Information for Students
This website contains general information for students and links to additional information from University departments and offices.
Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and stay on campus by participating in Sentinel testing. Each week, GuideSafe randomly selects employees and students to be tested. This gives us information about how COVID-19 is circulating on campus. By participating in sentinel testing, we unite to stay on campus. USA plans to test between 2.5% to 5% of the population randomly on a weekly basis. Sentinel tests are intended for individuals who are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and use dedicated resources that do not reduce testing capacity for others who may feel sick or experience symptoms. By participating, you will not take away from someone else.
- Student Sentinel testing invites are sent daily. Be sure to check your JagMail account regularly for an invite.
- Randomly selected individuals will receive an email from our trusted partner, Verily (firstname.lastname@example.org), directing them to sign up for a testing appointment.
- Sentinel testing is conducted in the Mitchell Center weekly. Students must schedule an appointment through the Verily platform.
- The test consists of an observed nasal self-swab that will be processed in a lab. A healthcare professional will observe each self-administered test to ensure accuracy and provide coaching if needed. This test is NOT the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab.
- Those being tested will be contacted within 24-48 hours with results.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a call from Student Health to give you the next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you.
- Employee Sentinel testing invites are sent on Sundays at noon. Be sure to check your South Alabama email regularly for an invite.
- Employee Sentinel testing is conducted weekly at the Mitchell Center.
- The test consists of an observed nasal self-administered swab that will be processed in a lab. A healthcare professional will observe each self-test to ensure accuracy and provide coaching if needed. This test is NOT the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab.
- Those being tested will be contacted within 24-48 hours with results.
- If you test positive for COVID-19, you will receive a call from Employee Health and Wellness to give you the next steps on how to protect yourself and others around you.
If you did not participate in GuideSafe Entry testing: you must first create a Verily account. Please go to healthy.verily.com. Create an account using your university’s issued email address. Please note if you are an employee and student, please use your school email address. Confirm your account via email.
If you have participated in the GuideSafe Entry program, please check your school email account frequently for testing information. Schedule a test appointment after you have been randomly selected. Go to your scheduled appointment.
No, the Sentinel testing is 100% free and partnered with GuideSafe which is funded by the CARES Act through the support of Governor Kay Ivey. “As students and educators have made the transition back to their respective college campus, it is critical that they have the tools to do so safely, and Governor Ivey is proud to provide the resources to help make that possible. Not only is this partnership enabling our colleges and universities to welcome back their students, it is also setting the tone and bar for the rest of the nation. Alabama is innovative, and, during a health crisis, we are showing the country the great benefit of partnership, ingenuity and determination.”
There are 189,000+ GuideSafe platform users. 75,000+ entry testing participants and 45 participating organizations including the University of South Alabama.
Please contact GuideSafe™️ at email@example.com or 1-866-839-5308.
As part of USA’s ongoing efforts to provide the safest possible environment, the University is making available two new tools that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The first of these tools is the GuideSafe™ Jag Healthcheck, a simple health screening tool that must be completed daily by all USA general division employees (not USA Health employees) and all USA students, except those who are fully remote (i.e. not coming to campus for any classes or activities). This daily health screening will take only a few minutes to complete, and will help identify possible cases of COVID-19 in our community. Jag Healthcheck is required to maintain your ability to come to campus.
Our second new tool is the GuideSafe™ Exposure Notification App, an anonymous system which, if you test positive for COVID-19, will allow the Alabama Department of Public Health to notify those you do not know — or cannot remember coming into contact with — that they may have been exposed. Users of the app exchange anonymous codes among their phones using Bluetooth — no location data is ever stored or exchanged, and your personal information is never shared. This tool is strongly encouraged for all members of the University community.
Both of these tools can be accessed through the GuideSafe App, which is available for Apple and Android devices. Please search for GuideSafe in the app store or Google Play for Android devices for more information and to download the app, please visit the GuideSafe website.
In addition, Jag Healthcheck can be accessed directly from any device by going to the website jaghealthcheck.southalabama.edu. Please note you do not have to type http://www in the URL address bar.
Through Jag Healthcheck, employees and students report whether or not they have had symptoms or exposure to anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19. If symptoms or exposures are reported, this information will be shared with Student Health or Employee Health (Human Resources). Based on responses, Jag Healthcheck assigns users one of three categories: Green/Least Risk, Yellow/May be at Risk, or Red/Greater Risk — each with its own instructions on how to proceed to campus or work. Regardless of the results, a secure compliance report will be sent to Student Health or Human Resources.
Students and employees may be asked to display their dated “Clear”/Green result prior to entering areas of USA’s campus or participating in activities.
