FAQ - All UofL Members

Last updated: May 21 2021

Check this page regularly as we may need to update answers based on new information or guidance about how to best ensure a safe and healthy campus for all this fall.

Frequently Asked Questions


Back to the top

General Questions

UofL’s highest priority throughout the pivot to fall planning process has been the health and safety of our university members. We have relied on our experts in public health, infectious diseases, epidemiology, environmental health and safety and occupational medicine, as well as the latest research, best practices and our experience with the continuous operation of our hospitals and clinics, to devise our policies and protocols for the reopening of campus. We will continuously assess all our public health measures to ensure that UofL campuses are as safe as possible.

Earlier this spring, the university established multiple committees and working groups to prepare for every aspect of UofL’s return to campus. These working groups have included numerous individuals from across the university and UofL Health, and have focused on health and safety, academic policies, residential life, laboratories and research, athletics, financial issues and other areas. See the list of UofL’s Reopening Committees and their members. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

There is a designated leadership team of campus leaders and health experts communicating daily to consider the current situation of COVID in the community, the availability of testing and capacity of healthcare facilities. This leadership team regularly reviews data, connects with medical professionals and gathers input from students, faculty and staff to consider our operations in light of the evolving pandemic. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

The university is continuously monitoring campus, local, state and national trends and will adjust policies and operations as needed and stay in frequent contact with university members to protect the health and safety of our university community. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Once testing has been performed and the results are confirmed positive, contact investigation will be initiated by Campus Health Services in partnership with public health officials. Once contacts have been identified, Campus Health will notify anyone who may have been exposed. Read more about the university's COVID-19 Mitigation procedures here. (Date Added: 09.09.20)

Jefferson County Public Schools is a large public school district and has many different operational concerns than UofL (their obligation to bus students being just one of many). UofL’s Pivot to Fall plan demonstrates how our university will be able to meet our own operational needs and fulfill our mission in a safe and healthy way while also adhering to CDC guidelines and state mandates. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Due to liability reasons involved with bringing children into workplaces, please consult your professor, dean, department head or supervisor for specific guidance. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

On Monday, August 10, the Governor stated his recommendation for K-12 schools to delay their opening until September 28. That recommendation did not apply to colleges and universities, since these institutions have more flexibility in how they can safely reopen. (Date updated: 08.12.20)

Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, wear masks any time you are in public, maintain physical distancing, practice good hygiene and stay away from individuals you know have tested positive. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Read the Campus Procedures section of the website to see the multiple safety measures UofL has put into place. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

The university has assigned the responsibility for tracking disease activity and contact investigations to Campus Health Services. Outbreak identification will focus on the prompt evaluation of faculty, staff and/or students with COVID-19 symptoms. Campus Health is frequently in contact with both internal units and external agencies such as the Louisville Metro Health Department regarding any disease activity. Campus Health collects internal testing results collected at the Health Centers, vendor coordinating testing and the testing results of local hospitals and shares that data with senior leadership multiple times per week for evaluation and determination if additional measures will be necessary. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Back to the top

Symptoms & Sickness

Stay at home. If you start to feel sick after arrival to campus, you should remove yourself right away by returning home or to your room. You may then choose to either contact your medical provider or Campus Health Services, (502) 852-6446. Either source will advise you on how to proceed. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

No. It is important to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of any student, faculty or staff member seeking healthcare. Only when testing has been performed and the results confirmed will a contact investigation be initiated which is the responsibility of Campus Health Services in partnership with public health officials. Once contacts have been identified, Campus Health will notify anyone who may have been exposed. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Exposure to COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, is when someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Please contact Campus Health Services if you believe you were exposed. If Campus Health and the contact tracing team determine that a university member (not in a communal living situation such as residential halls) has been exposed, that university member must quarantine for 10 days and be symptom-free at the end of that time before returning to campus, regardless of a negative test at any point during quarantine. If they develop symptoms during quarantine, they should contact their medical provider or Campus Health for guidance. University members in communal living situations must increase their quarantine time to 14 days (per the Kentucky Department of Health and Louisville Metro Health Department).

For details regarding individual exposure scenarios, see the Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine section of the Health Protocols tab. (Date Updated: 3.01.21)

Based on our university’s decision to conduct a hybrid model of learning for the fall semester, university members are expected to participate in that model and/or the operations required to maintain UofL’s services.

