Fall 2021 Campus COVID-19 Information

Campus COVID-19 Information

We are looking forward to a vibrant fall semester and having students back on campus in just over a week. We are also very concerned for the health, safety, and well-being of every member of the SUU family. SUU operates under the direction and guidance of a number of entities including the Utah State Legislature, the Utah System of Higher Education, the U.S. Department of Education, the Utah Department of Health, the Southwest Department of Health, and various accrediting bodies.

Self Report

On-Campus Testing

Latest Updates (08/30/2021)

As you may have seen, last Friday, the Chair of the Utah Board of Higher Education sent a letter to university presidents giving USHE institutions individual authority to require COVID vaccinations for students, with exemptions for medical, religious, or simply for personal reasons. Since this letter was received, the University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, and Utah Valley University have adopted a requirement for students to be vaccinated. It is important to note, their mandates do not go into effect during the fall semester, but students will have to be vaccinated or declare an exemption in order to attend the spring semester.

While discussions at SUU are underway, we have a few weeks before we have to make a vaccination decision for spring semester and would like to receive input from you. For that purpose we have scheduled three faculty and staff and two student forums over the next few weeks via Zoom. The details of these forums follow:

Faculty/Staff Forums:
Tuesday, August 31st at 12:00 pm
Wednesday, September 1st at 4:00 pm
Friday, September 10th at 1:00 pm

Student Forums:
Monday, September 13th at 4:00 pm
Tuesday, September 14th at 12:00 pm

We value everyone’s health and our campus culture of shared governance. We have already received a number of emails and other forms of correspondence from faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, community members, and legislators on all sides of this issue. We welcome this feedback and invite you to participate in these forums and continue to reach out to us and share your thoughts. There is also a feedback form you are welcome to fill out below.

While we study this issue, we encourage all to get vaccinated. To help the University community get vaccinated and protect one another, SUU is hosting vaccination clinics for students, faculty, and staff. We will hold our on-campus vaccination clinics on September 14, October 26, November 9, and December 7.

The COVID task force has been meeting weekly, as has the cabinet to discuss and provide solutions to the ever-evolving COVID situation. We have taken significant precautions and will continue to update this website with the latest information.

As a reminder, before fall semester begins, we encourage each member of the SUU community to complete the following:

  1. Get vaccinated: Learn more about vaccine safety from the CDC. On-campus vaccination clinics will be held throughout the semester.
  2. Wear a mask: SUU is a mask-recommended campus. The University recommends that students, faculty, staff, and visitors wear masks inside campus buildings and when you can’t social distance.
  3. If you are sick, please stay home and follow appropriate protocols: Your professors and supervisors will be flexible and work with you to make accommodations.
  4. Get Tested: If you have symptoms known to be associated with COVID-19, please get tested and stay away from other people to the greatest extent possible (including taking leave for work when needed) at least until you receive a negative test result.
  5. Get Informed: Check this website often and follow the recommendations of the state and local public health department.

Please review the following information and follow the recommendations as outlined on this page.

  • Consider vaccination: If you have not done so already, consider getting vaccinated. Being vaccinated can significantly reduce the need to quarantine and isolate, and therefore, cause less disruption to your work and/or school presence and participation. Two vaccination clinics are scheduled on campus this fall on September 14 (Cedar Breaks Room) and October 26 (Cedar Breaks Room). Additional clinics are being scheduled, and dates will be announced soon.
  • Check your symptoms: Faculty, staff and students should self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms daily before going to class, work or campus. If symptoms are present, please stay home and follow appropriate protocols, including getting tested and isolating.
  • Practice good hygiene habits: Mask up indoors. Wash your hands often. Use hand sanitizer. Sneeze into your elbow. Don’t share food, utensils, and drinks.
  • Work as a T-Bird Family: Consistently consider the impact of your decisions and actions on other employees and students. We are all in this together.
  • SUU is a mask-recommended campus. Due to a recent spike in COVID cases in Iron County, SUU has moved from a mask-friendly to a mask-recommended environment. This means that the University recommends that students, faculty, staff, and visitors wear masks inside campus buildings (except within a private office), but the University does not require it. Should there be an improvement in the COVID environment, the campus may return to a Mask-Friendly Environment.
  • SUU will be open. In-person activities and events (e.g. Thunder U, student activities, and athletic events ) are on track to be held, with efforts to keep attendees safe and well.
  • SUU is working to keep the campus clean. University employees and students should participate in frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas. SUU Facilities will supply departments and instructional spaces with hand sanitizer, wipes, and cleaning disinfectant.
  • SUU cares about your mental health. The pandemic and other circumstances can impact your mental health. It is ok to need help and support, and SUU has resources available. Students may contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for assistance. The Employee Assistance Program is available for employees.
  • The University retains discretion to enforce quarantine and isolation requirements in cases of non-compliance.

