What new state health mandates mean for UAA

by UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen  |   

Dear UAA Community,

As you have likely heard, Gov. Dunleavy released two new public health mandates Friday night that went into effect at 5 p.m. today and will be re-evaluated on April 11.

The first is Health Mandate 11, which is a statewide “stay home” or “shelter-in-place” that aims to slow the spread of COVID-19. When Alaskans must leave their homes, the mandate requires social distancing of six feet. The order also imposes restrictions on businesses, with exceptions for activities considered “essential.” The second is Health Mandate 12. It prohibits in-state travel, with very few exceptions.

President Johnsen released an update this afternoon about what this means for the university system. Here’s how it applies to UAA.

What does this mean for UAA?

  • Distance and alternate delivery, operations in support of that mission, as well as other services and critical infrastructure and operations listed in this attachment to the mandate are considered essential.

UAA has already moved most of its classes from in-person to alternative delivery and has encouraged employees to work from home where feasible. We will be working to review the details of the orders and further refine our operations. As of 5 p.m. today, university employees, students and researchers should follow the guidance below.

What does this mean for students?

  • Continue taking your courses via alternate delivery from your home (or on-campus housing).
  • Do not come to campus for in-person courses. We may be seeking an exception for certain in-person classes.
  • If you need to use university computer labs to access your alternate delivery courses you may continue to do so.

What does this mean for employees?

  • Continue to work from home if you are already doing so.
  • If your supervisor directed you to work on campus, continue to do so, unless directed otherwise.
    For example: This may apply to employees in utilities, IT, payroll, housing and dining, building maintenance, media and health and public safety.
  • Begin working at home if you are not currently doing so, unless you have been directed to work on campus.

Employees should consult with their supervisor for guidance. Supervisors should consult their chain of command. Employees who fall into one of the exceptions to the mandate should expect to receive a letter from the university with those details.

What does this mean for university research?

  • Research must support essential functions. If it does not and cannot be conducted from home, it must be suspended.
  • Exceptions: Animal care, ongoing coronavirus research and essential staffing for functions that are part of specific critical infrastructure or public safety work

What else do I need to know?

  • Community restrictions remain in place.
  • All on-campus events of any kind must be canceled.
  • All in-state travel between communities and out-of-state travel for university business is prohibited unless an exception is granted by your chancellor and approved by the State of Alaska.

Please be patient as the university continues to update its policies and FAQs in light of changes to state public health mandates.

Federal, state and local public health mandates always supersede less-restrictive university policies. You can stay abreast of those restrictions by checking with your local government, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thank you for your patience as we work through the details of these mandates together! Stay safe and healthy, Seawolves!

Sincerely,

Cathy Sandeen

 

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