13 UAB-specific terms you need to know during the COVID-19 pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a lot of new words into daily vocabulary — phrases such as “flattening the curve” and acronyms like PPE — and working and living at UAB brings its own set of new vocabulary terms. Refresh your memory or clarify your understanding of the UAB-specific terminologies, methods and strategies working together to keep Blazers safe and UAB open during the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.



Healthcheck is a web-based COVID-19 assessment tool that is made up of surveys that assess symptoms and exposure to COVID-19 and allows users to report COVID-19 symptoms and exposure history. It must be completed daily.

GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App

GuideSafe™, which was developed at UAB in partnership with the Alabama Department of Public Health, protects the user’s privacy while anonymously alerting them if they have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The app facilitates anonymous self-reporting and automates alerts to individuals with previous proximity or close contact with a later positive COVID-19 person. GuideSafe™ is available to anyone in Alabama, and all members of the UAB community are encouraged to download it.

GuideSafe™ Hotline

Got questions? Call this phone hotline, established to give employees and students a single source for answers to common COVID-19 questions about testing, exposure, Healthcheck, isolation and more, including troubleshooting technical questions about the GuideSafe Exposure Notification App and UAB Healthcheck. 

Event Passport

Event Passport

Each day you complete Healthcheck you will receive a passport — a response screen that confirms you are cleared to enter campus on the date displayed. You will be asked to show it to access events on campus and enter facilities such as the Campus Recreation Center and libraries, and students will be asked to show their passport when they attend class in person; additional details will be communicated about this process. If you have not completed it for the day, you may be refused admittance until you do.

Sentinel testing

Each week, UAB randomly selects employees and students to be tested to check the spread of  COVID-19 on campus. UAB plans to test between 2.5% to 5% of the population randomly on a weekly basis, regardless of symptoms. Sentinel testing is a dedicated resource that does not take testing away from others who may feel sick or are experiencing symptoms. It is accomplished by self-administered nasal swab, is voluntary for employees but participation is highly encouraged to help prevent spread of the virus by asymptomatic people. If you test positive for COVID-19, Employee Health will call you with next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you. If you test negative, you will receive results within 36 hours of testing.

Campus Safety Specialists

Campus safety specialists

A group of student employees who can be recognized by their yellow polo shirts and are tasked with monitoring general hall safety in two of UAB’s largest academic hubs, Heritage Hall and University Hall, plus entryways to Mervyn S. Sterne and Lister Hill libraries and the flex learning space in the Education Building to help ensure Blazers adhere to social distancing, masking and cleaning guidelines. The specialists also will be present at UAB Football home games beginning Oct. 3. They are trained in peer-accountability practices, conflict management and UAB’s safety precautions and are prepared to have educational and connected conversations with Blazers who aren’t following guidelines. Specialists also can report noncompliance to Student Conduct.


SHOW stands for “staying six feet apart, hand-washing, owning responsibility and wearing a mask.” When Blazers adopt these safety measures, they are SHOWing their Blazer spirit and helping to make UAB a safe place.

Local business pledge

Establishments that sign UAB’s business pledge will promote mask-wearing, social distancing, crowd control and other proven safety strategies to help keep students and other patrons safe from infection. Look for the UAB United sign and see the growing list of participating businesses at go.uab.edu/pledge.

Personal health accommodations

Students, faculty, and staff directed to come to campus who have concerns about doing so due to age or a medical condition may contact Human Resources (faculty and staff), the AWARE Program (faculty and staff), or Disability Support Services (students). Individuals in a high-risk category may be eligible for reasonable accommodation, leave of absence, or other mitigating measures. Please note, however, that fear of contracting COVID-19 is not recognized generally as a valid reason for accommodation. For more information on accommodations, please review the HR entry guidance document.  

Safe Study Spaces

Safe study spaces

Open building spaces for students to use between classes that follow safety protocols, including social distancing and masking, and have expanded Wi-Fi services. A list of available study spaces and their real-time capacities is available at go.uab.edu/safestudyspaces.

Close contact

Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes. Only a close contact with the COVID-positive individual counts as an exposure requiring quarantine. Close contact exposures can be found in the top box in the GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App. The app may send a pop-up notification with different messages about proximity to someone who tested positive.


Students and employees must comply with COVID-19 safety precautions, including mask-wearing — indoors and outside — while on campus. Discuss concerns about non-compliance with your supervisor; if non-compliance persists, contact Human Resources or report it anonymously through the UAB Ethics Hotline. Persistent failure or willful disregard for guidelines will result in consequences outlined in UAB’s discipline policies for stafffaculty and students.

UA System COVID-19 Dashboard

A systemwide dashboard (including UAB-specific data) available at uasystem.edu. Data includes the number of known positive cases of students, faculty and staff on and off campus and the results of sentinel and entry testing.