Map it. Zap it. Track your symptoms daily at helpbeatcovid19.org.

For the latest COVID-19 information from the Alabama Department of Public Health, call 211.

JCDH suspending certain public gatherings due to risk of infection by COVID-19 (.pdf)

Latest Employee Updates

Wednesday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m.: Notice regarding emergency leave of absence provisions

UAB faculty and staff,

Today, April 1, 2020, the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) go into effect. These laws provide paid leave to eligible employees of a covered employer under certain defined circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note these new laws contain a broad exemption for employees working as “health care providers,” which includes anyone employed at a hospital, health care center, doctor’s office, health clinic, postsecondary educational institution offering health care instruction, medical school, and similar health care entities. This exemption is intended to ensure health care-related entities are positioned to continue to provide their services during this unprecedented time.

After reviewing the new laws, the following employees are designated as “health care providers” and are therefore exempt from receiving benefits under the new laws:

  • All employees in Workgroup C of the School of Medicine
  • All Faculty of the School of Medicine
  • All UAB Hospital employees
  • All UAB Hospital Management, LLC, employees
  • All UAB Callahan Eye Hospital Authority employees
  • All UAB Health System employees
  • All University of Alabama Health Services Foundation employees

If you do not fall into one of the categories of employees listed above, you may be eligible for benefits under these new laws. This law was announced at the end of March, and UAB Human Resources has been working to update the existing UAB HR Leave website to accommodate necessary changes to help faculty and staff understand and navigate the law and process. You can review information about the specific nature of the leave benefits potentially available and the eligibility requirements on Human Resources’ FMLA website. Questions can be directed to the UAB HR Leaves Team at leave@uab.edu.

Saturday, March 28 at 2 p.m.: Important Parking Information from UAB Health System

UAB Medicine Employees,

The City of Birmingham has received criticism from hospital employees for ticketing cars parked illegally outside of UAB Hospital in recent days. Even during this unusual time, I believe it remains important – for many reasons – for the city to continue to enforce parking laws on the Southside.

Working with UAB Transportation we have made special arrangements to make convenient parking more accessible to you. Effective since March 19, employees who normally park in the Express lot have been given access to closer locations, all within three blocks of the hospital. We ask parkers who have been reassigned to continue to park in those lots/decks to which they are assigned.

In addition, several lots and decks all over campus that are typically gated have been opened and are available to employees. Employees who do not already have another parking reassignment, can now access these options, including the 5th Ave. Deck (entrance at on 5th Ave. S. between 19th and 20th Streets).

These options have been made available for your convenience and to discourage our employees from on-street parking. Mayor Randall Woodfin’s team has been a good partner to the healthcare community and UAB during the pandemic. We could not ask for a more supportive and cooperative relationship.

Just as the city supports us, I support and encourage the city’s position to enforce parking around UAB Hospital. We simply need them to do so. Please use the many options UAB Transportation has made available to you.

If you have questions or concerns about parking, or need an accommodation, please contact UAB Transportation at 205-934-3513 Monday thru Friday between 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 24 at 2 p.m.: Important information about grading

We continue to address as expeditiously as possible the unprecedented challenges created by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 on our students, faculty and staff. On March 13, 2020, we distributed the Academic Continuity Plan for disruptions caused by an infectious disease outbreak. We continue to operate within that plan and now have a Supplement No. 1 to add to that Plan. This supplemental piece describes several announcements that have already been made since that date, and also provides several additional changes in academic operations in the following areas:

  • Allowing all students to elect a Pass/Fail grading system for Spring semester courses (with the possibility that with dean approval such a system might not be available, most likely to occur in graduate courses)
  • A default one-year extension of the promotion and tenure “clock”
  • A default directive not to use student course evaluations during spring semester
We believe that the above changes will help ease the widespread anxiety, uncertainty, and social and geographic disruption you are facing. As you can see, there are more details to follow; but we wanted to get these announcements to you as quickly as possible. The changes have been reviewed and approved by the Faculty Senate leadership as well as by leadership of the Undergraduate Student Government Association. This new reality is still fluid and uncertain, but we remain confident in our UAB community’s resolve to adapt and work together.

Monday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m.: Official message from UAB Medicine WORKGROUP C Limited Business Operations

USE THE EMPLOYEE WORKFORCE APP TO CHECK YOUR WORKGROUP

  • The following information from the UAB Health System and School of Medicine provides updates on UAB Medicine’s limited business model and applies to Workgroup C.
  • Faculty (Workgroup F) involved in activities that require a presence at their work location (e.g., patient care or essential research) should continue to report to their place of work. Faculty who can work remotely (e.g., if you have only instructing responsibilities that can be done online), please do so from your home if possible. If you have questions, consult your supervisor.
  • Instructions and updates for employees in Workgroup A sent March 15 are available at www.uab.edu/coronavirus).
  • UAB Hospital never closes and continues to prepare to safely isolate and care for COVID-19 patients.
  • For guidance on research activities, please see Resources for Researchers on the Employee section of uab.edu/coronavirus.

UAB Medicine is complex. Changes to work schedules mean different things to employees and can be confusing. If you have questions about the following guidance, please ask your supervisor or HR contact.

UAB Medicine faculty and staff (including student employees/workers),

The following information from UAB Health System and School of Medicine provides updates on UAB Medicine’s limited business model for Workgroup C (including Callahan Eye Hospital).

With guidance from Human Resources, leaders across the university and Health System have been working to assess resources and staffing needs, and will be moving to a limited business model. Based on the latest COVID-19 developments and the need to minimize in-person contact, UAB Medicine will begin transitioning to a limited business model for employees in Workgroup C starting Tuesday, March 17, to be fully implemented by 5 p.m. The limited business model will be reevaluated on or before April 1.

Again, the following information about a limited business model applies to Workgroup C. Faculty (Workgroup F) involved in activities that require a presence at their work location (e.g., patient care or essential research) should continue to report to their place of work. Faculty who can work remotely (e.g., if you have only instructing responsibilities that can be done online), please do so from your home if possible. If you have questions, consult your supervisor.

At this time, a limited business model is in the best interests of the health and safety of UAB Medicine patients, faculty and staff, and is an important community service to minimize COVID-19 spread. During this time, it is vital that everyone in every group practices aggressive and meaningful social distancing, as well as proper hygiene to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, call before you go to the doctor. Please call Employee Health or call UAB Medicine 4YOU at 205-934-9999.

Based on these changes to operations, this limited business model identifies employees in Workgroup C who are:

  • needed to continue work in-person (Limited Business Model Workgroup C, Group 1)
  • needed to continue work but can do so from home (Limited Business Model Workgroup C, Group 2)
  • not needed to work during a time of limited business (Limited Business Model Workgroup C, Group 3)

NOTE: Unit leaders/supervisors will assign and communicate group assignments within Workgroup C.

How will limited business operations work?

Employees are assigned to the appropriate group by their unit leadership/supervisor and should follow supervisor instructions.

Workgroup C, Group 1 will report to work as normal; Workgroup C Group 2 will stay home and continue to work; and Workgroup C, Group 3 will not work. Supervisors determine which positions and employees are suitable for telecommuting, not the individual employees themselves.

  • Workgroup C, Group 1 will report to work as normal (unless you are sick or have been in immediate contact with a person known to have COVID-19 — see employee coronavirus health resources).
    • Maintain social distance and good hygiene. Utilize phone calls and virtual meetings as much as possible (even for small groups). Any gatherings of more than 25 people in-person should take place only if deemed essential and will require approval from AVP or above.
    • Supervisors should make every effort to not include student-employees (other than Residents or Fellows) in Workgroup C, Group 1. If a supervisor thinks a student’s role is essential, approval must be granted by HR before a student is assigned to Workgroup C, Group 1. For guidance on research activities, please see Resources for Researchers on the Employee section of uab.edu/coronavirus.
  • Workgroup C, Group 2 will stay home and continue to work (as soon as possible but in effect no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17). If you do not need to return to your work location, don’t. Also, do not return to your work location if you are sick. See employee coronavirus health resources for guidance if you think you may have symptoms.
    • If needed, Tuesday, March 17, can be used to prepare to effectively work from home. If you need to go to your work location to get essential items (e.g., laptop, supplies) to make working from home possible, coordinate with your supervisor to stagger timing with others in order to minimize personal contact.
    • Carefully read the UAB Medicine Temporary Telecommuting Guidance.
    • Rather than forwarding your work phone to your cellphone, please change your outgoing voicemail message on your work phone to instruct callers to call your cellphone directly. This will alleviate capacity constraints we would face if too many work phones are forwarded.
    • Utilize available resources on the One website to set up remote working capabilities. Consult oneuabmedicine.org/coronavirus under HSIS Resources or call the Help Desk at 205-934-8888.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.

      Working from home can be challenging. For the short- and long-term health of our institution and our vital mission, managing those challenges to remain productive is imperative. Communicate with your supervisor and/or speak with your Human Resources representative for guidance.

  • Workgroup C, Group 3 will not work (after being notified of your group assignment by your supervisor).
    • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it necessary to limit on-site personnel to only those whose functions are imperative during limited business operations — and not all functions can be done remotely or are required under extreme circumstances.
    • Workgroup C, Group 3 employees will be paid administrative time using “Away with Pay” code during the initial 14-day limited business period. In the event of a prolonged disruption, leadership will work with all sources (federal, state, etc.) in an effort to continue financial support of our employees. Further, UAB Medicine Leadership is exploring opportunities — including possible use of the Benevolent Fund — to financially help employees who encounter hardships due to the suspension of work IF limited business lasts longer than two weeks.
    • If you need to go to your work location to get critical personal belongings you must have during the next two weeks, coordinate with your supervisor for approval and to stagger timing with others to minimize personal contact.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.

This unprecedented and fluid event will not be easy on anyone. As we adjust our work lives while managing concern for our loved ones and community, challenges will be significant. Employees across the United States and beyond are concerned about job security and financial stability. UAB Medicine — working within the framework of the proactive COVID-19 planning led by The University of Alabama System — will maintain health and safety as our top priority while we work to minimize disruptions for our most important asset, our people. We are committed to making prudent decisions and communicating regularly. Read more on oneuabmedicine.org/coronavirus, our definitive website that is continually updated.

Please take care of yourself and each other as much as possible. Utilize Employee Health, as well as free services available through the Employee Assistance Counseling Center. If you would like to donate to help students, faculty and staff with hardships related to COVID-19, or if you need to inquire about help, please contact the Benevolent Fund. To give a gift to the COVID-19 Response Support Fund to aid efforts of UAB Medicine and the School of Medicine to help Alabamians and others (e.g., research and development, patient and clinical care support, supplies, equipment, technology, training and education, and other needs associated with relief, response, and treatment), click here.

Sunday, March 15 at 3:30 p.m.: Suspension of non-emergency clinical operations and student clinical activities for Dentistry, Optometry, Nursing, Health Professions, Education

To: Faculty/Staff/Students of the Schools of Dentistry, Optometry, Nursing, Health Professions, Education

CC: Deans and the President’s Cabinet

Re: Suspension of non-emergency clinical operations and student clinical activities in the Schools of Dentistry, Optometry, Nursing, Health Professions, Education

As of Monday, March 16, 2020, the Schools of Dentistry, Optometry, Nursing, Health Professions, and Education will postpone or cancel clinical non-emergency or elective procedures and appointments. The School of Medicine and the UAB Health System are continuing to address this policy and will be issuing further guidance for their operations this week.

The number of individuals impacted by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is increasing in the United States and more cases are being reported in Alabama and our immediate area as more testing is being completed. Reports indicate that Alabama is particularly at risk because of the prevalence of the number of individuals in the higher risk category in our state.

You will have received a message this afternoon from the university about moving to a limited business model to contain the spread of COVID-19. What does this mean for the clinical operations in your School?

As of Monday, March 16, 2020, the Schools of Dentistry, Optometry, Nursing, Health Professions, and Education will postpone or cancel clinical non-emergency or elective procedures and appointments. The School of Medicine and the UAB Health System are continuing to address this policy and will be issuing further guidance for their operations this week.

If urgent or vital treatment is necessary in Dentistry, Optometry, Nursing, Health Professions, and Education, providers will determine the appropriate precautions to be taken and the setting where this treatment will occur. This may include referrals to a more appropriate treatment center during this time. Schools will implement their communication plans to inform patients about this policy.

Urgent or vital treatment will be provided by essential faculty/staff. Faculty/staff who have questions about whether they are expected to be at work, consult with your supervisor or HR liaison.

Students in these schools will not participate in clinical activities until further notice. Students should not report to clinical rotations or externships. We will continually monitor to determine when these activities can resume, and we will attempt to minimize this disruption. Each school will explore alternative activities and/or reordering of their curriculum by prioritizing patient care, learner safety, and education in these extraordinary times. Schools are increasingly experiencing difficulties with placing and maintaining clinical rotations due to increasing challenges in the health care system as a result of COVID-19. We will work closely with the relevant accrediting agencies to minimize the impact on students’ academic progress.

We recognize that this directive will be inconvenient and challenging for providers, patients, and students. Careful thought and consultation were involved in making this difficult decision. This directive is being given because:

  • Many of our patients fall into high risk categories
  • Minimizing social gatherings is critical (e.g., waiting rooms)
  • Our facilities are not designed for infectious diseases with the infectivity of Covid-19
  • We need to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) during a nationwide shortage

The situation is changing daily and policies may need to be adjusted as we continually respond to emerging needs. Thank you for your flexibility and patience in a very challenging environment.

Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m.: Limited University Business Operations

USE THE EMPLOYEE WORKFORCE APP TO CHECK YOUR WORKGROUP

  • The following information about a limited business model applies ONLY to Workgroup A.
  • Faculty (Workgroup F) are asked to work remotely IF POSSIBLE (e.g., if you are instructing online, do so from your home, not campus), and come to campus only if required (e.g., direct patient care or research responsibilities that require a physical presence on campus). If you have questions, consult your supervisor.
  • Instructions and updates for employees in Workgroup C will be forthcoming from the UAB Health System and School of Medicine. These forthcoming updates will also address UAB employees at Children’s of Alabama.
  • UAB Hospital never closes and continues to prepare to safely isolate and care for COVID-19 patients.

UAB is complex. Changes to work schedules mean different things to employees and can be confusing. If you have questions about the following guidance, please ask your supervisor or HR contact.

UAB faculty and staff (including student employees/workers),

Late Friday, a state of emergency was declared for Alabama and the nation to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This announcement — which includes the closing of K-12 schools statewide starting Wednesday at 5 p.m. and relaxing absentee policies in some schools for the beginning of the week — has prompted concerns and questions about UAB policies that address remote work, essential staffing and child care issues.

With guidance from Human Resources, leaders across the university have been working to assess resources and staffing needs, and will be moving to a limited business model. Based on the latest COVID-19 developments and the need to minimize in-person contact, UAB (university) will begin transitioning to a limited business model for employees in Workgroup A starting Monday, March 16, to be fully implemented by 5 p.m. The limited business model will be in place for at least 14 days starting March 17.

Again, the following information about a limited business model applies ONLY to Workgroup A. Faculty (Workgroup F) are asked to work remotely IF POSSIBLE (e.g., if you are instructing online, do so from your home, not campus), and come to campus only if required (e.g., direct patient care or research responsibilities that require a physical presence on campus). If you have questions, consult with your supervisor. Instructions and updates for employees in Workgroup C and those at Children’s of Alabama will be forthcoming from the UAB Health System and School of Medicine.

This limited business model identifies employees in Workgroup A who are:

  • needed to continue work in-person (Limited Business Model Workgroup A, Group 1)
  • needed to continue work but can do so from home (Limited Business Model Workgroup A, Group 2)
  • not needed to work during a time of limited business (Limited Business Model Workgroup A, Group 3)

NOTE: Unit leaders/supervisors will assign and communicate group assignments within Workgroup A.

Early data suggests a limited business model may reduce the presence of on-site university employees by as much as 75 percent while maintaining functions critical to the UAB mission. It is important to remember that UAB Hospital never closes and continues to prepare to safely isolate and care for COVID-19 patients.

At this time, a limited business model is in the best interests of the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and is an important community service to minimize COVID-19 spread. During this time, it is vital that everyone in every group practices aggressive and meaningful social distancing, as well as proper hygiene to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19. If you experience symptoms, call before you go to the doctor. Please call Employee Health or call UAB Medicine 4YOU at 205-934-9999.

How will limited business operations work?

Employees are assigned to the appropriate group by their unit leadership/supervisor and should follow supervisor instructions.

Workgroup A, Group 1 will report to work as normal; Workgroup A, Group 2 will stay home and continue to work; and Workgroup A, Group 3 will not work. Supervisors determine which positions and employees are suitable for telecommuting, not the individual employees themselves.

  • Workgroup A, Group 1 will report to work as normal (unless you are sick or have been in immediate contact with a person known to have COVID-19 — see employee coronavirus health resources).
    • Maintain social distance and good hygiene. Utilize phone calls and virtual meetings as much as possible (even for small groups). Any gatherings of more than 25 people will require approval from a dean, vice president or AVP.
    • Supervisors should make every effort to not include student-employees in Workgroup A, Group 1 for on-campus work. If a supervisor thinks a student’s role is essential, approval must be granted by HR before a student is assigned to Workgroup A, Group 1.
  • Workgroup A, Group 2 will stay home and continue to work (as soon as possible but in effect no later than 5 p.m. Monday, March 16). If you do not need to return to campus, don’t. Also, do not return to campus if you are sick. See employee coronavirus health resources for guidance if you think you may have symptoms.
    • If needed, Monday, March 16, can be used to prepare to effectively work from home. If you need to go to campus to get essential items (e.g., laptop or desktop computer, supplies) to make working from home possible, coordinate with your supervisor to stagger coming to campus with others to limit contact with others.
    • Carefully read the UAB Temporary Telecommuting Guidance, sign the Temporary Telecommuting Agreement and send to your supervisor (scan or digital photo is OK), then forward to your HR representative.

      The temporary telecommuting agreement and guidelines were established as part of UAB’s efforts to support business continuity across campus. They are temporary and should not be confused with UAB’s standard telecommuting agreement and guidelines. Highlights of the agreement include:
      • Supervisors determine which positions and employees are suitable for telecommuting, not the individual employees themselves.
      • The temporary telecommuting agreement can be modified or terminated at any time, especially if operational needs warrant the change.
      • Employees should understand obligations regarding securing UAB records and transmitting information (e.g., sensitive information related to student records, patient privacy, intellectual property, etc.).
      • Employees are responsible for establishing an appropriate work environment, meeting productivity and service goals required by management, keeping and reporting time worked, and communicating in the appropriate manner and frequency.


Working from home can be challenging. For the short- and long-term health of our institution and our vital mission, managing those challenges to remain productive is imperative. Communicate with your supervisor and/or speak with your Human Resources representative for guidance.

  • Workgroup A, Group 3 will not work (after being notified of your group assignment by your supervisor).
    • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it necessary to limit on-campus personnel to only those whose functions are imperative during limited business operations — and not all functions can be done remotely or are required under extreme circumstances.
    • Workgroup A, Group 3 employees will be paid during the initial 14-day limited business period. In the event of a prolonged disruption, leadership will work with all sources (federal, state, etc.) in an effort to continue financial support of our employees. Further, UAB Leadership is exploring opportunities — including possible use of the Benevolent Fund — to financially help employees who encounter hardships due to the suspension of work IF limited business lasts longer than two weeks.
    • If you need to go to campus to get critical personal belongings you must have during the next two weeks, coordinate with your supervisor for approval and to stagger timing with others to minimize personal contact.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.

This unprecedented and fluid event will not be easy on anyone. As we adjust our work lives while managing concern for our loved ones and community, challenges will be significant. Employees across the United States and beyond are concerned about job security and financial stability. UAB — working within the framework of the proactive COVID-19 planning led by The University of Alabama System — will maintain health and safety as our top priority while we work to minimize disruptions for our most important asset, our people. We are committed to making prudent decisions and communicating regularly. Read more on the employee section of www.uab.edu/coronavirus, our definitive website that is continually updated.

Please take care of yourself and each other as much as possible. Utilize Employee Health, as well as free services available through the Employee Assistance Counseling Center. If you would like to donate to help students, faculty and staff with COVID-19 related hardships, or if you need to inquire about help, please contact the Benevolent Fund.

Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m.: Faculty and Staff Resources and Business Planning

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Faculty and Staff Resources and Business Planning

The fast-moving and dynamic nature of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led to many uncertainties and questions. This is not unique to UAB, universities or health systems. We are glad the University of Alabama System took decisive action as part of a proactive planning process to promote health and safety on our campus.

As we work to operationalize the change, we may not have all the answers immediately. But a very dedicated team is committed to reducing uncertainties as much and as quickly as possible. Ultimately, we want to minimize disruption to the lives of our campus community while keeping health and safety our top priority.

A great deal of planning has taken place, and many questions have been answered. Please take the time to review the information that is available – including resources, communications and frequently asked questions – on the Employees tab at www.uab.edu/coronavirus. Some resources found at this central hub include:

As you know, we are shifting to online and alternative learning after spring break. Additional preparations are underway as we monitor the outbreak. Business operations are being maintained at this time (i.e., faculty and staff are asked to report to work), but we may need to make additional adjustments in the interest of health and safety. At this time, student workers/employees/interns who remain on campus and want to continue working may be able to maintain their normal work schedule. Managers are asked to be understanding of student-employees’ circumstances. Ultimately, circumstances will vary, and student-employees should speak with their supervisor/coordinating instructor who can consult leadership on a case-by-case basis as necessary.

In the event normal business operations are altered, Human Resources is working with leaders across campus to explore – for example – job functions that can take place in a remote setting off campus to promote social distancing.

In the meantime, units on campus are encouraged to test remote working capabilities on a limited basis with some faculty and staff working from home to help identify challenges and opportunities, should a more comprehensive limited business plan be implemented. UAB Telecommuting Agreement

Logistical changes – including limiting access to some facilities and closing some university functions – are being considered and will be communicated as soon as details are clear. While student access will be limited, all academic buildings will remain open to faculty and staff.

Please continue to monitor your email for updates, as well as visit www.uab.edu/coronavirus. In the meantime, please take care of yourself and each other, and utilize services of Employee Health and the Employee Assistance Counseling Center (EACC FAQ at uab.edu/coronavirus).

Thursday, March 12 at 7 p.m.: UAB Faculty, Instructors and Staff update

UAB Faculty, Instructors and Staff update

The University of Alabama System has canceled in-person classes and non-essential University meetings, gatherings and events on their campuses including at UAB. These actions will be reviewed and adjusted as circumstances require. This academic continuity plan was developed by the Office of the Provost in close coordination with and the endorsement of Faculty Senate and UAB Deans. The plan details managing access to instruction in the event of a disruption to campus such as the one we are facing now. For example, it includes information and resources for teaching remotely, clinical work, research and communicating with students. Our eLearning and Center for Teaching and Learning have provided helpful resources for you here. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the materials and attend the workshops or Zoom instruction times.

Thursday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m.: UAB Transition to Online or Alternative Instruction

Coronavirus Update: UAB Transition to Online or Alternative Instruction

Based on recent developments, discussions with leadership on University of Alabama System campuses and with other institutions, and advice of the University of Alabama System Task Force, the UA System is making immediate preparations to transition to on-line or alternate instruction for all academic courses to protect the health and safety of our communities. This policy will be re-evaluated on or before Monday, April 6, 2020.

Each campus will keep faculty, staff and students updated electronically on individualized plans, timelines and specific changes as soon as possible.

  • UAB is scheduled for Spring Break the week of March 16-20. UAB’s Spring Break will be extended through at least March 24. Each campus will notify students, faculty and staff when the semester will resume.
  • Following Spring Break, UAB students should not return to campus and will continue their course work via distance learning subject to the following limited exceptions:
    • international or other students who do not have alternative accommodations;
    • students from areas without high-speed internet or other means of receiving remote instruction;
    • students with exceptional hardships, or academic, employment, clinical or research requirements that should be reviewed by the respective campuses on a case-by-case basis.
  • Arrangements will be made by the campuses to ensure any students remaining on campus have access to essential services (including Student Health Services/Counseling Services). Residence Hall and dining facilities will be open for students who remain on campus.
  • The UA System’s restriction on ALL non-essential international and domestic travel remains in place. All non-essential University meetings, gatherings and events are cancelled. Faculty, staff and students abroad and in international affiliated programs sponsored by third parties should contact their program administrators for information and further guidance.
  • These policies will be updated as circumstances require.

Students leaving for spring break, please take essential belongings with you (e.g., class materials, textbooks, medications, electronics, valuables, etc.). If you have already left and will need to return, please alert Student Housing at studenthousing@uab.edu.

This policy applies only to academic classes. At this time, regular business operations will continue until further notice. Additional guidance will be forthcoming. Until further notice, faculty and staff should report to work.

This is a quickly evolving situation, and we are committed to answering questions and supporting students, faculty and staff through this unprecedented event at UAB. There will be questions, and leaders across campus are working to answer them and make this transition as smooth as possible.

Please continue to follow your emails, as well as updates at www.uab.edu/coronavirus.

UAB Employee FAQs

Has UAB closed?

UAB announced an initial 14-day limited business model in mid-March for Workgroups A and C. We are now extending the duration of the limited business model — as it is now — for Workgroups A and C until or unless notified otherwise by their supervisor.

Faculty (Workgroup F) involved in activities that require a presence at their work location (e.g., patient care or essential research) should continue to report to their place of work. Faculty who can work remotely (e.g., if you have only instructing responsibilities that can be done online), please do so from your home if possible. If you have questions, consult your supervisor.

All employees who are working remotely, or unable to perform their jobs remotely, will continue under the same conditions and circumstances as previously announced – including pay and benefits. We will continue to update and inform you of any changes to this policy, and your supervisor will notify you of any changes to your work group, taking into account the need to stagger campus visit times and maintain social distancing at all times.

As a reminder, the categories of employees in Limited Business Model Workgroup A and C are (employees are assigned to the appropriate group by their unit leadership/supervisor and should follow supervisor instructions):

  1. Workgroup A and C, Group 1: Those who will continue work in-person and continue to be paid at the normal rate. Do not come to work if you are sick, and continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene.
    • Supervisors should make every effort to not include student-employees in Workgroup A or C, Group 1 on-campus work. If a supervisor thinks a student’s role is essential, approval must be granted by HR before a student is assigned to Workgroup A or C, Group 1.

