Fall 2021 Guidance
Table of Contents
- Buildings and Facilities
- COVID-19 Symptoms, Infections, and Close Contacts
- Events and Gatherings
- Food at Events and Gatherings
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Masks, Social Distancing, and Other Public Health Measures
- Study Abroad
- Travel for Fall 2021
- Vaccine and Testing Services
- Wellness Center Updates
- Workplace Considerations
Fall 2021 COVID-19 Health Reminders
Over the past few months, the COVID-19 situation on our campus and across Douglas County has been closely watched.
Also, as of today, all of our students, staff, and faculty have had the opportunity to obtain immunization against COVID-19 both on campus and off. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines are now available to most individuals, 12 years of age and older, who desire it.
Those who have not yet been vaccinated can even make use of COVID vaccination mobile clinics this week and in the future. With this continued good news and positive data regarding COVID infections and spread among the campus and larger Douglas County communities, the UNO Office of Health Security have announced several updates and reminders regarding health and safety policies and resources for the UNO campus.
Please be sure to look for recent updates to the following topics:
- Masking Policy Updates
- Updated Travel Guidance
- Events and Gathering Policy Updates
- Maverick Wellness Welcome Station and Testing Center Updates
- UNO Wellness Center Updates
In the coming weeks and months the Office of Health Security will continue to provide updates to existing policies and guidelines as new information becomes available. And, as a reminder, the UNO campus is planning for a return to traditional operations this Fall. Please make sure to monitor your email inboxes, as well as our campus newsletters, social media accounts, and the Maverick COVID Response website to ensure you have the most up-to-date information and health and safety guidance.
Requests from faculty and staff for accommodations related to COVID-19 will be handled through the University's existing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodations process. Please contact Kristina Hoffmann at email@example.com
if you have a COVID-19 workplace accommodation question or request. More information about this process can be found on our Americans with Disabilities Act webpage.
Additional information is available for enrolled students with disabilities that qualify for accommodation under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990).
To maintain safe and healthy environments, the Facilities Management and Planning Office is supporting and encouraging the following guidelines for interaction in classrooms, offices, and public spaces indoors across campus. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classrooms and Labs
- Desks have been arranged at a minimum of 3-foot spacing.
- Some labs are not able to accommodate the minimum spacing requirement. Mask compliance and proper wearing of masks will be essential in these spaces.
- In auditoriums, red sashes are in place to denote seats to not be occupied.
Offices and Public Spaces
- Recommendations are that managers/supervisors arrange for 3-foot minimum separation between employee workstations.
- Additional furniture (chairs, tables, benches) may be used as barriers for social distancing.
Signs have been posted in various locations around campus to promote safe social distancing, handwashing, wearing of mask. Need signs for your building or office? Print one today!
Drinking Fountains, Paper Towels, Hand Sanitizer, Disinfecting Wipes
- Signs with the recommendation of using refillable water bottles.
- Paper towels have been installed as replacement for automatic hand dryers.
- Hand sanitizer stations are located in high traffic areas.
- Disinfecting wipes have been placed in all classrooms for use as needed for personal space.
Cleaning and Disinfecting of Surfaces
UNO Environmental Services staff will provide cleaning and disinfecting services each night for all classrooms and public spaces. During the day, staff will be located in strategic locations to provide disinfecting of high touch points periodically through campus.UNO Environmental Services has always had the practice to clean and disinfect to prevent any infectious neuro-virus, flues, colds, etc...
Building Air Ventilation
- UNO building HVAC systems have been designed to meet or exceed indoor air quality standards as established by codes and standard recommendations.
- All systems are continuously serviced and maintained to provide the best possible learning environment.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, or come into close contact with someone who has tested positive, we strongly encourage you to fill out and submit a BRT form. Doing so allows the Office of Health Security to begin their contact tracing process, which promotes your wellness and the wellness of our campus community.
Once the Health Security team receives your form, they will take the following steps:
- One of our contact tracers will call you to discuss when you began showing symptoms, when you were tested, where you have been, and who you have been around.
- Provide guidance on next steps for your individual situation.
If you have tested positive, you will need to isolate for at least 10 days from the start of your symptoms. If you come into close contact with someone who has tested positive – meaning within six feet for 15 minutes or more – you will be asked to self-quarantine.
All gatherings/events, both UNO-sponsored and externally-sponsored, should adhere to the UNO campus policies and procedures. Event guidance applies to both on- and off-campus gathering/events. Campus guidance supersedes current local guidance.
