Section 2: Health Guidelines

Our continued return to campus this fall is based on demonstrated common sense and good judgment, the availability of the vaccine to all members of our community, and the health and safety guidance contained in this document.

Safety Guidelines and Requirements

The university has implemented extensive cleaning and operational protocols to keep the campus community safe and healthy from community spread and airborne transmission of COVID-19 while also complying with state and federal directives.

Behaviors for Mitigating Risk of Transmission of COVID-19

Appropriate means of mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission for the university community requires all employees, students and visitors to adhere to the following guidance:

  • While state law prohibits requiring COVID-19 vaccination at this time, vaccination is strongly encouraged as soon as possible to help keep our campus community safe, healthy and together this fall.
  • Masks are required indoors – regardless of vaccination status – when at least 6-feet of social distancing can’t be maintained.
  • Wearing masks and social distancing continues to be requiredunder state law in healthcare facilities and while using public transportation including:
    • Razorback Transit
      • All those on Razorback Transit buses or in the Union Station are required to wear masks.
  • Pat Walker Health Center
  • Speech and Hearing Clinic
  • Practice frequent hand-washing hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  •  

Symptom Monitoring and Self-Assessment

If symptoms exist (regardless of vaccination status), employees should not come to campus and should follow these steps:

  • Contact your supervisor to notify them that you will not be at work. Contact your primary care provider for further assessment. If you do not have a primary care provider, you can contact the Pat Walker Health Center on campus at 479-575-4451, option 1 to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
  • Self-quarantine until further medical evaluation and directions are given by your medical provider. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
  • Contact Human Resources at 479-575-4044 or hrassist@uark.eduif you have questions regarding your work status.

What About While Awaiting Test Results? 

IF you are not experiencing symptoms AND have not been identified as a close contact, students and employees are allowed to continue coming to campus for class and/or work while awaiting COVID-19 test results (or after receiving a negative test result) regardless of vaccination status. 

To ensure the safety of our campus community, faculty and staff who test off campus and receive a positive result for COVID-19 must isolate immediately and fill out the university’s online self-reporting COVID-19 form so appropriate notifications may occur.

Isolation means you must stay home and away from others while you are infectious in order to stop the spread of the virus to anyone else.

Please review the guidance on the CDC website regarding quarantine and possible exposure.

Who Should NOT come to Campus:

  • Anyone exhibiting symptoms of illness including COVID-19 — if you are not feeling well, stay home and call your medical provider or Pat Walker Health Center.
  • Anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the previous 14 days.
  • Anyone who is not fully vaccinated and has had “close contact” with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19, defined as spending 15 minutes within 6 feet over a 24-hour period.
  • Non-essential visitors and guests — only essential, official visitors and guests here for academic or business purposes should be invited on campus.
  • Anyone with a documented condition or accommodation preventing them from coming to campus.

Masks

Masks are required indoors – regardless of vaccination status – when at least 6-feet of social distancing can’t be maintained.

Limited exceptions include:

  • A mask may be removed in a private office or private room when no one else is present. 
  • In residence halls, masks may be removed in private rooms as well as in community bathrooms for accomplishing tasks such as brushing teeth or showering. 
  • Masks may be removed while dining but should be worn before eating and replaced as soon as possible after eating. 
  • Masks may be removed for participants during sanctioned activities including Razorback Athletics workouts, practices and contests unless otherwise required by the University’s athletic conference or governing body.

Wearing masks is required in all classroom settings regardless of social distancing due to the fact that very few classroom spaces allow adequate distancing where masks might not be necessary for protective purposes, and it would not be practical or appropriate for individual instructors to make this judgment.

Wearing masks (and social distancing) continues to be required under state law, regardless of vaccination status, in healthcare facilities and while using public transportation including:

  • Razorback Transit
    • All those on Razorback Transit buses or in the Union Station are required to wear masks.
  • Pat Walker Health Center
  • Speech and Hearing Clinic

Visit the CDC’s online resource for additional guidance regarding masks.

