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 September 12, 2022)

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 (Updated July 1, 2021)
What items are classified as PPE?
Daily Entrance Screening Process
Update to UAMS Mask Policy (September 9, 2022)
COVID-19 Positive Test Steps for Students
Management of employees and students exposed to COVID-19, with confirmed COVID-19 or with symptoms of COVID-19 (Updated January 3,2022)
COVID-19 Vaccinations (Added August 2, 2021)
Uploading Vaccination Documentation to GUS (Added August 2, 2021)
COVID-19 Vaccinations and Clinical Sites (Added August 2, 2021)
CARES Act/CRRSAA/ARP (Updated April 26, 2022)
Additional Resources (Teaching Resources added August 19, 2020)
Visitor Policy  (Updated March 4, 2022)
COVID Events Policy (Updated July 21, 2022)

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. Masks are required only in patient care areas and locations where patients and visitors may be present (see below for additional information). These new guidelines pertain only to those UAMS employees and students who are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccine series AND flu vaccination for the 2021-2022 flu season. Employees and students who are not up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination series OR flu vaccination for the 2021-2022 flu season ARE REQUIRED to continue to mask in all campus areas.

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. U

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/Assistant 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. 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.

If you are going to a location other than a UAMS site, you will follow those entry screen processes.

Regardless of site, at any time that a screening evaluation, contact tracing process, or awareness of COVID exposure occurs and a UAMS student needs to be evaluated and/or referred for COVID-19 testing, the student and/or Associate/Assistant Dean* must contact Student Employee Health Services (SEHS) to assist in determination of need and location for testing.  SEHS is reached at 501-686-6565 from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday – Friday or contact the on-call nurse at 501-398-8636 outside of clinic hours.  If SEHS is the source for notification of failed entry screening or contact tracing identification of exposure, they will assist with this information at the time of notification.

*listed below

Update to UAMS Mask Policy

Update to UAMS Mask Policy  (September 9, 2022)

UAMS is no longer requiring masks in non-patient care areas. However, masks are required when you enter buildings like our hospital and clinics where patients may be present and in all hallways and public areas in these buildings, including the cafeteria. Employees and students who have approved medical or religious exemptions to the COVID-19 vaccine should continue to mask in all campus areas, including UAMS shuttles. Patients and visitors will continue to wear masks when inside UAMS buildings.

UAMS will provide medical grade surgical/procedural masks to employees working in patient care areas. Clinical employees working with COVID-19 patients or patients suspected of having COVID should continue to follow current guidelines and use additional personal protective equipment such as eye coverings, gloves and gowns.

When possible, please also maintain safe social distancing and be mindful of crowding on elevators, shuttle buses, the cafeteria and other public areas.

Be sure you complete your daily on-line screening before reporting to work. If you have symptoms of a COVID infection such as fever, cough, runny nose/sinus congestion, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell, diarrhea, or unexplained body aches, take a home test and report this when screening. If the test is positive, take a photo of the test and your employee or student ID badge and send it to SEHS@uams.edu. Keep your phone with you and answer calls from unknown numbers as it may be a call from Student and Employee Health Services (SEHS).

If you are directed by SEHS to test, they will schedule an appointment for you at the SEHS testing room on the ground floor of the Central Building. Park in Parking 2 and use the B level entrance to the Central Building. If you are not assigned to Parking 2, you may park on the A level only for your testing appointment.

As of August 17, 2020, neck gaiters and bandanas are prohibited as face coverings.  Due to a newly published study by Duke University citing that neck gaiters and bandanas are not effective face coverings in protecting against COVID-19, they are no longer allowed as appropriate face covering inside UAMS buildings. These garments are for the most part single-layer and stretchy, and therefore allow more and smaller droplets into the environment.

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

COVID-19 Positive Test Steps for Students

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they are required to notify their Associate/Assistant Dean* and the Student Employee Health Clinic (501-686-6565). If they live in the UAMS Residence Hall, they must also notify Cheri Goforth (501-686-5850, GoforthCheriD@uams.edu). Students may not return to campus until cleared by SEHS. Students living in the residence hall may quarantine there.

