Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Updated 9:15 a.m. March 28, 2020

University Coronavirus Updates

Amid growing concerns surrounding COVID-19, the disease caused by the 2019 coronavirus, we want to remind the campus community to refer to the Campus Health coronavirus website for updates, which can be accessed below. The website provides regular updates on the global numbers of confirmed cases and attributed deaths, symptoms, and travel advisories, as pulled from trusted sources such as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of State.

See the latest updates from Campus HealthCDC (Español | 中文), Pima County and the latest statewide updates from the Arizona Department of Health Services.


"We encourage University of Arizona community members to remain welcoming to and supportive of each other during this public health situation. Offer empathy and care to friends, colleagues and classmates who may worry about family and friends in places experiencing outbreaks. We must ensure that our response to the coronavirus threat is not harmed by stigmatizing or stereotyping. We are best equipped to respond to any public health threat when we work together." ~ Provost Liesl Folks

March 27, 2020

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

The global pandemic crisis of COVID-19 is creating many challenges for faculty. While you have risen to the challenge of recreating classes in an on-line form, our team in Academic Affairs recognize that your time and energy has been diverted away from planned activities, and that, for many of us, balancing life and work has become significantly more complicated.

Thus, I am writing to share the following adjustments to our promotion process to help offset these challenges.

1. Deadlines are extended for promotion packet submissions to the Office of the Provost.

a. Career-track dossier deadline is extended to January 15, 2021.

b. Tenure-Track and Continuing Track dossiers deadline is extended to February 15,2021.

2. Promotion Clock Delays for tenure-eligible or continuing-eligible candidates are encouraged and are available through a simple online opt-in process.

Promotion to Full Professor does not follow a set timeline, so we ask faculty and department heads/directors to be thoughtful in considering the best timing for review, in light of COVID-19 impacts.

Academic Affairs will work with promotion candidates, review committees, department heads, and deans to document how COVID-19 may have impacted trajectories of growth in teaching, research, and service.

As we are providing flexibility for faculty, we encourage you to also give flexibility and grace to students through making use of the revised COVID-19 grading and eligibility policies, see here for related FAQs.

We acknowledge that these are highly unusual times and that business as usual is not warranted. We encourage you to take breaks and adjust your expectations of yourself and your students. In times of stress, it is not wise to push too hard. In fact, these are the moments during which we need to take the most care of ourselves and others. You may find the following links useful for yourself, staff, or students:

Tips and campus resources for coping with COVID-19 stress: https://health.arizona.edu/coping-stress-related-covid-19.

Life and Work Connections provides support and resources on employee counseling, sick and back up childcare, elder care, nutrition/health coaching, and more: https://lifework.arizona.edu/coronavirus.

Thank you again for all that you are doing to help our campus community. I have heard so many wonderful examples of caring and help from faculty.

See our website here for faculty specific COVID-19 information and communication.

Regards, 

Andrea Romero
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Below is an update of employee resources, and more will be coming out early next week.  All of these resources and updates can be found on our website:  https://lifework.arizona.edu/coronavirus

Counseling Services

While our employee assistance counselors are not available in person because of the reduced on-site campus operations, employees and their covered dependents have telehealth and e-counseling access through their EPO and PPO insurance plans. Working with the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA), we were able to secure an agreement for waived copays for medical services and mental health visits through telehealth and e-counseling visits at this time for three of our four insurance carriers. These include:

If the copay waiver for telehealth and e-counseling with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, or UnitedHealthcare does not work, please call ADOA at 1-800-304-3687 and ask to be connected with your dedicated insurance vendor. Employees on the domestic partner plan should call UnitedHealthcare at 1-800-357-0971

Sick and Backup Childcare

Trusting Connections, the University’s backup childcare provider is continuing to provide services when regularly scheduled childcare is not available. Registration is required for employees and students. Call 520-448-0873 or email info@trustingconnections.com for more information.

Other Employee Assistance Services

To schedule a telephone or video consultation, please contact the providers listed below directly by email:

MEMORANDUM                                      

DATE:                    March 17, 2020

TO:                        Deans, Department Heads, Directors, and Faculty                                   

FROM:                  Andrea Romero, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

SUBJECT:              Updates from Faculty Affairs

Thank you for your organized response to the institutional precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prioritize the safety of those who may be at higher risk.  We recognize that it is a significant effort to handle all these rapid changes. It is wonderful to see how our campus community is supporting each other in every way possible.  The Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA) is doing an excellent job in providing support and training for faculty to move their classes to remote learning.  Please find more information and updates here. Thank you for helping students stay on track for graduation; we know you are doing your best to prioritize course objectives. We all recognize that these changes are happening under time pressure and stress, and we are all doing our best to be helpful and transparent.

In Faculty Affairs, we have canceled all group events for the semester, including the Faculty Showcase, Campus Connections, HSI Reception Event and Faculty Salons. 

