UA Alert: COVID-19 Response
- April 3rd, 2020
- in Uncategorized
SUBJECT: UA Alert: Campus Notification on COVID-19
The University of Alabama prioritizes the health and safety of our campus community, and the University is committed to promptly sharing accurate and useful information related to the COVID-19 situation and its impact on the UA campus. As UA leaders continue to work with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), City of Tuscaloosa, the State of Alabama, the UA System and federal agencies, we will continue to share relevant information with our students, parents, faculty and staff. The most current information is available at https://healthinfo.ua.edu/.
Important information and guidance for our UA Community:
As of this morning, there were 1,315 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State of Alabama, with 39 confirmed cases in Tuscaloosa County. Given the continuing spread of the virus, it is not surprising that members of our community have been exposed to and/or contracted the virus. To date, four University employees have reported testing positive for COVID-19, along with three students who were participating in study abroad programs. All of these individuals, who notified campus officials about their diagnosis after students, faculty and staff left campus for spring break, have been safely quarantined and recovering away from campus. The ADPH website is updated regularly at https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/index.html with new case statistics and other helpful information.
If an individual is determined to have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, ADPH — or a designee — will contact that individual directly to discuss appropriate next steps.
- If it is determined that someone who is symptomatic or who has tested positive for COVID-19 has accessed a portion of a campus facility, the University’s Environmental Health & Safety group will ensure a heightened, appropriate cleaning of the potentially affected area.
- The University Medical Center and Student Health Center remain open, and COVID-19 testing is being administered off-campus at DCH.
- The Spring semester completion plan has been posted online at https://healthinfo.ua.edu/campus-messages/#semester-completion and can be accessed for current information on Spring courses.
- The City of Tuscaloosa has adopted a 24/7 curfew to support social distancing and prevent possible community spread of coronavirus. In agreement with city officials, University work, already functioning under a limited business operations plan, is not affected by the curfew. Employees and students who live in the city are subject to the curfew when not working, and should review the executive order for a list of limited exemptions and specified essential activities. This is an important measure for public health and the efforts of our city officials, and your compliance is appreciated.
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a social responsibility for all of us. Following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), ADPH, and the University is crucial.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC recommends everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- 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.
- Stay at least six feet away from others.
- Since COVID-19 is spread through person-to-person contact and respiratory droplets, you can prevent the spread by putting space between yourself and others. This lessens the likelihood of becoming infected and spreading the infection.
- Social Distancing, self-quarantining and self-isolation require different actions.
- Social distancing is maintaining a safe distance (at least six feet) from others.
- Self-quarantining keeps someone who doesn’t have symptoms but was exposed to the virus away from others, so they don’t unknowingly infect anyone else. Health experts recommend that a self-quarantine last 14 days. This provides enough time for them to know whether they will become ill and be contagious to other people.
- Self-isolation keeps people who are confirmed to have COVID-19 away from those who are not infected. Self-isolation takes place in one’s home, but can also take place at a hospital or care facility.
Here are some important links to follow for general health and safety information:
University COVID-19 Information — https://healthinfo.ua.edu/
Alabama Department of Public Health — https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/index.html
Center for Disease Control — https://www.cdc.gov/
Thank you to everyone for your patience and resolve as we work through this challenging time.
This notification is part of a federally required Clery Act emergency notification related to COVID-19.