Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan

COVID-19 Response

Ready for Move-in 2020

University Housing is taking multiple steps to make your experience on campus as safe and exciting as possible when you arrive in August.

Here are things being done to prepare for your return to campus:

  • Additional move-in dates and times with decreased volume of students and parents at each arrival timeslot
  • Conducting enhanced disinfection of the many high-touch areas within our facilities like door handles, knobs, buttons, switches, handrails, tables, etc
  • Continuing our cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection process as directed by the Centers for Disease Control, which includes additional “fogging” of bathrooms
  • Evaluation of all residential programming to limit group sizes while encouraging and building strong communities
  • Partnerships with campus offices to continue important messaging about social distancing and current health protocols
  • Modified serving stations, installation of sneeze guards, contactless ordering where feasible, additional portable handwash stations in dining facilities
  • Allowing no more than two other people to assist students during move-in

See more information about COVID-19's impact on campus dining at the Dine on Campus website.

Please visit the University of Arkansas's Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage for campus-wide information about the virus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Arrival Information

Yes, Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued an executive order requiring face masks in most situations where individuals are in public. This executive order took effect Monday, July 20.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Governor's Office have not designated any "hot spots" that require quarantining at this time.

If you are out of state or an international student, you do not currently need to quarantine, but this could change if an area is designated as a "hot spot."

Building arrival times are capped at a maximum of ten students per hour.

You will have 45 minutes to unload your items and take them up to your room. After 45 minutes have passed, you will need to move your car to a designated lot. Remember, only two vehicles will be allowed into the parking lot, and your arrival pass should be hanging in your rearview mirror.

University Housing staff will be there to greet you and your family as you arrive on-campus. However, due to social distancing, volunteers and staff will not be able to assist you in unloading belongings.

You will be limited to two guests inside the building at the same time in order to help with social distancing.

You and your guest will need to wear face coverings at all times.

Elevators will be limited to one family at a time. You may be asked to take the stairs back down from your room in order to bring more families up the elevators quickly and avoid crowds.

Testing

If you live within a 3-hour drive of campus we ask that you go home, if possible.

If you are unable to go home, arrangements may be made to accommodate you.

University Housing has reserved rooms for possible quarantine or isolation needs.

You will receive an email with details about what you need to do.

Meals will be delivered to your room.

University Housing set aside rooms for possible quarantine or isolation needs. You will be given a temporary reassignment and communication with directions through your university email account.

Unfortunately, we cannot house students who do not have a signed contract with University Housing who may test positive or need to quarantine. The spaces for isolation and quarantine situations are reserved for students living under contract in University Housing facilities.

If you think someone might be ill, please encourage them to seek care at the Pat Walker Health Center immediately. Please remember to be respectful, thoughtful and considerate. We are all collectively responsibility for our community's well-being.

Be sure that you are taking care of yourself according to the Centers for Disease Control guidance online and looking out for other campus community members.

Sanitation and Safety

Yes. You will receive one bag that has cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and campus COVID-19-related information.

However, you also need to bring additional face coverings, hand sanitizer, etc. to make sure you are never without these things on campus.

The university put up signs across campus at the entrance of buildings about the requirement to wear masks and other educational information. There are also signs in common areas and in kitchens explaining how to best remain safe in this indoor spaces.

Yes, sneeze guards were installed at front desks where packages are picked-up. You can help by keeping at least six foot away when waiting to pick-up packages and mail or any other time you are at the desk.

Yes. Cleaning is very important. University Housing invested heavily in additional staffing, including investing over $1 million dollars to increase cleaning measures during the afternoon and weekends. We are doing enhanced disinfection for high-touch areas within our facilities like door handles, knobs, buttons, switches, handrails, tables, etc.

We also continue to clean, sanitize and follow the disinfection process as directed by the CDC which includes additional “fogging” of bathrooms.

Yes, as supplies allow, hand sanitizer stations will be located at each of the front desks where you receive mail and packages.

Drinking fountains will be available as normal. Most of our drinking fountains have bottle filling stations.

As with other high-touch areas, filling stations will be cleaned more frequently.

There are HVAC industry best practice strategies that can be applied across our University Housing facilities and these have and will guide our HVAC response.

The potential for infection transmission via building HVAC systems is being reduced by implementing, to the degree practicable, three high level strategies:

  1. OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE – We’re ensuring that systems are operating within the recommended temperature humidity range. Our electronic monitoring system provides us with alarms and notifications when any system fails or falls outside the programmed design settings allowing our staff to promptly addresses any operational variances and bring these systems back into specification.
  2. VENTILATION AND DILUTION – Our newer energy recover unit systems and air handling units utilize outside air to reduce the concentration of any potential infection source.
  3. FILTRATION AND MITIGATION – All filters are being replaced to ensure improved filtration and air disinfection technologies are installed in our newer HVAC systems. Such proven engineering technologies complement or supplement the other basic strategies mentioned above.

