The following describes the university’s entry plan. The Health System is on a separate plan to transition from the Limited Business Model and began resuming clinical operations in early May 2020.

UAB continues to consult public health and infectious diseases experts to assess the pandemic and make data-driven decisions to safely pursue our vital mission. As of Monday, July 26, 2021, all campuses in the UA System will return to in-person instruction, events and activities. Read the full memo here. 

UAB will return to in-person operations, with the following guidelines in place:

  • Unvaccinated individuals are expected to use face coverings inside campus buildings and should practice social distancing wherever possible.
  • Those in a clinical setting remain subject to the individual healthcare setting's protocols and requirements, which may include face covering, social distancing, visitor restrictions, health screenings and other established protocols for that setting.
  • Campus events can return to normal in accordance with pre-pandemic policies (Athletic events remain subject to NCAA and/or conference requirements.)
  • On-campus COVID testing will remain available.

Safe and effective vaccines are free and easy to get. If you have not yet been vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, including the more contagious and dangerous Delta Variant. Click here to learn about COVID-19 vaccines. Additional guidance on lifted COVID restrictions can be found through out this site.

The UA System Health & Safety Task Force is increasingly concerned about the rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the state, as well as the prevalence of the delta variant. Widespread vaccination is key to mitigating further increases. The Task Force will remain intact and will continue to monitor data points such as vaccination rates on campus and in the community, COVID-positive cases per 100,000 individuals, age-specific hospitalization rates, rate of breakthrough infection or reinfection, and prevalence of emerging variants. This Plan remains subject to change based on these factors.

COVID-19 Operational Color System

UAB’s plan is aligned and consistent with local, state and federal public health guidelines and recommendations. Our plan is also aligned with the University of Alabama System guidance on the Entry to Campus.

We anticipate restrictions and limitations will be in place for the coming months. After evaluating several factors — including the trending numbers of new COVID-19 cases in our community, our testing capability and availability, our ability to monitor the spread of the virus in the campus community, the adequacy of community health care resources, current supply levels of personal protective equipment, and applicable federal, state, and local directives — we developed the following color code system to coordinate and integrate operational procedures across UAB.

The active color code will be determined based upon state, local or UA System restrictions and conditions. Changes in the prevailing code will be announced by UAB leadership in response to the changing circumstances. Each level defines a different set of work criteria, rules and regulations and operational plans.


Access Severely Limited(maintenance only, no research or academic activity)


Limited Business Operations(0% - 25% capacity)


Modified Business Operations(26% - 74% capacity)


Full Access; Limited Public Health Restrictions(75% - 100% capacity)

The COVID-19 pandemic is a dynamic situation that continues to evolve, and our response will inevitably evolve as well. We will therefore update these guidelines and the protocols outlined on this site – including testing – as necessary to continue to ensure the health and safety of the campus community.

Schedule for Entry

These entry phases are highly dependent on external conditions and need to be responsive to the evolution of the virus. We are cautiously optimistic that entry to a modified model of on-campus instruction and activity will resume in the fall; however, circumstances can change. Please check this site and your UAB email for updates.

  • Limited business operations with essential services only
  • Remote learning
  • Suspension of on-campus events and activities
  • Continuation of essential services and research support
  • Resumption of research activities as operational plans are approved
  • Clinic openings with operational plans and restricted personnel approved
  • Critical administrative and business operations as communicated from university and school leadership
  • Resumption of student clinical experiences following operational plans after approval
  • Continued resumption of research activities as operational plans are approved
  • Critical administrative, business operations, academic, student affairs as communicated from university/school leadership based on approved operational plans
  • Staggered return to campus of faculty and staff to prepare for resumption of modified fall return
  • All returns to campus will be based on on-site needs and approved operational plans
  • Staggered return to campus for faculty and staff to prepare for resumption of modified fall return
  • Athletes (depending on guidance from the conference)
  • Some faculty, staff and students continue to work remotely
  • Residential and nonresidential students
  • Faculty, staff and students work on campus

Throughout the campus entry process, staff in Facilities and other critical support services will transition back as the phased process requires. This will include employees currently in a furloughed status.

This guidance will evolve in future phases of Modified Business Operations and campus entry as we continue to monitor and assess the fluid and dynamic circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Task Forces

UAB has appointed task forces responsible for developing comprehensive plans for a safe entry to campus for students, faculty and staff, and for monitoring the spread of COVID at UAB on an ongoing basis.