  2. Workgroup A and C, Group 2: Those who will continue work but can do so from home and continue to be paid at the normal rate.
    • Read UAB’s temporary telecommuting guidance and fill out and sign the telecommuting agreement if you have not already. If you completed a telecommuting agreement for the initial 14-day limited business phase, you do not need to fill it out a second time.
    • Working from home can be challenging. For the short- and long-term health of our institution and our vital mission, managing those challenges to remain productive is imperative. Communicate with your supervisor and/or speak with your Human Resources representative for guidance.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.

  3. Workgroup A and C, Group 3: Those who will not work during a time of limited business and will continue to receive normal pay and benefits until or unless notified otherwise by their supervisor.
    • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it necessary to limit on-campus personnel to only those whose functions are imperative during limited business operations — and not all functions can be done remotely or are required under extreme circumstances.
    • Workgroup A and C, Group 3, may be called upon to perform duties (on-site or remotely) within the employee’s skill set but outside of the employee’s job description.
    • If you need to go to campus to get critical personal belongings, coordinate with your supervisor for approval and to stagger timing with others to minimize personal contact. Absolutely do not go to campus if you are sick.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.

NOTE: Unit leaders/supervisors will assign and communicate group assignments within Workgroup A and C.

Employment and pay for Federal Work Study students will be handled per current federal guidance.

Is UAB testing employees for COVID-19?

UAB Employee Health will offer testing for providers and staff exhibiting possible COVID-19 symptoms.

If you have been exposed to the virus, or if you have fever or symptoms that make you concerned you may have the virus, please call the UAB Employee Health Triage Line at 205.934.3675 for guidance on whether to seek further evaluation.

If you are a UAB employee and you test positive, please call UAB Employee Health at (205) 934-3675 from 6:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours and on weekends, call the UAB Call Center at (205) 934-3411 and ask them to page the needlestick/exposure nurse on-call.

Review the chart below to sort out your symptoms and see if you should call to schedule a test.

How do I notify UAB if I learn of someone who tested positive and the university doesn’t know?

If a student or employee tells you they think they may have COVID-19 or has already tested positive, instruct them to go/stay home and to call Student Health Services (205-934-2580) if a student or to call Employee Health (205-934-3675) if they are an employee. Student and Employee Health professionals who work closely with the health department, will be able to assess risk and provide guidance. You do not need to try to determine who may have been exposed. You should contact your Human Resources partner or HR Executive Director Earlisha Williams (esteele@uab.edu or 205-934-3848) for guidance.

What if someone is diagnosed? How will I know if I was in contact?

The health and safety of the campus community is our top priority. There is a process in place to make appropriate assessments and notifications to those who may have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19. How the University needs to respond will depend on the circumstances. In accordance with health department protocols and federal privacy laws, notifications and/or details will be determined based on who needs to know for health reasons.

Alabama and Jefferson County are experiencing community spread of COVID-19. UAB has taken proactive steps to fight the pandemic (e.g., online/alternative classes, limited business operations, aggressive social distancing), but we expect people to have questions about how they may be notified if they were in contact with someone who tested positive as testing increases in Birmingham. Based on requirements regarding student, employee and patient privacy, we are limited in what health information can be shared, but UAB is working closely with the Alabama Department of Public Health and Jefferson County Department of Health.

The health department gathers and provides verified tests, contacts the case, determines the contacts at risk, and notifies them of what to do. If an individual is determined to have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed, ADPH – or an official designee (which could be UAB Student or Employee Health, or Human Resources) – will contact that individual to discuss next steps.

What is UAB's policy regarding exposure management for employees?

According to the health system alert on Monday, March 23:

With community spread of COVID-19 now in Alabama, we are updating our strategies for managing exposures and work restrictions. These strategies mirror other academic medical center approaches currently taking place around the country.

Please see attached for details regarding healthcare worker exposures and illness.

  • At this time, individuals who have no symptoms will not be tested, regardless of whether the person is an employee or community member.
  • Employees who may have been exposed should report the possible exposures here.
  • DO NOT come to work if you are sick, especially if you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Do notify your supervisor immediately.

If you are a UAB employee and you test positive, please call UAB Employee Health at (205) 934-3675 from 6:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours and on weekends, call the UAB Call Center at (205) 934-3411 and ask them to page the needlestick/exposure nurse on-call.

Has UAB announces temporary hiring restrictions?

Yes. Given the financial uncertainties associated with the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to take steps to support financial readiness for continued operations. Effective immediately, UAB is implementing strict temporary hiring restrictions. Read more.

How can I access resources available to employees at this time?

Resources contributed by UAB Benefits, Employee Wellness, EACC and Learning & Development have been consolidated on this webpage go.uab.edu/covid19HRresources.

How will limited business operations work?

Employees are assigned to the appropriate group by their unit leadership/supervisor and should follow supervisor instructions.

  • Workgroup A, C or F, Group 1 will report to work as normal;
  • Workgroup A, C or F, Group 2 will stay home and continue to work;
  • Workgroup A, C or F, Group 3 will not work.

Supervisors determine which positions and employees are suitable for telecommuting, not the individual employees themselves.

Faculty (Workgroup F) involved in activities that require a presence at their work location (e.g., patient care or essential research) should continue to report to their place of work. Faculty who can work remotely (e.g., if you have only instructing responsibilities that can be done online), please do so from your home if possible. If you have questions, consult your supervisor.

The categories of employees in Limited Business Model Workgroup A and C are (employees are assigned to the appropriate group by their unit leadership/supervisor and should follow supervisor instructions):

  1. Workgroup A and C, Group 1: Those who will continue work in-person and continue to be paid at the normal rate. Do not come to work if you are sick, and continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene.
    • Supervisors should make every effort to not include student-employees in Workgroup A or C, Group 1 on-campus work. If a supervisor thinks a student’s role is essential, approval must be granted by HR before a student is assigned to Workgroup A or C, Group 1.
  2. Workgroup A and C, Group 2: Those who will continue work but can do so from home and continue to be paid at the normal rate.
    • Read UAB’s temporary telecommuting guidance and fill out and sign the telecommuting agreement if you have not already. If you completed a telecommuting agreement for the initial 14-day limited business phase, you do not need to fill it out a second time.
    • Working from home can be challenging. For the short- and long-term health of our institution and our vital mission, managing those challenges to remain productive is imperative. Communicate with your supervisor and/or speak with your Human Resources representative for guidance.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.
  3. Workgroup A and C, Group 3: Those who will not work during a time of limited business and will continue to receive normal pay and benefits until or unless notified otherwise by their supervisor.
    • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it necessary to limit on-campus personnel to only those whose functions are imperative during limited business operations — and not all functions can be done remotely or are required under extreme circumstances.
    • Workgroup A and C, Group 3, may be called upon to perform duties (on-site or remotely) within the employee’s skill set but outside of the employee’s job description.
    • Workgroup A and C, Group 3 employees will continue to be paid during the limited business period until or unless notified otherwise by their supervisor. In the event of a prolonged disruption that requires this policy to change, leadership will work with all sources (federal, state, etc.) in an effort to continue financial support of our employees. UAB is raising funds to help those affected by COVID-19. Students in need of assistance can request a COVID-19 emergency grant. Employees in need of assistance can pursue the Employee Emergency Assistance Program.
    • If you need to go to campus to get critical personal belongings, coordinate with your supervisor for approval and to stagger timing with others to minimize personal contact. Absolutely do not go to campus if you are sick.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.

NOTE: Unit leaders/supervisors will assign and communicate group assignments within Workgroup A and C.

Employment and pay for Federal Work Study students will be handled per current federal guidance.

Rather than forwarding your work phone to your cellphone, please change your outgoing voicemail message on your work phone to instruct callers to call your cellphone directly. This will alleviate capacity constraints we would face if too many work phones are forwarded.

Utilize available resources to set up remote working capabilities.

Faculty Grading FAQs

Do instructors have to offer a Pass/Fail option for a given course?

Any request not to allow a Pass/Fail grading method in a course must be submitted to and approved by your Dean by Monday, April 6, 2020 at 12:00 pm noon. The Dean will inform the Office of the Provost, Information Technology, and the Registrar regarding his/her decision. These decisions are made by the deans, and might occur, among other reasons, due to:

  • Requirements of licensing bodies
  • Requirements of accreditors
  • Specific requirements of later courses (which will be communicated to students)
  • There are no objective assessments such as exams
  • All student assignments are part of a program of research
  • Letter grades may be recommended for post-doctoral training grants

If an exception is granted by the Dean, instructors or program directors must communicate this decision as quickly as possible to students so that they are aware that the course may not be taken P/F.

What constitutes a Pass grade?

Just like you determine what constitutes a letter grade, you will determine what constitutes a passing grade if the Pass/Fail grading option is available. In case there are students in your class who may opt for the Pass/Fail option it is imperative for instructors to communicate what constitutes a Pass grade in your course. The general rule for undergraduate courses, as provided in the Undergraduate Course Catalogue is that a “D” assigned by the instructor is the minimally acceptable grade. However, there are certain courses, at both the graduate and undergraduate level, that might have higher standards (e.g., a grade of C might be considered a Passing grade).

What do instructors need to do regarding the new Pass/Fail option?

Please communicate how you are operationally defining a Pass grade so that any student considering adopting the Pass/Fail grading method for your course can make an informed decision. Please communicate these criteria to students as soon as possible.

What is UAB's policy regarding exposure management for employees?

According to the health system alert on Monday, March 23:

With community spread of COVID-19 now in Alabama, we are updating our strategies for managing exposures and work restrictions. These strategies mirror other academic medical center approaches currently taking place around the country.

Please see attached for details regarding healthcare worker exposures and illness.

  • At this time, individuals who have no symptoms will not be tested, regardless of whether the person is an employee or community member.
  • Employees who may have been exposed should report the possible exposures here.
  • DO NOT come to work if you are sick, especially if you have fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Do notify your supervisor immediately.

If you are a UAB employee and you test positive, please call UAB Employee Health at (205) 934-3675 from 6:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours and on weekends, call the UAB Call Center at (205) 934-3411 and ask them to page the needlestick/exposure nurse on-call.

When and how will students decide to select the Pass/Fail grading method?

Students can opt for the Pass/Fail grading method between 10:00 am Friday April 10 and 11:59 pm Friday April 24 (last day of classes). They will exercise this option in their own BlazerNet account on a course-by-course basis. Instructors will not be notified of students’ decisions until final grades are entered into BlazerNet.

Where can I get more information?

For more information on grading and communicating with your students on the policies, visit www.uab.edu/faculty/teaching/spring-2020-faqs.

Online & remote teaching resources

Are UAB classes moving to remote instruction?

Yes. UAB’s Spring Break will be extended through March 24. Remote and online classes begin March 25.

The UAB spring semester will resume Wednesday, March 25, in an online/alternative format. All instruction will be delivered remotely using the most effective tools available.

Students should work with their instructors to access materials and utilize resources, an online FAQ and guidance to help them succeed in this format.

Faculty have been provided eLearning and IT resources, as well as peer guidance. Policies regarding clinical and research requirements, student-teacher programs and other specific professional programs will be formulated based on guidance from the state of Alabama and the appropriate academic departments and governing agencies.

Following Spring Break, UAB students should not return to campus and will continue their course work via distance learning subject to the following limited exceptions:

  • international or other students who do not have alternative accommodations;
  • students from areas without high-speed internet or other means of receiving remote instruction;
  • students with exceptional hardships, or academic, employment, clinical or research requirements that should be reviewed by the respective campuses on a case-by-case basis.

Arrangements will be made by the campuses to ensure any students remaining on campus have access to essential services (including Student Health Services/Counseling Services). Residence Hall and dining facilities will be open for students who remain on campus.

What should faculty do to prepare for online instruction?

UAB's Teaching Remotely site walks through steps necessary to teach a class online, including low-tech options, and strategies for transitioning face-to-face classes to online instruction.

The UAB eLearning website provides resources available to faculty. There are options for posting lectures and slides, using video for lectures, providing remote testing and more. Faculty should take time to familiarize themselves with these resources.

Faculty have been provided eLearning and IT resources, as well as peer guidance. Policies regarding clinical and research requirements, student-teacher programs and other specific professional programs will be formulated based on guidance from the state of Alabama and the appropriate academic departments and governing agencies.

How do I ensure that students continue to have an accessible experience while remote learning?

Students registered with Disability Support Services require accommodations which have been tailored to meet their needs in the traditional in-class setting. DSS is available to consult with faculty to ensure students continue to have an accessible experience at UAB. For questions, contact Disability Support Services at 205-934-4205 or dss@uab.edu.

How can I transition my class discussions to Canvas discussion boards?

Transitioning your face-to-face instruction to an online environment does not mean you have to sacrifice meaningful class discussions. Canvas discussion boards can be utilized in many ways:

Graded Discussions

  • Use graded discussions to prompt students to discuss assigned readings or lecture content, work on case studies, debate topics, share how their experiences relate to course content and more.
  • Discussions can be set up weekly or periodically as appropriate in meeting your course objectives, and can be set up for the whole class or for smaller groups of students.
  • To promote engagement, provide instructions for students to make an initial post and respond to peers.
  • You can make the discussions richer by participating and guiding students, but do not feel obligated to respond to every post.
  • Ask questions to further the discussion.
  • Clarify misunderstandings.

