July 23, 2020

Dear UAF faculty and staff,

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses and in our communities is critical to our ability to operate as an in-person learning environment. As just one of many safety measures that will contribute to reducing our COVID-19 risk at UAF, I have established a new face-covering policy, effective immediately. This means that at all locations owned or operated by UAF, everyone is required to wear a face covering when indoors, and outdoors where continuous 6-foot distancing is not possible. Exceptions include those with medical exemptions and children who are under the age of 5. This policy applies to all UAF staff and faculty members, students, vendors, contractors and visitors.

There are some exceptions that are specifically called out in the policy, such as exempted medical or training exercises, and instances where other personal protective equipment is needed that precludes a face mask. Athletics and recreation facilities will have some exempted practices for specific activities, such as swimming.

Employees and visitors who cannot wear a mask due to a health condition should contact UA Human Resources to receive guidance or request an ADA accommodation. Students can contact UAF Disability Services.

UAF will provide all students, staff and faculty with a UAF-branded reusable face covering that will be available in mid-August. Disposable masks are being distributed to various campus locations for individuals who arrive on campus without one. In addition, face shields have been ordered for faculty who wish to use them in place of a face mask while teaching in person.

Departments can use this form to order face masks for their employees. In the meantime, single-use face coverings can be secured by departments by contacting Facilities Services. Pick-up locations will be identified and communicated in the coming days.

Consequences of not wearing a face covering are included in the policy, but I have confidence that each member of Nanook Nation will do their part. In fact, most of our employees are already wearing face coverings when accessing campus facilities, out of concern for the safety and well-being of themselves and their colleagues. Thank you.

UAF’s success during this pandemic will rely on all of our adherence to policies such as this one. But more important is our social responsibility, our responsibility to each other.

We are very much looking forward to the blend of in-person and online courses. All in-person courses will require face masks. However, since there are many online and distance options at UAF, there are alternatives for students who are not willing to wear a face mask. It is important that we all take responsibility for ourselves and for one another. Students who have concerns about fellow students should contact the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Working together, we can reduce the risk of COVID-19 as we head into the fall semester. Thank you for playing your part to support Nanook Nation.

Thank you for choosing UAF.

— Dan White, chancellor
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