UAB outlined what students will be instructed to do if they are exposed to COVID-19 as well as what they should do if they suspect they have the virus in an email sent on Aug. 27.
“Even with the majority of the campus community vaccinated, we expect to see COVID cases this semester,” Michael Faircloth, director of UAB Student Health Services, said in the email.
As of Aug. 18, 54% of students have reported to Student Health that they received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 50% fully vaccinated. An additional 6% verified through a survey they have been vaccinated.
Students will be notified by Student Health if a classmate tests positive for the COVID-19. According to Faircloth this is not a reason for concern because masks are required indoors on campus and are effective protection against the virus.
After being notified, unvaccinated students identified as close contacts of the positive individual will be directed to quarantine by Student Health. UAB will not require vaccinated students to quarantine for 14 days following exposure in most cases.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated students not considered close contacts are encouraged to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days after being notified and will not be required to quarantine. If symptoms do emerge students should isolate and get tested. Students with symptoms can fill out this form to notify student health.
However, unvaccinated students living on campus that are not considered close contacts will have to be tested within five days of being notified but will not have to quarantine. Failure to get tested will result in a referral to Student Conduct.
If students do have symptoms of COVID-19 they should not attend work, class or other activities until tested and cleared by Student Health according to Faircloth.
“It is important for the safety of all students, staff and faculty that students with COVID do not attend in-person classes,” Faircloth said. “Student Health Services has a system in place to notify faculty/instructors when a student “should not be in class on campus,” and when they are cleared to return.”
The notification of this guidance was sent in the middle of a rise in cases in both students and non-clinical faculty and staff. According to the UA System COVID dashboard 45 students and 33 non-clinical faculty and staff tested positive for COVID-19 for the week of Aug. 16-22. This is an increase from the previous week which was 27 students and 22 non-clinical faculty and staff.
Statewide cases also continue to rise with 5,033 new cases on Aug. 26, the highest number since Jan. 5, 2021, according to the CDC.