Being safe and healthy in a university environment during this COVID-19 pandemic of a highly infectious disease requires us to change our behavior.  The threat of spreading the disease poses a significant threat to a large number of people. Therefore, the University of Alabama System Health and Safety Task Force developed health and safety principles for all the UA System campuses.  In accordance with those health and safety principles, UAH developed UAH Interim Policy 02.01.71, Safety and Health Requirements for Presence on UAH’s Campus during COVID-19 Pandemic.  It is incumbent upon all of us to adhere strictly to all safety and health requirements delineated in the policy to safeguard, as much as possible, the health and safety of all faculty, staff, and students on UAH’s campus. 

The requirements for continuing employment of faculty and staff who are returning to UAH’s campus for fall semester 2020 are outlined below and given more fully in the attached interim policy, 02.01.71 Safety and Health Requirements for Presence on UAH’s Campus during COVID-19 Pandemic.

It is in all of our best interests for each of us to comply with these requirements, because not complying can allow the spread of COVID-19 with possible dire consequences for those exposed and at risk.  Moreover, we serve as role models for our students who will mirror our behavior. By our actions, we must show our concern for our students and for each other by abiding without fail by the safety and health requirements. Only through our compliance can we protect our students, each other, and ourselves from the spread of COVID-19 on our campus.

Because of the serious health and safety consequences of noncompliance, failure to comply with any the following requirements may result in progressive discipline and sanctions for employees, following the processes given in the Staff Handbook and the Faculty Handbook. 

The information outlined below are key requirements.  Please read the UAH Interim Policy 02.01.71, Safety and Health Requirements for Presence on UAH’s Campus during COVID-19 Pandemic for complete information.

Re-Entry and Post Re-Entry Requirements.

  1. Training:  All faculty, students, and staff must participate in an online educational module, which includes information regarding COVID-19, a required quiz, the COVID-19 assessment tool, UAH Charger Health Check, and an attestation. This training is required before employees can return to campus. Employees who do not complete this training cannot come onto campus to teach class, preform their research on campus, perform their jobs on campus, or participate in any departmental, college, or university activities. Employees who are teaching fully online or who are working from home during fall and do not plan to come to campus to participate in any on-campus activities do not have to complete the training.

    Specific information regarding COVID-19 training will be sent via a separate communication and posted on the Return to Campus website.

  2. Re-entry Testing. Faculty and staff who are returning to campus for fall 2020 and who have not been regularly on campus before August 3, 2020, must complete a COVID-19 test conducted by UAH before resuming on campus activities for fall semester 2020. Faculty, staff, and students who are already on campus may elect to participate in the re-entry testing for COVID-19.  Returning faculty and staff who do not complete a COVID-19 test provided by the University will not be allowed to come onto campus to teach class, perform research on campus, perform their jobs on campus, or participate in any departmental, college, or university activities. Employees who will not be on-campus during fall semester are not required to participate in re-entry testing.

    Specific information regarding re-entry testing will be sent via a separate communication and posted on the Return to Campus website.

  3. UAH Charger Health Check: All returning faculty and staff must enroll and participate in UAH Charger Health Check. Faculty and staff must continue to report throughout the semester any symptoms and exposure in the UAH Charger Health Check every three days.  The frequency of reporting may be increased depending upon public health and medical guidance. Compliance with the required entering of UAH Health Check data is mandatory and will be monitored.

  4. Feel well.  Faculty and staff should feel well before coming to campus.  Faculty, staff, and students must self-assess their health before coming to campus and should not come to campus if they have a temperature >100.4°F and/or are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms.  Each person needs to self-assess for temperature and the absence of key CDC recognized symptoms. Key symptoms include fever, dry cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or a new loss of taste or smell.

    Individuals with symptoms should contact the Faculty/Staff Clinic.  Students, faculty, and staff who test positive or who become symptomatic cannot return to campus until medically cleared by the Faculty/Staff Clinic.

  5. Face Coverings.  Faculty and staff must wear a face covering at all times while inside all UAH buildings. Face coverings are not required for individuals who are working alone in their office, laboratory, or studio subject to any non-COVID related safety requirements. Face coverings are not required when walking or exercising outside while maintaining an acceptable social distance.  Face coverings are required when meeting with others within a confined space, such as an office, conference room, or other space.

    Face coverings include disposable or cloth masks and/or cloth face coverings over a person’s nose and mouth. Face shields are allowed to be worn by faculty while teaching class and by faculty, staff, and students who are approved in accordance with the Safety and Health Requirements for Presence on UAH’s Campus during the Covid-19 Pandemic Interim Policy 02.01.71.

    Faculty and staff requesting a reasonable accommodation, including religious accommodation, with respect to this requirement should contact Laurel Long (Human Resources) at  or 256.824.2285.

  6. Face coverings are required when faculty are teaching class. Wearing a face covering is a fundamental health and safety requirement to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The University will provide facemasks for all faculty and staff.  Academic Affairs will provide all faculty and GTAs face shields for teaching.

  7. Protective Hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.  If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  8. Disinfect common areas before and after use such as door handles/knobs, common workstations, laboratory stations, desks/tables/chairs in classrooms, conference rooms and break rooms, microwaves, other high touch surfaces, etc.

    Specific information regarding classroom sanitization and enforcement of facemasks in the classroom will be sent via a separate communication and posted on the Return to Campus website.

  9. Social Distancing.  Faculty and staff must practice social distancing with a separation of at least six (6) feet from others and conduct themselves in safe and healthy behavior on-campus at all times.

    Whenever possible, use Zoom or other virtual meeting venues. Do not gather informally in conference rooms, break rooms, or other common areas.  If face-to-face meetings are required, practice social distancing and wear masks.

    Take the stairs whenever possible, and avoid enclosed spaces such as elevators and small conference rooms, where social distancing is not possible.

  10. Do not bring children to campus.  Children may come to campus only if they are going to the Early Learning Center or if they have the written authorization of the Office of Compliance.

  11. Sentinel Testing:  UAH will conduct weekly sentinel testing of four percent (4%) of the campus population to signal trends, identify outbreaks, and monitor for the prevalence of COVID-19 on UAH’s campus.  Sentinel testing is voluntary for the general campus population. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to participate for the health and safety of our campus.

  12. Academic and Social Events.  Until further notice, the following restrictions apply to all academic and social events:

    • Event Registration: All academic or social events must be pre-registered with the Office of Academic Affairs or the Office of Student Affairs. Event registrations must be updated following the event to include a comprehensive list of attendees, and maintained for at least 14 days following the event.

    • Limitations on Attendance:  Events are limited to 2-hours in duration. The capacity of all social and academic events must comply with all applicable health ordinances in place when the event is registered and hosted. Social event attendance may not exceed 50 people indoors or 100 people outdoors.  All academic events hosted by a faculty member or department are subject to the same limitations imposed in a class setting. Event organizers must comply with all campus and System-wide policies for screening event attendees, including the use of the UAH Charger Health Check and its features.

    • Off campus Academic Events: Academic events hosted off-campus must have special written approval from the Provost.

Please contact your deans, directors, vice president or the Office of the Provost if you have questions regarding safety and health requirements for our return to campus.  We are looking forward to seeing you for fall semester.