Section I. Purpose and Application
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ("UTC") is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy learning community. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UTC has adopted interim policies to help ensure the health and safety of the campus community while present on UTC owned and/or controlled property. Accordingly, UTC requires all Students, Employees, Contractors, and Visitors to follow the policy herein.
Section II. Definitions
- "Campus community" refers to any person who is a student, employee, contractor, or visitor to a University-sponsored or University-affiliated activity, or any organization that participates in a University-sponsored or University-affiliated activity.
- "CDC" refers to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- "Chancellor" refers to the University's chief executive officer to whom the President of the University of Tennessee system has delegated primary responsibility for administration of University operations, policies, and procedures.
- "Contractor(s)" refers to any company, and its representatives therein, who provide a service to the University and/or campus community.
- "COVID-19" refers to a disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus. Symptoms range from mild (no symptoms) to severe illness and may include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, tiredness, new loss of smell or taste, and/or cough, shortness of breath, muscle and/or body aches, congestion and/or runny nose, nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing. This disease is now referred to by medical professionals as "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)". It has also been referred to by as "2019 novel coronavirus", "2019-nCoV" or simply "Coronavirus".
- "Department" refers to any recognized University office or unit of employees within a Division.
- "Division" refers to the largest organizational unit of the University within which Departments reside (e.g., Division of Academic Affairs).
- "Employee(s)" refers to any University Faculty or Staff member.
- "Face Mask" refers to a face covering, which is comprised of a 3-ply cloth or other medically approved material. The mask should be worn in such a way that it fully covers the mouth and nose of a person.
- "Faculty" refers to any University employee who holds faculty rank and whose primary appointment is to engage in academic instruction, research, or service.
- "Fully vaccinated person" refers to a person who has completed the scheduled series of COVID-19 vaccinations and has been appropriately boosted according to the vaccine manufacturer's recommendations.
- "Instruction" refers any class (e.g. lecture, laboratory), or class-supporting activity, (e.g. supplemental instruction, tutoring).
- "Isolation" refers to the separation and restriction of movement of a person who has a diagnosis or symptoms of a contagious disease.
- "Local" refers to the county and/or city government of the location in question, and its agencies, departments, and officials therein.
- "Off-campus" refers to any property not owned or controlled by the University.
- "Office of Human Resources" refers to the University office designated with primary responsibility for the oversight and support of all University employees.
- "Office of Procurement and Contract Services" refers to the University office with primary responsibility for the oversight of purchasing and contract administration.
- "Office of Student Conduct" refers to the University office designated with primary responsibility for administering and enforcing the Student Code of Conduct and implementing student conduct-related rules, policies, procedures, training, and education.
- "Office of Student Outreach & Support" refers to the University office designated with primary responsibility for non-clinical case management for University students.
- "Quarantine" refers to the separation and restriction of movement of a person who was exposed or potentially exposed to a contagious disease.
- "Resident" refers to any Student, Employee, or Visitor who is approved and assigned to reside in a University-controlled residential facility.
- "Staff" refers to any full-time or part-time University employee not primarily engaged in academic instruction, research, or service, who holds either an exempt or non-exempt position with or without administrative, executive, or managerial responsibilities, excluding student employees of the University.
- "State" refers to the State of Tennessee and its Agencies, Departments, and Officials therein.
- "Student(s)" refers to a person who is admitted, enrolled or registered for study at the University, either full-time or part-time, pursuing undergraduate, graduate, professional, and/or non-degree courses; or has completed a preceding academic term at the University and is eligible for re-enrollment without re-applying for admission and/or otherwise has a continuing relationship with the University.
- "Student organization(s)" refers to an organization, club, fraternity, sorority or other group whose membership is composed of University students and which is formally registered and recognized by the University according to University rules, or which has submitted a pending application for registration with the University according to University rules.
- "University" or "UTC" refers to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
- "University Health Services" refers to the University office designated with primary responsibility for providing physical health services to University students and employees.
- "UTC Police Department" refers to the law enforcement agency with primary jurisdiction for all University-owned and controlled property.
- "Vaccinations" refers to the treatment of a person with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease.
- "Visitors" refers to any person, who is not a current Student, Employee, or Contractor, who participates in a University-sponsored or University-affiliated activity or otherwise enters onto University-controlled property.
Section III. Face Masks
The University recommends that all Students, Employees, Contractors, and Visitors wear face masks in indoor spaces and to follow CDC health and safety guidelines and recommendations regarding the wearing of face masks. The CDC's health and safety guidelines may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html.
