Aug. 11, 2020

Dear UAF faculty and staff,

As we begin to interact face to face in office spaces, meeting rooms, common areas and classrooms, it’s important that faculty, staff and students come prepared for the UAF COVID-19 Face Coverings Policy. Face coverings are identified by the CDC as a key tool to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Not only is this important to us each individually, it is important for our continued operation. UAF’s mission of teaching, research and service depend on our ability to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Branded, reusable masks will be provided to students and UAF employees on a limited basis. Deans and directors have been asked to submit their requests for these masks through the Facilities COVID PPE Purchase Request Form.

In the coming weeks, disposable masks will be made available at the following locations for those who forget to bring a face covering.
  • Community and Technical College
  • Rasmuson Library
  • Student Recreation Center and Patty Center
  • University of Alaska Museum of the North
  • West Ridge (location TBD)
  • Wood Center
We will also be working with deans and directors on additional locations for students to pick up disposable masks if they arrive on campus without one.

Starting next Wednesday, students who have been granted an exception to live on campus will be moving into residence halls and moving about campus to become familiar with facilities, picking up books, and checking out UAF in this new and modified environment. If you see someone who is not wearing a face covering, I encourage you to remind them considerately of the policy, or direct them to where they can get a mask. As a university community, we must have a shared sense of responsibility around our mission, campus wellness and face coverings as a vital tool in our toolbox to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Students received a communication yesterday from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Keith Champagne that provided guidance on the State of Alaska’s revision to Health Mandate 010: Interstate and International Travel. Each student traveling into the state will need to provide proof of their student status upon arrival at the airport in order to take a COVID-19 test for free, if no test was taken 72 hours prior to arrival. The communication also provides details of what's required of students when they arrive regarding follow-up testing and strict social distancing.

Provost Anupma Prakash also sent an email to faculty this morning. I encourage everyone to read this welcome-back letter. The provost provided details on the following areas along with links to COVID-19 communications, student information and policies.
I encourage everyone to use the UAF COVID-19 website to stay up to date on guidance, policies and campus entry restrictions as these change in response to state mandates.

UAF’s Operations Support Team is working on our contact tracing protocols. Contact tracing follows a specific set of guidelines and is how we will determine what notifications are needed when someone becomes COVID-19 positive. The level of notification is normally a function of the amount of detailed information that the contact tracer gets from the COVID-19-positive individual. If it is well known who the person had contact with and when, the contact tracer will notify those individuals and avoid an unnecessary broad announcement. The OST will publish the contact tracing procedure in Cornerstone, including a link to a short training for those who are interested.

COVID-19 virtual forums are presented every Friday from 10-11a.m. through the end of August and can be viewed on Please join Vice Chancellor Julie Queen this Friday, Aug. 14, as she hosts the third forum on COVID-19. Questions can be submitted in advance or during the forum and will be answered as time permits.

Thank you to all employees and especially to the members of the OST who are working long hours toward our mission during a challenging time.

Thank you for your work and thanks for choosing UAF.

— Dan White, chancellor

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