For employees, there are certain positions that are required to be on-site to support those services and operations. Employees may visit the HR COVID-19 Information webpage for more information on this topic. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

If your medical provider tells you to self-isolate, students should inform their professors and employees must inform their supervisors. Those who are approved to work/study from home/their room may do so during isolation. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19, be sure to notify Campus Health. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Isolation is what must happen after being confirmed positive for COVID-19. Quarantine is a preventative measure required after being exposed to someone confirmed positive for COVID-19. The isolation and quarantine durations depend on the university member's living situation. University members who are in a communal living situation (such as on-campus housing) are required to isolate for 14 days if they test positive for COVID-19 and quarantine for 14 days after an exposure. All other university members, who are not in a communal living situation, must only isolate for 10 days if they test positive for COVID-19 and only quarantine for 10 days after an exposure.

Read the Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine section of the Health Protocols tab for full details on isolation and quarantine scenarios. (Date Updated: 1.14.20)

  • The faculty member should ask the student if they were tested by Campus Health or if they have reported the test result to Campus Health; Campus Health will confirm that the student is positive and begin contact tracing. The faculty member should report to Campus Health when a student tells them they are positive.
  • Because of HIPAA, faculty may not announce to the class that the student has tested positive. Campus Health will conduct contact tracing with those they believe have come into close contact with the student.
  • Since students will be physically distanced and wearing masks, the likelihood of transmission is minimal. While the particular student should not return to class until they have isolated for 10 days, the other students in the class will not need to quarantine and the instructor should continue meeting with the class as usual (with physical distancing and masking required, of course). Faculty should not penalize students for absences while they are in quarantine because we want students to stay home when they are sick. Faculty should work with students virtually so that they can make up any work missed, and if students are too ill to study during quarantine, faculty should plan on allowing students to make up work upon their return. (Date Added: 07.27.20)
  • Faculty should have a continuity of instruction plan for every semester, since missed classes for illness, family crises, and other reasons are always a possibility.
  • The faculty member can continue to teach remotely if not feeling particularly ill for the 10 days they are in isolation. Isolation is typically discontinued after day 10, so long as they do not have a fever when not taking medications and their symptoms, if any, have improved.
  • The continuity of instruction plan could include a) asking a colleague to step in for you, or b) having asynchronous assignments available so students can continue working even if the faculty member cannot. Departments may make their own contingency plans for if a faculty member is out for an extended period.
  • Faculty must contact Campus Health (to arrange a test or report a positive diagnosis), their department or program chair, and their students to inform them of changes to class schedule. As with students, faculty health information is private; Campus Health will do contact tracing, and chairs or program chairs may not announce that a faculty member or instructor tested positive. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

No identifiable information is shared through the Cardinal Self-Check app. Neither the Fifth Theory company (who runs the app) nor the university (who receives the data), have the ability to identify who has answered and who has not. It is completely anonymous. This is why you are not asked your name or for any contact information when downloading the app or completing the questions. UofL only receives aggregated data that shows university officials the overall safety status of our university community for the purpose of planning our continued response to the pandemic. For more questions and details about this symptom-checking tool, visit the Cardinal Self-Check page.(Date Added: 8.19.20)

Back to the top

Testing & Tracing

Based on feedback from students, faculty and staff, UofL wants to avoid an online-only semester this fall and instead keep online learning and remote work as an option. Public health officials and experts currently support keeping facilities open as long as health and safety protocolsare being followed. Many students and employees already are utilizing the online learning and remote work options, and we are achieving a lower density of our population being on campus at any given time.

As we have seen the number of positive COVID-19 cases rise in the city and at other universities, it is now critical for us to quickly identify and isolate positive cases to better limit the virus’s spread in our university community.

By requiring the tests, we can better protect those who are currently on campus and those who will be returning to campus. It also will give the university a better understanding of the infection rate in our university community.

We will continue to provide updates on the COVID situation as it relates to the university. (Date Added: 8.21.20)

Testing and all aspects of collection and disposal of medical waste are performed by our contract vendor, Bluewater Diagnostic Laboratory (Bluewater). To minimize waiting times and encourage distancing, a limited number of individuals may register for a given testing time, ensuring appropriate distancing. As always, masking is required during the entire process except for the specimen collection (the university member removes their mask, but the Bluewater representative keeps their mask on). Bluewater utilizes nationally accepted best practices for the collection of specimens, PPE and patient safety. (Dated Added: 08.25.20)

