Coronavirus Graphis

Updates on Coronavirus

Coronavirus Updates

The University of South Alabama continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority as University leaders work closely with local, state and federal agencies to share the most updated information. The ongoing impact of the pandemic to our campus and community requires us to make modifications and remain flexible. The COVID-19 Response Team will continue to reassess these policies on a weekly basis and update them accordingly. Students and employees should check this website regularly for updates. 

Listed below are the most current policies and practices.

Vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccines are available Monday through Thursday from 1:00pm - 4:00pm and Friday from 1:00pm - 3:00pm in the Health Sciences Building Atrium and on Wednesdays from 8:30 am - 10:30 am, at the Intramural Field House (located on John Counts Drive across from the Jaguar Training Center near the Hancock Whitney Stadium). Students, employees, and family members (dependent children 12 years and older) are welcome, and you do not need an appointment. Be aware that you will need a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine in three weeks if this is your first dose. 

  • Vaccines are also available by appointment at the Student Health Center during normal operating hours.  
  • Employees on the main academic campus are encouraged to provide verification of their vaccination status to Employee Health and Wellness to receive a personal day or gift card incentive.
  • Fully vaccinated students can receive $25 in Jag Cash after uploading their vaccination documentation to the USA Student Health secure patient portal. In addition, all current USA students who provide verified proof of full vaccination will be eligible to receive one of 10 All-Zone Parking Passes. See the Student Vaccine Incentive  website for details.

Can't make it to these clinics? Schedule your appointment at the USA Health Civic Center site or another location at a date/time that is convenient to you. 

Reporting Symptoms, Exposures and Positive Cases

All employees and students are required to monitor and report symptoms and exposures and to report positive cases.

Masking

At this time, employees, students and guests are required to wear approved face coverings in all instructional settings (e.g., classrooms, labs) and in all indoor settings where 6-feet social distancing cannot be consistently maintained while on University of South Alabama academic campuses or while participating in USA-sponsored activities. Face coverings are also required while riding Jag Tran or other University transportation. Additional requirements may apply and must be followed as announced.

Masks are not required outdoors, while in residence hall rooms without guests and while actively eating and drinking. Instructors may remove masks while teaching if the following conditions are met: the instructor is fully vaccinated; the instructor maintains 6 feet of separation from students; and the instructor wears a face mask except while at a podium or designated speaking area.

The masking policy will be reviewed weekly, with changes announced via email and website updates.

Events

In-person events such as ceremonies, meetings and social gatherings are allowed if all USA COVID-19 precautions as listed above and on this website are followed. Masks are required for indoor events. Masks are also required in crowded areas during outdoor events, such as when entering or exiting. If food and beverages are served, 6-feet distancing must be maintained while eating and drinking.

Health and Safety Measures

Keep plastic shields in place and do not dispose of shields that were purchased or installed. Continue all sanitization protocols.

Visitors

Visitors (any non-employee or non-student) to the University main campus must adhere to the University's health and safety protocols. Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to individuals who are positive should avoid visiting campus until they receive medical clearance from a healthcare provider.

Travel

Travel increases the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Vaccination is strongly encouraged before travel. Anyone who chooses to travel, regardless of vaccination status, should self-monitor symptoms and follow masking and other safety protocols. Employees should follow all updated University travel protocols for international and domestic travel.

 

▼   COVID-19 Response Overview

The guiding principle of the University’s reopening plan is to provide as safe an environment as possible for students, faculty and staff. The University is continually monitoring the health of the campus population and the public health of our region. The campus is poised to move back to remote work and remote instruction if necessary to protect the health of students and employees.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a dynamic and unpredictable situation. In order to adapt to this environment and to execute decisions related to its operations, the University of South Alabama has developed a set of parameters that are constantly evaluated. These parameters include federal, state or local government mandates, the level of regional risk as classified by the Alabama Department of Public Health, the percentage of COVID-19 positive tests in Mobile county, the healthcare capacity in Mobile and neighboring counties, the number of cases among students and employees at the USA campus, the percentage of positive tests among students and employees, and the University’s ability to provide essential services including quarantine and isolation.

The cumulative assessment of these criteria is routinely utilized in determining the level of activity within the University. This involves multiple operational options which range from regular academic and athletic engagement to the University physical closure with fully remote academic activities.

The University’s policies and procedures are evolving in response to changing conditions. This website will be updated as new information becomes available. Please check back frequently for updates. If you see errors or omissions on this website, please email marcomm@southalabama.edu with your suggestions.

▼   COVID-19 Response Team

The COVID-19 Response Team (formerly called the University Committee for Reopening Campus) is composed of representatives from the main campus and USA Health system. The overall guiding principle of this committee's work is to provide as safe an environment as possible for students, faculty and staff.

The committee continues to work on all aspects of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with best practices for health and safety. The members of the committee are listed below. 

Committee Members

  • John Cleary; Associate Professor, Faculty Senate Past President
  • Chris Cleveland; Assistant Vice President of Auxiliary Services
  • Kristin Dukes; General Counsel
  • Julie Estis; COVID-19 Response Coordinator
  • Benjamin Estrada; Professor and Assistant Dean, College of Medicine
  • Ryan Ferguson; Director of Student Health Services
  • Charlie Guest; Executive Vice Provost
  • Mike Haskins; Vice President for Marketing and Communications
  • Andi Kent; Interim Provost and Senior Vice President
  • John Marymont; Vice President for Medical Affairs, Dean of College of Medicine
  • John Smith; Interim President
  • Scott Weldon; Vice President for Finance and Administration

Requests for exceptions to COVID-19 policies and practices may be submitted to covid19@southalabama.edu for consideration by the committee.

▼   Reporting Requirements for Students

Students who are attending classes or activities on campus, or who are living in USA Housing, are required to report positive COVID-19 tests to the University for followup contact tracing.

Any resident student, or any student present on campus for classes or activities, who tests positive for COVID-19, is required to immediately send an email to reportcovid@southalabama.edu so that contract tracing processes can be initiated. The email should include the student's name, student’s JAG number, student’s phone number, date of positive COVID-19 test, and any additional relevant information. The student will receive a reply email confirming email receipt from reportcovid@southalabama.edu.

If the student receives the reply email, it serves as confirmation that the contact tracing staff has been notified and USA’s contact tracing protocol will be initiated. If the student does not receive a confirmation reply email within 24 hours, they should call the Student Health Center at (251) 460-7151 and provide their information.

Once the University has been notified of a student who has tested positive for COVID-19, a member of the Student Contact Tracing Team will be assigned to that case. The assigned staff member will contact the individual who is COVID-19 positive to interview them about any and all individuals who may have been exposed. The contact tracer will then contact all exposed individuals who fall under the purview of the University and provide instructions based on the type of interaction that person had with the infected individual.

The names and relevant information regarding exposed individuals who fall outside the purview of the University will be provided to Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) for contact tracing either by MCHD or the appropriate jurisdiction.

Contact tracers will not disclose the name of the infected individual to any of the exposed persons and measures will be taken to protect the infected individual’s information.

▼   Reporting Requirements for Employees

Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to send an email to reportcovid@southalabama.edu and notify Human Resources at (251) 461-1521.

Any supervisor notified by a faculty/staff member testing positive for COVID-19 must send an email to reportcovid@southalabama.edu and notify Human Resources at  (251) 461-1521.

Any USA faculty/staff notified by a student that he/she has tested/is positive for COVID-19 must send an email to reportcovid@southalabama.edu.

For additional instructions and information on these requirements, please visit the Human Resources website.

▼   COVID-19 Testing

Students who have been exposed or are symptomatic for COVID-19, or indicate areas of concern, will be referred for testing to their primary care provider or through the Student Health Center.

Faculty and staff who have been exposed or are symptomatic for COVID-19 may follow up with Employee Health and Wellness at (251) 461-1521 and may be referred for testing to their primary care provider or the USA Health drive-through testing center at the Mobile Civic Center.

▼   Face Mask Requirement
▼   Are face masks required?

Wearing a mask has been shown to slow the spread of COVID-19. By not wearing a mask, you are potentially endangering the health of others. Analysis of the COVID-19 virus shows that it can be spread by those who are not showing symptoms.

  • Face masks are required to be worn in all instructional settings, such as classrooms and labs, and in all indoor areas where 6-feet distancing can not be consistently maintained.
  • Face masks are required when riding JagTran buses and University transportation. 
  • Face masks are not required in residence hall rooms unless non-resident guests are present.
  • Face masks are not required outside of University buildings (i.e. sitting outside, exercising outside, walking to and from classes). 
  • Face masks are not required while actively eating.
▼   What is an “approved” face mask?
Any mask distributed by the University, any cloth mask that covers the nose and mouth, or any commercially available medical grade face mask. Neck gaiters are not considered an acceptable form of masking.
▼   How can I get a mask?
You may supply your own mask, and in addition the University has masks available for students and employees. For information regarding mask pickup, students may contact the Office of Student Affairs and employees may contact Human Resources.
▼   How should I wear and take off my face mask?