Guidelines for events for fall 2021 include:
All gatherings (e.g. events, meetings, productions, etc.) on or off campus with 25 or more people will require senior administration approval (previous limit had been 11 or more).
An online process will continue to be used to request approval. Please use the following forms to request approval based on the relevant unit: Academic Affairs; Athletics/Baxter Arena; Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center; Business and Finance; Student Success.
A detailed safety plan is required for all in-person events with 25 or more participants.
Every space on campus will have a distancing protocol that should be followed based on set-up and usage.
3-foot distancing can be applied to classroom/stationary events and gatherings.
6-foot distancing should be followed for social gatherings or those that include food.
All events in-person involving youth will require approval. Event coordinators should reach out to the Office of Youth Safety prior to submitting an event for consideration to complete a safety review. These events must be approved through the associated Senior Vice Chancellor or Vice Chancellor, and the Office of Health Security.
Sponsoring units are fully responsible for ensuring their gathering is safely conducted and complies with guest guidelines and expectations.
Sponsoring units must acknowledge that all guests associated with their event will:
Wear a face covering during the event and in any common spaces that are indoors.
Maintain appropriate safe distances (physical distancing) when interacting with others.
Be encouraged to practice good hygiene by washing hands with soap and water often for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
Be instructed to stay home if the day of the event they or a member of their household is sick.
Be encouraged to complete the self-assessment through the 1-Check COVID app or a similar mechanism the day of the event.
If someone who attended the event is diagnosed with COVID-19 within two weeks of the event being offered, the sponsoring unit will notify Office of Health Security at email@example.com.
Overview of Approval Process for Fall 2021
The steps below apply to gatherings of 25 or more. Please use the following guide: Approval Checklist for Successful Gatherings to assist in your event planning.
- Complete the gatherings/event registration form. Forms will be made available for UNO Sponsored events, Registered Student Organizations, and external groups.
- Submission is reviewed by approving body (this all occurs electronically)
- Once approval is received, space can be reserved
- Optional meeting with event consultant*
* This step is required for registered student organizations
- Request Form
- Request is submitted to a department chair/unit coordinator
- Approval advanced to dean/AVCC
- DeanAVCC approval advanced toSVCC Academic Affairs
- SVCC Academic Affairs (S.Koppp) final approval
Includes the following:
- Center for Faculty Excellence
- Digital Learning
- Faculty Senate
- Gen Ed/Dual Enrollment
- International Programs
- Radio & TV
- Research & Creative Activity
- Service Learning Academy
- Thompson Learning Community
- Requests reviewed and approved by Interim Athletic Director (M. Kemp) for final approval
- Request Form
Business and Finance
- Request Form
- Request is submitted to department director
- Approval advanced to AVCC Business and Finance (J. Kamm)
- AVCC Business and Finance (J.Kamm) final approval
- Request form
- Request is submitted to AVCC
- Approval advanced to VC Student Success
- VC Student Success (D.Shipp) final approval
- Request is submitted to advisor
- Approval advanced to assistant vice chancellor, Student Success (K. Cammarano)
- Approval advanced to VC Student Success
- VC Student Success (D. Shipp) final approval
Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center
College and Department Specific Request Forms
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Business Administration
- College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media
- College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences
- College of Information Science & Technology
- College of Public Affairs and Community Service
- Criss Library
- Thompson Alumni Center
- Graduate Studies
- College of Engineering (PKI)
Food service can resume for events starting effective immediately (previous food options had been restricted).
- In alignment with the UNO Food policy, all food served on campus must be furnished by UNO Food Services and Catering due to health and safety concerns.
- Food should be individually packaged or served by catering staff.
- No potlucks or buffets are allowed.
General Fall 2021 FAQs:
Masks are now required in all indoor settings for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
Additionally, certain larger gatherings may require masks to be worn by all attendees in all settings. Each gathering and event on campus with more than 25 people goes through a screening process for health protocols and is subject to approval by the Office of Health Security and one of the Vice Chancellors or the Senior Vice Chancellor.
Student compliance with mask requirements becomes a matter of the student code of conduct, and concerns may be shared using the Behavioral Review Team (BRT) form.
I need a mask for this semester. Where can I get one?
Reusable COVID-19 masks will be made available through the UNO Bookstore for purchase. Disposable masks will be available at MavIGATION Stations in campus buildings. Products are available for departments to order through eSHOP using the "COVID-19 SUPPLIES ORDER FORM." Available items include disposable masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
What should I do if I can’t properly distance myself in my office, laboratory, or classroom?
