UAH socially distanced classroom


UAH is working with UA System Chancellor Finis St. John to implement the UA System Health and Safety Task Force to provide overarching principles to guide the campuses in their planning processes. The task force and its multiple working groups are coordinating their efforts, tapping into world-class expertise on our campus and within the System, including UAB Medicine, as well as seeking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health. Our campus protocols will rest on principles set out by the System Task Force, CDC, and ADPH.


Face coverings are the current most effective practice and will be a part of our plan.


Enhanced cleaning is in place, will continue, and will adjust when necessary.


Recommendations on social distancing are key elements of our plan.


A UAH training course has already been rolled out to employees and a student version of the online training module is being completed.


Subject to the availability of adequate testing, all returning students on UA System campuses will be tested for COVID-19 before or immediately following their return to campus.

  • INITIAL TESTING FOR RE-ENTRY: Subject to the availability of adequate testing, all returning students on UA System campuses will be tested for COVID-19 before or immediately following their return to campus. Any student arriving on a UA System campus from a location currently experiencing increased COVID-19 transmission will be tested or re-tested upon arrival. Student health, in conjunction with the infectious disease experts at UAB, will identify the locations with increased transmission of COVID-19. In the event universal testing is not available, UA System campuses will have alternate procedures that, at a minimum, test any student with COVID-19-related symptoms or who is arriving from an area identified as experiencing increased community transmission. 

  • SENTINEL TESTING: Sentinel testing of faculty, staff, and students is strongly desired to signal trends, identify outbreaks, and monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 on each campus. Sentinel testing would involve conducting COVID-19 tests on a randomized sample of 2.5% of employees and students. Testing will be voluntary for most students. 

    Students living in on-campus residential housing or participating in university-sponsored extracurricular activities may be required to participate in sentinel testing. A subcommittee has been developed to create a specific process for randomization, notification, testing, and the handling of test results. The implementation of this guideline is dependent on the availability of reliable testing. 

  • COVID-19 Dashboard: The UA System has developed a COVID-19 Dashboard that provides System-wide COVID-19 information to the public. This content is broken down by campus, as well as offer an aggregate System total. This data includes the number of known positive cases of students, faculty and staff on- and off- campus, as well as the results for student entry testing and the occupancy percent rate related to the isolation space for COVID-19 positive students and/or close contact students. Sentinel testing data will be available in the coming weeks.


Faculty, staff, and students will be required to participate in the Charger Health Check portion of the Stay Safe Together™ platform. Charger Health Check is a COVID-19 assessment tool that allows users to report COVID-19 related symptoms and exposure.


A voluntary, opt-in smartphone tool has been developed for exposure notification. The Stay Safe TogetherTM Exposure Notification is a partnership of Apple, Google, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The opt-in resource alerts participants if they have been in close contact with a person who has reported a positive COVID-19 test within the past 14 days. 


UAH has created, and will maintain, appropriate locations for campus residents to self-isolate or quarantine when they have been potentially exposed.


As we learn more about COVID-19 and the efficacy of our strategies, our approaches and plan will adjust. Monitoring the effectiveness of our strategies, the health condition of the campus and continuing success of students will inform our adjustments.