FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – As the coronavirus outbreak moves rapidly in the US and worldwide, the University of Arkansas will continue to provide the latest updates and guides to the campus community in one place online: health.uark.edu/coronavirus.
Recent updates include new guides on domestic and personal travel, as well as new information on various topics in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the website, including:
- Are there resources available to assist the faculty in preparing alternative teaching options?
- I expect visitors from out of town or overseas to attend a campus event. Should I be concerned?
- What is the campus doing to disinfect public areas such as buses, classrooms and fitness centers?
- Is the university preparing emergency plans?
- Is it Safe to Travel in the United States?
- What do I have to consider when planning personal trips?
- What about conferences, conventions, meetings and major events?
- Will travel be affected this summer?
Are there resources available to assist the faculty in preparing alternative teaching options?
The University Center for Teaching Innovation and Educational Support (TIPS) offers Emergency planning instructions The faculty is designed to help students deliver content even when they are unable to take a physical class due to an outbreak, illness, or bad weather.
I expect visitors from out of town or overseas to attend a campus event. Should I be concerned?
If your guests are arriving from a country with a CDC coronavirus level 2 or higher, your guest may need to self-isolate for 14 days, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. It would be advisable to discourage such visits.
What is the campus doing to disinfect public areas such as buses, classrooms and fitness centers?
Disinfecting common surfaces is part of the University of Arkansas’ regular routine in various areas of campus including housing, transit and parking, facility management, and more.
In particular, U of A transit buses are disinfected every night, while our facility management staff disinfect high-traffic points of contact on a daily basis – including door handles and pressure plates, student surfaces and teaching surfaces in the classroom. Similar practices are used in student dormitories, athletics, and other common areas on campus.
Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, followed by disinfection with an EPA registered disinfectant, is a proven method of preventing viral respiratory diseases.
Is the university preparing emergency plans?
The University COVID-19 response team and the Communicable Diseases Committee coordinate activities to support the health and wellbeing of our community and develop contingency plans to limit the impact on university operations if necessary.
While these plans may not be required, these efforts are made to assess the university’s willingness to conduct online courses and other efforts to minimize the impact on student learning and to ensure that students and staff who may be ill are adequately supported can restore and limit the spread of the virus on campus.
Is it Safe to Travel in the United States?
Please be careful and check that the latest information is available for your particular destination as the coronavirus situation in the US is changing rapidly.
While the CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing trips to destinations with Level 1 travel advisories (this currently includes domestic travel in the US) because the risk of transmission is considered low, some areas are reporting increasing local transmission.
What do I have to consider when planning personal trips?
Consider the method of transportation for all trips. Air travel, for example, is usually overcrowded with people on the plane and at the airport in close proximity. Traveling to a destination in a personal vehicle would limit exposure to crowds.
In accordance with our university travel requirements and recommendations, we strongly discourage personal international travel, especially to countries with a CDC risk for coronavirus of 2 or higher. Please consider the health risks and logistical challenges that may arise, including the fact that the Arkansas Department of Health may require self-isolation for 14 days after traveling to or through an affected area. Customs agents report international travelers arriving from affected countries to the state health ministries for this purpose.
Please be careful and check that the latest information is available for your particular destination as the coronavirus situation in the US is changing rapidly. While the CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing trips to destinations with Level 1 travel advisories (this currently includes domestic travel in the US) because the risk of transmission is considered low, some areas are reporting increasing levels of local transmission.
What about conferences, conventions, meetings and major events?
Many universities and companies have restricted employee and student travel to meetings, conventions, and events. You will be asked to review the hosting organization’s information for changes or restrictions, and possibly check for options to participate remotely.
If you are attending events or have a medical reason why you shouldn’t be in crowds, please take advantage of the many tools campus offers to conduct real-time meetings over the internet from your desktop.
Will travel be affected this summer?
Registered student trips to China this summer have been suspended and the university will continue to evaluate the status of other summer trips and programs.
Please note that the guidelines of the CDC, the Arkansas Department of Health, and the University can change quickly given the fluidity of the situation. All changes will be updated in the university’s “Updates” section Coronavirus update site.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas offers internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university brings new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activities, while providing services for academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the University of Arkansas among less than 2.7 percent of the universities in America with the highest research activity. US News & World Report counts the University of Arkansas among the leading American public research universities. The University of Arkansas was founded in 1871 and comprises 10 colleges and schools. The student-to-faculty ratio is low, which encourages personal attention and close supervision.