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Latest news related to COVID-19

The University of Utah is now in the orange phase, using operational guidelines developed by the Project Orange campus-wide working group. Please note that in the orange phase most work will continue to occur away from campus, with limited exceptions. For those who will be able to return to campus in the orange phase, this process will be gradual and begin primarily with research activities. In the orange phase, telecommuting should continue for most of our employees. In this phase, accommodations should be made for high-risk individuals. Our students will not be on campus.

Our current expectation, and preparation at this time, is that our campus activities—education, research and community engagement—will be operational in fall 2020, likely with some modifications based on public health guidance and our own planning process. We are currently developing several scenarios to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, using the work of the groups highlighted. We believe that by mid-June we will have adequate data and information to provide additional guidance for fall 2020 activities necessary to maintain public health and safety.

See full memo from President Watkins.

See the full memo from Project Orange Working Group Chair Jeff Herring.

Read the full guidelines.

information & PRECAUTIONS


CONFIRMED CASES

OF UNIVERSITY STAFF, FACULTY, OR STUDENTS (BASED ON SELF-REPORTING)

37

Number of recovered cases: 10

As we monitor the spread of COVID-19 through campus we are asking members of the U community to fill out this form (uNID login required) if they have tested positive for the virus or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

COVID-19 Reporting Form

This information will help us to reduce the spread of the disease by making sure appropriate areas of campus are cleaned and disinfected.

Download the official University Guidance document for COVID-19 protocol for suspected or confirmed cases in University buildings.

If you have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or who you suspect may have COVID-19 please follow these instructions.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

The goal of physical distancing is to help us keep from infecting others. Sometimes called social distancing, we call it physical distancing. We want to remain socially in touch with our families and loved ones, but keep physically distant.

Physical distancing can help slow the spread of coronavirus and keep high-risk populations safe. To practice physical distancing:

  • Limit close contact with others. If you are in a space with other people, remain at least six feet apart.
  • Reduce unnecessary trips.
  • Practice good hygiene while in public. Clean frequently touched surfaces, avoid shaking hands and touching things unnecessarily, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face.
  • Get fresh air and exercise while maintaining physical distance from others.

More information is available here and here.


You may click & download the following physical distancing files (PDFs) for your offices or buildings:

Floor Sticker Designs (PDF)

Threshold Signs (PDF)

Table Tents (PDF)

Protecting Yourself

You can protect yourself from COVID-19 the same way you protect yourself from other viruses with a few commonsense practices.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Make sure you are cleaning between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Avoid shaking hands, especially with those who appear to be ill.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
  • Disinfect shared surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick

University of Utah Health has a helpful website with practical tips about how to protect yourself.

Tips From U of U Health


Meetings, conferences, and gatherings

In line with state and county public guidance all university-sponsored meetings or gatherings of more than 10 people are canceled.  The university remains open and operational as we do all we can to limit exposure to this highly contagious virus.


Guidance for Building Closure and Workplace Lockdown

Information is now online for building managers and department leaders that provides recommendations and actions to close or limit the use of buildings as part of the university’s response to COVID-19 crisis. Note: this guidance is not intended for hospital and clinics.

The guidance is designed to help reduce the need for custodial services to temporarily closed campus buildings and to keep spaces disinfected so students, faculty, and staff can return to campus safely when deemed appropriate.

Required Self-isolation and Physical Distancing

The university is requiring students, faculty, and staff returning from any country to self-isolate and implement physical distancing. Individuals who fall into this category must inform the University of Utah via the returning traveler self-reporting form (RTSRF). The university will not release personal information about returning students, faculty, and staff.

If you have questions regarding self-isolation; feel sick with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing; or have been in contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19, please call your health care provider or an urgent care center and notify them of your symptoms and recent travel. Your health care provider will determine if you need to be seen in the office and if so, will provide special instructions to prevent exposing others.

Recommendations from the CDC for self-isolation and physical distancing:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for a 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  • Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing physical distancing.
  • Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Should any university community member be diagnosed with COVID-19, public health officials and the university will respond immediately to identify others who may be at risk and make appropriate recommendations.


Best Practices for Maintaining a Safe Campus Environment

We are asking the entire campus community to follow best practices to help reduce the risk of spreading any type of illness on campus.