  • Entry Implementation Committee

    Purpose: To work through specific implementation and infrastructure issues to promote a smooth entry process for the campus.

    Anupam Agarwal, M.D., Executive Vice Dean, UAB School of Medicine
    Jim Bakken, Interim Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications & Interim Chief Communications Officer
    Pam Benoit, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs & Provost
    Allen Bolton, Senior Vice President for Finance & Administration
    Tom Brannan, Vice President for Advancement
    Jennifer Breland, Assistant Vice President of Alumni Affairs, Executive Director of UAB National Alumni Society 
    Chris Brown, Ph.D., Vice President for Research
    Curt Carver, Ph.D., Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
    Katie Crenshaw, JD, MSEd, CCEP, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer
    John Daniel, JD, Deputy General Counsel & Chief University Counsel
    Ria Hearld, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the School of Health Professions
    Alesia Jones, Chief Human Resources Officer
    John Jones, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Affairs
    Reid Jones, Chief Executive Officer of UAB Medicine
    Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., Director, Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine
    Lori McMahon, Ph.D., Dean, Graduate School
    Stephanie Mullins, Chief Financial Officer 
    George Netto, M.D., Chair of the Department of Pathology 
    Rosie O'Bierne, Interim Associate Vice President for Digital Strategy & Marketing
    Clay Ryan, Vice Chancellor for Governmental Affairs and Economic/Workforce Development 
    Selwyn Vickers, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medicine and Dean, School of Medicine
    Ray Watts, M.D., President of UAB
  • Incident Command Committee

    Purpose: To oversee the safety of coming-to-campus processes and practices and to interrogate data and intervene when safe conditions are breached.

    Anupam Agarwal, M.D., Executive Vice Dean, UAB School of Medicine 
    Monica Aswani, DrPH, Assistant Professor,  School of Heath Professions 
    Jim Bakken, Interim Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications & Interim Chief Communications Officer
    Kyle Boyett, Director of Emergency Management
    Adriene Crane, Human Resources Administrative Director 
    Katie Crenshaw, JD, MSEd, CCEP, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer
    John Daniel, JD, Deputy General Counsel & Chief University Counsel
    Jordan DeMoss, Vice president of clinical operations at UAB Hospital
    Erik Dohm, DVM, Senior Clinical Veterinarian
    Mike Faircloth, M.D., Director of Family and Community Medicine, School of Medicine 
    Suzanne Judd, Ph.D., Director of the Lister Hill Center for Health Policy  
    Robin Lucas, Administrative Director, Financial Affairs Training 
    Lori McMahon, Ph.D., Dean, Graduate School
    Scott Moran, Director of Support Services, Facilities Division 
    Sarah Nafziger, M.D., Professor, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Neurology
    Jason Nichols, O.D., Associate Vice President for Research, School of Optometry 
    Karen Templeton, Director of Provost Communications 
    John Turner, Director of Hospital Finance, UAB Medicine
    Mary Wallace, Assistant Vice President for Student Experience 
    Steve Yoder, JD, Associate Provost of Academic Administration 

Guiding Principles

The UAB’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are based on the core values and mission pillars of our strategic plan, Forging the Future.

Five principles guide decisions on when and how *students, faculty and staff return to campus:


Preserve the health of our university community and Birmingham.

Reflects our commitment to an inclusive solution to do what is right for all constituencies.


Maintain and deliver on our education, research and community engagement mission pillars by continuing to recruit and enroll students, teach those students, conduct research, and help stimulate the Alabama economy.

Reflects our commitment to constantly innovate and solve problems in the face of adversity, even in how we deliver on our strategic plan. 


Preserve and maintain university operations necessary to support mission-critical activities, both now and into the future.

Reflects our commitment to being good stewards of our assets, including taxpayer-funded assets.


Treat students and employees fairly and equitably.

Reflects our commitment to respect for one another and to ensuring the trust necessary for successful collaboration on making the right decisions.


Remain fiscally solvent now and into the future so as to be able to deliver on mission-critical activities for the long term.

Reflects our commitment to be accountable to each other and to other constituencies depending on UAB to achieve its missions.

*Students: Students in clinical areas must receive approval from their program to return to campus. Researchers at post-doctoral and graduate/pre-doctoral levels may continue or initiate studies on site following approved unit operational plans to ensure the safe return to campus. Other trainees engaged in research, such as undergraduate students and volunteers, must request approval through the Office of Research exception process.