All students, faculty and staff who come to campus are required to get tested for COVID-19 during the following periods in 2021: Jan. 4-15, Feb. 8-19, March 8-19 and Apr. 12-23. There may be additional testing for certain populations of students throughout the semester based upon contact tracing data. Depending on the severity of COVID-19 cases on campus and availability of the vaccine, these testing periods are subject to change. UofL's extended contract with Bluewater Diagnostic Lab allows university members to continue getting tested even outside of the required testing periods. See the Testing Program page for the most up-to-date website Bluewater Lab is using for scheduling testing apppointments. (Date Updated: 1.14.20)

Testing is available throughout the semester on the Belknap and HSC campuses on weekdays. For specific site locations and available appointment times, go to Bluewater Lab's testing registration website available on the Testing Program page.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, however, do not get tested with Bluewater. Instead, contact Campus Health (502-852-6446), which is providing rapid testing for university members displaying COVID-19 symptoms. (Date Updated: 01.14.20)

All students, faculty and staff who are on campus, or plan to be on campus periodically, and who have not already tested positive are required to be tested. This requirement also extends to all vendors on campus (i.e., Chick-fil-A, the Campus Bookstore, etc.) Those who already have tested positive or have had COVID-19 should not be tested.

If a student or employee will not be on campus at all, they are not required to be tested. If their plans change, they must first get tested and wait to receive their results before coming to campus. Those not coming to campus still can be tested, although it is not required. (Date Updated: 9.03.20)

No. If you have previously tested positive for COVID-19 by molecular/PCR or antigen testing (provided by Bluewater Lab, Campus Health Services or an off-campus provider), you are not required to get tested again within 90 days of your positive test. If you become symptomatic again within 90 days of your positive test, however, you should contact Campus Health Services to schedule antigen testing. Antigen testing will confirm if you are actively shedding the virus or not. (Date Added: 09.29.20)

We recommend that you be tested on campus. However off-site testing locations are also permissible to meet this requirement. If using an off-site testing location, you must work with that testing program to acquire physical or digital confirmation of the date your test was administered and send it to Campus Health via fax to 502-852-0660 or via email to hlthoff@louisville.edu. Additionally, if you are asked, be prepared to also submit that outside confirmation to your supervisor (staff), department chair (faculty), or the Dean of Students Office (students) if asked. (Date Added: 8.21.20)

In accordance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, only Campus Health will have access to the results of your test. The Dean of Students Office, supervisors and department heads will only receive a report of who has been tested. (Date Added: 8.21.20)

As a university requirement, compliance is expected. Non-compliance could result in disciplinary action if necessary. (Date Added: 8.21.20)

Our university community’s testing results are tracked and monitored by Campus Health and the results are shared with public health officials. The results are critical to rapidly isolate positive individuals, trace their contacts for others who may have been exposed, contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community and help inform our university’s continued response to the pandemic. Additionally, Campus Health uses the results produced by Bluewater Diagnostic Lab to update the university’s Testing Dashboard. (Date Updated: 9.03.20)

UofL’s contract vendor, Bluewater Diagnostic Lab, is a CLIA high-complexity laboratory which is required to abide by HIPAA privacy regulations and collects all data for the testing program. Bluewater must retain all information in accordance with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements. Required elements necessary for the identification of the patient include name, date of birth, collection date, date reported, etc. Only two HIPAA-certified Campus Health employees have access to the reporting database maintained by Bluewater Diagnostic Lab.

UofL Campus Health Services (Campus Health) receives individual reports from Bluewater Diagnostic Lab, but these are not sent to or shared with any other UofL units.

University officials only receive data that does not allow identification of individuals. The data they receive shows results such as total number of tests performed, number of positives and negatives and if the result is in a faculty or staff member or student. (Date Updated: 08.25.20)

Our protocols for responding to symptoms and sickness remain in effect. If you test positive for COVID-19, you must do the following:

  • Stay at home or in the location identified by Campus Housing.
  • Notify Campus Health at 502-852-6446 or hlthoff@louisville.edu. Campus Health will provide guidance on isolation.
  • Contact your medical provider.

