Last updated on
The health and safety of our campus community are top priorities at the University of Central Arkansas.
UCA continues to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through information released by reliable, trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of State, the World Health Organization and the Arkansas Department of Health.
A group of key UCA personnel, including staff from medical, public safety, campus operations, student and academic affairs and other university offices, are meeting weekly to identify and address critical issues related to the impact of COVID-19.
This website will be updated regularly with information about COVID-19 and its impact, UCA’s response efforts and important tips and precautions members of the campus community can take to stay healthy.
For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. The incubation period of this virus is between 10-14 days.
This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but is now spreading from person-to-person. It is important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- According to the Arkansas Department of Health, there are 5,458 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state as of June 2, 2020.
- On Jan. 30, following the advice of the CDC, UCA suspended all institution-related travel to China.
- In early February, a message was emailed to campus from the Student Health Center sharing information about COVID-19, what UCA is doing to protect its campus community and what you should do to protect yourself from the spread of infectious disease.
- On March 2, following the advice of the CDC, UCA suspended all institution-related travel to Italy.
- On March 3, another message was emailed to campus from the Student Health Center sharing updated information on the status of COVID-19 in the U.S. and detailing ways to protect against the spread of viral diseases such as COVID-19 and the flu.
- The UCA Physical Plant is performing additional cleaning and sanitation for contact areas on campus, including doorknobs, handrails, tabletops, desktops, etc. Stand-alone hand sanitizing stations can currently be found in the Physical Plant; the Dept. of Physical Therapy; Doyne Health Sciences Center; Estes Stadium; the Athletics Weight Training Facility; Torreyson Library; Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center; and the Student Health Center. Additional hand sanitizers have been ordered, and three foggers have been purchased to spray disinfectant in areas of need.
- Aramark’s corporate leadership has taken additional measures to help control potential contamination in our food service areas by no longer allowing students to bring in personal reusable cups for their beverages.
- The world situation regarding this virus is rapidly changing and is being monitored daily by experts at the CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health.
- The UCA Student Health Clinic remains in close contact with the Arkansas Department of Health and is also closely monitoring this matter.
- This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and the CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. The CDC works 24/7 to protect people’s health. It is the CDC’s job to be concerned and move quickly whenever there is a potential public health problem. More information about the CDC’s response to COVID-19 is available here.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. However, the CDC recommends everyday, preventive actions to help prevent the spread of any virus, including the flu, which is active across the U.S. and in Arkansas.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- For more information about handwashing, see the CDC’s Handwashing website.
- The CDC also has specific guidelines for travelers going to locations around the world.
- The Arkansas Department of Health has guidance for self home quarantine.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR STUDY ABROAD:
In early February, UCA announced the cancellation of Study Abroad trips to China for summer 2020, and on March 2, UCA announced the cancellation of Study Abroad trips to Italy for summer 2020. On March 12, UCA made the decision to cancel all faculty-led and independent study abroad programs for summer 2020.
We know that this is a concerning time for our campus community, and we want to ensure students get the support they need. The UCA Counseling Center may be reached by calling (501) 450-3138.
Visit the UCA Student Health website for more information about coronavirus prevention in Arkansas and on campus.
The UCA Center for Teaching Excellence has resources and advice for faculty regarding how to move content online and avoid disruptions in teaching and learning. See those resources here.
The Arkansas Department of Health has activated a call center with epidemiologists to answer questions from health care providers and the public about COVID-19. You can reach them at (800) 803-7847. The ADH posts daily updates about COVID-19 in Arkansas at 3 p.m. every day.