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.

Due to the recent surge of COVID-19 and updated CDC guidance, UAB will require face coverings indoors on campus – regardless of vaccine status – effective Thursday, July 29.

There are limited times when individuals can be unmasked indoors on the university campus (exceptions may not apply to clinical buildings – please continue to follow established protocols for clinical buildings).

  • Employees can unmask if alone in a private workspace (e.g., office or cubicle)
  • Students can unmask in their residence hall room
  • Individuals can briefly unmask while actively eating or drinking if a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing can be maintained

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.

Starting May 10, many members of the UAB community will no longer be required to complete a daily Healthcheck to access campus. However, in part to comply with a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requirement, students, faculty and staff who are considered health care personnel or have a touchpoint in a clinical building or setting will be required to complete Healthcheck daily until further notice. Click here to learn more about if you should or should not fill out Healthcheck daily.

In the event you experience a COVID symptom or exposure after discontinuing daily Healthcheck, fill out the correct form here:

All individuals should continue to complete a daily Healthcheck through May 9. To stop Healthcheck text message reminders, simply respond STOP to your Healthcheck text on May 10 or do not respond to Healthcheck for six days.

Personal Safety Practices

UAB will require face coverings indoors on campus – regardless of vaccine status – effective Thursday, July 29.

There are limited times when individuals can be unmasked indoors on the university campus (exceptions may not apply to clinical buildings – please continue to follow established protocols for clinical buildings).

  • Employees can unmask if alone in a private workspace (e.g., office or cubicle)
  • Students can unmask in their residence hall room
  • Individuals can briefly unmask while actively eating or drinking if a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing can be maintained

We will continue to monitor key data with public health and infectious disease experts and update this temporary guidance as necessary.

Options for Masks and Face Coverings:

  • Cloth masks: Cloth masks/face coverings may be used to minimize the risks to others near you. Cloth face masks must be laundered each day. See CDC guidelines for the use of cloth face coverings.
  • Disposable masks: These are acceptable but must be disposed of safely and properly in trash bins.

UAB-branded face masks are available for purchase through a number of retail stores. Here are the current online shops and brick and mortar stores that sell the officially licensed UAB-branded masks.

Handwashing and Hand Sanitizers:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizers will be available at multiple locations in your building, and you should place a hand sanitizer in your workspace for easy access.

Student Health & Wellness

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.

Mental Health & Wellness Student Resources:

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.

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.

The Student Counseling Center provides mental and emotional well-being resources for students. Here are a few things to know about the Student Counseling Center:

  • Student Counseling Services continues to provide counseling appointments during limited business operations through distance counseling appointments.
  • 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 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. Some mental health resources include: 

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 9-1-1 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 Modified Business Operations period; however, counselors are providing counseling services remotely.

Current SCS Clients

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. View additional Distance Counseling Services available.

Hotlines and 24/7 Support:

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

B Well and Other Mental Health Apps

Blazer-created app B Well helps students easily access mental health resources on mobile devices and build a self-care plan that encourages healthy habits. Download for free in the App Store and Google Play.

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

Recognizing Mental Distress:

Children; people who have preexisting mental health conditions, including problems with substance use; and people who are helping with the response to COVID-19, including doctors and other health care providers, may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis. People with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment plans during an emergency and monitor for any new symptoms.

Reactions to pandemic stress 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, or increased use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Here are some signs of 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).

People can cope with stress and support themselves by:

  • 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.

Facilities/Cleaning Info

Enhanced Environmental Health and Cleaning Procedures:

More detailed information regarding UAB’s COVID-19 Prevention:

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols

Building Services has enhanced its cleaning protocols for cleaning methods and frequency while using appropriate personal protective equipment. Workspaces, classrooms, and frequently touched surfaces that should have the highest priority for cleaning and disinfection have been identified (e.g., door handles, railings, restrooms, break rooms).

