UAF response team for COVID-19

March 6, 2020

Tori Tragis

Dear UAF community,

Last week, I mobilized UAF’s Incident Management Team to manage UAF’s response to COVID-19. Today, I asked that the response level be increased to Level 2, which is partial activation of our Emergency Response Center. UAF’s incident commander, Doug Schrage, has been working closely with other university, state and federal leaders on the issue. While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alaska we expect there will be. UAF is updating academic and business continuity plans so we are ready to address cases in the UAF community. The current draft academic continuity plan is available here . Plans will be revised as needed, and they will be shared and posted to the UA coronavirus website .

In my message earlier this week, I mentioned that I would be following up with additional guidance regarding how the university’s restrictions regarding COVID-19 would apply to visitors to our campuses. As stated in UA President Johnsen’s memo (PDF) to the UA community on March 3, 2020, the University of Alaska restrictions apply to employees, students and campus visitors who:

  • Are traveling to UA, or returning to UA, from travel in CDC Level 2 or 3 areas within the past 14 days;

  • Have symptoms of COVID-19; or

  • Have been in close contact with someone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who is under investigation by the CDC or the Alaska Section of Epidemiology.

In the context of these restrictions, “visitor” means people who are coming to campus for meetings, conferences, other events or tours. Examples would include small groups coming for meetings, tourists visiting a campus attraction, conference attendees, or prospective students and their family members. 

We are asking all visitors to self-identify and observe the 14-day UA self-quarantine if applicable. If your department has organized events or conferences that will host international visitors, please make sure they are aware of the university’s guidelines. Please be flexible with refunds of conference fees, and make an effort to make arrangements for those affected to participate remotely, if possible.  

While there has been a lot of discussion about COVID-19, please be conscientious and caring to all members of our University community, including visitors. We are who we are because of everyone and we want to make sure that no one is being singled out because of their ethnicity, nationality, travel history or any other reason. At UAF we are taking precautions against COVID-19 but we don’t want to be governed by it. Please continue our commitment to respect, diversity, inclusion and caring.

Thanks for choosing UAF.

— Dan White, chancellor