*listed below

Management of employees and students exposed to COVID-19, with confirmed COVID-19 or with Symptoms of COVID-19

Following new guidance issued by the CDC, UAMS has updated guidance for employees and students (Updated December 29, 2021):

  • If you test positive for COVID infection, regardless of vaccine status, you will be required to:
    -Quarantine for 5 days, return to work Day 6 if asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic with improving symptoms.
    -Daily symptom survey completion and conditional in the SEHS system for 10 days.
  • If you are exposed to someone with a COVID infection and do not have symptoms, requirements are based on your role and vaccination status:
    • Boosted or fully vaccinated:
      -No work restrictions.
      -Daily symptom survey completion and conditional in the SEHS system for 10 days.
    • Unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated Healthcare Providers
      -No work restrictions with testing (PCR) on Days 0, 3, and 6 post-exposure. Daily symptom survey completion and conditional in the SEHS system for 10 days.
      OR
      -Quarantine for 5 days with PCR testing on Day 5. Return to work with negative PCR. Daily symptom survey for 10 days. Not Cleared in SEHS system until negative PCR result, then conditional through Day 10.
    • All other unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated employees
      -Quarantine for 5 days with PCR testing on Day 5. Return to work with negative PCR. Daily symptom survey for 10 days. Not Cleared in SEHS system until negative PCR result, then conditional through Day 10.Click here for the complete updated guidelines, and additional information can also be found on this document. Employees and students should report symptoms and exposure on the Entrance Screening Survey and wait to be contacted by Student and Employee Health Services for more information. You can also call SEHS at 501-686-6565.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

In alignment with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) COVID vaccine mandate that went into effect March 15, 2022, all UAMS health care personnel must be fully vaccinated or have obtained an approved exemption for COVID vaccination. Health care personnel are defined as all UAMS clinical and non-clinical employees and non-employees, paid or unpaid, including volunteers, students, trainees, and contractual staff not employed by UAMS. Students may not enroll in coursework until they have met this requirement. Students who have a sincerely held belief against receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or are medically prohibited from receiving it, may click here for the medical and religious exemption forms. The religious exemption form may be used to request exemption from other vaccinations as well. If requesting an exemption, students should complete the required forms and upload the exemption request to GUS. Please note there are 2 pages for each exemption request.  Incomplete requests will not be considered.

For additional information, please refer to the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

If you would like information about the vaccine or where to get vaccinated, visit — https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-vaccination-plan.  UAMS provides vaccines at several locations around the state. More information is provided here: https://uamshealth.com/location/?_location_type=covid-19-vaccine-clinic.

Uploading Vaccination Documentation to GUS

Please be sure that you have uploaded ALL of your vaccine information into GUS.  This includes all vaccines that UAMS requires as well as any other additional vaccines you have received.  Instructions for where to locate and upload this information are found here: https://uamshealth.com/university-healthcare/wp-content/uploads/sites/9/2020/06/Student-Upload-Instructions-2.pdf.

COVID-19 Vaccinations and Clinical Sites

With the resurgence of COVID-19 virus cases in the State of Arkansas, a number of clinical training sites that host students from various UAMS programs are now REQUIRING proof of COVID-19 vaccination for employees and student trainees.  If you have not been fully vaccinated, you may not be able to attend training at these sites.  If you fail to meet the vaccine requirements of the external clinical site, we will work to find an alternate site for you to complete your requirement.  The process of locating an alternate site placement may take some time and delay your progress toward completing your clinical requirement and/or graduation.

CARES Act, CRRSAA, and ARP

Information regarding the UAMS Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (CARES Act, CRRSAA, and ARP) can be found by clicking on the link below.

CARES Act/CRRSAA/ARP Disclosure Reports

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

Teaching Resources to Engage UAMS Learners

UAMS Resources for Working and Studying Remotely

Associate/Assistant Dean Contacts