Buildings that require Healthcheck

  • 2020 Building (University Boulevard 2020 Building)
  • 2221 2nd Avenue Warehouse
  • 3100 4th Avenue South Warehouse
  • 400 10th Avenue South
  • 405 21st Street Warehouse
  • 516 Building (Hospital Support Building)
  • 526 Building (Hospital Support Building)
  • 5th Avenue Parking Deck
  • 6th Avenue Parking Deck, with addition
  • 725 Building (Eyster Building)
  • 820 Building (Corporate Health Systems)
  • Annex (corner of 5th Avenue and 21st Street South)
  • Avondale Business Center
  • Boshell Diabetes Education and Research Building
  • Bridges within UAB Hospital
  • Community Health Services Building (CH-19)
  • Community Health Services Building (CH-20)
  • Center for Research In Womens Health (CRWH)
  • Callahan Eye Hospital
  • Center for Psychiatric Medicine
  • Center for Psychiatric Medicine Parking
  • Civitan International Research Center
  • Community Care Building
  • Dewberry Building
  • Faculty Office Tower
  • General Services Building
  • Health Clinic Hoover
  • Health Clinic Inverness
  • Highlands Orthopaedic Specialties Building (OSB)
  • Highlands Physician's Office Builiding (POB)
  • Highlands Parking Deck
  • Hospital Support Building
  • Jefferson Tower, with South Wing Addition
  • John Whitaker Building
  • Kirklin Clinic at Acton Road
  • Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospitals
  • Kirklin Clinic Parking Deck (TKC)
  • Kirklin Clinic Retail Area (501 & 509) (TKC)
  • Kracke Building
  • Legacy of Hope
  • Medical Center Hotel
  • Medical Education Building
  • New Hillman Building
  • North Pavilion (UAB Hospital)
  • North Wing-Jefferson Tower Addition
  • Old Hillman Building
  • Quarterback Tower
  • Russell Ambulatory Wing, University Hospital
  • Southern Research Institute Site (SRI)
  • Spain & McDonald Clinic
  • Spain Rehab
  • Spain Tower
  • Trash Compactor Facility
  • Trauma Communications Center
  • UAB Gardendale (FED)
  • UAB Gardendale Primary and Specialty Care
  • UAB Greystone
  • UAB Highlands
  • UAB Hoover Primary and Specialty Care
  • UAB Inverness
  • UAB Leeds
  • UAB Plastic Surgery (Mountain Brook)
  • UAB Proton Therapy
  • UAB School of Dentistry
  • UAB Urgent Care
  • Wallace Tumor Institute with 4th, 5th and 6th floor expansion and NMR addition
  • West Pavilion
  • White Building
  • Women & Infants Center

Cleaning Materials

clean common areas graphics For the comfort of anyone using a space, Facilities will be providing sanitizing wipes that can be used to wipe down all work surfaces before and after use. Materials will be provided for: classrooms, shared space, or equipment (e.g., copiers, printers, computers, keyboards, mouse, phone, equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, doorknobs, etc.).

Isolation & Quarantine

REQUIRED FOR STUDENTS

Definitions

  • Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to the virus away from others. When a person is in “quarantine”, that indicates that they have been in close contact, or “exposed”, with someone with COVID-19 infection but do not have symptoms themselves.

  • Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home. When a person is in “isolation” that indicates that they have had a positive COVID-19 test, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, and have been tested and awaiting their test result.

Click here for more information on quarantining and isolation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recommendations

According to the CDC, most persons with COVID-19 illness, isolation and precautions can generally be discontinued 10 days after symptom onset and once they are fever-free for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and with improvement of other symptoms. A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days that may warrant extending duration of isolation and precautions for up to 20 days after symptom onset; consider consultation with infection control experts. For persons who never develop symptoms, isolation and other precautions can be discontinued 10 days after the date of their first positive COVID test.

If the student has had a true exposure they are asked to report exposure here and quarantine, or stay home, for 10 days after last contact with a person who has COVID-19. It is not possible to “test out” of quarantine, i.e. a negative test does not end the quarantine early. A person could develop symptoms at any time during this 10-day period. However, testing can still be useful in exposed persons. Student Health will discuss testing options with quarantined students. Students in quarantine may choose to test but are not required to.

The Health subcommittee will provide campus health officers with regular updates on quarantine and isolation guidelines based on changing guidance from Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). UA System campuses have protocols in place to contact campus members who report a COVID-positive test or multiple COVID-related symptoms.

COVID-positive tests, suspected close contacts, or an increase in COVID-related symptoms MUST BE reported in the student exposure form. Compliance with quarantine and isolation requirements issued by ADPH, local health departments, or campus officials, includes any requirement for on-campus residents to relocate from their residence to dedicated isolation and quarantine space on campus.

During this time of national crisis, some healthcare workers in isolation or quarantine may be released to return to work earlier than the standard guidelines, due to workforce shortages. Students, even in clinical programs, are not considered essential healthcare workers in this setting and will be asked to quarantine or isolate for the standard times.

Quarantine Protocols

Vaccinated persons with exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if the following conditions are met:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., more than 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or more than 2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Transportation & Parking

As the university brings more employees and students back on campus, UAB Transportation is reassessing our temporary parking solutions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you do not have a current valid parking permit or to view available student parking lots, please visit the UAB Transportation office for assistance. For information Blazer Express, please visit uab.edu/transportation.