Please note that guidance from the CDC, Arkansas Department of Health and the University
of Arkansas System may change rapidly given the fluidity of the coronavirus pandemic.
Any changes will be updated here on the university's UAM Coronavirus Updates page and will be communicated through UAM email.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do I Need to Know About COVID-19?
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an evolving concern for the world. UAM makes every effort to keep our community updated on the latest local and regional data, by utilizing expert resources. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Arkansas Department of Health provide up-to-date guidance on the pandemic, including: tracking cases down to the county level, identifying travel advisories and outbreak “hot spots,” screening information, testing information, and effective prevention measures. Each of these topics has the potential to change on a daily basis. UAM uses guidance from these agencies, in addition to local and UA System recommendations, when setting policy regarding COVID-19. The most important thing individuals can do is assist in stopping the spread of the virus.
How Can I Help Stop the Spread?
Everyone has a shared responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the UAM community, including students, faculty, staff and campus visitors. Together, we can make a difference by making consistent efforts in a few areas:
- Familiarize yourself with the symptoms, which can be mild to severe.
- Contact your health care provider if you identify symptoms.
- Review the way COVID-19 spreads. Some individuals may have no symptoms at all but may still be able to spread the virus.
- Always wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, and use hand sanitizer when unable to wash hands. Wash hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing, and before eating.
- Wear a cloth face covering whenever you may be in shared spaces, within 6’ of others outside of your household.
- Wear a cloth face covering over the nose and mouth, to protect others as well as the wearer. Wear a face covering or mask whenever you are in a public or shared space, or within 6’ of someone not from your household. Keep a clean face covering handy when walking alone if there is a potential to come into contact with someone. Regularly wash and rotate your face coverings.
- Continue to maintain a 6’ distance from people who are not in your household whenever possible, even when wearing a face covering.
- What is UAM doing to prevent virus spread? Please continue to check your UAM email and visit the Coronavirus page on UAMont.edu for the latest updates. Our university leadership has made a number of considerations
to prioritize the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. We appreciate
your understanding that the pandemic response is a fluid one based on the most current
Many questions about housing, instruction, and campus safety are covered in the Frequently Asked Questions answered here. If you have further questions, please contact the appropriate department.
- Do I have to wear a mask? Pursuant to the governor’s July 16, 2020 executive order, all visitors, students, faculty, and staff on all three UAM campuses must wear a
mask which covers the nose and mouth whenever social distancing of 6’ may not be achieved.
Some specific exceptions are listed in the governor's directive. The UA System Board
of Trustees also approved a resolution July 16 which directs each System university
campus to require face coverings.
This means masks should be worn indoors, outdoors, and in vehicles whenever you are on any UAM property and are likely to come within 6’ of another person not from your household. When individuals are alone, masks are not required. Students and employees received one mask at the start of the fall 2020 semester, and disposable masks are available in high traffic areas for those who may have forgotten one.
- Is it safe for me to be on a UAM campus? UAM continues to focus on the safety of all students, faculty and staff members by
revising plans as needed. A number of processes and procedures have been implemented
to minimize any potential risk of the spread of COVID-19. If you believe you may be
sick, please do not come to any UAM campus and follow the steps outlined below.
As soon as cases were identified within the state in March 2020, UAM custodial staff made specific efforts to continue to disinfect high-touch surfaces often throughout the day. Staff have been trained specifically in cleaning processes that prevent the spread of COVID-19. UAM has received extensive orders of sanitizer, surface cleaner, thermometer strips, no-touch thermometers, plexiglass barriers, and other items to ensure a safe learning and working environment.UAM has received large quantities of disposable gloves, protective paper gowns, face shields, and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Staff and faculty have received safety kits at the start of the semester, and all staff, faculty and students have received a face mask from UAM. Increased quantities of hand sanitizer are noticeable in each university building.For the Spring 2021 term, UAM postponed the start of classes by one week. The traditional spring break from courses will not be observed, which keeps instructional time the same. Friday, March 26, campuses will be closed.
