to prevent the spread of COVID. Supervisors serve an important role in these efforts.

Phased Staffing

  • Remote Work – Those who can work remotely to fulfill part or all of their work responsibilities may continue to do so with approval.
  • Alternating Work Days – To limit the number of interactions between individuals.
  • Staggered Reporting/Departing – Staggering reporting and departure times when possible, to encourage reduced building traffic.

Additional Office Recommendations

  • Maintain at least 6 feet distance from co-workers and ensure your employees do the same.
  • Wear a face mask or face covering at all times while in a shared workspace/room.
  • Place one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through ways to increase distance between employees moving through the space.
  • Report known or potential cases of COVID-19 to employee and student health officers for assistance and follow-up.
  • Allow employees to use available leave as needed for symptoms, quarantine, and isolation.
  • Certain activities may require work within 6 feet social distance guidelines. Use appropriate PPE and keep such activities to a minimum.
  • Keep in mind, people can be infected but asymptomatic.

For Questions

  • Talk with your supervisor or HR for further guidance.
  • For questions about PPE, please consult the campus-wide policy and information at healthinfo.ua.edu

Campus Operations – Physical Spaces

As planning continues for fall, UA has also had multiple committees looking at our various physical spaces for appropriate modifications. Items and actions to be implemented include:

Modified Surroundings

  • Sanitation stations and hand sanitizer in more locations.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols, especially for high-touch surfaces.
  • Preventive equipment, such as plexiglass dividers and covers.
  • Modified layouts of classrooms and communal spaces to provide for required distancing.

Food Service

  • More grab-n-go options in dining halls.
  • Buffets will not be available.

Modified Actions

  • Gatherings – Virtual meetings and activities will continue to be encouraged.
  • Travel – Will continue to be restricted for employees. See healthinfo.ua.edu to request a waiver.
  • One-way halls and staircases when possible.

Communal Spaced and Waiting Areas

  • Chairs and furniture will be rearranged to allow for social distancing.
  • Procedures are being redesigned to reduce shared objects like pens, forms, magazines, and sign-in sheets.

Transit/Crimsonride

  • Masks are required on Crimson Ride.
  • Increased cleaning of buses will be accomplished throughout daily operation.

Graphic Resources