Frequently Asked Questions board

  • A FAQ discussion board can make communication more effective by allowing you or other students to answer a question once. The answer is viewable by all students.
  • Encourage students to post questions about the course on this discussion board instead of sending you an email. Questions about grades and personal matters should be emailed and not posted on a discussion board.
  • Communicate clear expectations about your involvement in the discussion. For example: “Questions regarding this course are to be posted here and students are encouraged to participate. This way you may find that your question has already been answered, and the same questions will only have to be answered once. Please note that private matters and urgent issues should be communicated directly to the instructor via Canvas or UAB email, and not posted in this public and open forum.”
  • Don’t lose “hallway” conversations, those valuable interactions you have with students or that students have with each other right after class. Provide a discussion board that is open for students to have their own conversations about the course content, share experiences, and exchange resources.

How can I use Canvas assignments for written assignments?

Written assignments are a common method to assess student knowledge and provide feedback to students. Chances are you are already requiring students to write a paper. Doing this online only requires you to create a place for submission.

  • View the Canvas Assignment Tutorials to learn how to set up assignments.
  • Graded Assignments include book reviews, journals, reflections, research papers, compare and contrast, article reviews, interviews and more.
  • You can use the Peer Review tool in Canvas to require students to review a certain number of peers’ papers.
  • Provide students an opportunity to submit drafts so they can receive feedback.
  • Written assignments can include images, charts, tables, etc., and can be in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Adobe PDF.
  • Providing feedback on assignments is made easy through using rubrics and annotating student submissions.

What can I do if I am concerned about plagiarism?

You can enable Turnitin on an assignment in Canvas to check for plagiarism. View the Turnitin Guides for details on using Turnitin in Canvas.

What about academic integrity concerns?

UAB offers different solutions to increase academic integrity for online exams. These resources are available on the eLearning Proctoring webpage.

My students need help with writing assignments. Where should they go for help?

The University Writing Center is available to provide online consultations. The Purdue OWL site provides resources to help students with various writing needs such as citations and formatting. UAB Libraries Resources can help you and your students continue with coursework.

How do I substitute Canvas Quizzes for classroom quizzes and tests?

Quizzes and tests can easily be set up in Canvas and grading them online can be even easier. View the Canvas Quiz Tutorials to learn how to set up quizzes.

Types of quizzes

  • Practice quizzes (ungraded) to allow you and students to check progress.
  • Weekly or chapter/unit/module quizzes.
  • Tests/exams.

Types of questions

  • Automatically graded, for example: multiple choice, true/false, or matching.
  • Manually graded, including essay questions and fill-in-the-blanks.

Exceptions

Immediate/automated feedback

When creating the questions, you can insert feedback. Students can see this feedback after submitting the quiz/exam.

What options do I have for moving student presentations online?

Students can use readily accessible technology (e.g. cellphone, Zoom, PowerPoint or another recording software that they can access) to record their presentation.

  • Recorded presentations can be uploaded to a Canvas assignment or discussion.
  • Students can present live to the instructor and peers using Zoom; it can be used for individual and group presentations.
  • GoReact, a cloud-based video tool, integrates a variety of feedback options and grading of student video assignments. It works for communication and public speaking, interpretation, clinical training, evaluations, performance arts, and more, and can be used for individual and group presentations.

What about teamwork and group projects?

Just like in your face-to-face class, you have the ability to assign group projects to your students in an online environment. There are multiple ways students can collaborate on completing these projects.

  • The Groups section of Canvas is a space where students can share files, discuss topics, and compile information. Group sets house the different groups within a course.
  • The Groups space, only accessible by the members of the group and the instructor, allows the instructor to view content and student activity within a group.
  • Students have free access to Microsoft Office 365 and one Tb of file storage, which can be used to collaborate on documents.
  • Students can host Zoom meetings to work on their projects virtually.

Technology resources for remote work, or telecommuting

What is telecommuting?

Read the UAB/UAB Medicine Guidelines for Temporary Telecommuting here.

Telecommuting is a work arrangement in which an employee is permitted to work from home or another approved location for all or part of the employee’s workweek. It is a work alternative that is appropriate only for some employees and positions. Telecommuting requires supervisory approval.

Who decides whether a position or employee is suitable for telecommuting?

While not all positions are eligible to work remotely, a temporary arrangement can be viable in circumstances where the employee and work are compatible. Working remotely should be discussed and approved in advance. Organizational leaders will identify which functions must continue, how they will continue and the staffing levels necessary to support these functions. HR has provided a flowchart to assist organizational leaders with making this business decision.

What can I do now to prepare to telework from home?

Why is telecommuting necessary?

If the University decides it is necessary to adjust normal business operations, departments are encouraged to develop a business continuity plan for possible future limited UAB business operations up to 14 days. If a decision is made to transition to limited functions, critical business functions will be sustained by identifying which functions must continue, how they will continue and the staffing levels necessary to support these functions. Unit leaders will determine which functions must continue onsite and which functions can be effectively delivered remotely, or not needed at all during a possible period of limited operations.

What’s most important to starting a productive telecommuting arrangement?

When evaluating whether a telecommuting arrangement is necessary, managers and employees should clearly outline and execute telecommuting arrangements. Managers should articulate clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability. With proper planning, communications problems can be minimized. Indeed, well-planned flexible work arrangements sometimes enable departments to extend their service hours, and to make more effective use of space and equipment.

Are there resources on how to operate certain devices should I have to host a conference call instead of an in-person meeting?

If you are holding a teleconference for only UAB campus colleagues or students, you can use Microsoft Teams. Each campus student, employee and faculty member has access to Microsoft Teams through Office 365. Teams can also be used for instant messaging with campus colleagues and students. If you are holding a teleconference for colleagues outside UAB, you can sign up for a Zoom account and use Zoom. Training resources for each tool are available on their respective websites.

Do I need to set up VPN? How?

  • If you are logging in to certain UAB systems such as Secure UABFile, Insite, Report Viewer or Optidoc, you may need to use a VPN, or a virtual private network.
  • If you are using public WiFi, you should use VPN.
  • If you are only accessing email and other systems that do not require VPN, you can simply use a secure WiFi network.

Should I forward my work phone?

Rather than forwarding your work phone to your cellphone, please change your outgoing voicemail message on your work phone to instruct callers to call your cellphone directly. This will alleviate capacity constraints we would face if too many work phones are forwarded.

The Jabber Softphone app enables users with VOIP phones to connect their desk phone to their mobile number.

What if I do not have the technology needed for online classes?

University leadership is aware of limits experienced by students and faculty regarding access to needed technology, and we are working with other units across campus to do our best to meet your needs. We understand that you need to get a plan together quickly so we are available to help you develop alternative methods of delivering instruction in the meantime.

Financial resources

My family is struggling financially. Who can help?

We are pleased to offer teleconferencing appointments for employees seeking Employee Emergency Assistance (EEAP) via zoom or phone.

Applications must be submitted electronically. Required forms are available on our website, along with instructions about how to submit your application.

Assistance is typically provided to employees facing financial crisis due to a spouse’s sudden unemployment, loss of income for a medical reason, medical expenses that are more than their family can handle, loss due to fire/natural disaster and safety from domestic violence.

If you have any questions regarding EEAP including if your situation might qualify, you may contact Tamela Hughes by email or at 205-825-6282. All requests for assistance are handled in a confidential manner.

Who do I contact with a UAB Finance emergency?

My UAB sponsored trip was cancelled. Will I get reimbursed?

Information on travel reimbursements due to UAB’s Coronavirus Travel Restrictions is available in our Travel section.

How do I access OptiDoc while working remotely?

Please review our instructions for working in OptiDoc while remote.

I work with UAB FN spec doc entry/approval. How do I access from home?

I need help feeding my family. Does UAB provide any assistance for employees?

Blazer Kitchen will continue to provide food to employees and students in need via a drive thru process at UAB Medical Towers (1717 11th Ave S) each Wednesday between the hours of 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM.

If you anticipate picking up a prepacked food bag, text 205-834-2895 with a picture of the front and back of your UAB ONE Card and a description and tag number of the car that will be picking up your food or indicate if you will be walking or taking the bus. Information will be kept on file through the duration of this situation, so only one text is required. If you have not shopped with Blazer Kitchen since July 2019, online information forms (Spanish form) should be completed.

Students and employees who are quarantined due to COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis will be allowed to send someone to pick up a food bag given the above procedures are followed. If you have any questions please call 205-834-2895.

Resources for researchers

UAB is committed to ensuring our research community is prepared with a response plan relating to research continuity. All announcements regarding changes to UAB's operating schedule will be posted to this site as soon as decisions are made.

Research employees with additional questions can read all the latest messages from the Office of Research and view the Office of Research’s business community plan on this site.

Will current research continue and what is UAB doing to resond to disruptions related to the novel coronavirus?

The Office of Research has created a webpage to provide the UAB research community with business continuity information related to the coronavirus pandemic; check there for frequent updates.

What is the status of research involving undergraduate students?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, research involving undergraduates conducted on our campus has been suspended. In the case of extenuating circumstances, such as instances where an undergraduate researcher has a skillset not replicated by another laboratory member, or when the student is needed to ensure the continuity of data collection, special permission may be granted by submitting a written request for review to Dr. Kent Keyser.

Please be aware that these guidelines will be updated as conditions change. We appreciate your patience during this time.

What is the status of research involving graduate students?

As noted in the guidance for mentored research sent out on Friday, March 13th, 2020 from the Office of the Vice President for Research, it is expected that research mentors articulate a plan for their trainees and allow flexibility due to illness or other personal concerns. As of now, there is no plan to close research laboratories. Absolutely NO CHILDREN should be in laboratories at any time.

Mentor Guidelines:

  • Clearly communicate which studies are absolutely critical and which lab members should do these experiments. Crucial experiments include those in progress that must be completed within a specific timeframe to avoid major data loss, those needed for an upcoming dissertation defense, and/or maintenance of research animals, cell cultures, liquid nitrogen, CO2 tanks, etc. over the coming weeks.
  • Do not start any new studies.
  • Curtail all studies that are not immediately necessary and can be postponed for the next few weeks.
  • All trainees and laboratory personnel who are not involved in the most crucial studies should be instructed to read, analyze data, and write manuscripts, grants, thesis, and dissertation proposals at home.
  • All trainees and laboratory personnel must keep their cell phone on them at all times.
  • Trainees and laboratory personnel should let faculty mentors know when they are in lab and when they leave.
  • When several trainees and laboratory personnel need to be present in the laboratory, best practices for social distancing must be used, including staggering work times, working 6’ apart, and limiting interactions. However, no one should work alone. If that is unavoidable, work when there is someone in an office on the same hall.
  • If no one in your lab is able to be on site, there may other lab personnel who would be willing to check on your lab. If you are in your lab and see that a package has been delivered outside an empty lab, please secure it somewhere safe (especially if needing to be put in fridge/freezer), and contact someone in that lab. Further, if you are on the floor and hear a beeping alarm (freezer, incubator, etc.), please notify someone if no one is present. Collaboration will be key at this time, so be sure everyone’s contact information in your lab and on your floor is readily accessible.

What is the status of clinical research study visits?

According to the Office of Research's business continuity plan, participant study visits and study team preparedness nonessential research visits that cannot be performed remotely and are not essential to participants’ health and/or well-being should be postponed until further notice.

The determination of whether a research visit is deemed essential to a participant’s health or well-being should be evaluated by the study’s principal investigator (PI), the participant, the sponsor and, if relevant, the participant’s care provider. PIs are strongly encouraged to consider the safety of the research personnel and subjects in making their decisions.

Research visits that cannot be performed remotely and are essential to participants’ health and/or well-being should be performed according to the guidelines described on the Office of Research's business continuity plan. Guidance is being updated regularly in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. See the Office of Research page here for the latest guidance.

Have there been changes to IRB-approved protocols for clinical research?

The UAB Office of the Institutional Review Board is committed to facilitating the safe and ethical conduct of human subjects research throughout the current challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak. This commitment includes the timely review of research related to the outbreak and minimizing risk of exposure to participants, as well as UAB faculty, staff and students.

For IRB-related questions about new research and ongoing projects, visit the office’s FAQ page, which will be continuously monitored and updated. Contact Adam McClintock at amcclint@uab.edu or irb@uab.edu with additional questions.

What is the status regarding study sponsor visits to UAB?

According to the Office of Research's business continuity plan, all study sponsor visits such as monitoring visits, site initiation visits, supplier visits and others should be deferred as a precautionary measure. If there is an urgent need to maintain an in-person monitoring visit, contact Director of the UAB Clinical Trials Administrative Office Mark Marchant at mmarchant@uabmc.edu or 205-934-2098.

What is the status of the Animal Resources Program at UAB?

The Animal Resources Program (ARP) is implementing limited operations and preparing for potential extended disruptions to animal research. Visit the Office of Research's business continuity plan for updates on future adjustments to ARP.

Employee travel resources

What travel restrictions are in place?

The UA System’s restriction on ALL non-essential international and domestic travel remains in place. All non-essential University meetings, gatherings and events are cancelled. Faculty, staff and students abroad and in international affiliated programs sponsored by third parties should contact their program administrators for information and further guidance.