Faculty and staff have worked to prepare courses that will be able to move to an online-only format immediately if deemed necessary. These online course shifts may be for short- or long-term periods based upon available information at the time. Each classroom follows guidance by the Arkansas Department of Health that places each instructor lectern 12’ from the first row of desks. Students will also only sit in seats at a 6’ distance from one another, as indicated by labels. Masks are required in classroom settings.Individuals are asked to remain 6’ away from all non-household members whenever possible, to comply with Gov. Hutchinson’s July 16 executive order. This includes indoor and outdoor settings as well as when riding in vehicles. Gathering areas throughout campus have been reorganized or closed to prevent gathering in close quarters. While moving throughout campus spaces, individuals are asked to observe directional signage and floor/furniture markings displayed to direct socially-distant foot traffic.By following the face covering and social distancing requirements outlined above, and by remaining vigilant with hand-washing and sanitizing surfaces, individuals can protect themselves and others by containing the spread of COVID-19. Anyone who will come to a UAM campus is asked to perform a self-monitoring assessment daily before arriving. Any symptoms should be reported to your primary health care provider. All offices are tracking visitors to their spaces with sign-in sheets to assist with timely, accurate contact tracing. Employees will conduct self-assessments and remain in contact with supervisors if they have health concerns.For on-campus residents, the Division of Student Engagement has a detailed plan to ensure the physical needs of quarantined or isolated students are met while also protecting the health of the remainder of the campus population. Student resources will be made available remotely to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for students while they quarantined or isolated.
- What if I think I may have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel sick?
CDC guidelines recommend that you begin by contacting your primary health care provider if you suspect you are at risk of contracting COVID-19 through exposure to a confirmed or presumed case. Students may also contact the Student Health Services office. A provider will make individual recommendations as to testing and quarantine protocls.
Testing is available at the Mainline Health Systems location on the Monticello Campus. All UAM Students, Faculty and Staff and their immediate family members can be tested on weekdays from 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The office is closed for lunch from 11:30 a.m. - Noon. Calling ahead for a testing appointment is recommended: (870) 224-0647.
Some individuals may be eligible for a rapid test on site.
Secondary providers are available in off-campus locations for priority testing and contact tracing for the institution.
The Division of Student Engagement has a detailed plan to ensure the physical needs of quarantined students are met while also protecting the health of the remainder of the campus population.
If an employee shows symptoms as indicated in the assessment, they should contact the supervisor and do not report for work. Supervisors will assist in tracking presumed and confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in our UAM community.
- Are online-only classes an option?
If a student prefers to enroll in only distance learning courses, he or she may do so with the assistance of their faculty advisor, or they may call Academic Advising for assistance. Not all courses are available in a fully online format, but some courses are adapted to a hybrid model which involves both in-person and online instructional time.
Throughout the semester, on a case-by-cases basis, classes of a certain size may shift into online or hybrid models in which students alternate in-classroom and online access to their course materials. This decision will be made based on class enrollment and room size. Students may reach out to each of their instructors for more details about each course.
- Are in-seat only classes an option?
In a typical year, UAM academic advisors often recommend students remain enrolled in at least one in-person class when possible. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to disruptions in the traditional learning environment, however much our students and faculty would prefer the typical format. As UAM continues to monitor area health data and prioritize safety, typical in-seat classes may not always be possible. Out of great concern and care for our community, UAM has planned alternative arrangements in the case that a COVID-19 outbreak in the area causes course delivery to move to an online-only format for any length of time during the semester. We appreciate the flexibility of our students and faculty as these instructional changes remain dependent upon the current pandemic environment. In the event that all instruction must be delivered remotely for a period of time, UAM will have a limited number of tablets and WiFi cards for off-campus students who have limited or no access to technology and internet.
- When should I avoid coming to campus?
All students, faculty and staff are expected to share the responsibility of self-monitoring. Before coming to any UAM campus, individuals are asked to complete the self-monitoring assessment daily to identify any symptoms of COVID-19 early. If an employee shows symptoms as indicated in the assessment, they should contact the supervisor and do not report for work. They should then contact their primary health care provider for next steps and to determine if they should be tested. The primary care provider will advise as to whether to self-quarantine and for how long.
- Do I have to live on campus?
Residence Life has made a number of arrangements to accommodate students with unique needs related to COVID-19 (students at a higher risk, students wishing to observe strict physical distancing, students in quarantine or isolation).
Residence Life will be utilizing prescheduled appointments for early arrival move-in and scheduling priority move-in days to limit the number of students moving in at any particular time. Student will be limited to two (2) individuals assisting them during their move-in time. Halls will also limit the size, frequency and duration of programs and activities while providing a safe, engaging on-campus living experience. Custodial staff has enhanced campus cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces including those in residence halls. There are also ongoing educational programs centered around health and safety, with particular attention to living in a COVID-prepared campus.
The UAM Freshman Residential Housing Policy states that all first-year students are required to live on campus for one academic year unless an exception to the policy is accepted. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for students who submit the Freshman Housing Exemption Request.