The following recommendations are published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

To put on and wear your face mask:
  • Wash your hands before putting on your face mask.
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Make sure you can breathe easily.
  • Keep your mask on your face the entire time you’re in public.
  • Don’t put the mask around your neck or up on your forehead.
  • Don’t touch the face mask, and, if you do, wash your hands.

To remove your face mask:

  • Untie the strings behind your head or stretch the ear loops.
  • Handle only by the ear loops or ties.
  • Fold outside corners together.
  • Place covering in the washing machine.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.
▼   What are the consequences of not wearing a mask?

Wearing a mask has been shown to slow the spread of COVID-19. By not wearing a mask, you are potentially endangering the health of others. Analysis of the COVID-19 virus suggests that it can be spread by those who are not showing symptoms. To protect the health and safety of our entire campus community, the masking guidelines outlined on this website are required of all members of the University community. Students not following these requirements may be referred to the student disciplinary process. Employees not following these requirements will be subject to disciplinary action by their supervisor or Human Resources.

▼   Does the University allow any exceptions to the masking requirement? 
Students who wish to request a reasonable accommodation to the masking requirement should contact the Office of Student Disability Services if the request is based upon a disability or medical concern. All other student requests for reasonable accommodations should be directed to the Dean of Students. Employee requests for reasonable accommodation should be directed to the Office of Human Resources
▼   Hand Sanitizer and Protective Supplies

The Facilities Management office installs, maintains and restocks new hand sanitizing stations in public areas of campus and regularly deep cleans and sanitizes common areas of buildings and offices.

For supplies of hand sanitizer and disinfectant, campus offices and departments should follow the ordering guidelines on the Office of Finance and Administration website.

Offices that need Plexiglass/acrylic barriers for reception areas should contact Safety and Environmental Compliance at SafetyandEnv@SouthAlabama.edu.

▼   Signage and Printed Materials

The Office of Marketing and Communications has created a portfolio of standard and customizable signs and social distancing markers, which are shown below.

Floor/Furniture Stickers

Blue up arrow

10" square

Up arrow red

10" square

Don't Site Here Sticker

4" square

Wait here sign

10" square

Posters or Clings - 8 1/2" x 11"

Elevator sign
Elevator protocol sign
 
 

Posters - 8 1/2" x 11"

 

Face masks are required in this office.
Face masks are required in this building
Weare masks sign
Mask Dos and Don'ts

 

How to prevent spread sign
Hand Sanitizer Sign
Temperature screening sign
Thank you for social distancing sign

 

Wash hands Sign
Enter Sign
Exit sign
Stairs to go up sign


Stairs to go down sign
Bottle Filler Sign
Found turned off sign
Use sanitizer after equipment sign


Room Unavailable sign
Social Distancing in Restroom sign
Please do not move or rearrange furniture
 

 

Offices in need of supplies of this signage for your office or have custom signage needs should contact Publication Services, which will work with you to develop, print and deliver the signage you need.

▼   Resources and Training

Employees and students are required to complete training regarding various issues related to COVID-19. This training includes hygiene, social distancing, and other infection-control issues.

The Division of Student Affairs communicates with students about training resources and requirements via email and through the Canvas platform. 

The Office of Human Resources has provided educational and awareness materials to employees and departments. This offers general guidance on maintaining a safe workplace with respect to infection control and hygiene as well as specific guidance related to COVID-19.  Training must be completed within a reasonable time of returning to campus in order for the employee to remain on campus. Training is typically completed electronically; however, alternative methods have been established for employees who do not have access to computers.

▼   Help for Students

With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading in our region, the health, well-being and continued education of our students is a top priority. USA students who have questions, or are in need of assistance, are encouraged to visit the USA OneStop website or email OneStop@SouthAlabama.edu for help with academics, counseling and any other issues. In addition, students with emergency financial needs can submit a request for assistance through our South CARES program.

USA has established the South CARES Emergency Fund, which directs critical resources to students who find themselves with urgent expenses they are unprepared to meet. If you are able to make a gift to assist our students, please do at giving.southalabama.edu/southcares. Thank you for supporting our students!