Coronavirus (COVID-19) Plan
Safety on Campus
University Housing is taking multiple steps to make your experience on campus as safe and exciting as possible for our residents.
Here are things we’ve done to make residential life on campus safer:
- 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
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)
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."
Sanitation and Safety
Yes. Students received one bag that has cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and campus COVID-19-related information.
However, you should 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 these 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.
Most of our drinking fountains have bottle filling stations. These will be the only available drinking fountains.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 test result, you will be reassigned to a temporary room where you can isolate until you have been released by your medical provider or the Arkansas Department of Health.
You will need to show the secured message to checkout and return to your regular assignment.
If you go to a medical provider outside of campus and are tested positive you need to complete the self-report form the same day you receive your results.
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 contact you.
You will be connected to campus dining, 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.
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.
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.
Download the Isolation and Quarantine Process Chart
If you are notified that you are a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID 19, you should be tested. Tests are available at the Pat Walker Health Center. Until test results are provided, you will be reassigned to a temporary room where you may need to quarantine for up to 14 days.
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.
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, September 22. Visitation will begin on Tuesday, September 23, 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 always required to wear a face cover.
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 always be covered.
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.
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.
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 always do regular temperature screenings and wear face coverings.
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
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 for students to isolate or quarantine in.
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 received one bag that has cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and campus COVID-19-related information.
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, 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.
Spring 2020 Credit-related FAQ
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 were officially processed for students after the 11th day of the Fall 2020 semester for eligible students.
Returning U of A students received 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 can utilize their credit during the upcoming academic year for specific university expenses including tuition, housing and meal plans. Students saw that credit in UA Connect under "anticipated financial aid" shortly before the fall semester began. However, the actual credits were not applied to student accounts until after the census date (11th class day) of the fall semester.
Graduating students, who completed all coursework for graduation by August 31, 2020, received prorated distributions in recognition of room and board lost after April 3.
For graduating students who compeleted all coursework for graduation, reimbursements were applied directly to their student accounts shortly after the coursework was completed.
For students needing to complete coursework for graduation in the coming months before August 31, 2020, the distributions were also applied directly to their account after they 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.
The deadline to make an appeal is Tuesday, Oct. 6.
If you are returning for the 2020-2021 academic term, your credit will be posted to your student account after the 11th class day.