These best industry practices are taken primarily from publications from the following:

  • CDC: The Centers for Disease Control
  • ASHRAE: The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers
  • AIA: The American Institute of Architects

Quarantine and Isolation

If you have a positive result, you will be reassigned to a temporary room where you can isolate for a minimum of 10 days.

If you live within driving distance of three hours, we encourage you to go home for the duration of your isolation period. If going home is not an option, positive testing students will be moved to a designated temporary isolation room.

Your reassignment will be sent to your University email address and will have directions on everything you need to do.

You are not allowed to leave your room or have visitors.

The assistant director for outreach from University Housing will have daily contact with you.

You will be connected to Chartwells meals Text to Solve program, which allows you to order meals online to be delivered to your temporary room. If you have a meal plan, there is no extra charge. If you do not have a meal plan, your student account will be charged the daily rate.

When you arrive in your room, there will be some snacks provided.

Breakfast items and beverages are delivered to your room twice a week.

You will place trash outside your room following the directions provided in the email you receive. Trash should be placed in the bin outside by 9 a.m. Monday and Thursday.

You may have your personal laundry picked up and delivered to your temporary room at no extra charge. Pick-up on Monday is delivered on Thursday. Pick-up on Thursday is delivered on Monday.

You must be released by the Arkansas Department of Health/University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Northwest Contract Tracing before being allowed to move back to your permanent room assignment.

Your fall semester room assignment will be held for you.

All rooms used for isolation are cleaned following Centers for Disease Control guidelines after being vacated.

If you are notified that you are a primary contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID 19, you will be reassigned to a temporary room where you will quarantine for up to 14 days.

It is possible you may have to continue being quarantined even if you receive a negative test result.

This decision is made by the Arkansas Department of Health/University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Northwest Contact tracing.

Your reassignment will be sent to your University email address and will have directions on everything you need to do.

You are not allowed to leave your room or have visitors.

The assistant director for outreach from University Housing will have daily contact with you.

You will be connected to Chartwells meals Text to Solve program, which allows you to order meals online to be delivered to your temporary room. If you have a meal plan, there is no extra charge. If you do not have a meal plan, your student account will be charged the daily rate.

When you arrive in your room, there will be some snacks provided.

Breakfast items and beverages are delivered to your room twice a week.

You will place trash outside your room following the directions provided in the email you receive. Trash should be placed in the bin outside by 9 a.m. Monday and Thursday.

You may have your personal laundry picked up and delivered to your temporary room at no extra charge. Pick-up on Monday is delivered on Thursday. Pick-up on Thursday is delivered on Monday.

You must be released by the Arkansas Department of Health/University of Arkansas Medical Sciences Northwest Contract Tracing before being allowed to move back to your permanent room assignment.

Your fall semester room assignment will be held for you.

All rooms used for quarantine purposes are cleaned following Centers for Disease Control guidelines after being vacated.

If you have a housing contract, there will be no additional fees or charges for staying in the isolation or quarantine rooms.

If you do not have a housing contract the daily housing rate will be charged to your student account.

We certainly hope this will not be the case. It is going to take everyone doing their part to protect our community.

After educational conversations have taken place, the student, who is alleged to have violated the directives of quarantine or isolation regulations, will be referred to the Office of Student Standards and Conduct (OSSC).

The result will likely be an Interim Action by OSSC to immediately remove the student from University Housing. No assistance will be provided to find an off-campus location.

Housing and Dining

Yes. No visitors are allowed between Sunday, Aug. 16 through Monday, Aug. 31. Visitation will begin on Tuesday, September 1, and is limited to one visitor per assigned student in a room.

Visitors are limited to other university students or immediate family members. All visitors are required to wear a face cover at all times.

No overnight guests are permitted during the 2020-2021 academic year.

It is not possible to say you will not get or be exposed to COVID-19 however, when everyone does their part, risks can be mitigated.

Here is how you can help.

Wash your hands frequently.

Follow through on the things you agreed to in the COVID-19 addendum you signed.

Wearing a face covering, properly, is required anytime you are outside of your room and in your living facility. Your nose and mouth should be covered at all times.

Face coverings made of cloth should only be worn once and then washed. We recommend only using disposable face coverings once. If you throw away your face covering, you need to first put it inside a bag. Do not just throw it in a trash can.

You will be provided one bag that has two cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and other information from campus. However, you also need to bring your own protective supplies to make sure you are never without.

Always take your bathroom items in a container. Do not set your personal items directly on a sink or counter.

Wash your laundry at least once a week. Do not let it accumulate in your room until you go home.

Do not linger in the laundry room. Use the Laundry Alert app to receive notifications when your laundry is done or a machine is free for use.

Trash should be properly disposed of at least every other day. Do not place trash in recyclable bins.

At least every other day, recyclable items should be placed in designated bins on your floor or in other areas of your hall.

Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in your room. There are several off-the-counter cleaning products the CDC recommends. Don't forget to clean your electronics.

These can be found at the Environmental Protection Agency's website and cleaning information is available at the Centers for Disease Control's website.

The best way to see events taking place is to log into HogSync.

When possible, virtual activities will be available if you do not want to participate in person.

All events will follow CDC, ADH and campus guidelines, whichever is applicable to the event.

Floor meetings will be redesigned to be a mix of small meetings and on-line meetings.

Inside events will not last more than 60 minutes.

Yes, housing and dining services will remain open if the university goes to any type of online learning.

The following facilities (Founders, Futrall, Gibson, Hotz, Maple Hill East/South/West and Reid) will be closed for winter break beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18 and will re-open at noon Jan. 1, 2021.

No, you can remain in your assigned space during Thanksgiving break and through 5 p.m., Dec. 18. If you need to remain on campus beyond Dec. 18, you will want to be sure you have selected to live in a residence hall or apartment that is open during break periods.

No, as residence halls and dining will continue to operate as normal. In any given year, our contract states the following about refunds: “Room and applicable meal charges (except for the $240 Advance Payment) will be prorated as of the date the student officially checks out of the residence hall, if check out is prior to October 20, 2020 in the fall and March 19, 2021 in the spring.”

Yes, all the same staff and security measures will continue as normal regardless of remote learning. Professional and student staff will still be managing the day-to-day operations of the buildings as usual.

No, for safety reasons we will close these facilities initially, and hope that we will be able to open these spaces later in the semester.

There will be no self-serve buffets or "make your own" bars in the dining halls this fall. All food will be handled by dining staff.

You are encouraged to take advantage of enhanced takeout options.

Traffic flow has been changed in the dining areas to minimize contact among diners and reduce wait times.

Cleaning schedule has been enhanced to keep surfaces sterile.

Dining staff will do regular temperature screenings and wear face coverings at all times.

Dining hall hours are available on the Dine on Campus webpage.

See more information about COVID-19 impacts dining on campus at the Dine on Campus website.

Yes, we have reconfigured lobbies and common areas to promote and encourage social distancing. Visual reminders of the importance of social distancing will be found throughout our halls.

During the academic year, elevators are limited to four people. You should move to the far corners of the elevator to maximize social distancing.

At move-in, elevators will be limited to one family at a time.

No. In Northwest Arkansas, high levels of pollen and humidity are normal during the end of summer and start of fall.

Leaving your windows open negatively impacts the air quality within your room and the rest of the building. It also negatively affects the efficiency of the fan coil units within your room and may result in mold or mildew growing on surfaces.

Some of our newer buildings actually have sensors on the windows that disable the HVAC equipment and will shut down fan coil units to prevent short-cycling, excessive condensation and potential flooding when windows are left open.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, our response may be slightly delayed as we take the time to ensure the safety of both you and our staff.

Our staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment and expect the same from you when we arrive to respond to your needs.

We will knock and announce our presence and our purpose for access. If you are present, we will ask you to wear a face cover and to exit the room to limit interaction and abide by social distancing recommendations.

We will sanitize the area where we need to gain access to and then sanitize any areas we touched upon our departure. If you are not present, we will leave a hang tag that explains our entry and our actions to complete your requested action.

Managed Greek Housing

House arrival times have been spread out over a five-hour period to limit the number of students entering and exiting the Housing-managed Greek houses at one time.

Students may sign up for their arrival times beginning Monday, Aug. 3 and all students moving into the house must sign-up for a time and complete the COVID-19 agreement prior to move-in (Both of these will be found in the housing contracting portal where you did your contract).

You will be limited to two guests inside the building at the same time to help with social distancing.

You and your guest will need to wear face coverings when outside of your immediate suite area.

Elevators will be limited to one family at a time. You may be asked to take the stairs back down from your room to allow families with items to use the elevators for items needing to get to the student room.

Yes, however, room changes can only be approved via the assistant director for Greek managed housing. The goal is to limit room changes as much as possible during the academic year.

Yes, Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued an executive order requiring face masks in most situations where individuals are in public. This executive order took effect Monday, July 20. If you are outside of your living suite, you should wear a face cover to help protect the safety of all members of the house.

It is your responsibility to notify out-of-house members about your test results.

If you live within a 3-hour drive of campus we ask that you go home, if possible.

If you are unable to go home, arrangements may be made to accommodate you. You are required to relocate to an assigned space. You may not remain in the house under any circumstances.

