Returning to Campus - Health and Safety Protocols for Students

Dear Cardinal Students,

We have missed seeing you on campus! We look forward to welcoming many of you back and to welcoming new Cardinal family members who will be joining us for the first time this fall.

So many of you have strongly expressed how eager you are to get on campus and have as normal of an on-campus experience as possible this semester. We also want that for you, but in the safest possible way. In order to ensure we can all have a safe, healthy and successful semester together, there are multiple protocols and expectations each of us must follow as we continue to navigate the pandemic.

This information is lengthy, but please read it thoroughly. It is meant to provide you with an initial outline that you can reference for the many different topics that concern UofL’s unprecedented fall semester.

Health and Safety Protocols

We have established the following seven health and safety protocols for all university members to follow while on campus:

  1. Practice physical distancing and stay six feet apart.
  2. Wear a mask or face covering in common areas and avoid touching your face.
  3. Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue then throw the tissue in the trash.
  4. Disinfect used surfaces and frequently touched objects.
  5. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  6. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available.
  7. Stay home if you are feeling sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Before You Arrive to Campus

  • Self-isolate for 14 days at home prior to arrival on campus. This includes refraining from non-essential vacation trips out of state, non-essential trips to local businesses and restaurants and non-essential group gatherings and events. In addition to self-isolation, please be sure to always wear a mask in public and follow proper hand washing and physical distancing.
  • Complete the training videos that will soon be sent to your UofL email inbox. All students are required to complete the 30-minute training prior to arrival on campus, or by August 17 at the latest. The training videos will cover university actions and individual responsibilities that are expected for a safe fall semester.
  • Read the Student Acknowledgement prior to arrival on campus. By coming onto campus you acknowledge that you are aware of UofL's fall 2020 protocols and expectations, along with your individual responsibilities as outlined in the Student Acknowledgement.

Fall 2020 Semester Information

  • Masks or face coverings are required in all public, indoor areas on campus. Every student will be given one cloth mask (with the UofL and SGA logos), but you will need to provide your own additional masks or face coverings. Please take time to get familiar with the university’s Mask and Face Covering Policy. Additionally, review the Mask FAQs for helpful details such as, “How will I receive my mask?” and more.
  • UofL’s COVID-19 website has been updated to reflect fall 2020 information. The Students tab highlights student-specific information. The Health Protocols tab includes information on university health measures such as facility enhancements, cleaning, disinfection, testing, contact tracing and more. Bookmark this website and check it regularly for updates and answers to general Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Check your UofL email often. There will be a lot of information and updates sent to your UofL email account throughout the semester. Be prepared for that and the increased level of awareness you’ll be expected to maintain as the university works to keep everyone continuously updated.
  • A daily symptom check will be required before you leave your home/residence hall. You will receive instructions in your UofL email inbox before classes start with a link and instructions, which will also provide easy access to testing information, who to call, etc.
  • Hybrid courses this semester will combine traditional in-person learning with online learning. By August 12, you will receive specific details from your professors, including how to log in if the first day is remote or where to show up if the first day will be in-person. You can prepare for a successful semester by completing the optional training modules, Tips for Success in Online, Remote, and Hybrid Courses  and Blackboard Student Orientation.
  • The Academic Calendar this fall semester will be different, with all courses concluding by November 25. Check out the Academic Calendar section on UofL's COVID-19 website for the list of dates you should keep noted.
  • Campus Housing is taking actions to maintain a healthy residence hall environment. Some highlights include increased cleaning of common areas, decreased furniture in lobbies, decreased in-person meetings, and restrictions on the number of visitors and overnight guests. Move-in information and other details can be found on the Campus Housing website.
  • Dining Services will open all dining venues on the HSC and Belknap campuses by August 17. Each venue will provide carry-out options and minimal dine-in seating that will be arranged to foster physical distancing. On the Belknap campus, a multi-use tent will be set up in the quad (the area between Ekstrom Library and the Bingham Humanities building) to provide an outdoor dining venue that will also have carry-out options and physically distanced seating. Visit the Dining Services website for information on meal plans, dining locations, hours and more.
  • Events, meetings and study groups should be virtual when possible or when a space is not large enough to observe physical distancing of six feet, in addition to wearing a mask or face covering. Gatherings of any kind on campus must follow all health and safety protocols, and organizers will be responsible for arranging spaces to keep attendees six feet apart and reminding attendees they must wear a mask or face covering. 
  • Student life will be different this fall. Safe, physically distanced activities are being planned and Student Affairs is currently working on a number of exciting extracurricular and social initiatives to keep students engaged and connected through the fall. More information on these efforts is coming soon.
  • Travel this semester will be subject to similar policies set during the spring. Read the university’s updated  Domestic Travel Policy and International Travel Policy to learn about travel restrictions.

COVID-19 Testing and Mitigation

Testing for COVID-19 will be provided by the university in two waves:

  1. Testing will first be available on weekdays from August 10 through August 24 on the Belknap and HSC campuses for any university member who wishes to be tested. Additional details on how to get registered and tested will be announced soon.
  2. For the remainder of the semester, Campus Health will continue providing tests for our university community; however, they will have to prioritize those tests for university members displaying symptoms.
  • If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, or may have been in contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19, you should:
  1. Stay at home.
  2. Contact Campus Health at (502) 852-6446.
  3. Contact your medical provider.

PLEASE NOTE: Even if you decide to seek care from your own medical provider, be sure to still inform Campus Health so the university can effectively track COVID-19 cases and ensure proper isolation procedures for our campus community.

  • UofL’s contact tracing team of dedicated university health professionals will continue to trace, notify, and properly advise individuals who may have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 person. See the COVID-19 Mitigation section of the FAQs For All for more details about exposure.

Health Recommendations

  • Flu shots are highly recommended to protect the campus community from flu and to avoid overwhelming the campus and community health care systems during flu season. Many common symptoms of the flu are also symptoms of COVID-19. Because these two viruses will likely coincide in the fall, it will allow our health care system to remain agile if more people are vaccinated for the flu so they are less likely to present with symptoms.
  • Create a support and resiliency plan. Make plans for regular check-ins with your friends, family and your support networks. Be honest about how you are doing and what you need. The Counseling Center and the Dean of Students Office are available to support all students. Additionally, the Student Success Center has many resources available, including a COVID-19 & Student Support Resource Guide.

We are ONE Cardinal Family

Our plans for the fall semester are built on the Cardinal Principles of Community of Care, Accountability and the expectation that each of us will make the health and safety of our Cardinal family a top priority in all interactions.

As for the institution, we continue to actively monitor disease activity, listen to expert recommendations from our researchers and doctors, learn from and coordinate with the CDC, Governor Beshear’s team and our peer universities in and outside the commonwealth. One of the great advantages of being a Research I university is that we have within our own faculty and staff some of the best minds in the world that are researching and responding to COVID-19 locally and nationally. The university has contingency plans in place and commits to staying on top of this daily evolving situation. We will be ready to make changes to the protocols and plans should that become necessary to ensure the continued health and safety of our campus family.

We look forward to welcoming you on campus for the fall 2020 semester and let’s all do our part to stay safe, stay healthy and stop the spread of COVID-19.

On behalf of the Pivot to Fall Coordinating Committee,

Beth A. Boehm
Executive Vice President and University Provost

Kevin Gardner
Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation

Michael Mardis
Dean of Students

Phillip Bressoud
Executive Director, Campus Health Services