The university is enacting the Emergency Management Plan (Policy Number 203.1), including the pandemic component to prepare for the potential impacts of COVID-19. We are at pandemic Level 1; the campus is open; business is as usual; and enhanced planning is underway.
As part of the enhanced planning efforts, the university is forming a Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT) that will help coordinate the university’s efforts as well as provide updates to the campus community. Initial members of the CERT include:
- Cody Decker, Student Affairs and CERT Chair
- Sharon Downs, Student Affairs and CERT Vice Chair
- Emily Bell, Study Abroad
- Thomas Bunton, Information Technology Services
- Regina Carter, Public Safety
- Ophelia Dedner, Human Resources
- Elizabeth Sloan Davidson, Department of Nursing
- Jeff Harmon, Communications & Marketing
- Richard Harper, Dean of Students
- Mike Kirk, Counseling Services and Health Services
- Patti Light, Campus Living
- David Millay, Facilities Management
- David Montague, eLearning & STAR
- Vince Rogers, Environmental, Health, and Safety
Based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for institutions of higher education, the CERT is charged with the following objectives:
- Implement emergency operations plans
- Monitor and plan for faculty and staff absenteeism
- Review and publicize procedures for students, staff, and faculty who are sick on campus
- Review and implement appropriate environmental, health, and safety practices
- Provide accurate and timely updates to the University Cabinet/Emergency Response Time (ERT)
- Assess status and recommend changes in pandemic levels to the ERT
Faculty Guidance for Online Learning Preparations
The university has created an emergency preparedness plan to support university faculty teaching face-to-face classes in case of any disruptions caused by COVID-19. Since Blackboard course shells are already available for all UA Little Rock courses, including face-to-face, hybrid, and webcast courses, faculty could quickly move courses online. eLearning will post on the STaR website seven easy-to-use, “How-To” videos (1-2 minutes each), accompanied by Graphical Guides, enabling faculty to become proficient in the basics of using Blackboard. StaR can provide additional assistance as needed, working with faculty via phone, email, and videoconferencing.
Practicing Personal Safety
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.
Strategies for stopping the spread of the illness
- 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 before entering the facility.
The CDC does not recommend the general public wear masks.
Arkansas Department of Health has activated a call center with epidemiologists to answer questions from health care providers and the public about COVID-19 (1-800-803-7847). Daily updates about COVID-19 in Arkansas are posted at 3 p.m. every day 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.
Information about COVID-19 is available on the Health Services website.
Additional information is available from the CDC for students, staff, and faculty who plan to travel, or have recently traveled to areas with COVID-19 outbreaks. This information is available at the CDC’s FAQ for travelers and the COVID-19 travel website.
Stopping the stigma
People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get COVID-19 than any other American. Help stop fear by letting people know that being of Asian descent does not increase the chance of having or spreading COVID-19.
The CERT, Health Services staff, and university administrators will continue to work closely with the Arkansas Department of Health to keep our community safe and healthy. If the situation changes, we will follow up with additional information.