Aug. 7, 2020

Dear UAF staff and faculty,

As I mentioned earlier this week in my Tuesday COVID-19 email, campus is preparing to be a bit busier than it has been in the last five months, making it important to note the new guidance that was released in late July to all UA employees regarding campus entry restrictions (PDF). Additionally, we are still working out specifics about how the governor’s new Health Mandate 10, which goes into effect Aug. 11, will impact UAF. There will be more to come on Health Mandate 10 early next week.

Restrictions to campus access
What is currently in place was established by the UA system and specifies restrictions to campus access (PDF). Special restrictions outlined in the guidance applies to persons who:
  • have been in ANY location outside Alaska, foreign or domestic, within the past two weeks; or
  • have been identified by public health as being in “close contact” with someone who has been confirmed to have COVID- 19, or with someone who is COVID-19 symptomatic and is a “person under investigation;” or
  • are returning from having been a passenger on a cruise ship; or
  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19; or
  • are COVID-19 symptomatic or are a “person under investigation.”
The restrictions apply to employees, students, contractors and visitors. If the conditions apply to you, the important thing is that you not come to campus, and instead notify your supervisor and follow the guidelines for returning to campus.

Terminology that is used in the campus restrictions policy can be confusing, but to help:
  • Close contact, as used by the CDC, means being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.
  • Medically cleared means a public health or other medical provider indicating when someone is allowed to return to normal activities.
  • Self-observation means people should remain alert for subjective fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
  • A person under investigation means someone who is COVID-19 symptomatic and either has been advised to get a molecular COVID-19 test or has taken a test and is awaiting test results.
Employee COVID-19 Status website
As telework remains a predominant mechanism for employees, employees who do work on campus should contact their supervisor and make arrangements to ensure that the appropriate PPE is in place. For employees working on campus, supervisors should use the UA Employee COVID-19 Status website for the following reasons:
  1. Update employee status when an employee reports being sick with COVID-like symptoms or reports being COVID-positive.
  2. Update employee status when they are out sick with non-COVID illness or are on leave.
  3. Update status when an employee has returned to work (either remotely, reduced time on campus, or working on campus).
Events and mass gatherings
In addition to the UA system’s campus entry restrictions, the UA policy for events and mass gatherings (PDF) was last updated on June 1. In an effort to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19, the policy says that all events and gatherings remain canceled or postponed to a later date or, when feasible, be conducted via audio conference, web conference or some other distance delivery method. As the university begins the fall semester, the UA events policy will be updated to be consistent with the recently revised UA On-site operations plan that directs events to be consistent with CDC guidelines. For now, please observe the June 1 guidelines on events and mass gatherings.

Face coverings policy
Please remember that UAF has a COVID-19 face coverings policy that applies universitywide. Even when taking part in such outside activities as walking, running, soccer and Frisbee, a face covering must be worn at all times unless you can continuously maintain 6 feet of separation. Face coverings are always required indoors unless you are in a private office behind a closed door and in specifically exempted activities.

Building access
Starting Monday, Aug. 17, all buildings will be unlocked between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with some exceptions. Buildings with evening classes will be programmed accordingly. Buildings will remain locked on the weekends and accessible to those with card or key access. Exceptions to the unlocking schedule may be granted upon the request of a dean or director, and will be reviewed by the Operations Support Team. To request an exception, please use this form.

We are installing card readers on a number of campus showers and plan to open them to the UAF community on a very limited basis in the near future. Shower access, when resumed, will be granted by specific request. The OST will review and assign access as applicable.

Thank you for keeping our campuses and community safe, and thanks for choosing UAF.

— Dan White, chancellor
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