Individuals may request disability-related accommodations with regard to the use of face masks. Requests for accommodations will be evaluated pursuant to the University's disability accommodation process in accordance with state and federal law. Student requests must be submitted to the Disability Resource Center, and Employee requests must be submitted to the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
Section IV. Quarantine/Isolation; Immunization
The University strongly recommends that an individual Student, Employee, Contractor, or Visitor who tests positive for COVID-19 to immediately isolate following the receipt of a positive antigen, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), or other United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved or authorized test for acute COVID-19 infection, as follows:
a. The CDC recommends isolation for people who test positive for COVID-19. Isolation includes avoiding contact with others. Individuals who test positive are recommended to isolate for five (5) days, regardless of their vaccination status. Individuals who test positive who experience no COVID-19 symptoms or whose symptoms are resolving after five (5) days will no longer be recommended to isolate but should wear a mask around others for five (5) days following the end of their isolation period.
b. Individuals who test positive who experience COVID-19 symptoms and continue to experience symptoms after five (5) days from the start of their isolation period are recommended to remain in isolation until the individual has shown improvement and has been fever free without fever-reducing medication for at least twenty-four (24) hours.
In accordance with CDC, State and Local health and safety laws and guidelines, the University strongly encourages individuals to quarantine or be in isolation for a period of time under other circumstances, including when an individual Student, Employee, Contractor, or Visitor has been exposed to or had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has not been fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 based on current vaccination recommendations.
Section V. COVID-19 Testing
- COVID-19 testing is available to all Students and Employees. Students and Employees who wish to be tested for COVID-19 should contact University Health Services to schedule an appointment.
Section VI. University-Controlled Housing
- The University reserves the right to make changes to room assignments, as necessary, related to COVID-19.
- The University reserves the right to withdraw its permission for resident(s) to reside in University-controlled residential facilities should it be determined by the University, within its sole discretion, that it is appropriate or necessary to close its University-controlled residential facilities due to health or safety concerns, including COVID-19.
Section VII. Reporting
A Student advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine should submit documentation of the health care provider's recommendation to the Office of Student Outreach and Support, which will send notices to the Student's faculty instructors via the Academic Notification Process: www.utc.edu/excuse.
An Employee advised by a health care provider to isolate or quarantine should submit to their department head or supervisor documentation of the health care provider's recommendation and notice of the Employee's date to return to work on campus.
Section VIII. Amnesty for Students
- Consistent with the Student Code of Conduct provisions on "Amnesty for Good Samaritans and Impaired Students", unless a Student has engaged in repeated or serious violations of the Student Code of Conduct, a Student will not be subject to formal University disciplinary action for any Student Code of Conduct violation(s) discovered by the University as a result of that student's reporting COVID-19-related concerns and/or good faith participation in COVID-19-related processes.
Section IX. Student Organization Off-Campus Events
- It is recommended that Student Organizations that hold off-campus events conduct their events in accordance with CDC, State, and Local Health Department guidelines.
Section X. Travel for University Business
The University may permit business travel for individual Employees or groups of Employees and Students in accordance with UT Policy FI0705 – Travel.
Employees and Students should take precautions prior to traveling outside of the United States based on recommendations from the CDC as well as local and state health departments. Travelers should review the recommendations that are in place in each area they are traveling to, through or returning from, in order to determine if protective measures are recommended.
Section XI. Compliance
- Students, Student Organizations, and Employees who fail to comply with the requirements of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.
- Contractors and Visitors who fail to comply with the requirements of this policy may be trespassed from campus either indefinitely or for a defined period of time. The University, as deemed appropriate in its sole discretion, may take other measures against a Contractor or Visitor for non-compliance of the requirements of this policy.
- Non-compliance with any requirements of this policy by Students should be reported to and will be addressed by the Office of Student Conduct.
- Non-compliance with any requirements of this policy by Employees should be reported to and will be addressed by the Office of Human Resources
- Non-compliance with any requirements of this policy by Contractors should be reported to and will be addressed by the contract administrator or the Office of Procurement and Contract Services.
- Non-compliance with any requirements of this policy by Visitors should be reported to and will be addressed by the UTC Police Department.
Section XII. History and Review
This is the tenth version of this interim policy.
This version of this policy is effective August 10, 2022 and shall be revoked or modified at such time as the Chancellor deems appropriate.