Current plans for the Fall 2021 semester include 3-foot social distancing in classrooms. If employees feel their workspace does not facilitate adequate distancing, please speak with your supervisor, or Facilities Management and Planning.
Individuals with health concerns should contact the Office of Accessibility Services for medical accommodation.
If a staff member has a child younger than 12 years old, does this constitute a medical reason to ask for an alternate work arrangement, since that child cannot be immunized?
Individual faculty and staff with particular health concerns on behalf of their family should primarily ensure they are vaccinated when feasible and secondarily may elect to wear a mask on campus.
Not at this time. Larger classroom spaces that would allow students to space out further are still available in MSBC, TAC, and CEC. If instructors would like to move their course sections into these larger rooms, it is possible such a space is available at the same course time.
This fall students can expect to see a full array of other services available on campus, such as the H&K gym, the Criss Library, Milo Bail Student Center, food services, student clubs, Durango Days, public lectures, musical and theatrical performances, and athletic events. While we will adjust public health measures to keep everyone safe, we are committed to offering a full-on campus experience.
Will student services be available in person on campus this fall?
Academic advisors, counselors, career advisors, financial aid advisors, and other student services will likewise be available to meet with you on campus.
Additionally, for those students who wish the flexibility to arrange an online appointment over zoom, this option is available as well. One thing we learned thus far in the pandemic is that there are many new ways to connect with students, and students found these different options helpful.
What should I do if I feel anxious or uncomfortable about returning to an in-person setting?
UNO Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) services are available to ALL enrolled students. UNO has contracted with Faculty and Staff Employee Assistance Program to provide confidential counseling and referral services to benefit-eligible faculty and staff and their eligible dependents. The program provides five (5) counseling sessions for you and your eligible dependent family members.
Are the residence halls open for fall?
Yes. We are welcoming students to live on campus this year. Students are strongly encouraged to receive their COVID-19 vaccination and report to the Office of Health Security. Students who do not submit their vaccination information will be required to regularly submit to COVID-19 nasal testing on campus at no cost.
If you come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, report your concerns by submitting a Behavioral Review Team (BRT) form. Contact tracing and any necessary quarantining will be determined by the Office of Health Security.
Will an instructor be asked to change from in-person to remote/online teaching if a certain fraction of the class is quarantined?
Possibly. If a significant fraction of the class must remain quarantined, the Office of Academic Affairs may reach out to the relevant college dean’s office to determine if it is more practical to offer accommodations for these students or simply switch the class to remote mode for a period of time.
What will we do with a class if the instructor is quarantined?
If an instructor is ill or must be quarantined, the Office of Academic Affairs will contact the relevant college dean’s office to determine if a temporary medical leave must be granted or, if not, whether the course can be delivered remotely. It may be in some cases necessary to appoint a temporary instructor for the course.
If I test positive, do I need to quarantine if I am fully vaccinated?
Yes, the CDC guidelines state that anyone who tests positive for COVID needs to isolate, even if they are fully vaccinated. Individuals with COVID-19 must isolate for
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.)
Note that these recommendations do not apply to people with severe COVID-19 or with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised).
Please report your positive case to the Office of Health Security using the BRT form.
If I am a close contact of someone with COVID, do I need to quarantine?
The CDC guidelines state that you should quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated.
People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors.
People who are not fully vaccinated must stay home and can end their quarantine:
- After day 10 if you do not get tested for COVID-19
- After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)
Watch for fever (100.4F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, stay away from people you live with, especially people who are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
Please report that you were in close contact of someone with COVID-19 to the Office of Health Security using the BRT form.
Yes. We have designed this fall semester to be as flexible as possible. For students wanting in-person classes, they should find a full array of coursework available. For students seeking the flexibility or individualized approach of online learning, we likewise have a wide array of courses across all academic disciplines.
Students can choose whatever best meets their needs. For full transparency, course sections are listed in the catalog along with their modality of online, remote, or in-person. We won’t change these designations, so use the course listings to select the right course for you.
If an instructor would like to change my course modality from in-person to remote/online, may I do so?
Course modalities were established prior to releasing the course schedule to students. We are obligated to follow through on these modalities. Students are counting on these declarations and made their course selections accordingly.
