UA Little Rock continues to monitor the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. At this time, face-to-face classes, meetings, and events at UA Little Rock will continue and expedited planning should proceed in case alternative arrangements are soon required. UA Little Rock is taking immediate steps to ensure continuity of campus operations. This includes continuation of university services such as course delivery, health services, safety services, financial services, campus living, campus dining, and more. Please read below for additional information.
Travel Guidance as of March 11, 2020
Students, Faculty, and Staff
University-sponsored travel for the next sixty days to destinations outside of Arkansas should be canceled at this time. Requests for exceptions (with supporting justification) may be submitted through the appropriate vice chancellor for consideration by the University Cabinet. Travelers are encouraged to seek travel-related refunds as appropriate from transportation providers, hotels, conferences, etc.
University visitors are encouraged to participate in campus events via teleconference and videoconference services. University visitors from U.S. states that declared a state of emergency as well as visitors from CDC-identified level two or higher countries are prohibited from visiting the campus without vice chancellor approval. Visitors should consider the health and logistical issues with domestic and international travel.
Preparing for Online Instruction
In collaboration with the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT), Academic Affairs is developing a plan to address the continuation of instruction during a potential campus closure. Other universities that have already closed temporarily are continuing instruction that previously was being done in face-to-face classrooms primarily by moving to online instruction for those classes or portions of classes (in the case of hybrid classes). Please refer to the UA Little Rock Contingency Plan – Office of Academic Affairs.
In the case of UA Little Rock’s moving face-to-face courses to online for any amount of time, UA Little Rock must follow federal and university guidelines regarding syllabi and learning agreements, instructor availability, regular and substantive contact, attendance, and final grades of Incomplete (I). Please refer to the memo from the Office of Academic Affairs regarding Compliance Preparation for COVID-19: Course Change Documentation, Attendance, and Incomplete Grades.
Further Contingency Planning
In accordance with the emergency management plan and pandemic policy, units are asked to prepare for continuity of operations in the event physical offices are temporarily closed. At this time, preparations should account for a potential two- to three-week university closure scenario. Division heads were asked by the University Cabinet to identify essential processes and personnel and assess remote-work capabilities. IT Services is preparing the virtual private network (VPN) server to support a larger number of remote workers.
In the case of students who reside on campus, and especially for those unable to return home in the event of university closure, the university is assessing emergency housing and dining options. More information will be shared as it becomes available.
Communications & Marketing, Health Services, Campus Living, Student Experience Center, and Environmental Health and Safety are collaborating on the printing and distribution of informational resources from the CDC and applicable health organizations. Information is being placed in common areas as well as residential spaces. UA Little Rock will continue posting information online.
Strategies for Stopping the Spread of the Illness
As previously shared, the CDC lists the symptoms of COVID-19 as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, but you may have other symptoms common in respiratory illnesses, including muscle or body aches, sore throat, fatigue, and headaches.
The following recommendations are intended to combat the spread of COVID-19:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve. When you use a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately. Do not use a handkerchief.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Do not share food, drinks, vaping devices or anything that can spread the virus to others.
- Try to get sufficient sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
- Keep your hands clean and wash them frequently with soap and water. Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer and use it when you cannot wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Do not share cups, straws, or anything else you put in your mouth (especially vaping devices).
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Disinfect surfaces that can be contaminated such as desks, phones, doorknobs, keyboards, etc.
If you have traveled outside of Arkansas within the past 14 days or have been around anyone diagnosed with coronavirus and are experiencing these symptoms, contact your health care provider and Health Services. Call before arriving in-person.
The CDC does not recommend the general public wear masks.
The Arkansas Department of Health activated a call center with epidemiologists to answer questions from health care providers and the public about COVID-19; 1-800-803-7847 during business hours and 1-501-661-2136 outside business hours.) Daily updates about COVID-19 in Arkansas are posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s website.
If you are feeling unwell, contact your medical provider or call Health Services at 501-569-3188. If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call ahead before going to Health Services, your medical provider, or the emergency department.
UA Little Rock will continue to work closely with the Arkansas Department of Health and other national and state health officials. As the situation changes, we will follow up with additional information and actions.
Christina S. Drale
W. Cody Decker
Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs