With the first case of coronavirus confirmed in Fayetteville, University of Arkansas officials announced the school will shift to online and remote operations beginning Thursday, March 19, and that on-campus housing will close on April 3.
“While no members of the University of Arkansas community have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you may be aware that the first presumptive positive case has been confirmed in Northwest Arkansas,” said UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz. “Our primary concern is to reduce the spread of the virus while continuing to serve our campus community to the best of our abilities.”
More information about working remotely at the UA is available here.
Students may petition for an exemption from housing closures with University Housing for reasons including personal safety, access to internet, no other available housing, academic stress, or other reasons. More info about housing is available here.
The chancellor also announced the following additional measures in response to coronavirus:
Events: While online course instruction will continue, all on-site campus events are canceled until further notice.
Offsite Operations: All university operations and activities – other than essential operations – should be shifted to online or other remote means to the maximum extent possible, effective immediately.
Essential Operations: Certain limited university operations that need to occur on-campus, including public safety, health, dining and transit, will continue at this time. In these spaces and everywhere, we must adhere to social distancing and other preventive measures at all times. University staff and contractors will continue to tirelessly work to keep surfaces clean and disinfected.
Campus Housing: Due to the emergency caused by the outbreak, students with active housing contracts will not be able to return to the residence halls, apartments, or Greek houses managed by University Housing after Friday, April 3. Students may petition for an exception with University Housing for reasons including personal safety, access to Internet, no other available housing, academic distress or other legitimate reasons. University Housing will provide additional information directly to impacted students. More detailed information is available at housing.uark.edu/coronavirus.
Computer Labs: Some computer labs will be closed from 5 p.m. Friday, March 20, through March 29, the end of spring break. Information about open labs will be added soon to the university’s Coronavirus Update site.
Health Center: Pat Walker Health Center remains open. If you experience symptoms common to COVID-19, immediately call your medical provider or the health center at 479-575-4451. Please call before showing up at the health center or at any other health care facility. This will ensure your provider can take special measures to protect other people in the clinic.
Research: Deans may only authorize the continuation of essential research if the principles of social distancing are strictly adhered to (in cases where research may involve more than one individual). For additional details from Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Dan Sui, please read his letter to campus.