If the conditions of the pandemic require, we may elect to switch some or all in-person courses to remote/online as a matter of public safety, but this decision will be made at the campus level and upon the guidance of the Office of Health Security in consultation with the Douglas County Public Health Department.
Return to In-Person Work for Faculty and Staff FAQs:
Please read the most frequently asked questions about returning to work on the UNO campus in Fall 2021.
Masks are required for all individuals regardless of vaccination status in all indoor settings on the UNO campus (including classroom spaces, conference rooms, study rooms, break rooms, hallways, and other common areas).
- When eating (6 ft social distancing must be observed)
- When alone in a room with a closed door
- When in a motor vehicle alone or only with members of your household
- When in your UNO campus housing unit
- When pertaining to children under the age of two years
- Individuals can work unmasked in office cubicle space so long as 6 ft distancing can be provided between personnel and/or visitors.
Masks are not required outdoors unless specifically indicated as part of event guidelines.
Symptomatic individuals, regardless of immunization status, should stay home and contact their health care provider.
Masks must be worn in designated areas if required by federal, state or city laws, rules, and regulations.
Masks are required on campus shuttles and buses for all passengers, regardless of vaccination status.
These guidelines do not apply to the UNO Child Care Center, which has specific policies regarding masks in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Adjustments have also been made to masking as it relates to conducting research, including:
To protect our essential Animal Care and Use Program (ACUP) staff, as well as the animals within the facility, masks are required at all times when using these facilities.
To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 while conducting human-subjects research, all IRB-approved protocols must continue to follow the IRB-approved Human Subjects Research Safety plans.
The current plans for the Fall 2021 semester include 3-foot social distancing in classrooms.
For the Fall 2021 semester, classroom music rehearsals are at full capacity. Masks and bell covers will be required for instrumental wind players in music courses regardless of vaccination status. Masks will be required for all vocalists in music courses regardless of vaccination status. Masks will be required for any other students in music courses that include instrumental wind players and vocalists. When playing and singing outdoors, masks are required if spaced closer than 6 feet.
The International Programs Office and University leadership are continually assessing the feasibility of international travel for our students. Health and safety risks continue to fluctuate with the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain hopeful that in the not-too-distant future, following a stabilization in travel logistics and a reduction in risks, you and your fellow Mavericks will be able to study abroad again.
Fall 2021: In November 2020, the University canceled all spring UNO Study Abroad Programs, due to COVID-19's ongoing impact on program planning. In mid-March 2021, the University extended the restriction on student international travel, including education abroad, through June 30, 2021. A new committee will be established to begin reviewing requests for semester/exchange programs for safety and feasibility, with a goal of making decisions about July-August travel by early May. If you are considering a semester/exchange program in July-August:
- Please refrain from purchasing flights, paying non-refundable program deposits, or making other purchases or financial commitments (visa fees, vaccinations, housing payments, etc.) until a decision is made by the University.
What is New
Pre-approved essential domestic travel can proceed with approval by an immediate supervisor rather than an individual’s associated Vice Chancellor or Senior Vice Chancellor.
Pre-approved essential international travel will be allowed beginning July 1. Pre-trip approval is required to be submitted through the appropriate review process for all international travel and is limited to essential university-related business.
Essential University-related domestic travel continues to follow the previous guidance with one key update. Requests for essential university-related domestic travel by university employees must now be approved in advance by the responsible supervisor rather than an individual’s associated Vice Chancellor or Senior Vice Chancellor.
The CDC recommends delaying domestic travel until you are fully vaccinated. Because all university travel is contingent upon the traveler agreeing to comply with all guidance, supervisors are not responsible for knowing the traveler’s vaccination status for the approval process and should not ask travelers about such status.
UNO students, faculty, and staff are expected to follow the CDC recommendations for domestic travel.Current guidance includes the following:
- Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC’s recommendations for unvaccinated people.
Have You Been Fully Vaccinated? People are considered fully vaccinated if, 1) It’s been two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2) Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.
If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
If you have a condition or are taking medication that weakens your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.
During Travel, remember that wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like a ferry or top deck of a bus). Also be sure to follow all state and local recommendations and requirements, including mask wearing and social distancing.
After Travel, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms. Also, be sure to follow all state and local recommendations or requirements.
You do NOT need to get tested or self-quarantine if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months. You should still follow all other travel recommendations.
Beginning July 1, 2021, pre-approved essential international travel for students, faculty and staff will be allowed. Pre-trip approval is required for all international travel and is limited to essential university-related business.
