March 19, 2020

Earlier today, I shared by email with the campus community (PDF) that we were working to assess which facilities other than the O’Neill building the UAF employee, who tested COVID-19 positive, had accessed while on campus March 9 and 10. The only building that we found was the Patty pool men’s locker room, around midday on March 9.

Please remember that when someone tests positive for COVID-19, State of Alaska Public Health does a risk assessment of where that individual may have gone and with whom they may have been in contact. We have not been contacted by public health officials with concerns. If there were close “close contact” (defined below), additional outreach would have been made by public health officials to those individuals.

The Patty Center, which houses the pool and locker rooms, is currently closed, as are other UAF public facilities. UAF’s Department of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management
reports the pool is, by nature, a relatively safe place due to the continuous disinfection of the pool water. Surfaces on the pool deck and shower areas are regularly cleaned and are constantly wet/being flushed with soap and water while the facility is in use. Out of an abundance of caution, however, I am sending this information to our campus community and asking our director of recreation facilities to forward it to any non-affiliated users so that they are aware and may self-observe if concerned.

Also as follow-up to this morning’s message, the O’Neill building is currently undergoing a thorough cleaning that will conclude Sunday, March 22. The building will reopen for routine business on Monday, March 23. O’Neill occupants who are self-observing for a full 14 days can return to work on March 24. March 24 represents 14 days from the time that the individual was in the building.

In the days and weeks ahead, we can anticipate community spread of COVID-19 and need to be vigilant about
following CDC guidance, practicing social distancing and frequently washing your hands. I encourage all of you to self-monitor for COVID-19-type symptoms just as a matter of good practice.

This is a time for each of us to do our part to keep our communities safe. Please show compassion. We must guard against social prejudice and stigmatizing others. Reach out to someone who may be feeling alone, and please take care of yourself.

— Dan White, chancellor

Close contact
Close contact is defined as—a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case; or b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)
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