“Essential,” as defined in the March 11, 11:45am email, Required Review of Domestic Travel, Events and Visitor(s), is a determination made by:

  • Deans for activities in schools and colleges
  • VPs and/or AVPs for activities in administrative units (each VP will determine the appropriate starting point for his or her unit)
  • Athletic administrators for activities in Athletics

Decisions should be based on the relative risk of the travel, understanding that our top priority as an institution is the health and safety of our campus community.

Questions to ask when considering the necessity of travel include:

  • Can you explain why the travel is essential?
  • Can the travel be postponed?
  • Can the purpose of the travel be accomplished in another way (e.g., virtually)?

The UA System website will continue to be a centralized source for updated information on the virus outbreak, policies and other guidance. Access information about UAB coronavirus travel restriction reimbursements.

What should I do about travel plans for study abroad, conferences, etc.?

The university has suspended all UAB Education Abroad programs through August 15 as a result of the US Department of State Global Level 3 Health Advisory-Reconsider Travel. On March 19, the Department of State upgraded this advisory to Level 4 - Do Not Travel.

For students on faculty-led programs

The Office of Education Abroad will encourage faculty leaders to redevelop their courses to be facilitated at UAB. Please watch for further communication from your faculty member. If you individually purchased airfare, refund considerations will be collected by the Office of Education Abroad with proof that the air carrier will not issue a refund or flight credit due to the worldwide pandemic.

For students on summer affiliate programs

The Office of Education Abroad encourages students to work with their academic advisors to identify alternative courses to ensure their academic progress.

Financials processes

UAB Education Abroad will be working to refund any fees paid directly to our office, including the admin fee and faculty led program fees, via original payment. This may take a little time with UAB limited business operations but we will notify you when this has occurred. If you applied for summer 2020 scholarships, we encourage you to consider applying for a future term, as your effort this summer will not go unnoticed.

We are saddened by the worldwide effects of the pandemic, including the impact on your study abroad plans. However, we hope you understand that your health is our highest priority and that this decision has not been taken lightly. We understand that this information may be overwhelming, but please know that the university stands ready to assist students with these resources.

We sincerely hope that you’ll consider studying abroad in the future– our team stands ready to assist you with deferring your plans.

Employees with questions about travel should contact the Office of Sponsored International Programs at 205–975–2438 (after hours 205–789–5212) or whiteside@uab.edu. This office is available to provide guidance and assistance to our travelers, in addition to providing resources through our System travel provider, International SOS.

If I do travel to an affected area, or plan to travel to an affected area, what should I do?

All UAB employees (including UAB Medicine employees) who travel internationally should fill out an employee traveler form prior to returning to work. Click here to access the employee traveler form with your BlazerID. Any and all travelers returning to the U.S. or coming to the U.S. to participate in UAB-sponsored business or programs, must comply with all U.S. re-entry, quarantine, self-isolation or self-monitoring requirements in place before returning to or engaging with the university community. Travelers must provide verification from the ADPH or their health provider confirming they have completed the appropriate monitoring process. To the extent a traveler is monitored or otherwise reporting to the University during any monitoring period, the traveler must receive express approval from the University in order to return to the University community. 

How do I get reimbursed for canceled travel?

Click here to access UAB Financial Affairs' guidance on allowable travel reimbursements related to the cancellations due to the coronavirus travel restrictions (international and domestic). 

Should I cancel my non-UAB related travel plans?

While the System policy does not inhibit or restrict individuals traveling on personal business or affiliate programs (i.e., travel that is not university sponsored but related to academic or business pursuits – e.g., travel through another institution or program), the UA System strongly encourages our faculty and staff to consider this Updated Policy when making decisions to continue on or schedule travel to any of the impacted areas. If you choose to travel to impacted areas for personal reasons or with affiliate programs, you will be subject to any regulations and advisories of the U.S. government and other relevant agencies. Personal travelers and those traveling with affiliate programs will be required to comply with all U.S. re-entry and quarantine requirements in place, and must verify to UAB that they have done so prior to returning to the university community. Employees and students taking personal trips to an impacted area (including layovers through an impacted area) must be prepared to comply with self-isolation requirements upon their return. A list of travel watch, alert and warning levels is maintained on the CDC website

COVID-19 FAQs

What if someone is diagnosed? How will I know if I was in contact?

Alabama and Jefferson County are experiencing community spread of COVID-19. UAB has taken proactive steps to fight the pandemic (e.g., online/alternative classes, limited business operations, aggressive social distancing), but we expect people to have questions about how they may be notified if they were in contact with someone who tested positive as testing increases in Birmingham. Based on requirements regarding student, employee and patient privacy, we are limited in what health information can be shared, but UAB works closely with the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The health department gathers and provides verified tests, contacts the case, determines the contacts at risk, and notifies them of what to do. If an individual is determined to have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed, ADPH – or an official designee (which could be UAB Student or Employee Health) – will contact that individual to discuss next steps.

ADPH clarified the law and process: COVID-19 is a notifiable disease by law in Alabama. This means that all labs are required to report positive tests for COVID-19 to public health within 4 hours of results. Once the health department receives notification of a positive result, the health department – or an official designee (which could be UAB Student or Employee Health) – will contact the person who tested positive and begin determining who around the person might have been exposed.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in China. It is spread from person to person, causing mild to severe respiratory illnesses. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that often cause respiratory tract infections. Common human coronaviruses cause upper respiratory tract infections with symptoms of the common cold. Occasionally, human coronaviruses can cause lower respiratory tract infections, like pneumonia. Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, may cause severe infections.

What are the signs/symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you have been exposed to someone with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 and are experiencing fever with either cough or shortness of breath, you might have COVID-19. You should call your primary care physician or urgent care facility first to see if you need to be tested.

What should I do if I was potentially exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19?

If you think you have been exposed to someone with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, follow these steps to monitor your health to avoid spreading the disease to others if you get sick.

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a face mask when you are around other people
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, cups, towels and bedding
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day with a household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Monitor your symptoms and let your healthcare provider know you are experiencing symptoms that may be related to COVID-19
  • If you are told to go to the doctor’s office, wear a face mask before entering the facility

If you get sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are very mild), you likely have COVID-19. You should isolate yourself at home and away from other people. If you have any of the following conditions that may increase your risk for a serious infection—age 60 years or older, are pregnant, or have medical conditions—contact your physician’s office and tell them that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. They may want to monitor your health more closely or test you for COVID-19.

If you do not have a high-risk condition but want medical advice, call your healthcare provider and tell them you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you need to be evaluated in person. There are currently no medications to treat COVID-19.

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive.

Information for UAB faculty, staff, hospital employees and students:

  • UAB Students should call UAB Student Health Services at (205) 934-3580
  • UAB employees (faculty, staff and hospital) should call UAB Employee Health at (205) 934-3675 from 6:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. After hours and on weekends, call the UAB Call Center at (205) 934-3411 and ask them to page the needlestick/exposure nurse on-call.
  • UAB Employee Health will offer testing for providers and staff exhibiting possible COVID-19 symptoms. If an employee has been exposed to the virus, or if that employee has fever or symptoms that make them concerned they may have the virus, they can call the UAB Employee Health Triage Line at 205.934.3675 for guidance on whether to seek further evaluation.

What should I do if I am suspected to or confirmed to have COVID-19?

If you are sick and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19 because you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, follow these steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.

What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID19 and have not been around anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath but have not been around anyone you know has COVID19, follow these steps to help prevent your infection from spreading to people in your home and community.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Virus-carrying airborne droplets can remain in the air or on surfaces even after the ill person is no longer near.

Dr. Ellen Eaton, M.D., assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that social gatherings of any type with anyone other than your immediate family are no longer safe for the community.

What constitutes “contact with someone who has COVID-19”?

You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected. Close contact includes:

  • Living in the same household as a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Caring for a sick person with COVID-19,
  • Being within 6 feet of a sick person with COVID-19 for about 10 minutes, OR
  • Being in direct contact with secretions from a sick person with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on, kissing, sharing utensils, etc.).

If you have not been in close contact with a sick person with COVID-19, you are at low risk for infection.

How can I protect against COVID-19?

  • Avoid crowds of 10 or more people.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching the nose, eyes, mouth and face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home from work or class when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow if no tissue is available, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Getting a flu shot will not prevent COVID-19, but can help keep you well during this flu season, and can keep you out of doctor’s offices and hospitals where you could be exposed to others who are sick.

How can I protect myself, my home and my loved ones?

  • Now is the time to disinfect and clean your home. Use isopropyl alcohol, or disinfecting wipes, to wipe down countertops and common areas.
  • Keep the surfaces of your home clean, especially areas where you eat and spend the most time. Use soap and water to wash your hands after you touch contaminated areas, such as doorknobs, toilet and faucet handles, and any cooking items. If you do not have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid shaking hands with others right now. If you do, wash your hands or use sanitizer right away, especially before touching your face.
  • Limit the amount of time spent in public places and avoid people who are sick, including those who are coughing or presenting symptoms.
  • If you have a fever or other symptoms, stay home. If your children have a fever, do not send them to school. Consider working from home if your workplace allows it.
  • Plan ahead for your daily medications. Be sure that you have plenty of the medicines that you routinely take so that if you become ill you can avoid going out in public to retrieve these things. In the case of a pandemic or major outbreak in the United States, it is a good idea to stock up on non-perishable foods should your community be quarantined.
  • Currently, we are still in peak influenza season. If you have not received a flu shot, it is not too late. For more information and guidance about common flu symptoms and treatment, please visit uab.edu/flu. To find where you can get the flu vaccine near you, visit the CDC Vaccine Finder website.

What are the proper hand washing techniques?

  • UAB experts encourage you to make sure your hands are as clean as possible. Wash your hands as much as you can, especially before you eat anything, before making food for other people and after you use the restroom. Wash your hands anytime you touch a doorknob, or any other items touched by others; if there is hand sanitizer around, use it.
  • Lather your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds — this is the length of time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to yourself twice.
  • Be cautious of touching your face. Every time you touch a door handle and then scratch your nose, you are susceptible to contracting viruses.

.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is staying away from crowds or congregations of 10 or more people with the intent of minimizing transmission of infectious disease outbreaks. Even within small groups of fewer than 10 people should maintain six feet of distance between each other to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This could include but is not limited to attending concerts, sporting events, religious gatherings, going to movie theaters or using public transportation such as buses and subways for travel.

Social distancing do's and don'ts.

What does it mean to "flatten the curve"?

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the National Institutes of Health, has encouraged all to do their part to halt the spread of new infections by “flattening the curve.”

“By flattening the curve, you’re essentially trying to challenge the health care system with the same number of cases but spread out over a longer period of time,” explained Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Infectious Diseases. “In slowing down the spread of disease by minimizing transmission opportunities through social distancing techniques, we aren’t overwhelming health systems as we are able to curb the spread of new infections.”

Learn more how to stop the spread of COVID-19 and why ‘flattening the curve’ is critical.

How do I self-quarantine? How is that different than isolation?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Isolation is used to separate ill persons who have a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example, hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.
  • Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of well persons who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.

If an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in a community or workplace, people may be asked to self-quarantine at home to prevent the spread of any disease. If a patient has a confirmed case of COVID-19, they will be put in isolation to avoid spreading to others directly.

How do I know if I have been exposed to COVID-19?

You generally need to be in close contact with a sick person to get infected.

Are there any cases of COVID-19 among UAB students, faculty or staff?

Federal privacy laws limit what information can be shared when it comes to health information, so UAB must defer to the Jefferson County Health Department and Alabama Department of Public Health to share the appropriate amount of information about the status of COVID-19 in Alabama (which they are already doing). 

Health professionals at UAB are trained and equipped to safely isolate and care for patients with infectious diseases. If a positive case appeared in a particular location, the health department – in partnership with appropriate organizations – would coordinate the notification of those possibly affected in the interest of public health and safety.

Mental health resources

Disease outbreaks such as the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can bring stress and increased levels of fear and anxiety. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created this resource related to mental health and coping during COVID-19.

Who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis?

  • People who have preexisting mental health conditions, including problems with substance use.
  • Children.
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, including doctors and other health care providers.

What are some signs of distress?

Here is a self-check list to recognize distress: 

  • Increased anxiety, worry, fear, and feelings of being overwhelmed. 
  • Depressive symptoms that persist and/or intensify. 
  • Inability to focus or concentrate accompanied by decreased work performance. 
  • A feeling of hopelessness and/or a paralyzing fear about the future. 
  • Sudden anger and disruptive behaviors or noticeable changes in personality. 
  • Sleep difficulties. 
  • Excessive crying. 
  • Isolating or withdrawing from others, fear of going into public situations. 
  • Unhealthy coping (e.g., increased alcohol or drug use, engaging in risky/impulsive behaviors). 

How will people react to the stress of an infectious disease outbreak?

Reactions can include:

  • Fear and worry about your own health status and that of your loved ones.
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

What should people who have existing mental health conditions do during this time?

People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms.

How can people cope with stress and support themselves during this time?

