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Jan. 13, 2022

Dear staff and faculty,

Thank you for your continued dialog over the last few weeks related to UAF’s COVID-19 response.  

As you have seen in news reports, the omicron variant is spreading rapidly and that is creating challenges across the country and for UAF. In the last week, we have seen an increase in the number of employees who are out sick or working from home because they have contracted COVID-19 or are close contacts. This week’s planned vaccination clinic, for example, was canceled due to staffing outages. Please be patient with each other as there may be delays in service and response time. Make sure you stay home if you are sick and work with your supervisor if you need to work from home in the coming weeks. 

Thank you to all the employees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. To date, 76% of Troth Yeddha’ employees and those UAF employees who work under Federal contracts have been vaccinated. The January 18 deadline remains for those UAF employees affected by the Federal contracts rule, although per President Pitney’s message regarding legal challenges, the university will not be taking action with employees who don’t meet the deadline unless and until the the current injunction is ruled upon. UA HR sent an email to all affected employees yesterday who had not yet verified their vaccination status. If you have not verified vaccination status and were expected to do so but did not get an email from UA HR yesterday, please contact UA HR

UAF’s face covering policy remains in place. Face coverings are an important mitigation measure and are required in all campus buildings unless you are in a private office or residence or driving a university vehicle by yourself. 

You may also have seen some changes to the CDC-recommended isolation period for those who contract COVID-19. At UAF, we will continue to use the 10-day isolation period, however, under specific circumstances a 5 day isolation may be approved. This will be done on a case by case basis when there are extenuating circumstances (e.g., critical infrastructure workers). Specific requests will be evaluated by UAF’s Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management, Tracey Martinson. 

The testing site in Fairbanks on the Troth Yeddha’ Campus has been very busy this week. The Beacon testing site is located in the Nenana parking lot and is open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. UAF also has some take-home tests available upon request. Contact Tracey Martinson at tamartinson@alaska.edu. Large numbers of tests are not available at this time but should be coming soon as an order is pending. Let’s continue to work together to keep Nanook Nation healthy. 

Thanks for choosing UAF.

— Dan White, chancellor


UAF is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/nondiscrimination/.