Letter from the Chancellor: September 9, 2020

Dear U of A Community:

 First off, I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, we have continued to see campus-affiliated cases of COVID-19 rise as revealed in last week’s increased testing that was done on campus. We now have more than 900 active cases. Needless to say, this is far too many positive cases. I do, though, want to thank everyone who got tested, especially if you were symptomatic. Now you know one way or another and can act accordingly.

Last Friday, Provost Robinson announced the suspension of on-campus activities through September 18, excepting official academic events and all classes, which continue as scheduled. He also announced that if the Office of Student Standards and Conduct receives a verified report of large parties or social gatherings involving 10 or more student guests who are clearly flouting established safety elements, the University will treat the event as a violation of the Code of Student Life by organizers and by attendees. I will only add that the extremely low rate of infection among faculty, staff and graduate assistants suggests our classes remain safe. Our testing data show that it is likely off-campus gatherings causing the majority of the positive cases. You can find out more about these announcements in this Q & A section.  

I would like to add the importance of answering the phone when contract tracers call (or at least calling them back), as well as answering their questions. UAMS contact tracers will often call from 501-214-2410 or 501-686-5875 but may use other numbers as well. They will only attempt to reach an individual three times, before turning the case over to the university, so it is important to answer.  Contact tracers are critical to arresting the spread of the virus, as well as providing timely warning to those who may have been exposed, so it’s imperative that they reach you. If a contact tracer calls you, please do your part. Also, it’s important that you self-report a positive off-campus test result within 24 hours of receiving the result.

As has been our policy from the start of the semester, students wishing to move out of university housing may continue to do so. Our policy isn’t to send anyone home if they are sick — far from it — but we understand you may feel more comfortable at home. I’d also like to add that this pandemic can be stressful in a variety of ways. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I encourage you to reach out to the Pat Walker Health Center and get the mental health support you need. They offer a variety of services and are there to help.

Again, be caring, be accountable, and answer if a contact tracer calls!


Joe Steinmetz, Ph.D.


August 1, 2022 Welcome Back & Staying Healthy This Fall! A Message from Provost Martin March 1, 2022 Campus Mask Guidance Update from Chancellor Robinson February 17, 2022 COVID-19 Update from Chancellor Robinson February 15, 2022 Employee Questions Answered: Virtual HR Q&A Recording Now Available January 21, 2022 Message Regarding Masking Requirements From Provost Martin January 19, 2022 Recording Now Available of Spring Semester Town Hall January 17, 2022 Spring 2022 Info: Message from PWHC Medical Director Dr. Huda Sharaf January 14, 2022 Mass Testing Clinic for COVID-19 Scheduled to Start On Campus Jan. 18 January 14, 2022 Indoor Mask Guidance Updated for Spring 2022 Semester January 13, 2022 Quarantine and Isolation Procedures Updated for Campus Community January 12, 2022 Spring 2022 Update From Chancellor Robinson January 7, 2022 Campus Safety Message from Dr. Huda Sharaf January 5, 2022 Self-Report Positive COVID-19 Test Results Including Home Tests January 5, 2022 Spring 2022 Information December 14, 2021 Students Earn Rewards As a Part of Vaccination Incentive Program October 19, 2021 Campus COVID-19 Dashboard Now Updated Weekly October 7, 2021 U of A Employees Eligible for Pfizer Boosters September 7, 2021 Get Vaccinated, Get Rewarded: Initial Student Winners Receive Awards August 25, 2021 First Week Welcome and Enrollment News August 20, 2021 Mask, Class Attendance Requirements for Faculty August 18, 2021 Multiple COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Offered Across Campus Starting Aug. 18 August 17, 2021 Recording Now Available of Fall Semester Q&A August 11, 2021 University Implements Mask Requirement Indoors August 5, 2021 Support for Local Decisions Regarding Masks July 30, 2021 Recording Now Available of Fall Semester Faculty Forum July 23, 2021 Unvaccinated individuals are being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 July 20, 2021 Encouraging Vaccination May 21, 2021 Campus COVID-19 Masking, Social Distancing Guidance Updated April 28, 2021 Recording of Faculty-Focused Panel on Fall Return to Campus April 15, 2021 Recording of Staff Returning to Campus Panel Discussion April 12, 2021 Mask Use Continues, Vaccinations Available March 31, 2021 NWA Council to Host COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Razorback Stadium March 30, 2021 Vaccine Appointments Open to Students 18 and Over March 24, 2021 Staff: Plan for 100 Percent Return to Campus by June 14 March 23, 2021 Preparing for Traditional Face-to-Face Fall March 18, 2021 Plans for Summer and Fall March 9, 2021 Vaccinations Now Available at PWHC February 18, 2021 Grading Policy/Course Withdrawal Updates February 16, 2021 Employees Eligible for Vaccinations from Multiple Providers February 8, 2021 Vaccination update: Second doses planned January 27, 2021 Recording of panel discussion available January 26, 2021 Appointments for new groups of employees January 22, 2021 Appointments required for vaccination January 22, 2021 Panel to discuss respons, vaccine rollout January 21, 2021 Eligibility letters sent to employees January 16, 2021 Patience requested, Phase 1-B will take time January 13, 2021 Most employees eligible for vaccination January 5, 2021 Drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic December 16, 2020 Spring COVID-19 Response Guide November 20, 2020 Get tested before the break October 8, 2020 Staying the course after Thanksgiving September 30, 2020 Drive-thru flu vaccines September 22, 2020 Cases decline September 16, 2020 On-campus events resume September 9, 2020 Contact tracing, self-reporting September 4, 2020 On-campus events suspended September 2, 2020 Self-reporting, reporting violations, dashboard August 31,2020 COVID-19 testing, drive-thru clinic August 20, 2020 Health kits distibution August 14, 2020 Keep Teaching resource launches July 17, 2020 Masks required June 1, 2020 Return to Campus Guide May 22, 2020 Fall plans being finalized May 12, 2020 Essential research allowed May 4, 2020 CARES Act funding distribution plans April 30, 2020 Looking ahead to the fall April 20, 2020 CARES Act April 8, 2020 Credits, tuition, commencement April 2, 2020 Determined to help March 25, 2020 Adjusting to a new normal (video) March 23, 2020 First COVID-19 case involving U of A community March 18, 2020 First COVID-19 case reported in NWA March 12, 2020 In-person classes suspended March 11, 2020 University travel suspended March 11, 2020 First COVID-19 case reported in Arkansas