University Housing has reserved rooms for possible quarantine or isolation needs in the residence halls. The Housing-managed Greek properties do not provide the room type required by the Arkansas Department of Health.

You will receive a message at your university email account with details about what you will need to do for the isolation period.

Information regarding how meals will be delivered to you are still being discussed. We will update this information when plans are finalized.

University Housing set aside rooms with bathrooms for possible quarantine needs within the residence halls. You will be given a temporary reassignment. Communication with directions will be sent to your university email account. Decisions on who should be quarantined or isolated are made by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Yes. You will receive one bag that has cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and campus COVID-19-related information.

However, you also need to bring additional face coverings, hand sanitizer, etc. to ensure you are never without these things on campus.

No, the houses will not close and you can remain in your assigned space through 5 p.m., Dec. 18 when the Greek Houses close for the fall semester. University Housing does not plan to close Greek facilities if there is any point after Thanksgiving where there is remote learning or specifically during any point in the semester.

Considering that the house will not close and be available to students, there will be no type of credit for the semester.

Yes. Cleaning is very important. University Housing invested heavily to increase cleaning measures during the afternoon and weekends.

We are doing enhanced disinfection for high-touch areas within your house like door handles, knobs, buttons, switches, handrails, tables and more.

We also continue to clean, sanitize, and follow the disinfection process as directed by the Centers for Disease Control which includes additional “fogging” of bathrooms.

It is important that you help by keeping public areas clean, taking out your trash, and cleaning your room frequently.

Currently, chapter leadership is meeting to look at consistent ways to handle visitors as the semester begins for all chapters. Once a final decision is made by Greek Life, University Housing and chapter leadership, this information will be shared just prior to move-in.

Currently, we do plan to allow out-of-house members to purchase a fob for the semester. However, at this time we plan to wait until at least Tuesday, Sept. 8 (the 11th day of classes when students are considered fully enrolled) before we will allow out-of-house members to purchase a fob.

The leadership for your house is currently discussing meal arrangements.

Chapters have been encouraged to look at options like sororities and university dining facilities that have students eating in different “shifts” or encouraging to-go options.

See more information about COVID-19 impacts dining on campus at the Dine on Campus website.

Yes. The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees voted, April 8, to allow universities in the U of A System, who are able to do so, to provide a credit adjustment in recognition of the unused room and board that students lost due to the coronavirus-related move to teaching and learning remotely.

Housing facilities closed due to COVID-19 on Friday, April 3. Students had 19 days of instruction remaining in the semester after facilities closed.

Housing and dining services prorate billing based off a 107-day cycle. That cycle began this year on Thursday, Jan. 9 and continued through April 25. The proration date began on Jan. 9, despite the fact halls re-opened for students on Jan. 1, to give students the maximum flexibility in returning after the winter break.

The end of the 107 days is April 25 which gives students 22 days of credit for the spring semester. University Housing decided to give 22 days of credit instead of 19 days of credit that would have come from instruction days missed. The 22 days of credit also aligns with consistently accepted past crediting practices.

University Housing recognizes there are many ways students may want to consider the amount of their credit. Students should know Housing used a standard consistent across multiple semesters.

Credits will officially process for students after the 11th day of the Fall 2020 semester for eligible students.

Returning U of A students will receive a credit for room and board costs lost after April 3, the deadline for moving out of university-managed housing. This includes students who were living in university-managed residence halls and apartments, and university-managed Greek housing. This does not apply to students living in privately-managed Greek housing.

Students will be able to utilize their credit during the upcoming academic year for specific university expenses including tuition, housing and meal plans. Students will see the credits in UA Connect under "anticipated financial aid" shortly before the fall semester begins. However, the actual credits won't be applied to student accounts until after the census date (11th class day) of the fall semester. 

Graduating students, who have completed all coursework for graduation by August 31, 2020, will receive prorated distributions in recognition of room and board lost after April 3. For graduating students who will soon complete all coursework for graduation, the reimbursements will be applied directly to student accounts shortly after the coursework is completed. For students needing to complete coursework for graduation in the coming months before August 31, 2020, the distributions will also be applied directly to student accounts after students have completed the necessary coursework.

While the decision to provide credits is primarily intended for returning students, the university understands that some students may not be able to return to school in Fall 2020.

For these students, appeals to make the credits refundable can be made to University Housing. Appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis after July 1, 2020.

Students may apply for an appeal by going to the Housing Contracting Portal and fill out the form called Appeal for COVID Housing and Dining Refund. The deadline to submit an appeal is August 1, 2020.

If you are returning for the 2020-2021 academic term, your credit will be posted to your student account after the 11th class day. You should be able to see the credit on your account as anticipated aid starting the week of July 27.