COVID-19 update

December 8, 2020 

In this update from the University of Alaska COVID-19 Incident Management Team: 

  • CDC quarantine updates and the university 
  • Vaccine news 
  • Stay the course with safety measures 

CDC quarantine updates and the university 

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance regarding  quarantine after potential exposure to COVID-19. The State of Alaska followed up with an  announcement affirming that the new guidance applies in Alaska. The new guidance offers three  options, all three of which require you to monitor for symptoms each day for a full 14 days: 

  • Quarantine for 14 days, release on Day 15 if you have no COVID-19 symptoms.  Quarantine for 10 days, release on Day 11 if you have no COVID-19 symptoms. Quarantine for 7 days. Get tested on Day 6 or Day 7. End quarantine on Day 8 if your test is  negative and you have not had COVID-19 symptoms. 

At the University of Alaska, quarantine and community entry restrictions will vary by campus. Because  many students and employees are affiliated with more than one part of the UA system, you may receive  more than one communication about quarantine requirements and those requirements may be  different campus to campus.  

You should follow the quarantine restrictions for the location where you are physically present. Most  locations throughout the UA system will continue to require the 14-day quarantine, which is the safest  length of the three options. Please watch your email for specific requirements for your location. You can  also find information about each university’s requirements on the UA COVID-19 website.  

Vaccine news 

The State of Alaska has announced that it is expecting to receive about 50,000 doses of vaccine between  mid-December and the end of the year. The first vaccines will go to front-line health care workers at  hospitals, emergency medical service providers, long-term care facility residents and staff, community  health aides and people who will be administering vaccinations. Very few members of the UA  community will be eligible for vaccination at these early stages. Our incident management teams are  making plans for when the vaccination is widely available to students and employees, but it will likely be  springtime before that is the case. You can learn more about vaccination at the state’s vaccine website. 

Stay the course with safety measures 

The pending approval of COVID-19 vaccines is great news, but it’s important to keep practicing COVID conscious habits: Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay 6 feet away from others and limit your contact  with people outside your household. The first rounds of the vaccine will be targeted to people with the  highest risk of exposure and serious illness. It will be several months before younger and healthier  members of the public will be able to get vaccinated. Until then, simple safety measures will help slow  the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses and in our communities.