March 21, 2020

Late last night, I was informed that a UAF employee who works in the Arctic Health Research Building tested positive for COVID-19.

Public health officials are working with the employee and will reach out to individuals who may have been in “close contact” (defined below) to provide advice on steps to take, if any. If you are contacted, please help them as they investigate each case thoroughly.

The Arctic Health Research Building will be thoroughly cleaned and the affected areas disinfected according to CDC standards. If you see signage that indicates an area is closed, please comply with it and stay out of the closed rooms or sections. At this time, there is no need to close the entire building.

If you are feeling sick it is very important that you take sick leave and stay home, even if you believe your symptoms aren’t COVID-19 related. Symptoms of COVID-19 are likely to appear 2–14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you think you have COVID-19 like symptoms, please reach out to your medical provider. And remember, not all cases present all of these symptoms, so please don’t wait to contact your healthcare provider if you think you may be symptomatic. Additionally, if you have traveled outside the State of Alaska in the past 14 days it is UA policy that you stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of return.

It is the responsibility of all of us as employees and as members of our community to follow university guidance (PDF) and do your part to prevent the spread of this illness. Educational resources can be found on the UA Coronavirus website.

With our increased guidance from public health officials, I will not automatically send out notices about facilities unless the health officials express concerns with a particular facility.

Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our campus safe. Please remember to respect the privacy of those who are affected and do your part to protect your health, that of your family, friends and colleagues. Thank you.

— 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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