Masking required at UAA

by Sean Parnell, UAA Chancellor  |   

Dear UAA Faculty, Staff and Students,

This afternoon you received a communication from University of Alaska Interim President Pitney that universal masking will be required indoors and under other specified conditions on all campuses in the UA system. Because the delta variant spreads easily, and because nearly all of our campus communities are located in areas of sustained or high transmission, the president said it has become clear the UA system needs to return to universal face masking in order to minimize the potential for the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses.

I wanted to share some information about what this means for UAA and what steps you should take to report a positive case of or exposure to COVID-19.

What does this change mean for UAA?
This means that on campus we will protect ourselves, each other and our institution by wearing masks indoors in accordance with the updated UAA mask policy. We plan to do so for at least as long as our community meets the metric of a sustained or high-transmission area for COVID-19. In the outdoor campus environment, you are not required to wear your mask unless you cannot maintain six feet of distance from other people.

These changes reflect new CDC guidance released this week and align with updated State of Alaska public health recommendations.

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive?
Regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not, if you have symptoms, test positive for COVID-19 or come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, immediately inform UAA Environmental Health and Safety at 907-786-1300 or via email. Please work with our safety staff to coordinate a date to return to campus.

Throughout the pandemic, UAA personnel have worked diligently to ensure the health and safety of all our campuses throughout Southcentral Alaska, taking into account changing government guidance and local conditions and making adjustments accordingly.

Please know the UAA leadership team is committed to a safe fall semester. We want to hear your concerns and will continue to consult with governance groups, students, administrators, deans, directors, etc. to address your concerns surrounding campus health and safety. Please send questions to Environmental Health and Safety. You will also find more information on our UAA COVID-19 information website.

Working together, we’ll keep ourselves, each other and our campus communities safe.

Sean Parnell,
UAA Chancellor

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