If you are an employee, you must also notify your supervisor. (Date Added: 8.21.20)


Please continue to follow the current guidelines of wearing masks, practicing social distancing, etc. We want to keep you and others safe, and following the guidelines offers the best chance of avoiding infection. (Date Added: 8.21.20)

Within 72 business hours of your test, you will receive an email or text message confirming your results. Those who test positive will receive a phone call from Campus Health. (Date Updated 9.11.20)

If you have not received a text from Bluewater confirming your test results within 72 business hours of the collection date and time, it is possible that Bluewater Diagnostic Lab was not able to verify your insurance or the insurance was invalid, and that held up the process. Even if you don't have insurance, Bluewater will not turn anyone away, but their lab needs to know upfront in order to avoid delays in processing results. Additionally, Bluewater reports your results to the phone number you submitted during the registration process. If you didn’t register your cell phone number correctly or your cell phone is set up to reject anonymous callers (check your deleted messages), that could be another reason why you didn't receive a text confirming your results from Bluewater.

You can contact Bluewater Diagnostic Lab by sending them a message at https://bluewaterdxlab.com/home/contact// or calling 502-538-2980 and select option 5 (for COVID) to speak with a staff member. (Date Updated: 03.17.20)

Testing on UofL’s campuses will be at no charge to students, faculty and staff due to the CARES Act. The federal government has made it so only insurance companies and the Medicare program are charged. Individuals will have no out-of-pocket cost. You are only required to bring your university ID and a medical insurance card. If you do not have medical insurance, be prepared to provide your social security number. (Date Updated: 9.03.20)

Read the "Testing types" section of the Health Protocols tab for a description on these three forms of testing that UofL provides. Additionally, take a look at this FDA testing guide. (Date Added: 09.29.20)

First, be sure to review all questions and answers provided in the coronavirus FAQs. If you still cannot find an answer to your question, utilize the university's COVID-19 Operations Call Center’s contact information listed on the homepage of the UofL COVID-19 website. (Date Added: 8.21.20)

Yes. When you are able to return to campus, you will need to provide your professor, supervisor or department chair with a return to campus notice from your medical provider or Campus Health. This document should not include a diagnosis or confidential health information. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Campus Health updates the Testing Dashboard three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. (Date Updated: 9.03.20)

The 7-day rolling average on the Testing Dashboard is used to account for fluctuations that may occur in the testing data. For example, less university members may choose to get tested on Monday versus Tuesday. After waiting the 72 business hour turnaround time for testing results, by Thursday a fewer amount of negative test results may appear than on Friday, due to the difference in volume of tests conducted earlier in the week. The intent of keeping a 7-day rolling average updated every three days on this dashboard, is to give a more representative view of the ongoing COVID-19 testing experience. The 7-day rolling average excludes Saturday and Sunday. (Date Updated: 9.2.20)

The university reserves the right to continue mandatory testing for university members on campus if it is deemed necessary for the continued and safe operation of on-campus activity. (Date Updated: 01.14.21)

Campus Health’s contact tracing team traces, notifies, and advises any individuals who may have been exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19. Take a look at Campus Health's Response Procedures for a step-by-step reference on how Campus Health investigates a positive COVID-19 case versus an individual with symptoms of COVID-19. The procedures show how cases are identified, isolated, tested, investigated and how close contacts are notified. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Contact investigations are conducted using a coded system where only one Campus Health physician and the lead contact investigator, who are both HIPAA certified, can identify the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 (referred to as the “case individual”).

Once a case individual is identified, the Campus Health physician contacts the individual directly, gathering information required by law for reporting to the health department and determining if the individual is living in university housing. After this information is gathered, the lead contact investigator takes over and the contact tracing team reaches out to interview and identify contacts who may have been exposed to the case individual. Exposure to COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, is when an interaction that takes place between individuals spaced less than 6 feet apart for up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, regardless of masking. When the contact tracing team communicates with the contacts about their possible exposure, they refer only to the case code. This coded system is what protects the identity of the case individual. (Date Updated: 10.27.20)

Back to the top

Back to the top

Cleaning & Buildings

Custodial services will conduct cleaning, enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices, in accordance with CDC guidelines, of frequently occupied spaces and frequently touched surfaces.

The frequency of cleaning, enhanced cleaning and disinfection will be based on shifts and building usage. Targeted spaces include frequently used classrooms, offices, common areas, lounges, and more. Targeted surfaces include manual light switches, doorknobs/push handles, chairs with arm handles, tables, counter tops, appliance handles/buttons, elevator buttons, handrails, and more. (Date Added: 7.27.20)

Cleaning is defined as using soap and water to remove dirt and impurities. Disinfecting is defined as killing germs on a surface. Enhanced cleaning is defined as disinfecting high-touch surfaces. (Date Added: 7.27.20)

Physical Plant will provide hand sanitizer dispensers, as well as spray cleaner, paper towels and disinfection wipes for use in classrooms. Physical Plant will be responsible for refilling supplies and there will be an informational card left at all disinfection stations for how to contact them if supply runs low. Over 900 wall-mounted hand sanitizer units will be mounted in hallways and common areas throughout all three campuses and Physical Plant will also refill those.

