Dear faculty, staff, and students:

During the course of our return to campus this summer, we have encouraged everyone to follow the guidance of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) as it relates to face coverings, practicing good hygiene, and social-distancing. I have been heartened by the number of individuals on campus wearing face coverings where social distancing has not been possible.

Today, Governor Kay Ivey revised her “Safer at Home” health order which reads as follows:

“Effective July 16, 2020 at 5:00 P.M., each person shall wear a mask or other facial covering that covers his or her nostrils and mouth at all times when within six feet of a person from another household in any of the following places: an indoor space open to the general public, a vehicle operated by a transportation service, or an outdoor public space where ten or more people are gathered.”

The order goes on to provide some exemptions. The full text of the order can be found here .

This matches our current guidelines for campus, which state that face coverings should be worn when social distancing cannot be maintained.

The University plans to resume normal academic operations for the fall semester on Monday, August 17, 2020. Students and employees alike should feel safe. Students will have a choice of whether to learn on campus or online, and classes on campus will allow for social distancing. In addition, safety will be increase through:

  • Required free COVID-19 testing and documentation of a negative test for all students learning in-person prior to their return to campus, along with random testing of faculty, staff, and students during the course of the semester.
  • A self-assessment app that will be available to download.

We have already begun the initial phase of getting the logistics in place, and more information will be provided once these steps are ready to be implemented.

Let me thank you in advance for complying with our policy. Our success in minimizing cases of COVID-19 depends solely on taking precautions diligently. Any questions or concerns should be forwarded to Communications .