  • If you are a student, please stay home if you are sick. Please communicate directly with your instructors about your situation. If additional support is needed, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students (801-581-7066).
  • If you are a faculty or staff member, please stay home if you are sick. Please communicate directly with your immediate supervisor about your situation. If additional support is needed, please contact Human Resources (801-581-2169).
  • Building managers have been directed to pay particular attention to monitoring and regularly disinfecting shared surfaces.
  • All administrators are being asked to begin planning to ensure the continuity of education and research, safe housing and meal programs, and how university support services would be modified in the case of a community-wide spread of the virus.

If you have questions about sick leave, paid time off, payroll or other concerns please contact the Division of Human Resources.

Human Resources


COVID-19 Guidance for Mandatory On Campus or Telecommuting Designations

Beginning immediately, departmental should leaders begin working with their teams to identify employees and positions (as well as functions) who must report in-person to work and those whose work can be completed remotely. Guidance below has been produced by the U’s Human Resources team to assist supervisors and leaders in this process. While staffing plans should be implemented immediately, leaders should keep track of the designations and provide a report to their supervisory vice president or dean by Friday, March 20, at noon. Click here for more information.

Telecommuting Resources


Campus Transit Services & Parking

Beginning March 18, the campus shuttles will operate on the “Break” schedule. U SafeRide will operate normally. For details related to routes and hours, please refer to the Commuter Services website or call our information center at 801-581-6415. Parking rules have been relaxed for the Guardsman Way and Stadium lots to accommodate changing commuting needs. Details can be found here.


Child Care Facilities

The university operates five on-campus child care centers. Parents and clients of these centers are being communicated with directly.


Libraries

The J. Willard Marriott Library and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library are closed temporarily.The James E. Faust Law Library remains closed.

The libraries’ thousands of online journals, databases, and ebooks remain available via EZproxy; in addition, live reference help is available to all students, staff, and faculty.

Learn more through these webpages:

Willard Marriott Library: HERE

Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library: HERE

James E. Faust Law Library: HERE

Student Computer Labs

University of Utah computing labs will be open in strategic locations around campus to provide internet service to students with limited access. Students will be required to practice physical distancing in each lab.

The student computer lab in the Union building has reopened. For information on requesting a laptop or wireless hotspot, visit the Union’s Covid-19 page at https://union.utah.edu/covid-19/.

Computer labs that are open (please check with each lab for specific hours of operation):

  • Ray Olpin Union self-service computer lab
  • Warnock Engineering Building Engman Lab (L210). Note: Students must first submit this web form (authentication is required) to request access to WEB, which is currently closed.
  • College of Fine Arts Film Lab 270 (Building 038)

Labs that are closed:

  • UOnline Center, Marriott Library
  • Eccles Health Sciences Education Building computer lab (3100)
  • College of Social & Behavioral Science, Gardner Commons 1825 and 1855
  • College of Education, Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts and Education Complex, 2155A and 3155A
  • Department of Family & Preventive Medicine labs
  • Materials Science & Engineering, Civil & Materials Engineering Building 312 and 320
  • Kennecott Mechanical Engineering labs
  • Department of Mathematics, LCB 115
  • College of Social Work, Lab 295 (bldg. 26)
  • Warnock Engineering Building
    • CADE Mac Lab - WEB L124
    • CS Undergrad Lab - WEB L130
    • CADE Lab - WEB L224tecture building, 038)
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Merrill Engineering Building
    • Analog and Motors Lab (MEB Room 2365) open to ECE-registered students
    • PC Classroom Lab, (MEB Room 2555) open to ECE-registered students
    • Power/open wave Lab (MEB Room 2353)
    • Digital Lab (MEB Room 2275)
  • College of Fine Arts
    • Art Lab 258 (258 of Art & Architecture building, 038)
    • Art Lab 365 (365 of Art & Architecture building, 038)
    • Film Lab 005 (FMAB building, 036)
    • Theatre 242 Drafting Lab (242 of TAB building, 073)
  • School of Biological Sciences Open access lab (106)
  • McKay Music Library (100 of DGH building, 003)
  • Sorenson Music Technology Studio  (100E of McKay Music Library of DGH building, 003)

Campus Store

The University Campus Store and the Sandy Campus Store will reopen to the public on Monday, May 11, 2020. At this time, Health Campus Store in HSEB will remain closed to the public. All three locations will continue to offer curbside service and encourage patrons to take advantage of this service. Those who choose to shop in-store are required to wear face coverings at all times, maintain physical distancing, and limit the size of their shopping groups.

To keep customers safe as the COVID-19 pandemic endures, Campus Store staff are taking all necessary precautions and have implemented several safety guidelines. All staff members are required to wear face coverings, tight aisles will be limited to one-way traffic, partitions have been installed where necessary, shopping carts and other frequently touched surfaces are disinfected continually, dressing rooms are temporarily closed, and staff temperatures will be checked at the employee entrance.

