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 October 5, 2021)

Letter from Provost Stephanie Gardner (Fall 2021)

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 (Screening locations updated August 2, 2021)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Students
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 July 21, 2021)
Travel Guidelines (Updated June 22, 2021)
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)
Map of Dining Locations (Updated July 16, 2021)
CARES Act/CRRSAA/ARP (Updated October 5, 2021)
Additional Resources (Teaching Resources added August 19, 2020)
COVID-19 Educational Activities Plan Document (Updated August 7, 2020)
Library and Student Success Center Plans (Updated August 2, 2021)
Visitor Policy  (Updated June 9, 2021)
Interim COVID Events Policy (Updated August 2, 2021)

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 at all times on campus. Students should wear a face shield and procedural mask for all patient/simulated patient encounters. A cloth face mask is recommended for regular classes as long as it does not involved patient of simulated patient activity.

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/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. 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.

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

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

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.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Students

Students will be provided a bag with a set of PPE as requested by their college. Instructions will be included on how to clean and use the PPE.

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

Students and employees placed on home quarantine due to symptoms of COVID-19 or exposure or potential exposure 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.
    • Updated guidance on management of employees and students exposed to COVID-19, with confirmed COVID-19 or with symptoms of COVID-19 (as of July 14, 2021) can be found here.

Travel Guidelines

Additional information regarding updated UAMS travel guidelines (as of June 22, 2021) can be found here.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

At this time, UAMS does not require COVID-19 vaccination, but it is strongly encouraged. 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.

Map of Dining Locations

UAMS has identified locations where students and employees can eat with safe physical distancing. Food is prohibited in all classrooms. Employees are reminded to limit the number of people in break rooms. Click here for the map.

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