Updates to testing, travel and other policy guidance

Aug. 10, 2020

Updates to testing, travel and other policy guidance

On Aug. 11, the new State of Alaska travel mandate goes into effect. The changes to the state mandate mean that the university also needs to update its guidance in three areas:

  • Student testing
  • University travel
  • Campus entry restrictions

Because students are already starting to arrive on UA campuses, the student testing guidance was the first priority. The full student testing guidance document can be accessed online, but here are the major changes you should be aware of when it comes to travel and student testing:

Pre-travel and airport testing for people coming from outside Alaska

The state mandate says that people who are not Alaska residents will either need to get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of traveling and show proof of a negative or pending test result, or they will be tested at the airport for a fee of $250. Students traveling to Alaska for school and employees traveling to Alaska for work will NOT have to pay the $250 fee for testing. The university will provide letters verifying student or employee status, which can be shown at the airport to waive the fee. Visit this link to generate your letter.

Requirements after arrival from outside Alaska

The state mandates put more restrictions on your activities when you arrive from outside Alaska. Regardless of whether you received your test at the airport or prior to arrival, you will be required to get a second test 7 days after your arrival.

If you arrive in Alaska with a negative test, you will be required to practice “strict social distancing” between the time you arrive and when the second test comes back negative. If you arrive in Alaska with a pending test result, or you are tested at the airport, you will be required to self-quarantine until you receive a negative test result. After that, you can practice strict social distancing. You will need to stay in your home or residence hall room. Going to in-person classes or on-site work is not allowed. Since most tests have at least a 72-hour turnaround for results, you should plan on being in self-quarantine and/or practicing strict social distancing for at least 10 days after your arrival. After 14 days, if you don’t have your test results back, you can resume normal activities.

These changes are reflected in the updated student testing guidance posted on the COVID-19 website. Testing requirements for Alaska residents moving into residence halls remains the same. The university travel guidance and campus entry guidance will also be updated this week and shared on the same site. Please watch for more specifics from each of the universities on how the new travel mandate will affect operations. 

Finally, the public facilities and services policy has been rescinded. Please refer to your university’s guidance on access to public facilities such as gyms, libraries and retail operations.