Hours of Operation:

Main Campus Store: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • 8:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. for high-risk individuals access only.

Sandy Campus Store: 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • 10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. for high-risk individuals access only.

Health Campus Store: remaining closed to the public at this time.

Please call 801-581-6326 with any questions or concerns.


Museums and Garden

The Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA) are closed to the public temporarily. As that date approaches, we will reassess whether the closure should continue. NHMU and UMFA are both committed to doing all that is possible to support teaching and learning, including during this period of public closure. Faculty are encouraged to reach out to the museums’ staff to discuss possible accommodations for students virtually and/or possibly in person.

Both museums maintain a database of objects that are viewable online, as well as rich online content, blogs, curricula, and other online resources that can be used for academic purposes.

Red Butte Garden is closed until further notice. Garden staff will continue operations to ensure the upkeep of the garden and its facilities to be ready to receive guests when it reopens.


Pioneer Theatre Company and Kingsbury Hall Performances

Performances at Pioneer Theatre Company and Kingsbury Hall are canceled through the remainder of spring semester. Contact the relevant ticket office to inquire about rescheduled performances.


Athletics Competitions

The Pac-12 has canceled the NCAA basketball tournament and other competitions until further notice. Watch Utah athletics websites for additional information.

STUDENTS


 

Housing

Recently a message from President Ruth Watkins went out to campus regarding campus housing. You can read that message here.

Housing & Residential Education (HRE) students: Effective March 23, 2020, on-campus housing is limited to a very small group of students to support effective physical distancing. Housing will be prioritized for international students, students experiencing homelessness, foster youth, and students with known health or safety risks. Students who believe they meet these criteria must complete a form to remain on campus. More information about the process to request continuing in on-campus housing is available online. All other students should move out of their campus residences by Friday, March 27, at 9 p.m. These residents will receive a prorated refund for the remainder of the spring semester.

For the students remaining on campus, Dining Services continues to remain open for to-go meal options. Locations and hours may be adjusted and are posted on the housing website.

Students who are not currently on campus should cancel their housing contract, if they have not yet done so. When they cancel they will identify a date they wish to return to campus to pickup their belongings. The last day to pick up belongings is May 2. The prorated refund date for students not on campus is the date they submit their contract cancellation.

Out-of-state students’ residency applications will NOT be affected.

All updates are posted to the housing website.

University Student Apartment (USA) students: Housing operations will remain open and unchanged, with the exception of scheduled large gatherings. USA is available to respond to questions. For more information please contact apartments@utah.edu or call 801-581-8667.

We recognize this time of uncertainty can be particularly stressful for students who live in on-campus housing. Students who are struggling with anxiety or depression are encouraged to reach out to their HRE resident director for campus resources, or directly to the University Counseling Center for help.

More Information


Emergency student aid

For students who may be encountering financial emergencies, we have established a single point of contact for emergency financial aid requests. Please ask students to contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at FAwin1@utah.edu or at 801-581-6211 to discuss options for assistance.

If anyone is experiencing food insecurity the Feed U Pantry has food available to anyone with a UCard. They are open on weekdays but hours will vary based on volunteer availability. Current Hours can be found at feedu.utah.edu.


Online course examinations

The U’s licenses for ProctorU are being expanded to support online examinations. Students will NOT be required to pay for online course examinations.


Learning Abroad, Alternative Spring Break Trips, and Continuing Education Cancellations

The COVID-19 international outbreak and global pandemic situation continues to disrupt the landscape of international travel, guidance, and restrictions on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Updates from international health, safety and security benchmarking organizations over the previous weeks continue to confirm the increased uncertainly of the global travel landscape in relation to COVID-19 outbreak:

Based on guidance from the CDC and in an abundance of caution, the university has suspended all university-affiliated student programs and travel in international locations through the end of Summer Term 2020. This includes:

  • All programs offered through Learning Abroad and the Office for Global Engagement
  • All international travel programs offered through Eccles Global and the David Eccles School of Business
  • All global internships offered through the Hinckley Institute
  • All programs offered through, managed, and/or coordinated by all other university colleges and departments
  • All Go Learn programs offered by Continuing Education & Community Engagement
  • All Alternative Spring Break programs and ASUU activities, both in the United States and internationally
  • All independent or individual registered student travel to international locations for university activities (internships, service-learning opportunities, international research, etc.)

