Information for Parents

The University will continually monitor the health of the campus population and the public health of our region. The campus will be poised to move back to remote work and remote instruction if necessary to protect the health of students and employees.

This website contains general information for parents and links to additional information from University departments and offices.

▼   Reopening Highlights
  • The University reopened with an adjusted academic calendar.
  • Most classes are blended, including an online component and some face-to-face instruction with social distancing.
  • The University implemented specific measures, COVID-19 testing and contact tracing to continuously evaluate and assess the needs for the University community to maintain the health and safety of campus.
  • Health screenings were implemented for students and employees.
  • Face mask are required in certain circumstances. Students may supply their own face masks, and USA provides 2 washable, reusable face masks, free of charge, to every student and employee.
▼   Academic Schedule

The first day of spring 2021 classes, Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

Spring break has been canceled for 2021; however, there will be a student break on March 10 and April 8.

Spring 2021 classes will end on April 30.

Final exams will be held May 3 - May 6.

▼   Contact Tracing Requirement

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, 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.

▼   Frequently Asked Questions
▼   What factors were considered in the decision to reopen campus?

In making the decision to reopen and operate the campus, University leadership relied upon information from authoritative sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Alabama Department of Public Health, as well as the leadership of the USA Health system. The criteria for reopening campus were based upon the ability of the University to implement best practices for the safety and health of the University community, and to continually monitor the community for potential outbreaks of COVID-19. The University has implemented widespread procedures that are designed to protect the health and safety of our community, as well as processes designed to monitor and respond to any cases of COVID-19 on campus.

▼   What is the plan for in-person classes?

In almost all cases, classes are delivered either in a web-blended (hybrid) model or fully online. For web-blended courses, some portion of the courses is generally offered face-to-face, adhering to social distancing guidelines. Small classes (with low enrollment relative to classroom size) that allow for social distancing may be held fully face-to-face. Other classes are reconfigured to reduce density and allow for social distancing.

▼   What is the protocol if there is a COVID-19 surge during the academic year? Is there a plan to move classes online in the event of a significant outbreak?
The University is continually monitoring the health of the campus population and the public health of our region. The campus will be poised to move back to remote work, if conditions warrant, to protect the health of students and employees. In this event, faculty will be prepared to quickly move all courses online and students will be able to complete coursework online.
▼   Is the University conducting contact tracing?
The University is fortunate to have the resources of the USA Health system, which has implemented a contact tracing program to enable the University to contact individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The University will communicate, as appropriate and with the best information available, with members of the USA community who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The University will also provide information to the the Alabama Department of Public Health as required.
▼   How do I know if other students or employees have tested positive for COVID-19? Does the University make announcements about cases?

The University will continue to communicate about the COVID-19 situation on campus on a regular basis via emails and USA’s COVID-19 Information website. Individuals who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be notified through contact tracing and asked to self-quarantine and be tested.

Each Monday, the COVID-19 Dashboard is updated to indicate the number of positive cases reported on campus, as well as quarantine room capacity and positivity rate for students tested at Student Health.

▼   If my child does not feel comfortable coming to class, can they take the class remotely? What if they are at high risk?
Faculty teaching on-campus courses are encouraged to develop their courses so that students who wish to complete the course at a distance may do so online.
▼   Was there an increase in single-occupancy residence hall rooms? How can my student get a private room?
Yes. Up to 50 percent of all rooms are private, single-occupancy rooms to reduce capacity. To reserve a private room, visit USA Housing.
▼   Is there a curfew for on-campus students?
There are no plans for a curfew. The University will continue to monitor the pandemic. The health and safety of members of our community will be the focus of any changes in operations.
▼   Are there social distancing requirements for off-campus housing?
The University does not have oversight over independently operated off-campus housing facilities, however social distancing should be practiced in all circumstances. Operating procedures for those facilities are the responsibility of the respective management.
▼   What happens to my student if they or one of their roommates tests positive for COVID-19?

Any student in a University-operated residence hall who tests positive for COVID-19 may need to be relocated temporarily to a private residence hall room to be quarantined. Roommates and others who have come into contact with any student who tests positive will be notified, through contact tracing, that they have had close contact with a person who has tested positive and may have to quarantine per recent CDC guidelines. For more information on quarantine requirements, please see the Housing Office website.

The State Health Officer has issued an order mandating that any individual testing positive for COVID-19 must be quarantined to his or her place of residence for a period of time according to recent CDC guidelines. Any individual under quarantine may not leave his or her place of residence for any reason other than to seek necessary medical treatment. Under Alabama law, violation of this order is punishable by a fine of up to $500, and any student who violates a quarantine order will be subject to the student conduct process and may be immediately removed from student housing and/or the University.

▼   If my student is quarantined, where will they be? Will meals be provided for them while they are in quarantine?

Students who need to quarantine due to a positive test or exposure may be required to remain in their room, or they may be moved to a private room. Meals for on-campus resident students will be delivered daily. For more information on quarantine requirements, please see the Housing Office website.

Students living off-campus in privately owned housing facilities who are asked to quarantine should do so at their place of residence. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention offers these guidelines.

▼   How do you clean residence halls? Does someone clean private rooms?
Common areas of residence halls are regularly cleaned. Private rooms and suites were cleaned before check-in; students are responsible for cleaning their rooms after occupancy.
▼   Are the dining hall and the food court open? Are there delivery or takeout options? Are food service employees required to wear a mask?
Both the dining hall and food court are open with reduced seating capacity with takeaway encouraged. The addition of a new mobile ordering platform for advance takeout ordering is available at retail locations in the food court. Self-service has been eliminated at food stations in the dining hall and prepacked selections will be offered where appropriate. USA's food service operations, managed by Aramark, is required to follow all local health guidelines and recommendations including the use of masks.