Campus Guidance issued June 3, 2021
We continue to strongly recommend vaccination against COVID. Moreover, many of UNMC’s clinical partners now require proof of immunization against COVID as a condition of performing service and/or academic rotations in their clinics and on their wards. Furthermore, UNMC has an obligation to protect its own students, staff, and faculty, as well as our visitors and patients. Accordingly, as of the start of the new academic year on June 21, 2021, all faculty, staff, fellows, residents, interns and students are required to participate in the UNMC monitoring of COVID vaccination status by confirming completion of full vaccination or declination thereof, by completing a confidential online UNMC immunization form to document proof of (or decline) COVID vaccination. This status will be documented in Epic employee health or student health records. More information will be sent regarding the online immunization form.
Those choosing to remain unvaccinated or unwilling to document their status will be required to mask at all times while on UNMC campuses or in Nebraska Medicine facilities. They may also be denied the opportunity to participate in clinical rotations and educational endeavors at outside partner institutions currently requiring disclosure and/or completed immunization.
Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to accept vaccination as soon as possible. More information about vaccine appointments is available from the Douglas County Health Department or the relevant local health department in your jurisdiction.
Effective 1 July 2021, all new incoming/onboarding personnel are required to download the 1-Check UNMC application and use this app each day that they are present on our campuses until they are fully vaccinated. Personnel are also encouraged to upload their CDC-issued COVID vaccination card to the 1-Check app for purposes of mobile documentation.
Since the issuance of UNMC campus health security guidance on March 22, 2021 the situation on our campuses has continued to improve. All of our students, staff, and faculty have now had the opportunity to obtain immunization against COVID-19. Moreover, the situation in our host communities has also improved to the point where vaccine is now available to individuals, 12 years of age and older, who desire it. In light of these positive developments and of recent updates in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, masking requirements for students, faculty, and staff have been modified, effective 26 May, such that:
- Masks will continue to be required for all students, staff, faculty and visitors in public and patient care areas within the hospitals and clinical facilities across all UNMC campuses at all times. This includes (but is not limited to) wards, clinics, hallways, elevators, lounges, dining areas (except while eating) and garages.
- Masks will continue to be required for all visiting/rotating students and all non-fully vaccinated faculty, staff and UNMC students in research buildings other than offices or small conference rooms (see below).
- Masks will not be required outdoors or in indoor non-clinical and non-research settings for fully vaccinated individuals on UNMC campuses (including, but not limited to, classrooms, conference rooms, study rooms, breakrooms, hallways, and other common areas). Fully vaccinated individuals may interact without masks and are no longer required to maintain 6 foot social distancing in these areas. Note, however, that the 6-foot distancing requirement may remain in place for certain classes and spaces during the Summer 2021 semester.
- People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19:
- Two weeks afterthey have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or
- Twoweeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen)
- Two weeks after the terminal dose of other COVID vaccines administered under the auspices of approved clinical trials (this applies to those receiving the vaccine, as opposed to the placebo).
- People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19:
- UNMC mask mandates and distancing requirements remain in effect for all individuals who are NOT fully vaccinated.
- Masks will continue to be required working with infectious agents in biosafety cabinets, and/or as required by specific research core or other regulated spaces. See below for more information about masks in research areas.
- Immunocompromised individuals, likewise, should continue to mask.
- Vaccinated individuals who desire to minimize their risk may also continue to mask.
- UNMC relies on an ‘honor system’ to ensure that only vaccinated individuals are unmasked on our campuses. Unmasking in the absence of full vaccination is a violation of standards of professional conduct and/or the Student Code of Conduct and subjects the offender to possible disciplinary action.
- Symptomatic individuals, regardless of immunization status, should mask and report to the Employee Health clinic, Student Health clinic, or personal healthcare provider as appropriate. These individuals should remain at home until cleared by the Employee Health or Student Health.
