Campus Guidance

University leaders continue to update campus COVID-19 guidance based on science and public health practices. Updated July 31, 2023.

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As of July 31, the University of Nebraska Medical Center no longer requires the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment or enrollment.

The change aligns with UNMC’s peer prominent academic medical centers and follows the lead of the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare which eliminated its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for health care workers on July 24.

UNMC continue to recommend and strongly encourage employees and students to be fully vaccinated for both COVID-19 and influenza.

This will be particularly important as it relates to the upcoming availability of the new Omicron XBB-specific vaccines.

Employees and students will continue to be asked to document their influenza and COVID-19 vaccination status.

Asymptomatic Testing

In Omaha, COVID-19 testing is available through Employee Health for symptomatic or asymptomatic faculty and staff. Students should contact UNMC Student Health at 402-559-7204.

Testing is available to patients through Nebraska Medicine; testing also is available through local clinics and doctor’s offices, pharmacies and home testing.

Positive Cases & Exposure

UNMC is committed to following best practices to keep our students and employees safe.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, it is recommended that students contact the Student Health clinic serving their campus and employees contact Employee Health at 402-552-3563 and their supervisor for guidance on returning safely to campus.

If you test positive for COVID-19, students should contact Student Health and employees should contact Employee Health (402-552-3563) to report the positive test.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may return to campus after five days of isolation; masking will be required for the following five consecutive calendar days. A negative COVID-19 test is not required to return to campus.


The Nebraska Medicine mask-optional guidance went into effect April 3.

UNMC faculty, staff and students must follow the recommendations of its clinical partners for masking in clinical spaces. UNMC faculty, staff and students who currently have an exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement may follow the optional masking guidelines.

Nebraska Medicine also provided the following clarifications for the masking policy:

  • At this time, masks are required for staff in the following locations:  
    • Direct patient care areas in which care is being administered to a patient (e.g., exam rooms, inpatient rooms, other treatment spaces) at the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, and Heartland Hematology and Oncology in Kearney, Nebraska; as well as cancer patient care areas in Bellevue Medical Center and Village Pointe Health Center
      • Masks are required for staff, patients and visitors at all times while inside the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, level seven, Special Care Unit
      • Masks are strongly recommended for patients and visitors in other direct care areas for cancer patients
    • Masks are required for staff and visitors who enter the room of new solid organ transplant patients or any lung transplant patient at all phases and areas of care
      • Masks are optional for staff and visitors who enter the room of all other transplant patients
      • Masks are strongly encouraged for staff and patients in the Multi-Organ Specialty Clinic and all outpatient settings
    • Masks are optional in all other areas except:
      • When providing care for an immunocompromised patient (following pre-pandemic personal protective equipment protocols)
      • When requested by a patient or visitor
  • All Nebraska Medicine colleagues who currently have an exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine requirement will transition to the optional masking guidelines

Reusing a KN95 mask

  • Patient care setting: Facemasks worn during patient encounters may be reused during a single shift but should be discarded at the end of the shift. Nebraska Medicine will supply masks at the entrances to their patient care areas.
  • Non-patient care setting: A disposable facemask can be worn for several hours or up to a few days when stored safely and when not wet or distorted. Masks should no longer be used if soiled, wet, the straps begin to stretch, threads become separated, or the mask begins to lose shape.
  • One study published in the journal Medicine had volunteers wear N95s for eight hours a day and found that the average filtration efficiency of the masks was still 97% after three days of use.
  • If possible, rotate through different masks and keep them in a dry place between uses (ie: a breathable paper bag or an open sandwich baggie).
  • Consult your department for specific guidance as roles, uses and infection control measures vary.
  • Refer to these extended use guidelines for additional details.

Mask Extenders

Mask extenders (also known as ear savers) prevent the elastic straps of your mask from making your ears sore from prolonged use. UNMC has a limited number of mask extenders that it plans to distribute to each college/unit.

