FAQ - All UofL Members

Last updated: August 31, 2022

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

According to Senate Bill 8, vaccine mandates issued by the state of Kentucky must provide exemptions for anyone with a health condition, religious objection or conscientiously held belief (refusal based on personal belief). Due to the strong likelihood that Senate Bill 8 will be expanded to include the Commonwealth’s public institutions of higher education and due to the number of exemptions that would have to be available, the university decided to mandate regular testing for unvaccinated Cardinals, mandate masks for all, and strongly encourage the vaccine through a variety of campaigns, events and incentives. (Date Revised: 9.3.21)

UofL’s highest priority throughout the pandemic 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.

In the spring of 2020, 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 Revised: 08.04.21)

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)

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

Quarantine, 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)

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, regardless of vaccination status. Quarantine is a preventative measure required after being exposed to someone confirmed positive for COVID-19.

Effective August 11, 2022, it is no longer necessary to quarantine if you have been exposed.

University members who test positive, must isolate for 5 days or more depending upon their symptoms and possibly test results. Please see our visual reference for more information regarding isolation and testing protocols. (Date Revised: 8.31.22)

If you are NOT vaccinated,there are two options.

  • Option 1: self-quarantine for 7 days and contact Campus Health to get a PCR test 3-5 days after return. Isolate for 7 days even if results are negative. Get tested if symptomatic at any time during the 7-day period.
  • Option 2: Self-quarantine for 10 days without a test but get tested if symptomatic at any time during the 10-day period.

If you ARE vaccinated,contact Campus Health Services to get a PCR test 3-5 days after return. Watch for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days from date of return and isolate immediately if you become symptomatic. (Date Added: 8.16.21)


Back to the top

Testing & Tracing

Until September 2, 2022, the United States government is providing free at-home COVID-19 tests. You can order four at-home tests per residential address at https://www.covidtests.gov/. For students living on campus, we recommend having them shipped to your home or other off-campus address. The university will continue to offer COVID testing on campus through Campus Health and Bluewater Lab. For more information about testing and scheduling visit the UofL COVID website here. (Date Revised: 8.31.22)

Faculty and staff can order free tests through Express Scripts by express-scripts.com and click on “order At-home COVID-19 Tests” in the bottom right hand corner of the main screen after logging in.

Yes. While vaccines have proven to reduce the effects of recent variants of COVID-19, there remains a chance that you may be infected even if you are fully vaccinated. If you develop symptoms or think you may have been exposed, you should get tested. For information on how to schedule a test at one of our on-campus testing sites, click here. (Date Updated: 1.25.22)

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 then submit that proof right away through the Campus Health patient portal using your UofL office365 credentials to log in. (Date Lasted Edited: 8.31.2021)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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, 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 Revised: 8.31.22)

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)

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)

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. See the Physical Plant HVAC Outline for a helpful diagram and thorough explanation of UofL's HVAC systems. (Date Revised: 08.04.21)

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. UofL's optimal ventilation systems are a minor component in helping to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. (Date Revised: 08.04.21)

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. (Date updated: 7.8.21)

Back to the top

Still have questions? Contact

Back to the top