UA System announces amended health and safety guidelines

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – An update on health and safety guidelines for students and employees of the University of Alabama system. New information suggests that unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear face coverings in campus buildings and practice physical distancing whenever possible.

Here is the full version from UA System executives:

The University of Alabama system will return to in-person tuition, events, and activities for the fall semester of 2021. The UA System Health and Safety Task Force has made the recommendation to UA Systems Chancellor Finis St. John and the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees after analyzing statistical data, increased vaccine availability, and public health guidelines.

“I am grateful for the exceptional leadership skills of our campus administrators and the UA System Health and Safety Task Force,” said Chancellor St. John. “When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, dozens of world-class public health, infectious disease and education specialists across the UA system came together to successfully lead our institutions and the nation through a period of great uncertainty. As this academic year begins, we are fortunate to have a well-known and readily available solution – the COVID-19 vaccine.

All members of the UA System’s campus communities must adhere to the health and safety guidelines outlined in the updated Health and Safety Plan, which goes into effect July 26th. Unvaccinated individuals are expected to wear face covers in campus buildings and to practice physical distancing whenever possible.

The UA System Health and Safety Task Force, comprised of public health and infectious disease experts and administrators from the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and UAB Medicine, will continue to oversee policies and protocols. Dr. Selwyn Vickers, senior vice president of medicine and dean of the school of medicine at UAB, says the task force members are closely monitoring guidelines, trends and data points in the public health area.

“We will continue to make data-driven decisions that are science-backed and best serve our campus communities,” said Dr. Vickers, chairman of the UA System Health and Safety Task Force. “This requires continuous flexibility. COVID vaccines – which are safe, free, and easy to get – are highly recommended and are the best way to keep your community safe. The data continues to show that people who have been vaccinated continue to be protected from COVID-19. Widespread vaccination is the best way to keep campus going. “

UA System institutions have been offering COVID-19 vaccines to their campus communities since spring and will continue to do so. According to state law, the UA system will not prescribe the vaccine as a requirement for participation. Each campus will continue to provide COVID-19 tests and resources to those affected by the virus.

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