Jag Healthcheck is not a substitution for self-monitoring of symptoms. If an employee experiences any COVID-19 related symptoms, the employee should not report to work and should report the absence in accordance with the department’s call-in procedure, even if working remotely.
Jag Healthcheck, a COVID-19 assessment tool, informs public health and University officials about emerging symptom hot spots. It also helps University health officials prioritize participants who might need COVID-19 testing.
Students and employees are encouraged to complete Jag Healthcheck daily, but completion is required at least every three days. Reminders can be set up though Jag Healthcheck. New COVID-19 symptoms or exposures are to be reported immediately in Jag Healthcheck.
Jag Healthcheck is compliant with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is a tool for you to report COVID-19 symptoms and any exposure. University of South Alabama Student Health, Employee Health and Human Resources receive the information to ensure those coming on campus are not showing symptoms.
Your responses are linked to your identity, and the University of South Alabama Student Health, Employee Health and Human Resources will receive your information submitted with Jag Healthcheck. The information is to ensure compliance and to identify employees or students who may need to be tested to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
There will be an option for you to receive reminders to report how you are feeling.
You will be instructed to call Student Health (251-460-7151) or Employee Health and Wellness (251-461-1521) to assess the need for testing or medical evaluation.
Students should complete the Jag Healthcheck assessment daily. After three days of non-compliance, students will be notified with an email and a text message regarding non-compliance. On the fourth day of non-compliance, the student will receive a contact from the University reminding them that non-compliance with Jag Healthcheck may result in a negative impact on their good standing with the University.
Employees should complete the Jag Healthcheck assessment daily. After three days of non-compliance, employees will be notified with an email and a text message regarding non-compliance. The Employee Health & Wellness Coordinator (EHWC), using the Jag Healthcheck report, will monitor employees completion of the survey to identify employees who have failed to complete Jag Healthcheck at least every three business days. The EHWC will refer non-compliant employees to their immediate supervisor for appropriate action. Non-compliant employees will be addressed in accordance with the University’s disciplinary guidelines.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.
In almost all cases, classes are delivered either in a hybrid model (Web-Blended) or fully online (Web-Online). For hybrid courses, some portion of the courses is generally offered face-to-face while adhering to social distancing guidelines
For all classes held on campus, social distancing must be practiced by all students, faculty and other employees. All persons must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from one another at all times.
The first day of fall 2020 classes was moved up one day to Monday, Aug. 17, and Convocation was virtual.
Fall break, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Oct. 8-9 , was canceled and those days were used as class days.
Fall 2020 Classes will end Tuesday, Nov. 24, and students will not return to campus after the Thanksgiving break.
Final exams will be given during the last class meeting between Nov. 18 and Nov. 24, or virtually during a scheduled final exam period between Dec. 1 and Dec. 4.
Internships and Cooperative Education provide valuable, practical, industry/degree-related experience to students. While their significance is undeniable, students’ health and safety are of utmost importance. Amid the current health crisis, internship sites are strongly encouraged to offer remote or virtual work options whenever possible.
The term “internship” is used broadly in these recommendations to encompass the range of student experiences and opportunities outside of the classroom, including internships, co-ops, field experiences, whether for academic credit or not. Using a set of developed guidelines based upon internship best practices, student guidance is provided in the Covid-19 Guidance and Recommendations for Internships and Cooperative Education and is located on the Career Services website.
The Charles M. Baugh Biomedical Library opened when College of Medicine classes resumed on August 3.
Marx Library and the Mitchell College of Business Library opened to USA students, faculty and staff on August 17.
USA Libraries’ online collections are available 24/7. Beginning July 6, students can request materials from the print collections by filling out this request form. The Marx Library will serve as the distribution point for all library materials.
For more information, please visit the USA Libraries COVID-19 website.
The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) supports community engaged learning, service learning and volunteerism for students, faculty and staff.
Details about the Community Engagement COVID-19 Guidelines — including expectations and requirements for students participating in and/or leading community engagement, service learning and volunteerism — can be found at COVID-19 Guidelines and FAQ for STUDENTS.
You should not attend in-person classes or activities on campus if you have symptoms like fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle, body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and/or diarrhea. If you have any questions about testing or are not feeling well and become symptomatic, stay home or in your residence hall room and call Student Health at (251) 460-7151 to set up a telehealth appointment with a provider.
The Housing Office has implemented a number of new health and safety protocols for the 2020-21 year. These include:
- USA has reduced overall resident capacity by approximately 300 beds, with up to 50% private rooms.
- USA reserved 87 rooms to be used as private quarantine units, if needed.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be located at entrance/exits, lobbies and laundry rooms.