The decision to cancel all Spring and Summer 2020 university-affiliated student travel to international locations was made in consideration of the rapidly changing international travel environment. Many international academic partners and providers have already cancelled Spring and Summer programs at this time, and the uncertainty of future travel restrictions limits anyone’s ability to guarantee students’ safe travel—and access to—international sites, centers of medical care, traveler support services and resources. Furthermore, there are no assurances that normal activities (both domestic and international) will be able to resume in the near term.

In light of the growing number of foreign and U.S. restrictions on inbound/outbound international travel, the university is also requiring all international travelers currently abroad on university-affiliated travel to return home (*the only exception to this directive is for travelers currently participating in programs at the Utah Asia Campus). With rapidly shifting circumstances worldwide, our ability to support university travelers is eroding and changing quickly, and we want to provide the best support possible. University of Utah main campus students studying at the Utah Asia Campus for Spring 2020 should note the specific instructions related to UAC activities, outlined below.

We recognize these university travel directives may create hardships for some, and we are working to provide appropriate accommodations. Students who are currently abroad and have concerns about their program and travel should work directly with their on-site and university study abroad coordinators. For students whose study abroad credit may be necessary for spring graduation, study abroad coordinators, international program directors, and program staff across campus will be working with students to help them understand options available and make alternate arrangements regarding the necessary credits.

More Information


Academic Advising

Your advising needs are important to us. We have a number of options in place to ensure full access to academic advising, whether you can come to campus or not. If you need to meet with an advisor, please start at the academic advising appointments landing page. This can easily be accessed from the green conversation bubbles icon at the bottom right of the university’s home page. Select the college or unit that best fits your need, and view options for making phone or virtual appointments.

Once you’ve scheduled a phone or virtual appointment, be sure to set up a FERPA pin in CIS. Your advisor will need to verify your identity before being able to discuss your academic records by phone or video.

Our Student Success Advocate (SSA) team will also operate from a distance. SSAs can meet with you via Skype, email, or text, to support you in any way that they can. To contact an SSA, click here then select the SSA who best meets your needs. Then, call, text or email your SSA using the contact provided.

We want to ensure you are able to engage in your classes in the online format. Please let us know if you have any concerns about access to the technology you need to continue in your courses. If you do not have access to adequate Wi-Fi, please contact an SSA.

Second, please let your SSA know if you have any concerns about your learning style or capacity to perform to the best of your ability or keep up with your class in an online format. We will work with you to address these concerns.

Finally, please reach out to us if the move to an online format impacts your access to food or housing, puts you in a vulnerable position, or if you are feeling stress around your health and the ongoing coronavirus situation. Please know that everyone here at the University stands ready to support you during this unprecedented time.

Please stay safe and healthy.

More Information


Office of Admissions

The Office of Admissions will be extending the deadline for students to confirm their intent to enroll and to pay their enrollment deposit until June 1, 2020. Given all that we’re facing as a nation and global community, we want to be as flexible with students and families as we can.


Counseling

The University Counseling Center staff is committed to supporting the mental health needs of students. All counseling services are being conducted over the phone. If you are an enrolled University of Utah student, please call 801-581-6826 for crisis support. More information is available here. 


SafeUT

The SafeUT Crisis Chat provides real-time crisis intervention through live chat and a confidential tip program – right from your smartphone.
Get free 24/7 access to:
  • Supportive or crisis counseling
  • Suicide prevention
  • Referral services
We can help anyone with emotional crises, relationship problems, mental health, or suicide-related issues. Download the app today.

Equipment available

Laptop and mobile hotspot loan program – laptops, mobile hotspots mailed to current U students on a first-come, first-served basis.

Student Union webpage: https://union.utah.edu/covid-19/

On this webpage:

  • How to request a laptop loan via email. A laptop will be mailed to you (subject to availability). In your email, please provide your name, uNID, mailing address, and your preference of Mac or Windows PC.
  • How to request a mobile hotspot loan via web form (login required). A hotspot will be mailed to you (subject to availability).

Xfinity free wifi

Xfinity has many free wifi locations – enter a zip code to access location information. http://wifi.xfinity.com/

More resources

You can find more resources available to the campus community here.

FACULTY & STAFF


 

COVID-19 Guidance for Mandatory On Campus or Telecommuting Designations

Beginning immediately, departmental leaders should begin working with their teams to identify employees and positions (as well as functions) who must report in-person to work and those whose work can be completed remotely. While staffing plans should be implemented immediately, leaders should keep track of the designations and provide a report to their supervisory vice president or dean by Friday, March 20, at noon. Click here for more information.