All promotion, continuing status, tenure and award review decisions are anticipated to stay on regular timelines.

Our existing tenure-clock delay policy should cover any COVID-19 related issues such as individual medical conditions, other personal reasons (e.g. caregiving responsibilities for ill family members), or adverse professional circumstances that are beyond faculty control. Please submit a written request for delay as early as possible after the events or circumstances.

Requests for tenure-clock delays for those who have a mandatory review in 2020-2021 must be submitted no later than June 30, 2020. We encourage units to be flexible with unit-level deadlines for promotion and tenure dossier submission, given the added burdens of the moment.

Annual performance review deadlines are extended as follows:

  • The deadline for department heads to meet with individual faculty is extended to May 14, 2020 instead of March 31, 2020.
  • The deadline for administrator annual review for department heads is extended to June 15, 2020 instead of May 15, 2020.

Given the unexpected changes in teaching format this semester, the following recommendations are provided:

  • It is recommended that new peer observations and Student Course Surveys (SCS) from this point forward in the semester are NOT necessary to collect and should NOT be used for evaluation purposes (annual review or promotion/tenure review), unless requested by the faculty member or previously planned for class that was originally conceptualized in the online format.
  • Some faculty may request peer observation of their on-line format for their own professional development.

Given the potential impact on any open faculty hiring processes, we will allow extended timelines for searches and hiring.

Please continue to check the University of Arizona website for all communications and information. You can find faculty-specific information on our website at: https://facultyaffairs.arizona.edu/coronavirus-covid-19-information.

For international faculty go here for more detailed information.

In this moment, we have an opportunity to come together as a campus community to show compassion for one another.  May we all continue to treat each other in a kind manner as we do our best to keep each other safe and healthy.  You can find links from national organizations that provide recommendations and resources for coping during this complex time.

  1. CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html
    Spanish, Chinese and other languages: https://www.cdc.gov/…/2019-nc…/communication/factsheets.html
  2. WHO: https://www.who.int/…/situa…/20200311-sitrep-51-covid-19.pdf
    Advice for the public: https://www.who.int/…/novel-coronavirus-2…/advice-for-public
    (with downloadable posters)
    Spanish: https://www.who.int/…/n…/advice-for-public/q-a-coronaviruses
  3. American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/…/p…/dmhi/research-information/pandemics
    Centro de Apoyo (Spanish): https://www.apa.org/centrodeapoyo/bienestar/
    https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/03/psychologist-covid-19
  4. SAMHSA: Taking Care of your Behavioral Health - Social Distancing Isolation, and Quarantine: https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4894.pdf
    Spanish: https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4894spanish.pdf

March 13, 2020

Dear Arizona Faculty and Staff,

I hope you saw the message President Robbins sent this afternoon instructing students who live in the dorms to not return to live on campus unless they do not have other alternatives (e.g., international students).  We are communicating to them that they will not be moving back into the Residence Halls this semester.  Students who live off campus will be strongly encouraged to study from home, as much as possible. Our domestic campuses will remain open however, with limited student services ongoing.  Faculty and staff are welcome on campus but are encouraged to work from home whenever possible.  Research operations will continue with modifications to observe CDC guidelines to minimize disease transmission. 
 
Other considerations are;
 
Instruction

With this change in direction, it is now imperative that all possible classes and labs migrate to online modalities starting Wednesday, March 18. A memo on “Updates on Support for Remote Teaching,” was sent this morning to all current instructors by Associate Vice Provost Lisa Elfring, for information on campus support for teaching continuity through this transition. We ask that faculty and instructors work directly with academic program directors and unit heads / chairs / directors to address challenges with this tight timeline.  You should expect these modes of instruction to continue until the end of this semester.

Student Research and Teaching Activities

Our goal is to sustain our teaching and research operations to the best extent possible.  We recognize the need for clarification on students (Masters, PhD, and Undergraduate) engaged in research and teaching activities across campus.  We understand this and are working quickly on that clarification.

Student Clinical and Other Community Training Placements

We recognize the challenges that COVID-19 mitigation poses for students currently placed in the community for clinical rotations, practicums, internships and other off-campus activities.  We are working quickly with the relevant deans to develop mitigation strategies for those students.

Assess your personal risk
 
It is tremendously important that each Arizona staff and faculty member assess whether they, or someone in their home, may be at risk for serious illness from COVID-19. If yes, I ask that you work closely with your supervisor or department head to quickly develop a plan to work from home in order to stay safe. Human Resources can also assist you with remote work arrangements.
 
Please review the CDC criteria for People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19 online, which includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions including:

o   Heart disease
o   Diabetes
o   Lung disease
 
If you have questions about your / your family’s risk profile, I encourage you to consult your doctor.
 
Self-isolate following travel
 
If you are returning to campus from business or personal air travel, and in particular if you have visited places that have known COVID-19 community spread, I strongly urge you to self-isolate at home for two weeks to keep our community as safe as possible. Please contact your supervisor or department head to develop a work-from-home plan and request the support of Human Resources as needed. 
 
