COVID-19 Guidelines for Academic Activities

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a new respiratory virus that has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people. It was identified in late 2019 and has spread around the world. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

UAMS guidelines for academic activities can be found below. This information is subject to change as processes and policies are updated. (Last updated July 31, 2020)

Letter from Provost Stephanie Gardner

Click below for more information listed on this page

Acceptance of Risk to Participate in On-site Activities and Required Trainings
Planning for Modes of Instruction and PPE
Event Types and PPE Requirements for Each
What items are classified as PPE?
Daily Entrance Screening Process
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Students
COVID-19 Positive Test Steps
Changes to SEHS Employee and Student Quarantine Guidelines
Information for Quarantined Students
Additional Resources

Health and Safety

COVID-19 is contagious. If you have fever, cough or shortness of breath, do not come to UAMS or any other doctor’s office, urgent care clinic or emergency room without first calling and getting instructions. UAMS has set up a drive-thru triage screening area designed to screen quickly and safely people with cough, fever, shortness of breath, flu or COVID-19. Additional information can be found here.

The best way to prevent the spread of the flu, COVID-19 and similar viruses is to:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover all coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of on your hand
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a household cleaning spray or wipe.

If you have specific questions about COVID-19 in Arkansas, contact the Arkansas Department of Health at 1-800-803-7847

Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout UAMS for frequent hand cleaning. Extra sanitizing procedures will be in place for classroom spaces.

Please make sure that you have a thermometer at home to self-monitor your temperature.

Acceptance of Risk to Participate in On-site Activities and Required Trainings

Students accept risk prior to participation in on-site activities either at UAMS or experiential locations. You understand that seeking an education in health care may increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other illnesses or injuries. COVID-19 is a pandemic virus which could cause you to become ill to the point of permanent harm or death. You accept that risk and understand that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is high and that it appears to spread through the community easily, potentially putting you and those you come in contact with at risk. You additionally understand that contact with a known or suspected COVID-19 patient could require that you enter quarantine for at least fourteen (14) days. Various risks, including the possible increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, are inherent to and associated with the various activities, research, and patient care conducted at UAMS, and by completing the required training module on COVID-19, you are accepting all of those risks.

All students are required to complete the following COVID-19 trainings. Click here for instructions to access.

  1. Infection control module.
  2. UAMS COVID response module.

Planning for Modes of Instruction and PPE

A committee was formed with representatives from Infection Prevention, Office of Academic Services, the Provost’s Office, Supply Chain, and Institutional Support Services. Classroom and lab capacity recommendations were reviewed and approved for programs to update plans based on the type of activity (ex. lecture, hands-on demonstration by faculty member) being conducted. When possible, programs are encouraged to continue alternative methods of instruction. PPE recommendations were also developed and approved for each event type and can be found here. Additional information will be provided to faculty and students.

What items are classified as PPE?

Cleaning Wipes
Disposable Thermometers
Hand Sanitizer
Gloves
Gowns
Masks (cloth or surgical)
Face shields
Goggles

Daily Entrance Screening Process

Each day you will be on campus, you are required to complete the UAMS COVID Entrance Screening Survey. You will use your network credentials to access the survey.

If you are cleared to enter campus based on your survey responses, an email will be sent to your UAMS email account with that message, and you may come to campus. Upon arrival, you are required to visit an entrance screening location  where you will present your badge for scanning and have your temperature checked. If your temperature is less than 100.4 and the badge scan shows that you have completed the screening survey, you will receive a sticker for that day which must be displayed at all times on campus.

If you are  not cleared to enter campus based on your survey responses, you will receive an email to your UAMS email account with a link to a Student and Employee Health Monitoring Survey and will be instructed to call the Student Employee Health Clinic (SEHS) at 501-686-6565. You will also need to notify the Associate Dean in your college. You may not return to campus until cleared by SEHS, and you will have to complete the monitoring survey daily until cleared.

If you are cleared with conditions, you may come to campus, but you are required to wear a mask your entire time on campus. You will also receive an email to your UAMS email account with a link to a Student and Employee Health Monitoring Survey that you must complete as soon as possible. Upon arrival, you are required to visit an entrance screening location  where you will present your badge for scanning and have your temperature checked. If your temperature is less than 100.4 and the badge scan shows that you have completed the screening survey, you will receive a sticker for that day which must be displayed at all times on campus.

If you are going to a location other than a UAMS site, you will follow those entry screen processes.  Arkansas Children’s Hospital has a questionnaire required for entry and a temperature check. Masks are required. The VA hospital also has a similar screening process, but there is no online questionnaire. You will answer the questions orally when you arrive.

Face Masks Required on Campus

All UAMS employees and students are required to wear face masks while they are at any UAMS location. Administrative policy, 3.3.01 and Medical Center policy A.1.07.

  • You must wear a mask while in public areas.
  • You should keep your mask on during academic classroom/lab activities to minimize potential exposures to others and environmental contamination. Specific PPE requirements will be defined in direct patient care areas for clinical training activities.
  • Masks must be worn in elevators.
  • Daily washing of fabric masks is recommended.

Please do your part to practice safe social distancing on the shuttles and at the shuttle stops.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Students

At the beginning of the fall 2020 semester, you will be provided a bag with a set of PPE. Instructions will be included on how to clean and use the PPE.

COVID-19 Positive Test Steps

If you test positive for COVID-19, you are required to notify your Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and the Student Employee Health Clinic (501-686-6565). If you live in the UAMS Residence Hall, you must also notify Cheri Goforth (501-686-5850, GoforthCheriD@uams.edu). Students may not return to campus until cleared by SEHS.

Changes to SEHS Employee and Student Quarantine Guidelines

Based on updated CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidance, UAMS Student and Employee Health Services has updated guidelines for quarantined employees and students. These updates include an increase in the definition of significant exposure from 10 to 15 minutes, allowing certain critical health care workers to be considered for a shortened seven day exclusion from work as long as they are symptom free and have a negative COVID test, and allowing all employees and students who remain symptom free and are not severely immunocompromised to return to work on Day 11 without additional testing. SEHS clearance is required for all employees and students to return to UAMS. Click here for the complete update

Information for Quarantined Students

Students placed on home quarantine due to symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure or potential exposure without PPE are reminded to:

    • Answer calls from Student and Employee Health Services (SEHS). SEHS will only call if requested on the SEHS symptom screening form.
    • Complete the SEHS symptom screening form EVERY DAY while quarantined.
    • Call SEHS with questions or concerns at 501-686-6565.
    • Look for an email when released to return to campus.

Additional Resources

UAMS Health COVID-19  site

COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 Wellness Resources

UAMS Residence Hall COVID-19 Requirements and Guidelines

Arkansas Department of Health COVID-19 site

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 site

CARES Act disclosure report