Telecommuting Resources


 

Campus Transit Services & Parking

Beginning March 18, the campus shuttles will operate on the “Break” schedule. U SafeRide will operate normally. For details related to routes and hours, please refer to the Commuter Services website or call our information center at 801-581-6415. Parking rules have been relaxed for the Guardsman Way and Stadium lots to accommodate changing commuting needs. Details can be found here.


Campus Mail

Campus mail continues to operate with the usual delivery schedule. In the event that a mail/job delivery is attempted, and the department/building is found to be locked, a memo will be left stating that delivery will be suspended. To resume mail delivery or request an alternate delivery location, please contact Juan Sosa (juan.sosa@utah.edu) at University Print & Mail Services. Mail for departments and buildings that are closed due to COVID-19 will be sorted and held until the department/building reopens. In the meantime, for those departments/buildings, mail may be picked-up by request, or special delivery requests may be made by sending an email to juan.sosa@utah.edu. There are no changes to FedEx package pick-up, processing, and drop-off schedule at this time.  A notice will be left in departments/buildings when a delivery was attempted.

Research & Clinical Research


 

The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) remains operational as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

University of Utah research will move to the orange phase on May 11. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety has released an important memorandum on Health and Safety Requirements for Level Orange (Limited Research Operations). It is essential that all personnel comply with the additional safety measures to help minimize the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. 

Please review the resources on Allowable Research Under Orange Hazard Levels and Research Alert Levels with COVID-19 Protocols. Other resources for researchers during this period are available here.

For guidance on research planning and continuity, click here.

travel RESTRICTIONS


Effective immediately, the University of Utah is extending the current travel restriction for all university-related business travel for faculty, staff, and students through June 30, 2020. 

NOTE: This restriction may be extended to a later date as we continue to monitor the situation.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO NOW: If you have planned a business-related trip between now and June 30, you should cancel the trip, unless you obtain an approved exception.

Exceptions to this restriction should be approved at least 1 week prior to departure, and are subject to the following exception procedures:

Trips departing through May 31, 2020: ALL of the following extraordinary approvals are required:

  1. The department chair or manager
  2. The dean or vice president
  3. The designee of the relevant senior vice president.

Those designated for final approval of a travel restriction exception are:

Trips departing June 1, 2020 - June 30, 2020: VP approval is required prior to departure for any trips during these dates.

Personal Travel: We continue to encourage you, when considering your personal travel choices, to follow travel advisories issued by your local and state authorities. If you choose to travel, you may be restricted from returning to work depending upon the specifics of your circumstances.

UNIVERSITY ASIA CAMPUS

 

Faculty, students and staff who have visited or stayed in Daegu/Cheongdo within 14 days prior to arrival on campus must notify IGC Housing at housing@igc.or.kr or 82-032-626-4856 immediately.  In addition, all need to provide their names, cell phone numbers and Kakao IDs to the Office of the Dean of Students. Any questions or concerns please address to Randy McCrillis, at randy.mccrillis@utah.edu.

More Information

We Support Our Campus Community


 

We also recognize that many of you have friends and families in regions of the world affected by the coronavirus. We want each of you to know that in this stressful time, the university stands with you, and that all of us at the U are committed to your well-being and to supporting you. If you have concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your advisors, your colleagues, university support services, or any of us.

Finally, several testing sites in Asia already have been disrupted by quarantines, making standardized examinations, including the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, and SAT/ACT, unavailable. If you receive queries or concerns from potential students, these should be directed to the Graduate School (info@gradschool.utah.edu for programs, policies, and procedures, or graduate@utah.edu for graduate admissions) or Undergraduate Admissions (admissions@utah.edu).


 

Combating stigma associated with COVID-19 (adapted from the CDC website)

Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is infected or at risk for the disease. Stigma hurts everyone by creating fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem. Please refer to the university’s website or the CDC website for additional guidance.

  • Viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.
  • People—including those of Asian descent—who have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of COVID-19 or been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.
  • People who have returned from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19 more than 14 days ago and do not have symptoms are not infected with the virus and contact with them will not give you the virus.
  • Share the need for social support for people who have returned from affected countries or are worried about friends or relatives in the affected region.
Important note

Local county health departments in coordination with the state health department are taking the lead on tracking patients and those they have come in contact with to help prevent the spread of the virus. If you have questions please call the Utah Department of Health Resource Center at 1-888-222-2442.