Students will need to submit a request for essential international travel on behalf of the university, including study abroad. Forms and instructions on how to submit a request will be updated prior to July 1. The student will be required to complete a travel application that provides a detailed summary of local health and travel guidance for the travel locations. International Programs will appoint an international travel risk committee that will consider the essential nature of the travel, CDC Travel Health Notices, US Department of State Travel Advisories, and the ability of the traveler to mitigate risk. All university-related international travel must comply with Executive Memorandum 25.
UNO Employees will need to submit a request for essential international travel on behalf of the university. Forms and instructions on how to submit a request will be updated prior to July 1. The employee must obtain pre-trip approval for essential travel through their appropriate chair, dean, or supervisor and begin the travel request through Concur. After a UNO employee receives supervisor and/or college-level approval, an international travel request must be submitted 90 days in advance of travel to International Programs. The traveler will be required to complete a travel application that provides a detailed summary of local health and travel guidance for the travel locations. International Programs will appoint an international travel risk committee that will consider the essential nature of the travel, CDC Travel Health Notices, US Department of State Travel Advisories, and the ability of the traveler to mitigate risk. The international travel request must be approved by the committee before final Concur approvals will be granted, or travel may be booked. All university-related international travel must comply with Executive Memorandum 25.
For destinations that are below the US Department of State Travel Advisory levels 3 and 4, or CDC Travel Heath Notices levels 3 or 4, travelers do not need to complete the full travel application with committee review. Travelers will need to complete a travel health plan and submit the plan to International Programs at least two weeks prior to travel. All travelers, regardless of CDC Travel Health Notice level, will need to comply with the CDC recommendations for international travel listed below.
The CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated. Because all university travel is contingent upon the traveler agreeing to comply with all guidance, supervisors are not responsible for knowing the traveler’s vaccination status for the approval process and should not ask travelers about such status.
UNO students, faculty, and staff are expected to follow the CDC recommendations for international travel.Current guidance includes the following:
Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated.
Assess the COVID-19 situation at your destination prior to departure to ensure travel to the location can be safely managed. This is particularly important if you are considering international travel as the restrictions are very fluid. This includes reviewing the CDC recommendations for your international travel location (cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html) and, remembering that before arriving in the United States, all air passengers coming to the United States, including US citizens and fully vaccinated people, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 3 days before travel or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months before they board a flight to the United States.
Wear a mask over your nose and mouth on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
Continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms before, during, and after travel.
If you are fully vaccinated, before you arrive back in the US, you must have a negative COVID-19 viral test no more than 3 days before your flight. Also, upon your return, you must get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms using the 1-Check app.
If you are not fully vaccinated, before you travel you must get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip back to the U.S.; before you arrive in the U.S., you must have a negative COVID-19 viral test no more than 3 days before your flight; and after you travel you must get tested with a viral test within 3-5 days AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel (or 10 days without a test) and self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms using the 1-Check app.
The UNO campus community is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to protect against COVID-19. We continue to share information about vaccine availability with all students, faculty, and staff through ongoing collaboration with the Douglas County Health Department.
Read more information on COVID-19 Testing Services & Vaccine Distribution.
In addition to existing recreational opportunities available through the UNO Wellness Center, the following are permitted:
Gymnasium pickup games of 5-on-5 basketball, 5 x 5 futbal, and 6 x 6 volleyball, as well as other activities at the discretion Wellness Center staff. Fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks to participate or spectate. Participants, as well as spectators, who are not yet fully vaccinated should continue to mask or should decline to participate.
Equipment may be checked and returned for disinfection before the next usage.
Fully immunized member guests are permitted to utilize campus recreational facilities.
Recreational opportunities continue to be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis. The Campus Recreation team will endeavor to increase these opportunities while continuing to follow CDC guidance.
For up-to-date information on recreational opportunities, please visit the UNO Wellness Center website.
All UNO employees in consultation with their supervisors and unit leaders are expected to prioritize on-campus work and be physically present no later than the start of the Fall 2021 semester on Monday, Aug. 23. While some exceptions will be necessary as approved by each Vice Chancellor through the alternative work arrangement agreement process communicated to unit leaders by Human Resources, our goal will be that campus is ready to conduct and support a pre-pandemic level of activity.
As part of this return to work process, supervisors should consult the University of Nebraska’s System Alternative Worksite Policy for guidance on how to best handle their unit’s respective needs.