Self-isolation guidelines from the CDC are as follows:
 
Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:

1.    Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
2.    Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
3.    Do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
4.    Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
5.    Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
 
As a reminder;

 
Thank you all for your myriad efforts to keep our campus community safe at this challenging time, while we continue to educate the next generation and perform world-class research. There are a great many issues with which we are still wrangling, and more communications will follow.
 
I ask for your continued patience and goodwill as we move through this most difficult time.
 
Regards,

Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

March 11, 2020

Dear Arizona Faculty,

I am writing to follow up on President Robbins’ email with more details on how we plan to address the transition to online instruction for most classes.

Today we have reached out to students to let them know when they should return to campus after Spring Break and to expect some changes. Our objective is to balance limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 with the need to support our students’ academic goals, and, to the best extent possible, continue to deliver life-changing educational experiences.

As you will have seen in President Robbins’ email, the start of classes has been delayed until Wednesday, March 18, to allow us some time to move away from in-person instruction. Effectively immediately, we ask all faculty and instructors to devise and implement strategies for transforming their in-person classes into distance/remote/online modes of delivery. All available campus resources will be directed to support you in this effort.

Instructional delivery:

  1. The Office of Instruction and Assessment will lead campus efforts for the migration. Look for a message from OIA shortly.
  1. Faculty / Instructors who are at risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are the highest priority for support in moving to remote instruction.
  1. Faculty / Instructors who are able to readily move classes to remote learning (on-line or other forms of non face-to-face teaching) are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.
  1. The deadline for migrating classes to remote learning modes is Monday, March 23.
  1. Special accommodations will be made for labs and studio classes, working collaboratively with the faculty / instructors involved – approval by College Associate Deans for Academic Affairs required.
  1. Changes in the delivery of your classes and syllabi should be communicated by you directly to your students.

Also, next week, please be prepared to offer alternative instruction methods and make accommodations for students who are concerned about their own health and safety, or who have self-quarantined.

Travel

Please limit the number of individuals from any given unit attending any one event, to reduce the risk of wide-spread disruption to campus operations. 

International travel and out-of-state travel will be strongly restricted. We encourage you to use alternatives for virtual meetings, such as ZOOM, Skype, Go To Meeting, etc.

Essential travel must be approved by the Dean/Director and the SVP for the reporting line. As appropriate, a risk review will be completed by the International Travel & Safety Oversight Committee.

Climate

We ask for your cooperation in managing calm communications across campus.  Please encourage people to refer to the CDC website and the Campus Coronavirus website.

The University’s Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is closely monitoring the changing circumstances of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the impact to our community, and together we are making decisions to ensure the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff. 

We appreciate your dedication and support at this challenging time. Our hope is that at the end of this we all will be proud that we kept teaching and our students kept learning.

Regards,

Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

March 9, 2020

We made modifications to our protocols and practices for student class absences to align with the advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control on how best to limit the spread of infectious diseases, especially with the current concern over the spread of COVID-19. Specifically, the CDC recommends that people stay at home if they feel sick, especially if they think they may have an infectious disease. However, the need to stay home may impact students' class participation, which often has implications for their course grades. It is critical that students feel that they can miss one class or a series of classes without penalty, to adhere to the public health protocol to limit disease spread.   

Our campus protocol to align with the CDC guidance is as follows. We implemented this protocol swiftly, starting on Monday, March 16, 2020.

  • Students will be strongly encouraged to stay at home if they feel sick, and most especially if they think they may have an infectious disease.
  • Students that need to miss a class or series of classes due to illness are responsible for emailing their course instructor and copying to the Dean of Students at DOS-deanofstudents@email.arizona.edu as soon as possible. There is NO need for a medical excuse to be provided, at least initially (see below).
  • Students are responsible for completing any work that they might miss due to illness, including assignments, quizzes, tests and exams.
  • Students are responsible for communicating with their instructor(s) via the means of communication established by the instructor(s), e.g. D2L, email, text, etc.
  • Students who need to miss more than one week of classes in any one semester will be required to provide a doctor’s note of explanation to DOS-deanofstudents@email.arizona.edu. The Dean of Students Office will communicate the receipt of the note (with expected end date) to relevant faculty.

Students that adhere to these processes should not be penalized per the attendance policy for the course.

We ask that faculty make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations for students who cannot come to class due to illness. Suggestions for reasonable accommodations include:

  • Provide students an opportunity to join a live lecture via Zoom and/or make recorded lectures available on D2L. See online for support from the Office of Instruction and Assessment.
  • Request that students who join via Zoom or who watch recorded lectures provide feedback through mandatory discussions, quizzes or essays on the material covered in order to receive credit for attendance and participation. 
  • Make-up exams or tests might be administered through D2L. Otherwise, online proctoring methods are available.

Resources for preparedness and planning