Latest Campus Communications
10/6/20 - COVID-19 Reminders
8/11/20 - Summer 2020 Modified Grading Policy
8/3/20 - Campus Update from Chancellor Doss
7/20/20 - Updates to Fall Reopening Plans
7/1/20 - Announcing Plan for Fall Reopening
4/10/20 - Updated Reporting Form for COVID-19
3/17/20 - COVID-19 Student Update – March 17, 2020
3/4/20 - UAM Update on COVID-19 (coronavirus)
3/12/20 - COVID-19 Student Update
3/13/20 - COVID-19: Spring Break Travel Update
3/12/20 - Chancellor Doss Releases Statement Regarding Coronavirus
3/11/20 - UAM Moves to Classes Online Effective March 12
CDC PREVENTION TIPS
- Take everyday preventive actions to stay healthy.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
- Stay informed. CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
Are classes able to continue during university facility closures?
UAM prioritizes the delivery of instruction whenever possible. All courses on all UAM campuses have a Blackboard shell. This means that if facilities close for a period or if instruction is moved to an online format, coursework can continue remotely using Blackboard. Students are recommended to stay in contact with their instructors via email and information technology will be able to provide assistance as needed. In the event that all instruction must be delivered remotely for a period of time, UAM will have a limited number of tablets and WiFi cards for off-campus students who have limited or no access to technology and internet.
What is the campus doing to disinfect public areas?
The disinfecting of common surfaces is part of the University of Arkansas at Monticello custodial staff’s regular routine in multiple areas of campus, including housing, facilities management, and more. Custodial team members have increased attention to disinfecting surfaces. Specifically, our facilities management staff disinfects high traffic touchpoints daily - including door handles and push plates, student desktop surfaces and classroom teaching surfaces.
Is the university preparing contingency plans?
The university's Command Team manages the implementation of the Pandemic Action Plan, which is being followed and updated as new information about COVID-19 becomes available on the UAM Coronavirus site. Members are coordinating activities designed to support our community's health and well-being and develop contingency plans to limit the impact to university operations should the need arise.
While these plans may not be required, these efforts are being made to assess the university's readiness to conduct online classes and other efforts related to minimizing the impact to student learning, and to ensure students and employees who may become ill can be properly supported as they recover and limit the spread of the virus on campus and in the community.
Is it safe to travel within the U.S.?
As of the end of day on March 11, 2020, all university-affiliated travel by students and employees has been suspended until at least Monday, March 30. The university will continue to assess the status of any campus-affiliated travel. Please exercise caution and check for the latest information available for your specific destination as the coronavirus situation in the U.S. is changing rapidly.
While the CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices (this currently includes domestic travel in the U.S.) because the risk of transmission is considered low, some areas are reporting increasing levels local transmission.
I'm expecting visitors from out of town or overseas. Should I be concerned?
If your guests are visiting from a country with a CDC coronavirus level of 2 or higher, your guest may be required to self-isolate for 14 days, per the Arkansas Department of Health. It would be advisable to discourage such visits. Travel to other areas within the United States is also discouraged without carefully checking current the Arkansas Department of Health and CDC travel recommendations.
What should I consider when planning personal travel?
Consider method of transportation for all travel. Air travel, for example, tends to be crowded with people in close proximity in the plane and the airport. Traveling in a personal vehicle to a destination, would limit exposure to crowds.
In alignment with our requirements and recommendations for university-affiliated travel, we strongly discourage personal international travel, especially to countries with a CDC risk level for coronavirus of 2 or higher. Please consider the health risk and logistical challenges that may be encountered including that the Arkansas Department of Health may require self-isolation for 14 days after traveling to or through an affected area. Customs agents are reporting international travelers arriving from affected countries to state departments of health for this purpose.
Please exercise caution and check for the latest information available for your specific destination as the coronavirus situation in the U.S. is changing rapidly. While the CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices (this currently includes domestic travel in the U.S.) because the risk of transmission is considered low, some areas are reporting increasing levels of local transmission.
What about conferences, conventions, meetings and big events?
Many universities and companies have restricted employee and student travel to meetings, conventions and events. You are encouraged to review the information from the hosting organization for any changes or restrictions and may consider if there are options to attend remotely.
If attending events concerns you, or you have a medical reason why you should not be in crowds, then please utilize the many tools the campus offers for conducting meetings in real-time over the Internet from your desktop.
Any changes to university travel recommendations will be communicated via email.
Please note that guidance from the CDC, Arkansas Department of Health and the University of Arkansas System may change rapidly given the fluidity of the situation. Any changes will be updated on the university's UAM Coronavirus Updates website.