We expect our community to use good judgment to help protect themselves and those around them.

Social Distancing

While not mandatory, social distancing is encouraged indoors when space allows.

Social distancing continues to be required, regardless of vaccination status, in healthcare facilities and while using public transportation including:

  • Razorback Transit
    • All those on Razorback Transit buses or in the Union Station are required to wear masks.
  • Pat Walker Health Center
  • Speech and Hearing Clinic

Some but not all fall classes will be streamed and/or recorded on video. Please check with instructors to confirm whether or not specific classes will be streamed or recorded.

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water; avoid cross contamination – hand sanitizing stations are available in all campus buildings.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow, and dispose of the tissue properly.
  • Avoid contact with frequently touched surfaces.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Wearing face coverings is required indoors when at least 6-feet of social distancing can’t be maintained. See above for limited exceptions.

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting

Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces followed by disinfection with an EPA-registered disinfectant is a best practice measure for prevention of viral respiratory illnesses and part of the University of Arkansas’ regular routine in multiple areas of campus, including housing, transit and parking, facilities management and much more.

  • Razorback Transit buses are operating at reduced capacity at this time to allow for social distancing by passengers and disinfected throughout the day. Facilities Management staff disinfects high traffic touchpoints daily – including door handles and push plates, student desktop surfaces and classroom teaching surfaces.
  • Similar practices are used by university housing, athletics and other common areas on campus. You can find full details on facility management’s cleaning protocols in the FAMA COVID-19 guide.
  • Restrooms are a focus area for high use/touch disinfection throughout each day.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are located in all major entrances and in large classrooms. Additional stations may be installed in other public areas as needed.
  • Facilities Management has installed or modified existing drinking fountains to be bottle fill stations in E&G buildings across campus until a time when all traditional fountains can be turned on again. A map of available bottle fillers can be found on the Facilities Management COVID-19 Guidelinesunder Facility Operations.  
  • The University has taken actions to ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) are optimized (e.g., maximizing outside air and high-performance filtration) to minimize risks of airborne transmission when other safety measures are in use.

Vulnerable Populations

It is important for the campus community to understand that some people are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 complications. Based on the current data and CDC definitions, vulnerable populations may include:

  • Older adults. People 65 years of age or older.
  • People with medical conditions.
  • Pregnant and recently pregnant people.
  • Unvaccinated individuals.

Additional Information:

Procedure for On-Campus Outbreak & Clusters

  • A cluster is defined by the ADH as five or more related cases in a living or work group. If clusters are identified through contact tracing efforts, a unit may be asked to take specific precautionary measures to contain the spread including but not limited to quarantine and testing.
  • The university will follow its established guidelines and work in coordination with ADH for communicable disease response.
    • The university will cooperate with ADH for contact tracings and investigations: Once a person has been identified as having COVID-19 and a contact investigation is started by ADH. The university will continue to follow the directions of ADH and CDC regarding any response and mitigation efforts.

Campus Signage

Signage reinforcing COVID-19 related health and safety precautions is available for use by the U of A community.

Building Executives have been designated as the primary point of contact for the posting of signage in university facilities and have access to the list of printable signs. Contact your Building Executive prior to posting any COVID-19 related signage to ensure compliance with posting guidelines.

Guidance for posting return to campus signage

  • Use only removable mounting tape, such as Command™ brand Mounting Strips, or removable painter’s tape, such as Scotch® brand Delicate Surface Painter’s Tape.
  • Do not use other types of tape, pushpins or glue to post signs.
  • Do not mount to sheetrock, plaster, wallpaper or fabric covered walls.
  • Do not mount signs in direct sunlight. Adhesives tend to break down in high temperature.
  • Mount to glass windows or doors whenever possible.
  • Mount to wood or metal trim only with approved adhesives.
  • Adhesives should be removed and re-applied every 60 days
  • Building executives should contact Todd Furgason (toddf@uark.edu) with questions or for guidance about where to place signs.