Note that UNMC is a healthcare institution and that CDC guidance aimed at the public is not healthcare guidance. Decisions to further modify guidance in this document will remain scientifically based, data-driven, and dependent on conditions on our campuses, in our clinical facilities, and in our communities. With the exception of the measures instituted above, existing guidance pertaining to face-coverings, social distancing, 1-Check screening and other COVID control measures remains in effect. Receipt of a complete series of COVID vaccine does not currently absolve individuals of the obligation to adhere to these safety measures.
Note, too, that modified guidance provided in this document does not apply to the Child Care Center, to which separate CDC guidelines apply.
Classes usually taught in-person but held remotely in 2020 and Spring 2021 are expected to return to the in-person mode in the Fall 2021 semester. Classes during Summer 2021 are scheduled to allow for social distancing. Faculty members should work closely with their college’s appropriate administrative contact to ensure that an appropriate space is available and properly prepared. Faculty and students are cautioned against reconfiguring classroom spaces on their own.
Return to work
Guidance relevant to the return of personnel to on-campus work is currently information available on the COVID-19 website.
Masks will continue to be required for all visiting/rotating students, as noted above and described in detail below, and all non-fully vaccinated faculty, staff and students in research shared spaces other than offices or small conference rooms. All laboratories, including small instrument rooms, tissue culture rooms, cores and comparative medicine spaces, are considered shared spaces. Groups meeting in a conference room or office may unmask if they are all vaccinated, the door is closed and they choose to do so. Individuals eating in spaces designated for eating may also unmask but should remain distanced from others who may be eating nearby with unknown vaccination status.
UNMC-sponsored undergraduate student summer research programs (such as INBRE, SURP and STEP-UP) are allowed to have on-campus activities this summer if they adhere to the guidelines outlined in this document, which include masking within all research buildings and restriction from clinical areas, unless provided a specific exception, and/or offices of faculty mentors close to clinical areas. No high school or undergraduate research volunteers (beyond those in designated programs) are allowed on campus, although student employees are permitted. Large group meetings should continue to use distance technologies in most cases or should mask unless all are known to be vaccinated. Moreover, students are prohibited from any clinical shadowing experiences in these areas unless pre-approved. Badges provided to summer undergraduate students will allow access from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; at other times, students will need to be escorted into locked buildings. Orientation to current policies, social distancing practices, daily monitoring of the student’s health status and the reporting of COVID cases, is the responsibility of each individual mentor.
For business travel within the U.S., travel still needs to be approved in advance by the responsible dean or director. Such travel should be carefully considered and should be limited to that which is essential. Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to contract and spread SARS-CoV-2 and may now travel at low risk to themselves within the United States. While new CDC guidance allows mask-free gatherings in many settings, all travelers, including those who are fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
International travel is strongly discouraged, and is permitted only if: a) it is mission-critical; b) it has the approval of the relevant Vice Chancellor or Senior Vice Chancellor and; c) it is consistent with federal travel restrictions. Compliance with these guidelines and restrictions, as well as with University of Nebraska Executive Memorandum 25, is the responsibility of the individual traveler. Travelers may be required to demonstrate (by negative testing) that they are not infectious prior to boarding aircraft for their return journey. They may also be subject to quarantine upon return. Personal international travel continues to be strongly discouraged and is subject to CDC and US State Department restrictions.
Study abroad programs remain prohibited.
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.
The limit imposed upon on-campus gatherings of our own faculty, staff, and students is increased to 50 individuals. These limit of 50 individuals for gatherings does not apply to UNMC-sanctioned classes, didactic sessions, and experiential learning activities. Exceptions to this limit can be sought by filing an event safety plan. Fully vaccinated participants at on-campus gatherings are no longer required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. UNMC mask mandates and distancing requirements remain in effect for all individuals attending on-campus gatherings who are NOT fully vaccinated.University-sponsored events involving a mixture of UNMC personnel and invited guests are subject to an analogous limit (aside from official events).
Non-UNMC-sponsored on-campus gatherings involving outside groups (example: weddings) require the approval from the Office of Health Security, as well as an accompanying event safety plan.
UNMC-sponsored on-campus gatherings that involve outsiders will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis following the submission of an event safety plan.
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 Jen Papproth in the Accessibility Services Center by email at email@example.com 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:
- 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 25 May.
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.