- Masks are required in all public and common areas of USA residence halls, and when guests are in resident rooms.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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 you live in the same room or share a common bathroom, you will be considered a close contact. You may have to quarantine for up to 14 days from last exposure. USA Contact Tracing will be in touch to give exact details and answer any questions.
CDC currently uses a 6/15 rule, meaning if you are within 6 feet of someone for longer than 15 minutes you are considered a close contact even if both people are wearing masks. If you share a bathroom, this is considered a household contact because surface touching is inevitable, so even if you are not around the positive individual you can still contract COVID-19 from shared surfaces.
Each individual case will be different. Current CDC guidelines require a person to quarantine for 14 days from last exposure to a positive COVID person. If you test positive you will have to isolate for at least 10 days with 24 hours without fever and not taking any medications, and improvement in all symptoms.
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.
Yes. You will have to continue to quarantine for a full 14 days after last exposure because you can develop symptoms and start shedding the virus up to 14 days after exposure.
If it is safe for you to go home and isolate/quarantine we encourage you to do so. We have quarantine rooms available on campus if needed.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. If you start to develop any of the above symptoms please stay in your room and contact student health at 251-460-7151 for further guidance.
If you develop symptoms and they are mild, please stay in your room and contact Student Health on Monday morning. If you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in your chest, new confusion, inability to stay awake or bluish lips or face, or feel like you need to see a medical professional, please go to the nearest Emergency Room or call 911.
The Dining Services Office has implemented a number of new health and safety protocols for the 2020-21 year. For detailed information, please see the Dining Services website or plan to reopen.The changes include:
- Reduced dining hall and retail seating capacity by 50%.
- Elimination of self-service at all food operations.
- Offering remote pre-ordering/takeaway at retail dining locations.
- Requiring customers to wear face masks unless sitting and eating.
Students should continue to contact the Student Health Center with health concerns, whether routine or COVID-19 related. When making appointments at the Student Health Center, the following processes are required:
- All students are required to make an appointment.
- All students are asked to wear their own mask if they have one. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.
- Student Health utilizes tele-health for the majority of visits.
- All high-touch areas are cleaned twice daily.
- See the Student Health website for additional information.
The following protocols will be in place at the Student Recreation Center:
- Rec Center hours were revised to incorporate additional cleaning, and capacity is reduced.
- The Rock Wall, Locker Rooms and Kids Play Zone See the Student Health website for additional information. closed.
- Enforcement of social distancing is managed by professional staff.
- There is a no-touch check-in procedure at the front desk.
- All equipment at the Rec Center that is handled by patrons is cleaned during the scheduled cleaning periods.
In most cases, classes are delivered either in a web-blended (hybrid) model or fully online. For web-blended courses, some portion of the courses are 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.
The format is listed in the course schedule. Courses which are listed as web-enhanced in almost all cases are actually taught in a web-blended format. Students are notified by their professor of the specific schedule for course meetings. In all cases where the course format differs from that listed in the schedule, faculty will communicate the changes and expectations to enrolled students prior to the beginning of the term.
USA does not anticipate limiting course offerings. As always, students planning to graduate who are unable to register for a required course should contact their advisor.
- USA full-semester study abroad programs for fall are suspended. Students are given the option to defer their participation to a future semester or participate in a virtual study abroad opportunity.
- The Office of International Education will evaluate the feasibility of short-term international experiences 30 days from the program start date.
- Decisions on spring 2021 semester programs will be made on November 16, 2020.
For more information, visit the USA Office of International Education.
The Student Center is open with reduced capacity, as is the food court inside the Student Center. Furniture throughout the building is spaced to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The JagTran system is in operation, although capacity is limited and riders should leave extra time for their trips in case capacity is reached. Students and operators are required to wear masks while on the JagTran. Vehicles are regularly sanitized, and riders must follow posted rules.
It’s normal, at times, to feel overwhelmed and stressed. The key component is knowing how to manage stress in a healthy manner. Strategies such as getting plenty of sleep, time management, exercise, and increasing your social support network are often enough to effectively manage stress and emotions; however sometimes students feel “stuck” and notice difficulty moving toward their goals. That’s when it is important to reach out for help. Two resources that are available to students are:
The Jag Student Support Network is a peer support program that includes a group of dedicated students from a wide variety of groups and backgrounds on campus. JSSM peer mentors have been trained in mental health and provide support to all USA students.
The University Counseling and Testing Center provides free, confidential counseling and standardized testing services for all enrolled students. The Center strives to facilitate the academic, emotional, social, and career development of all USA students.