If you have access to a 3D printer, you may print your own mask extenders. Learn more about 3D printing mask extenders.

Return to work

Guidance relevant to the return of personnel to on-campus work is currently information available on the COVID-19 website.


UNMC continues to recognize the high value of in-person learning and encourage in-person instruction. We remain flexible regarding remote learning where it does not significantly impact the educational goals. Students who have questions or concerns should contact the college administrative official responsible for that course.

  • Faculty members who have been teaching remotely are encouraged to return to in-person learning and should discuss options with their supervisor.
  • Lecturers should wear masks unless it significantly interferes with their ability to be heard or understood. If no mask is worn to optimize the learning environment, lecturers must have at least six feet distance from others.
  • Clinical and laboratory courses and experiences will continue in person, all using appropriate PPE consistent with the clinical best practices.
  • Clinical rotations for health science students will continue, with students complying with COVID regulations of that clinical environment.
  • Questions from faculty, staff, or students regarding the status of a particular course should contact the college administrative official responsible for that course.

UNMC is utilizing multiple layers of non-pharmaceutical interventions including masking, vaccination, good hand hygiene and self-monitoring for symptoms using the tool 1-Check UNMC app.


UNMC has returned to pre-COVID-19 operations for processing domestic and international travel requests for faculty, staff and students on university-sponsored business.

Faculty and staff must submit a travel request in Concur prior to booking travel. Students should notify Education Abroad of their intent to travel internationally.

UNMC, as a part of the University of Nebraska system, adheres to the policy outlined in Executive Memorandum No. 25 and requires prior approval for international travel to higher risk locations (as identified by the CDC and U.S. Department of State travel notices and advisories). Travelers will be notified after they submit their Concur travel request if their destination is considered higher risk and additional information is needed.  More information is available through the Office of Global Engagement.



All students, faculty, UNMC and Nebraska Medicine employees on campus are now expected to park in their designated/assigned parking lots.  Employees returning to work on campus, who have been working off site, will be eligible for reinstatement to their previous parking assignment, subject to availability. Such reinstatement must be applied for within 30 days after a return to campus or the space may be forfeited.


Masking and social distancing are recommended but optional for UNMC gatherings. Safety event plans for gatherings are no longer required.


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 the UNMC HR Employee Relations office if you have a COVID-19 workplace accommodation question or request. More information about this process can be found at the UNMC ADA Request for Accommodations webpage.

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) can find additional information regarding Services for Students with Disabilities online. Please contact the Accessibility Services Center by email at with questions.


In addition to existing recreational opportunities available through the Center for Healthy Living on the Omaha campus, the following are permitted effective May 26, 2021:

  • Gymnasium pickup games of 5 on 5 basketball, 5 X 5 futsal, and 6 X 6 volleyball, as well as other activities at the discretion of CFHL staff. Masks are no longer required for participation by fully vaccinated individuals. Participants, as well as spectators, who are not yet fully vaccinated should continue to mask or should decline to participate.
  • Intramural summer outdoor sports of golf, pickleball, soccer, softball, bocce ball and cornhole.
  • CFHL’s equipment may be checked out at the front desk and returned for disinfection before the next usage.
  • Similar activities are permitted on campuses outside of Omaha as long as they are not prohibited by host institutions (UNL, UNK, WNCC, NECC).
  • Fully immunized member guests are permitted to utilize campus recreational facilities effective May 25, 2021.

Recreational opportunities continue to be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis. We will endeavor to increase these opportunities while continuing to follow CDC guidance. See up-to-date information on recreational opportunities on the Omaha campus. For information relevant to other campuses, please contact the appropriate recreational entities.


Visitors, volunteers and vendors will be allowed on the UNMC and must following masking guidelines.

Have Questions?

UNMC has established a multidisciplinary Vaccine Support Team to answer questions about vaccinations or any COVID policy-related questions. Email your questions to