Coronavirus Information

COVID-19 Updates


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 on this page and will be communicated through UAM email.

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COVID-19 REPORTING FORM

The Protect UAM Pledge

Weekly COVID Report

Fall 2020 COVID-19 Safety Measures handout (Printable)

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. The CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary will be updated regularly as information becomes available.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Arkansas Department of Health (ADH)
Student Health Services (SHS)

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.

    If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine:
  • Wear a cloth face covering whenever you may be in shared spaces, within 3’ of others outside of 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 3’ distance from people who are not in your household whenever possible, even when wearing a face covering.

Please continue to check your UAM email and visit this page for the latest updates. 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 available data.

Many questions about housing, instruction, and campus safety are covered in the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have further questions, please contact the appropriate department.

  • On May 20, 2021 the UAM Executive Council voted to changes to the COVID-19 protocols on campus.

    Citing recent CDC and ADH guidance, and Arkansas Act 1002, the council voted to discontinue the face covering requirement, effective May 24. Masks and other PPE will continue to be necessary in some laboratory settings.

    University leadership strongly recommends face coverings and three feet social distancing for anyone who has not received a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Previous to May 24, 2021:

    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, 2020, directing each System campus to require face coverings.

    Masks were worn indoors, outdoors, and in vehicles by anyone on any UAM property who was are likely to come within 6’ of another person not from the same household.  Students and employees received one mask at the start of the fall 2020 semester, and disposable masks continue to be available at high-traffic areas for those who may want one.

  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

  • 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).

    For Spring 2021, Residence Life will utilize prescheduled appointments for early arrival move-in and will schedule 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.

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.

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 since the COVID-19 pandemic arose. Specifically, our facilities management staff disinfects high traffic touchpoints daily - including door handles and push plates, student desktop surfaces and classroom teaching surfaces.

The university's Command Team manages the implementation of the UAM Pandemic Action Plan, which is followed and updated as new information about COVID-19 becomes available.  Team members coordinate 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.

These efforts are being made to assess: the university's readiness to shift to an online class class format, how to minimize the impact to student learning, to ensure students and employees who may become ill can be properly supported as they recover, and to limit the spread of the virus on campus and in the community.

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.

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