The following are general guidelines for the classroom environment. Detailed guidelines for faculty.

  • Class attendance is required: If you are registered for a face-to-face, synchronous remote, or hybrid course, face-to-face attendance is required. If you are ill or instructed to isolate or quarantine, you may request a faculty member record the class and share it with you, but evidence of your illness or other status may be required. In order for you to receive academic adjustments and ensure that your request is communicated to faculty, you must submit this self report form.
  • Course delivery modalities are posted online, but may be modified in response to COVID-19 conditions: SUU is employing every effort to maintain a learning environment that is engaging and safe. The course modality listed when you registered for courses should remain for the semester, however, due to COVID conditions, the delivery of modality for a specific course may change during the semester. The instructional shift can be short term (possibly the length of a quarantine or isolation time period), or in some cases longer. When such a modification is needed, faculty members will work with their department chair and/or dean, and the students to maintain an effective learning environment.
  • If you are a student who needs accommodation due to a documented disability, please contact the Disability Resource Center. Students should provide as much notice as possible for needed disability accommodations. Professors and instructors should contact the same office with questions about student accommodations.
  • Campus operations remain open: University departments and services should expect to continue regular operations through the academic year. Departments should maintain an in-person presence in addition to providing alternative ways to contact the office, like by phone or email.
  • Remote work options: Employees who are well enough and able to perform their tasks remotely may do so during required quarantine or isolation periods by working remotely with the approval of their supervisor. Supervisors should be flexible with employees required to quarantine or isolate, particularly when remote work is possible.
    Policy 8.3.1 Flexible Work Arrangements outlines the process to establish a long-term flexible work arrangement for an employee. For circumstances directly related to COVID-19, temporary work adjustments may be made for a quarantine/isolation period with supervisor approval – it is not required to complete a remote work adjustment form.
  • Reporting leave: Time not performing work during a quarantine or isolation period must be reported on the leave report, using the employee’s accrued sick leave balance. For employees with required quarantine or isolation periods that extend beyond their accrued sick leave balance and who cannot perform their work remotely, the supervisor should request administrative leave through President Mindy Benson.
  • Accommodations: If you are an employee who needs an accommodation due to a disability in order to perform the essential functions of your job, please contact the HR Director/ADA Coordinator in Human Resources. Employees should provide as much notice as possible for needed disability accommodations.
  • Additional workplace guidance is available on the Utah Coronavirus website.
  • If you have symptoms known to be associated with COVID-19, get tested: please get tested and stay away from other persons to the greatest extent possible (including taking leave for work when needed) at least until you receive a negative test result. Even with a negative COVID test, please stay home with any illness until symptoms have improved and you’ve been fever-free (without fever-reducing medications) for at least 24 hours. Iron County’s testing center is at the Cedar Fun Center at 170 E. Fiddlers Canyon.
  • On-campus testing:The on-campus COVID testing will reopen on August 30. If you are ill or worried you may have been exposed, please wear a mask and get tested on campus. The University COVID Testing Center is located in the parking lot of the J. Reuben Clark Center (formerly known as the Alumni House) and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Schedule a test appointment.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, please report your case and ISOLATE in accordance with public health guidelines until it has been: At least 10 days since you first got sick, and you have been fever-free for 24 hours (this means you did not use medicine to lower your fever), and your respiratory symptoms have improved for 24 hours.
  • Please kindly inform anyone that you have been in close contact with during the two days before symptoms began or you tested positive.
  • Once the University is notified of your positive test through the self report form, it will start contact tracing. This will include contacting an employee’s supervisor or contacting a student’s professors along with students in those courses. A student’s identity will not be known to the other students in those courses.

A COVID exposure is defined as being within six feet of someone who has COVID for a total of 15 minute or longer within a 24-hour period. If you meet this definition, please do the following:

  • If you HAVE BEEN VACCINATED you do NOT need to quarantine unless you have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should still get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
  • If you HAVE NOT BEEN VACCINATED you must quarantine for either 7 or 10 days. You may end quarantine on day 7 with a negative test result and you do not have symptoms. You may also end quarantine on day 10 without being tested if you have no symptoms. You must wait at least 7 days after your exposure to be tested.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and will follow all state and local requirements and standards. We will update the campus community if anything changes or new information becomes available; as this is always a developing situation with constant research behind it, please do not be surprised or alarmed if that happens. Thank you for your patience and understanding.