  • Acknowledge reactions. Allow yourself time to reflect on what you are feeling and how you may be reacting to any fears and uncertainties of the future. 
  • Maintain your day-to-day normal activities and social outlets as it follows guidance from the CDC, particularly when it comes to social distancing. Resist withdrawing and isolating yourself from the support and caring that others can provide. 
  • Seek accurate information from the CDC and limit exposure to social media and news reports that provide no new information. 
  • Pay attention to positive news instead of only focusing on negative and fear-producing reports. 
  • Follow the protection and prevention tips given by medical professionals, national medical authorities and your own medical doctor. 
  • Practice calming rituals: 
    • Stay grounded in the present moment, which can help you maintain an internal sense of stability and balance when outside events feel threatening. 
    • Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness exercises can help. 
  • Download the myStrength app. Call or email the UAB Employee Assistance Counseling Center for your access code. The app is free and confidential for UAB employees.
  • Take care of your body by getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, eat healthy meals, take deep breaths and stretch. Meditation may also help.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Take breaks from the news, make time to unwind and do activities you normally enjoy.
  • Maintain positive thinking.
  • Coping with these feelings and getting help when you need it will help you, your family and your community recover from a disaster. Connect with family, friends and others in your community. Take care of yourself and each other and know when and how to seek help.

Who can I call for help in dealing with anxiety and stress during this time?

If you are experiencing a crisis, call 911, call the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255), call the Birmingham Crisis Line at 205-323-7777 or text “UAB” to 741741 to text with a crisis counselor.

UAB Students

UAB Student Health Services remains open, but anyone who suspects that they might be contagious should call first — 205-934-3580 during regular hours or 205-934-3411 after hours to page the provider on call.

The Student Counseling Services facility is closed to students; counselors are working remotely

  • Counselors will not be providing counseling sessions, but will be providing transition plans, case management, referral, and monitoring for students who are current clients.
  • Students with scheduled appointments will be contacted by their counselor and should send a portal message to their counselor verifying the number they want to be reached. Students may cancel scheduled appointments through the patient portal.
  • Students requesting assistance may call the office at 205-934-5816 during business hours (8 – 5) and will be able to leave a voice mail. Calls will be returned by a staff member the same or next business day.
  • Students experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis should follow the steps listed here.
  • Students may continue to send portal messages to their counselors. Counselors will respond within 24 business hours. Portal messaging is not for crisis or emergency situations.
The UAB Student Counseling Services facility is closed to students; counselors are working remotely.

  • Counselors will not be providing counseling sessions, but will be providing transition plans, case management, referral, and monitoring for students who are current clients.
  • Students with scheduled appointments will be contacted by their counselor and should send a portal message to their counselor verifying the number they want to be reached. Students may cancel scheduled appointments through the patient portal.
  • Students requesting assistance may call the office at 205-934-5816 during business hours (8 – 5) and will be able to leave a voice mail. Calls will be returned by a staff member the same or next business day.
  • Students experiencing a mental health emergency or crisis should follow the steps listed here.
  • Students may continue to send portal messages to their counselors. Counselors will respond within 24 business hours. Portal messaging is not for crisis or emergency situations.

UAB Employees

Contact the UAB Employee Assistance & Counseling Center by calling 205-934-228, email uabeacc@uabmc.edu or visit uab.edu/eacc. If you are calling after business hours or on the weekends, call UAB Connect at 205-934-3411 to access the EACC on-call counselor. 

If you are experiencing a crisis, call 911, call the Birmingham Crisis Line at 205-323-7777 or text “UAB” to 741-741 to text with a crisis counselor. 

What distance and telemental health services and resources are available to UAB students?

Student Mental health Support During COVID-19

UAB offers a wide array of options to support student mental health. For the most current information about services and resources to support student mental health, please visit the Student Counseling Services website at www.uab.edu/students/counseling.

TAO (Therapy Assistance Online)

Free and available to all UAB students. Through TAO’s completely self-directed, self-help app and online program, students are provided an opportunity to learn stress management, mindfulness skills, problem-solving and strategies to avoid rumination and develop more helpful thinking patterns. To sign up, go to https://thepath.taoconnect.org/.

Crisis and Emergency Resources

Students who are experiencing suicidal thoughts or another mental health emergency should call 911 or go to the UAB Emergency Department (ED), the UAB Highlands ED, or the nearest ED for immediate assistance. You may also access additional emergency and community resources here.

Distance Counseling Services

UAB Student Counseling Services is closed to in-person appointments during the UAB Limited Business Model period; however, counselors are providing counseling services remotely.

    If you are a current SCS client with a scheduled appointment in the next 2 weeks, your counselor has reached out to you by phone and/or patient portal. If you need to communicate with your counselor or cancel a scheduled appointment, use your patient portal.
    Other students requesting assistance may call our main line at 205-934-5816 and leave a message and we will return your call within 1 business day.

Additional Distance Counseling Services are available by clicking here.

Hotlines and 24-7 Support:

    Emotional Support Help Line for COVID-19 1-866-342-6892 Free access to specially trained mental health specialists to support people experiencing anxiety or stress around COVID-19.
    National Crisis Text Lin Text “UAB” to 741-741
    National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
    Birmingham Crisis Center Crisis Line 1-205-323-7777

Mental Health Apps

Numerous mental health apps exist to support and encourage positive mental health practices. Many of these are free and available for download on your device.

Latest updates from UAB

Tuesday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m.: Campus community member tests positive for COVID-19

UAB was notified this afternoon that a campus community member tested positive for COVID-19 today, March 31, 2020. The safety and well-being of the community is UAB's top priority, so we are providing this notification out of an abundance of caution. It is important to note that the vast majority of the campus community has been working and learning remotely.

State and local health departments have protocols for testing and advising cases – including contact tracing and notifying individuals who may have been exposed. Public health authorities determine what information is shared publicly in the interest of health and in accordance with privacy requirements.

The university is taking precautionary measures – including cleaning and disinfecting – and continues to encourage aggressive social distancing and other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Thursday, March 26 at 1:30 p.m.: Extended Duration of Limited Business Model

USE THE EMPLOYEE WORKFORCE APP TO CHECK YOUR WORKGROUP

  • The following information about extending the duration of the limited business model applies BOTH to Workgroups A and C.
  • Faculty (Workgroup F) involved in activities that require a presence at their work location (e.g., patient care or essential research) should continue to report to their place of work. Faculty who can work remotely (e.g., if you have only instructing responsibilities that can be done online), please do so from your home if possible. If you have questions, consult your supervisor.
  • For guidance on research activities, please see Resources for Researchers on the Employee section of uab.edu/coronavirus.
  • UAB Hospital never closes and continues to prepare to safely isolate and care for COVID-19 patients.

UAB faculty and staff (including student/employee workers),

We often say UAB’s people are our most valuable resource, and we sincerely thank you for all you do for UAB and our community in this challenging time. We continue to monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and carefully plan in an attempt to minimize disruptions while maintaining critical functions in a safe environment.

As you know, UAB announced an initial 14-day limited business model in mid-March for Workgroups A and C. We are now extending the duration of the limited business model — as it is now — for Workgroups A and C until or unless notified otherwise by their supervisor.

All employees who are working remotely, or unable to perform their jobs remotely, will continue under the same conditions and circumstances as previously announced – including pay and benefits. We will continue to update and inform you of any changes to this policy, and your supervisor will notify you of any changes to your work group, taking into account the need to stagger campus visit times and maintain social distancing at all times.

As a reminder, the categories of employees in Limited Business Model Workgroup A and C are (employees are assigned to the appropriate group by their unit leadership/supervisor and should follow supervisor instructions):

  1. Workgroup A and C, Group 1: Those who will continue work in-person and continue to be paid at the normal rate. Do not come to work if you are sick, and continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene.
    • Supervisors should make every effort to not include student-employees in Workgroup A or C, Group 1 on-campus work. If a supervisor thinks a student’s role is essential, approval must be granted by HR before a student is assigned to Workgroup A or C, Group 1.
  2. Workgroup A and C, Group 2: Those who will continue work but can do so from home and continue to be paid at the normal rate.
    • Read UAB’s temporary telecommuting guidance and fill out and sign the telecommuting agreement if you have not already. If you completed a telecommuting agreement for the initial 14-day limited business phase, you do not need to fill it out a second time.
    • Working from home can be challenging. For the short- and long-term health of our institution and our vital mission, managing those challenges to remain productive is imperative. Communicate with your supervisor and/or speak with your Human Resources representative for guidance.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.
  3. Workgroup A and C, Group 3: Those who will not work during a time of limited business and will continue to receive normal pay and benefits until or unless notified otherwise by their supervisor.
    • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it necessary to limit on-campus personnel to only those whose functions are imperative during limited business operations — and not all functions can be done remotely or are required under extreme circumstances.
    • Workgroup A and C, Group 3, may be called upon to perform duties (on-site or remotely) within the employee’s skill set but outside of the employee’s job description.
    • Workgroup A and C, Group 3 employees will continue to be paid during the limited business period until or unless notified otherwise by their supervisor. In the event of a prolonged disruption that requires this policy to change, leadership will work with all sources (federal, state, etc.) in an effort to continue financial support of our employees. UAB is raising funds to help those affected by COVID-19. Students in need of assistance can request a COVID-19 emergency grant. Employees in need of assistance can pursue the Employee Emergency Assistance Program.
    • If you need to go to campus to get critical personal belongings, coordinate with your supervisor for approval and to stagger timing with others to minimize personal contact. Absolutely do not go to campus if you are sick.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.

NOTE: Unit leaders/supervisors will assign and communicate group assignments within Workgroup A and C.

Employment and pay for Federal Work Study students will be handled per current federal guidance.

UAB — working within the framework of the proactive COVID-19 planning led by The University of Alabama System — will maintain health and safety as our top priority. We are committed to making prudent decisions and communicating regularly. Read more on the employee section of www.uab.edu/coronavirus, our definitive website that is continually updated.

Please take care of yourself and each other as much as possible.

Wednesday, March 18 at 4:30 p.m.: Spring Semester Announcement

UAB Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Spring Semester Announcement

Update: Yesterday we communicated that Dr. Mike Saag tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a trip to New York. It is important to note that after returning from his trip he did not work or see patients. When tested, all proper isolation and protective protocols were followed to ensure safe testing.

Students, faculty and staff,

Thank you for your efforts to minimize the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In the midst of an extremely unsettling time, the Blazer community has come together to make sacrifices and support one another. Please continue to practice aggressive social distancing and good hygiene so we can “flatten the curve” and save lives.

When we announced the online/alternative instruction format March 12, it was unclear how long it would last. It is now clear that in-person instruction will not be possible for the remainder of the semester.

As part of the ongoing University of Alabama System Office planning to safeguard our campus community, UAB and our sister campuses are announcing today that there will be no more in-person/on-site classes for the duration of the spring semester. Instead of on-campus commencement ceremonies this spring, UAB will host virtual/alternative commencement ceremonies.

This is an unprecedented situation, but UAB remains committed to minimizing disruptions while keeping health and safety our top priority. Additional logistics will be communicated in the coming days, but here are details we know now:

Online and Alternative Teaching

The UAB spring semester will resume Wednesday, March 25, in an online/alternative format. All instruction will be delivered remotely using the most effective tools available. Students should work with their instructors to access materials and utilize resources, an online FAQ and guidance to help them succeed in this format. Faculty have been provided eLearning and IT resources, as well as peer guidance. Policies regarding clinical and research requirements, student-teacher programs and other specific professional programs will be formulated based on guidance from the state of Alabama and the appropriate academic departments and governing agencies.

Virtual/Alternative Commencement Ceremonies

We are deeply disappointed that our graduating Blazers will not experience a traditional commencement this spring, but we will do everything we can to recognize and celebrate your accomplishments. There are several commencement ceremonies each spring, and details of each virtual/alternative commencement will be communicated in the coming days and weeks. This announcement is being made now to best accommodate the logistics of graduating students and their families, as well as campus departments. Additional information about this and other opportunities will be provided.

Residence Halls

Now that we know on-campus instruction will not take place this semester, we can begin to make decisions and provide guidance to allow students to move out of their residence hall rooms. We are formulating a plan now to allow a systematic and safe way for students to retrieve their belongings and move out. This plan will be shared in a separate communication directly to residential students. Students, please DO NOT RETURN TO CAMPUS at this time. It remains vitally important to aggressively promote social distancing and “flatten the curve.” Students should email studenthousing@uab.edu if an extreme hardship or circumstance arises. Students are not authorized to return to campus outside of this plan, and any who show up without authorization will not be accommodated.

Now that on-campus classes will not resume this semester, a plan will be communicated in the near future regarding residential student housing fees and meal plans. Transportation Services continues to discuss parking issues and will provide further guidance in the future. Please stay safe and take your responsibility to “flatten the curve” seriously. Together, we can save lives.

Tuesday, March 17 at 9:30 p.m.: Physician Tests Positive for COVID-19

Dr. Mike Saag tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from a trip to New York. It is important to note that after returning from his trip he did not work or see patients. When tested, all proper isolation and protective protocols were followed to ensure safe testing.

UAB Coronavirus Update: Physician Tests Positive for COVID-19

UAB Community,

Mike Saag, M.D., a physician in the UAB Division of Infectious Disease, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He wishes to make his case known as an example of the COVID-19 reality and the importance of practicing aggressive social distancing. As Dr. Saag will share, he was exposed on a family visit to New York City. Dr. Saag and UAB are taking precautionary measures to promote a safe environment, and we will diligently work with health department officials to identify and notify anyone who may have been exposed.

Please follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and UAB guidance to protect yourself and others, including social distancing and good hygiene. If you have symptoms, call your health care provider BEFORE going to the doctor, and if you feel sick STAY HOME.