Units are responsible for ordering needed disinfection supplies for individual offices. Order supplies through the Stock Room. Main reception areas will be supplied with hand sanitizer. At any time, units are welcome to supplement what Physical Plant provides. (Date Added: 7.27.20)

While current scientific literature suggests that genetic material associated with the virus can be found in close proximity to toilets, there is little direct evidence that this material is both viable and infectious. The most important aspects for preventing infection continue to be wearing a mask, washing hands, avoiding touching your face and maintaining physical distance while in the restroom. The cleaning schedule of restrooms in reopened buildings will be increased and the number of people permitted to occupy a restroom at a time will be decreased to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily. (Date Added: 7.27.20)

The university’s current cleaning and disinfection practices are designed to support the campus buildings and facilities for which we provide custodial services. If a leased space has a need for disinfection supplies to ensure they are adhering to CDC guidelines, they are welcome to order through the university’s Stock Room.

University members in those leased spaces will, however, still receive an initial, washable cloth mask from the university. (Date Added: 7.27.20)

There is no scientific evidence or direction not to use or to disable them at this time. In certain restrooms with hand dryers, Physical Plant will also provide paper towels. (Date Added: 7.27.20)

At the recommendation of the local health department, all drinking water fountains will be removed from service by covering them. The bottle refill mechanism will remain active while only disabling the lower drinking portion of the fountains. (Date Added: 7.27.20)

There is no current evidence that COVID-19 has been spread through HVAC systems. All of the systems at UofL meet the standards for appropriate airflow through buildings and for the amount of outside air that is continuously brought into the building. While it is true that COVID-19 is spread through small droplets, evidence shows that high concentrations of those are required. As airborne droplets containing the virus are dispersed over distance and through systems, the chance of being infected from that type of exposure decrease. This is why physical distancing works. Remember, staying at least six feet away from others and wearing a mask are the best defenses against airborne droplets that contain the virus. See the Physical Plant HVAC Outline for a helpful diagram and thorough explanation of UofL's HVAC systems. (Date Added: 7.27.20)

The World Health Organization, CDC and other leading experts tell us that staying at least six feet away from others to avoid droplet transmission, wearing a mask, frequent cleaning and disinfection of surfaces and handwashing are the most important ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The likeliness of transmission through airway systems is still being debated. Regardless, Physical Plant spent the 2020 summer period working to optimize the performance of the air handling systems in all classrooms and buildings. Air is continuously moved through university buildings, bringing fresh air in and filtering and recirculating air from throughout the building. Remember, studies have shown that close proximity to someone shedding the virus remains the most important risk of exposure we should avoid. Masks and face coverings reduce the spread of the virus. UofL's optimal ventilation systems are a minor component in helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Date Updated: 9.09.20)

No. Classrooms and other campus facilities will be cleaned and disinfected every day, and in some places up to three times per day. In addition, disinfecting materials are being provided for individuals to use to ensure their space is clean.

The university will stay in close contact with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety to determine if additional disinfection procedures are needed. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Back to the top


Travelers who have been fully vaccinated are unlikely to acquire COVID-19 while traveling, but they still must mask and distance while traveling just like those who haven’t been vaccinated. The CDC still recommends traveling only if necessary. (Date Added: 4.19.21)

The university has interim domestic and international travel policies in effect. Visit the Travel Guidelines section of this website's homepage for the most up-to-date interim travel policies. (Date Updated: 05.12.21)

No. However, all travelers should be aware that if they are returning from high-risk states or hot spots, they may be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Louisville. This is in accordance with both the university’s travel policies and the governor’s travel advisory that went into effect on July 20.

View this COVID-19 Tracker for an up-to-date listing of the states and countries with the highest rates of disease activity. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

The reporting of personal travel is not required but highly encouraged to aid in Campus Health’s contact investigations. (Date Added: 07.27.20)

Read the Travel Guidelines section of this website's homepage for links and resources regarding travel health trends for both domestic and international locations. At this time, we recommend the JHU State Overview Testing Tracker website to view current positivity rates of different states.

Back to the top

Still have questions? Contact . To learn more about the university’s plans for the fall, read the Pivot to Fall planning document.

Back to the top