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FAQ - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Answers to frequently asked questions regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are included below. If you don't see an answer to your question, please ask your instructor/advisor (for students), supervisor (for staff), or dean (for faculty).

How are UWA Fall 2020 Operations Plan decisions being made and communicated?
Decisions necessitating changes in operational plans, procedures, and protocols will be evidence-based and will account for the dynamics of community transmission. Such changes will be communicated via campus email as soon as possible.

When will UWA employees return to campus?
University employees began a phased return-to-work approach on June 1 and have gradually increased the number of days or hours in the office; normal operations are scheduled to resume August 10.

How will UWA educate/communicate ongoing coronavirus prevention messages?
A combination of printed posters and materials across campus, a dedicated section on the website, digital content shared via social media platforms, and smartphone/device apps.

The CDC/my physician categorizes me at a higher risk for developing severe illness from COVID-19. What should I do?
If you are concerned that you may be at higher risk, please contact the University’s designated offices for assistance with accommodations.

ADA Coordinator
Will Atkinson //

Human Resources Director Robert Upchurch //

What prevention measures are included in the Fall 2020 Operational Plan?
Any federal or state regulations/orders are automatically included/updated/enforced within their prescribed timeframes. Preventative measures include: facial coverings/PPE, physical and social distancing, temperature screenings, modified physical spaces, increased cleaning and disinfecting of public and classroom spaces, and limited visitors on campus. Please see plan for comprehensive information.

What do I do if I believe I have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus?
Any individual who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 should follow ADPH and CDC guidance for screening and/or testing. To prevent unnecessary spread of the virus, individuals should practice social distancing and responsibly report exposure and testing. For more information or to report information, please contact Robert Upchurch, director of human resources, at or call 205-652-3533.

When do Fall 2020 on-campus classes begin?
UWA on-campus classes will begin August 17, 2020.

What is the process for hosting events on campus this fall?
Any events that are planned on-campus must be pre-approved by the Special Events Committee. Events, if approved, must follow all healthcare guidelines in place at such time. Careful consideration will be given to the location of the event (outside is preferred over inside locations), whether social distancing can be achieved, the purpose of such event and whether the purpose can be achieved by other means.   

How are faculty preparing for classes?
Professors are preparing their classes to accommodate a flexible shift to online instructions should conditions warrant such a shift. All instructors of Fall Semester 2020 classes are incorporating Blackboard as the platform through which their class is offered. All classrooms are being evaluated for safe seating capacity; any classes exceeding this capacity will be subjected to alternative options for delivery including an alternative location, an additional lecture section, or a hybrid model requiring students to stagger attendance on designated in-person days and remotely. Additional safety and prevention measures for classrooms and labs will be determined by faculty.

What is the Housing and Residence Life process for Fall 2020?
Students with special requests stemming from increased risk factors may contact Will Atkinson at An early, phased move-in process will be implemented. Room assignments, residence hall locations, and residence hall operations – including a revised visitation schedule and a quarantine process have also been updated. Please see plan for complete overview.

How will Student Life and Activities be accommodated for Fall 2020?
All programming and community development activities will require physical distancing. All other activities, meetings, sorority/fraternity recruitment etc., will be performed virtually if physical locations cannot accommodate or ensure the implementation of prevention measures and practices. Please see plan for complete overview.

Will there be athletic events on campus this fall?
The University of West Alabama Department of Athletics is continuing to develop plans for the Fall 2020 semester for all of its 16 intercollegiate athletic teams. Each team is devising individual plans for training, practice, and competition that allow for participation while also adhering to all University policies and procedures and federal, state, and local safety and health guidelines. Final athletic plans will adhere to existing and developing NCAA, GSC, and CDC guidelines, and other important public health information.