  • UAB Student Health Services: 205-934-3580
  • UAB Employee Health: 205-934-3675 from 6:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • After hours/weekends, call 205-934-3411 and ask them to page the nurse on call

UAB is fully prepared to safely isolate and care for patients with infectious diseases, and we have taken aggressive action to slow the spread of coronavirus, including:

  • a move to online/distance learning
  • work-from-home for thousands of employees
  • closing buildings and cancelling events

Please take care of yourself and each other.

Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m.: Limited University Business Operations

THE FOLLOWING IS FOR WORKGROUP A

CLICK HERE TO ACCESS INSTRUCTIONS FOR WORKGROUP C

USE THE EMPLOYEE WORKFORCE APP TO CHECK YOUR WORKGROUP

  • The following information about a limited business model applies ONLY to Workgroup A.
  • Faculty (Workgroup F) are asked to work remotely IF POSSIBLE (e.g., if you are instructing online, do so from your home, not campus), and come to campus only if required (e.g., direct patient care or research responsibilities that require a physical presence on campus). If you have questions, consult your supervisor.
  • Instructions and updates for employees in Workgroup C will be forthcoming from the UAB Health System and School of Medicine. These forthcoming updates will also address UAB employees at Children’s of Alabama.
  • UAB Hospital never closes and continues to prepare to safely isolate and care for COVID-19 patients.

UAB is complex. Changes to work schedules mean different things to employees and can be confusing. If you have questions about the following guidance, please ask your supervisor or HR contact.

UAB faculty and staff (including student employees/workers),

Late Friday, a state of emergency was declared for Alabama and the nation to address the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This announcement — which includes the closing of K-12 schools statewide starting Wednesday at 5 p.m. and relaxing absentee policies in some schools for the beginning of the week — has prompted concerns and questions about UAB policies that address remote work, essential staffing and child care issues.

With guidance from Human Resources, leaders across the university have been working to assess resources and staffing needs, and will be moving to a limited business model. Based on the latest COVID-19 developments and the need to minimize in-person contact, UAB (university) will begin transitioning to a limited business model for employees in Workgroup A starting Monday, March 16, to be fully implemented by 5 p.m. The limited business model will be in place for at least 14 days starting March 17.

Again, the following information about a limited business model applies ONLY to Workgroup A. Faculty (Workgroup F) are asked to work remotely IF POSSIBLE (e.g., if you are instructing online, do so from your home, not campus), and come to campus only if required (e.g., direct patient care or research responsibilities that require a physical presence on campus). If you have questions, consult with your supervisor. Instructions and updates for employees in Workgroup C and those at Children’s of Alabama will be forthcoming from the UAB Health System and School of Medicine.

This limited business model identifies employees in Workgroup A who are:

  • needed to continue work in-person (Limited Business Model Workgroup A, Group 1)
  • needed to continue work but can do so from home (Limited Business Model Workgroup A, Group 2)
  • not needed to work during a time of limited business (Limited Business Model Workgroup A, Group 3)

NOTE: Unit leaders/supervisors will assign and communicate group assignments within Workgroup A.

Early data suggests a limited business model may reduce the presence of on-site university employees by as much as 75 percent while maintaining functions critical to the UAB mission. It is important to remember that UAB Hospital never closes and continues to prepare to safely isolate and care for COVID-19 patients.

At this time, a limited business model is in the best interests of the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and is an important community service to minimize COVID-19 spread. During this time, it is vital that everyone in every group practices aggressive and meaningful social distancing, as well as proper hygiene to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19. If you experience symptoms, call before you go to the doctor. Please call Employee Health or call UAB Medicine 4YOU at 205-934-9999.

How will limited business operations work?

Employees are assigned to the appropriate group by their unit leadership/supervisor and should follow supervisor instructions.

Workgroup A, Group 1 will report to work as normal; Workgroup A, Group 2 will stay home and continue to work; and Workgroup A, Group 3 will not work. Supervisors determine which positions and employees are suitable for telecommuting, not the individual employees themselves.

  • Workgroup A, Group 1 will report to work as normal (unless you are sick or have been in immediate contact with a person known to have COVID-19 — see employee coronavirus health resources).
    • Maintain social distance and good hygiene. Utilize phone calls and virtual meetings as much as possible (even for small groups). Any gatherings of more than 25 people will require approval from a dean, vice president or AVP.
    • Supervisors should make every effort to not include student-employees in Workgroup A, Group 1 for on-campus work. If a supervisor thinks a student’s role is essential, approval must be granted by HR before a student is assigned to Workgroup A, Group 1.
  • Workgroup A, Group 2 will stay home and continue to work (as soon as possible but in effect no later than 5 p.m. Monday, March 16). If you do not need to return to campus, don’t. Also, do not return to campus if you are sick. See employee coronavirus health resources for guidance if you think you may have symptoms.
    • If needed, Monday, March 16, can be used to prepare to effectively work from home. If you need to go to campus to get essential items (e.g., laptop or desktop computer, supplies) to make working from home possible, coordinate with your supervisor to stagger coming to campus with others to limit contact with others.
    • Carefully read the UAB Temporary Telecommuting Guidance, sign the Temporary Telecommuting Agreement and send to your supervisor (scan or digital photo is OK), then forward to your HR representative.

      The temporary telecommuting agreement and guidelines were established as part of UAB’s efforts to support business continuity across campus. They are temporary and should not be confused with UAB’s standard telecommuting agreement and guidelines. Highlights of the agreement include:
      • Supervisors determine which positions and employees are suitable for telecommuting, not the individual employees themselves.
      • The temporary telecommuting agreement can be modified or terminated at any time, especially if operational needs warrant the change.
      • Employees should understand obligations regarding securing UAB records and transmitting information (e.g., sensitive information related to student records, patient privacy, intellectual property, etc.).
      • Employees are responsible for establishing an appropriate work environment, meeting productivity and service goals required by management, keeping and reporting time worked, and communicating in the appropriate manner and frequency.


Working from home can be challenging. For the short- and long-term health of our institution and our vital mission, managing those challenges to remain productive is imperative. Communicate with your supervisor and/or speak with your Human Resources representative for guidance.

  • Workgroup A, Group 3 will not work (after being notified of your group assignment by your supervisor).
    • Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic makes it necessary to limit on-campus personnel to only those whose functions are imperative during limited business operations — and not all functions can be done remotely or are required under extreme circumstances.
    • Workgroup A, Group 3 employees will be paid during the initial 14-day limited business period. In the event of a prolonged disruption, leadership will work with all sources (federal, state, etc.) in an effort to continue financial support of our employees. Further, UAB Leadership is exploring opportunities — including possible use of the Benevolent Fund — to financially help employees who encounter hardships due to the suspension of work IF limited business lasts longer than two weeks.
    • If you need to go to campus to get critical personal belongings you must have during the next two weeks, coordinate with your supervisor for approval and to stagger timing with others to minimize personal contact.
    • Your group assignment is subject to change if business needs arise.

This unprecedented and fluid event will not be easy on anyone. As we adjust our work lives while managing concern for our loved ones and community, challenges will be significant. Employees across the United States and beyond are concerned about job security and financial stability. UAB — working within the framework of the proactive COVID-19 planning led by The University of Alabama System — will maintain health and safety as our top priority while we work to minimize disruptions for our most important asset, our people. We are committed to making prudent decisions and communicating regularly. Read more on the employee section of www.uab.edu/coronavirus, our definitive website that is continually updated.

Please take care of yourself and each other as much as possible. Utilize Employee Health, as well as free services available through the Employee Assistance Counseling Center. If you would like to donate to help students, faculty and staff with COVID-19 related hardships, or if you need to inquire about help, please contact the Benevolent Fund.

Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m.: Faculty and Staff Resources and Business Planning

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Faculty and Staff Resources and Business Planning

The fast-moving and dynamic nature of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led to many uncertainties and questions. This is not unique to UAB, universities or health systems. We are glad the University of Alabama System took decisive action as part of a proactive planning process to promote health and safety on our campus.

As we work to operationalize the change, we may not have all the answers immediately. But a very dedicated team is committed to reducing uncertainties as much and as quickly as possible. Ultimately, we want to minimize disruption to the lives of our campus community while keeping health and safety our top priority.

A great deal of planning has taken place, and many questions have been answered. Please take the time to review the information that is available – including resources, communications and frequently asked questions – on the Employees tab at www.uab.edu/coronavirus. Some resources found at this central hub include:

As you know, we are shifting to online and alternative learning after spring break. Additional preparations are underway as we monitor the outbreak. Business operations are being maintained at this time (i.e., faculty and staff are asked to report to work), but we may need to make additional adjustments in the interest of health and safety. At this time, student workers/employees/interns who remain on campus and want to continue working may be able to maintain their normal work schedule. Managers are asked to be understanding of student-employees’ circumstances. Ultimately, circumstances will vary, and student-employees should speak with their supervisor/coordinating instructor who can consult leadership on a case-by-case basis as necessary.

In the event normal business operations are altered, Human Resources is working with leaders across campus to explore – for example – job functions that can take place in a remote setting off campus to promote social distancing.

In the meantime, units on campus are encouraged to test remote working capabilities on a limited basis with some faculty and staff working from home to help identify challenges and opportunities, should a more comprehensive limited business plan be implemented. UAB Telecommuting Agreement

Logistical changes – including limiting access to some facilities and closing some university functions – are being considered and will be communicated as soon as details are clear. While student access will be limited, all academic buildings will remain open to faculty and staff.

Please continue to monitor your email for updates, as well as visit www.uab.edu/coronavirus. In the meantime, please take care of yourself and each other, and utilize services of Employee Health and the Employee Assistance Counseling Center (EACC FAQ at uab.edu/coronavirus).

Thursday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m.: UAB Transition to Online or Alternative Instruction

Coronavirus Update: UAB Transition to Online or Alternative Instruction

Based on recent developments, discussions with leadership on University of Alabama System campuses and with other institutions, and advice of the University of Alabama System Task Force, the UA System is making immediate preparations to transition to on-line or alternate instruction for all academic courses to protect the health and safety of our communities. This policy will be re-evaluated on or before Monday, April 6, 2020.

Each campus will keep faculty, staff and students updated electronically on individualized plans, timelines and specific changes as soon as possible.

  • UAB is scheduled for Spring Break the week of March 16-20. UAB’s Spring Break will be extended through at least March 24. Each campus will notify students, faculty and staff when the semester will resume.
  • Following Spring Break, UAB students should not return to campus and will continue their course work via distance learning subject to the following limited exceptions:
    • international or other students who do not have alternative accommodations;
    • students from areas without high-speed internet or other means of receiving remote instruction;
    • students with exceptional hardships, or academic, employment, clinical or research requirements that should be reviewed by the respective campuses on a case-by-case basis.
  • Arrangements will be made by the campuses to ensure any students remaining on campus have access to essential services (including Student Health Services/Counseling Services). Residence Hall and dining facilities will be open for students who remain on campus.
  • The UA System’s restriction on ALL non-essential international and domestic travel remains in place. All non-essential University meetings, gatherings and events are cancelled. Faculty, staff and students abroad and in international affiliated programs sponsored by third parties should contact their program administrators for information and further guidance.
  • These policies will be updated as circumstances require.

Students leaving for spring break, please take essential belongings with you (e.g., class materials, textbooks, medications, electronics, valuables, etc.). If you have already left and will need to return, please alert Student Housing at studenthousing@uab.edu.

This policy applies only to academic classes. At this time, regular business operations will continue until further notice. Additional guidance will be forthcoming. Until further notice, faculty and staff should report to work.

This is a quickly evolving situation, and we are committed to answering questions and supporting students, faculty and staff through this unprecedented event at UAB. There will be questions, and leaders across campus are working to answer them and make this transition as smooth as possible.

Please continue to follow your emails, as well as updates at www.uab.edu/coronavirus.

Wednesday, March 11 at 4:30 p.m.: Information Regarding Spring Break

Update to the UA System’s Interim Emergency Policy – Information Regarding Spring Break

As are colleges and universities throughout North America, the University of Alabama System is taking precautionary measures regarding the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

In preparation for the upcoming spring break March 16-20 at UA and UAB, with UAH’s break the following week (March 23-27), our current plans call for maintaining normal campus operations. Our guidance is based on the best information available to us at this time from local, state and federal agencies and health care professionals.

As you consider plans for spring break, please keep these important points in mind to protect yourself and our community from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

  1. Our goal is to provide continuity and consistency for our students. If the situations in our communities change, we will transition to alternative modes of instruction (such as on-line classes) to protect the health and safety of System campuses. While current plans are to maintain regular schedules, it is possible that System campuses could move to alternative modes of instruction at some point this semester depending on the state of COVID-19 in Alabama. IF it becomes necessary to cancel in-person classes, plan ahead to have what you need. When you leave for spring break, take essential belongings with you (e.g., class materials, textbooks, medications, electronics, valuables, etc.), in the event a transition to alternative modes of instruction becomes necessary.

  2. If you live on campus, are uncomfortable traveling, and prefer to stay on campus during spring break, we will provide you with accommodations. It is important that you notify us of your plans if you decide to remain on campus. At UAB, email studenthousing@uab.edu.

  3. Everyone on our campuses should take extra care to follow personal hygiene instructions from the CDC:
    • Wash hands frequently, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid sick people, avoid people if you are sick, and do not travel if you are sick.
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces, and cover your cough or sneeze with a sleeve or tissue.
    • Protect against the flu by getting the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, but the flu is still circulating in the community at this time.
    • The CDC does not recommend the general public buy or wear masks in the United States.
    • If you have symptoms, call your health care provider BEFORE going to the doctor.

  4. Continue to be vigilant, plan ahead and protect against spreading viral illness. The following two maps are available to assist you with accurate information on affected areas:
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Outbreak Map
    CDC United States Outbreak Map

  6. If you develop respiratory symptoms during spring break, or are exposed to an individual with or suspected of having COVID-19, then please DO NOT return to campus, and we will work with you to provide alternative arrangements for remote learning through the best available platforms. Students should contact their advisor or program head regarding academic concerns.

  7. We are continuously monitoring the situation, which could change at any time. We will notify you of updated information and policy changes on the UA System’s dedicated webpage.
We want to remind everyone to please monitor your emails. The System’s previous advisories canceling international travel and discouraging any non-essential domestic travel remain in effect. Advisories and updates can be found at http://uasystem.edu/news/2020/02/ua-system-covid-19-updates/.

Wednesday, March 11 at 11:45 a.m.: Required Review of Domestic Travel, Events and Visitor(s)

Coronavirus Update: Required Review of Domestic Travel, Events and Visitor(s)

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is evolving quickly, and the outbreak has required proactive leadership from the University of Alabama System to restrict international travel.

There are some decisions — based on the current status of the outbreak and recent guidance from the UA System — that UAB leadership should make based on specific potential risks and circumstances. Decisions must be made regarding university-sponsored domestic travel, events and visitors to campus.

Any faculty or staff member sponsoring, organizing or otherwise leading university-sponsored or university-hosted travel, events or visitors should alert your leadership as soon as possible. That leader will determine if the activity is essential or non-essential, and if it poses a risk to the health and safety of the campus community:

  • Non-essential Domestic Travel (UA System Domestic Travel Advisory): Non-essential domestic travel is discouraged at this time. A decision must be made as to whether the university-sponsored domestic travel is essential or non-essential.
  • Events/Visitor(s) to Campus: A decision must be made as to whether the event or visitor on campus (e.g., speakers, conferences, orientations, seminars, performances, competition) carries potential risks and whether the event/visit can take place.

Leaders responsible to make decisions in each area include:
  • Deans will review activities in schools and colleges
  • VPs and/or AVPs will review activities for administrative units (each VP will determine the appropriate starting point for his or her unit)
  • Athletic administrators will review activities in Athletics

Decisions should be based on the relative risk of the travel or visitor(s), understanding that our top priority as an institution is the health and safety of our campus community. If the dean, AVP or athletic administrator is the event sponsor, the determination for that event should be made by his or her supervisor so the decision is not made by someone personally invested in the organization of the event.

Questions to ask when considering the necessity of the travel or visitor(s) include:

  • Can you explain why the travel/visitor(s) is essential?
  • Can the travel/visitor(s) be postponed?
  • Can the purpose of the travel/visitor(s) be accomplished in another way (e.g., virtually)?
  • Does the size of the event/number of attendees create too much risk?
  • Do the attendees/visitor(s) create too much risk (e.g., coming from a domestic or international location with significant COVID-19 spread)?

UA System and UAB leaders will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide additional or revised guidance as the situation evolves. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Monday, March 9 at 6:30 p.m.: NEW Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Advisory

NEW Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Advisory

The University of Alabama System continues to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Today System officials issued guidance advising against any non-essential domestic travel at this time, particularly to large conferences with attendees from multiple states or locations that have declared a state of emergency due to the virus.

Faculty, staff and students on UA System campuses are encouraged to use good judgment when making travel decisions and work with campus administration to evaluate alternative methods of remote participation such as live-streaming of conference sessions and meetings.

The UA System advisory also states: “Students, faculty and staff who have concerns about being exposed to the virus while traveling should not be required to travel. Likewise, any student, faculty or staff member who elects not to attend a previously scheduled event due to those concerns should not be disciplined.” Read the full advisory here.

The UA System website will continue to be a centralized source for updated information on the virus outbreak, policies and other guidance (http://uasystem.edu/news/2020/02/ua-system-covid-19-updates/). Learn more about COVID-19 and UAB at www.uab.edu/coronavirus. Access information about UAB coronavirus travel restriction reimbursements.

Wednesday, March 4 at 3:30 p.m.: Coronavirus Preparedness Updates and Resources

Email from President Ray L. Watts and Health System CEO Will Ferniany: Coronavirus Preparedness Updates and Resources as of March 4, 2020

*NOTE: The following email was sent March 4, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. as part of a collaborative communications effort led by the University of Alabama System in the interest of health and safety on the three System campuses. Last week Chancellor Finis St. John appointed a COVID-19 Communications and Policy Task Force to address the 2019 Corona virus. The task force, comprised of UA System medical researchers, faculty and staff, is continuously monitoring public health risks posed by the outbreak. Subsequently, a comprehensive University of Alabama System Interim Emergency Policy was developed regarding the 2019 Coronavirus. The policy will be updated as circumstances warrant.

UAB Community,

Today you received an email about new travel restrictions, including the CANCELATION of all university-sponsored international travel in March. Travel outside the United States after March is ON HOLD and will be addressed as soon as possible. Details can be found on the UAB Updates tab of www.uab.edu/coronavirus, an online resource that provides important information, tips and resources as we safeguard our community and prepare for the likely appearance of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Alabama. If you have not read that communication, please do so in the interest of your health and safety, and that of our community.

While there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Alabama at the time of this communication, there are confirmed cases in Florida and Georgia, and it could be seen in Alabama soon. COVID-19 appears to cause mild illness in the majority of those infected but can be fatal. Learn more at www.uab.edu/coronavirus.

The CDC predicts possible significant disruptions to daily life in the United States. While we cannot predict whether our community will be affected in a small or big way, we want to be prepared for even extreme outcomes.

UAB officials are and have been very active in monitoring the quickly evolving outbreak with infectious disease and public health experts and taking aggressive steps to prepare for possible scenarios. University and Health System emergency management professionals have convened broad and targeted groups to review the plans to address an infectious disease outbreak and apply it to the specific COVID-19 threat.

Units across campus have been taking steps to prepare for eventualities. For example:

  • First and foremost, medical providers at the University and Health System are trained to properly care for patients with infectious diseases and have plans in place to safely care for COVID-19 patients.
  • UAB launched www.uab.edu/coronavirus as a resource to communicate news and updates, as well as tips to stay healthy and prepare. Information will be maintained there.
  • UAB Facilities is increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting areas like bathrooms, entryways, door handles, railings and elevator buttons.
  • From Campus Housing and Dining to Environmental Health and Safety, to Hospital Supply Chain, procurement officials have assessed what supplies are needed now and what supplies would be needed if disruptions become extreme.
  • Plans to manage and conserve supplies (e.g., plans to prioritize, limit and/or reuse certain supplies to avoid a shortage if the duration of disruptions become significant) are being reviewed and updated based on possible COVID-19 scenarios.
  • Offices that support international travel for students, faculty and staff are supporting unexpected changes in travel plans and programs to minimize disruptions as much as possible while maintaining health and safety.
  • Health care professionals in Student and Employee Health have enacted protocols to monitor, guide and report the status of those returning from international destinations in partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Information Technology, the Office of the Provost, and school and college deans are taking steps to protect our ability to maintain our academic mission while employing social distancing techniques or quarantine measures. This planning includes addressing the technical and logistical infrastructure that would allow for classes to continue if they eventually need to move online in Canvas.
  • Planning and preparations are also taking place to protect our vital research mission. Research Administration leadership is updating business continuity plans based on COVID-19 and will continue to monitor and prepare to protect research activities as much as possible if disruptions occur.
  • Human Resources is consulting with leadership to provide guidance regarding the possible future need for work-from-home scenarios.
  • Areas have been identified where facilities can be repurposed to safely manage patient flow should an influx of COVID-19 patients take place.
  • We are encouraging patients with concerning symptoms to call their health care provider before going to the doctor, and our Emergency Department is screening incoming patients just outside the entrance to the Emergency Department to decrease possible exposure to others.

These are just a few examples of steps being taken. Units across campus will continue to update their specific plans to protect each other and our community and continue to deliver essential services. Disruptions — small or large — may be inevitable; but our goal is to minimize the effect on you — our students, faculty and staff — as well as the education, research, innovation and economic development, patient care, and community service pillars of our mission.

Please continue to look to your emails and www.uab.edu/coronavirus for important updates. At UAB, we are fortunate to have many experts in epidemiology and the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases to guide us. Know that our top priority will remain the continued health and safety of our UAB community.

Please continue to be vigilant, plan ahead and protect against spreading viral illness:

  • Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sick people, avoid people if you are sick, and do not travel if you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and cover your cough or sneeze with a sleeve or tissue.
  • Protect against the flu by getting the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, but the flu is still circulating in the community at this time.
  • The CDC does not recommend the general public buy or wear masks in the United States.
  • If you have symptoms, call your health care provider BEFORE going to the doctor:
    • Students should call UAB Health Services at 205-934-3580.
    • UAB employees should call UAB Employee Health at 205-934-3675 from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After hours and on weekends, call the UAB Call Center at 205-934-3411 and ask them to page the needlestick/exposure nurse on call.

More information and tips can be found at www.uab.edu/coronavirus. UAB medicine employees can go to www.oneuabmedicine.org for Health System specific updates.

Sincerely,

Ray L. Watts
President

Will Ferniany
Health System CEO

Wednesday, March 4 at 1:30 p.m.: NEW Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Restrictions and Updates

Information about UAB coronavirus travel restriction reimbursements

NEW Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Restrictions and Updates

Effective immediately, UAB is canceling all university-sponsored international travel that is scheduled to depart in the month of March. Faculty, staff and students MAY NOT TRAVEL anywhere outside the United States for university business or academic purposes (“university-sponsored travel”), including but not limited to study abroad or other international academic work, research or grant activity, internships, conferences or presentations, teaching or training, performances, recruiting, or athletic competitions.

Additionally, university-sponsored travel outside of the United States that is scheduled to depart after the month of March is suspended effective immediately. Regarding future university-sponsored travel outside of the United States beyond March, this is a complex decision that is based on new and evolving information. Decisions on those future programs are ON HOLD and will be addressed as soon as possible. Please read the full updated interim policy issued by the University of Alabama System.

Due to the expanding global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the significant risk of exposure during international travel, and guidance from experts in public health and infectious disease, we expect full cooperation and compliance with this Updated Interim Policy to maintain a safe and healthy environment for everyone. Faculty, staff, students, and visiting students and scholars who fail to comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

We recognize the significance of these measures to members of our campus community and are committed to providing support. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our campus and community. Students with questions about travel should contact the Office of Education Abroad at 205-975-6611 (after hours 205-329-0019) or aneyer@uab.edu. Faculty, staff and visiting research scholars should contact the Office of Sponsored International Programs at 205-975-2438 (after hours 205-789-5212) or whiteside@uab.edu. These offices are available to provide guidance and assistance to our travelers, in addition to providing resources through our System travel provider, International SOS.

While we cannot restrict individuals’ travel for personal business or affiliate programs (i.e., travel that is not university-sponsored but related to academic or business pursuits — e.g., travel through another institution or program), the UA System strongly encourages students, faculty and staff to follow CDC travel watches, alerts and warnings, and be aware of additional CDC and State Department updates. The global situation is rapidly evolving, and risk of acquiring COVID-19 may change abruptly. Please be mindful of potential associated risks of disruptions to reentry to the United States, including possible quarantine.

Any and all travelers returning to the United States or coming to the United States to participate in university-sponsored business or programs must comply with all U.S. re-entry, quarantine, self-isolation or self-monitoring requirements in place before returning to or engaging with the university community. Travelers must provide verification from the Alabama Department of Public Health or their health provider confirming they have completed the appropriate monitoring process. To the extent a traveler is monitored or otherwise reporting to the university during any monitoring period, the traveler must receive express approval from the university in order to return to the university community. Additional detail is available in the updated interim policy.

Returning travelers should follow guidance provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health for returning travelers on the ADPH website. Any traveler should be aware of CDC Travel Health Notices and observe CDC travel precautions for COVID-19.

We understand that many members of our community may have upcoming spring break travel, conferences or summer study abroad plans that this policy may affect. We further understand that the longer the travel restrictions remain in place, more questions will arise related to future plans for international travel. To assess the impact of the virus on faculty, staff and students, a dedicated team composed of members from throughout the UA System, including our clinical and infection prevention experts, is monitoring the outbreak and utilizing guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization, and international governments and health agencies. Administrators at each campus are continuously evaluating and receiving advice on potential impacts and will provide future information and guidance.

While there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Alabama at the time of this communication, there are confirmed cases in Florida and Georgia, and it could be seen in Alabama soon.

Please continue to be vigilant, plan ahead and protect against spreading viral illness:

  • Wash hands frequently, and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sick people, avoid people if you are sick, and do not travel if you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, and cover your cough or sneeze with a sleeve or tissue.
  • Protect against the flu by getting the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, but the flu poses an active health threat in Alabama at this time.
  • If you have symptoms, call your health care provider BEFORE going to the doctor:
    • Students should call UAB Student Health Services at 205-934-3580.
    • UAB employees should call UAB Employee Health at 205-934-3675 from 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. After hours and on weekends, call the UAB Call Center at 205-934-3411 and ask them to page the needlestick/exposure nurse on-call.