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".
- "COVID-19 Campus Support Team" refers collectively to the group of departments and individuals responsible for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, contact tracing, isolation and quarantine directives, and healthcare operations on campus, including without limitation, University Health Services and the UTC Contact Tracing Team.
- "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 must 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 two weeks past the administration of the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for COVID-19, or who has completed two weeks after the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19.
- "Instruction" refers any class (e.g. lecture, laboratory), or class-supporting activity, (e.g. supplemental instruction, tutoring).
- "Interior Space(s)" refers to any space within a University-controlled facility on campus.
- "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.
- "Outdoor event" refers to any approved gathering occurring on University-controlled property, which is not within a University-controlled facility.
- "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 Contact Tracing Team" refers to the University staff designated with primary responsibility for conducting contact tracing, in conjunction with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, for infectious disease(s) which have been contracted by members of the campus community.
- "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
In accordance with CDC health and safety guidelines, all Students, Employees, Contractors, and Visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required at all times to wear a face mask in all Interior Spaces and on public transportation (e.g., MOCS Shuttle), except as otherwise provided under Section III.
Students, Employees, Contractors, and Visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are not required to wear a face mask in Interior Spaces on campus in the following situations:
a. When alone in a private office;
b. When alone in a residence hall apartment or residential room;
c. While engaging in fitness activities (e.g., exercising at the Aquatic and Recreation Center); or
d. While actively eating and/or drinking.
- Face mask use by anyone, regardless of vaccination status, is appropriate in any area of campus.
- All Students and Employees may request disability related accommodations with regard to the use of face masks. Requests for accommodations must be requested and approved in advance by the Disability Resource Center for Students and the Office of Equity and Inclusion for Employees.
Section IV. Quarantine/Isolation; Immunization
- In accordance with CDC, State and Local health and safety guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19, the Hamilton County Health Department or the University may direct an individual Student, Employee, Contractor, or Visitor to quarantine or be in isolation for a period of time under certain circumstances, including when an individual Student, Employee, Contractor, or Visitor has tested positive for COVID-19, is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or has been exposed to or had close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Students, Employees, Contractors, and Visitors who are fully vaccinated persons may be exempt from quarantine.
Section V. Contact Tracing Efforts
- In accordance with CDC, State and Local health and safety guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19, the COVID-19 Campus Support Team, in conjunction with the Hamilton County Health Department, will contact individual Students, Employees, Contractors, and Visitors who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- All Students, Employees, Contractors, and Visitors are required to promptly respond to and fully cooperate in good faith with the COVID-19 Campus Support Team and/or Hamilton County Health Department in their contact tracing efforts.
Section VI. COVID-19 Testing and Vaccinations
- COVID-19 testing and vaccinations are 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.
- Vaccination clinics coordinated through University Health Services are announced via email notifications and are available to Students and Employees. The COVID-19 vaccine clinics offered may be either walk-in or appointment-based.
- Onsite COVID-19 testing and vaccinations will be available to all residents of University-controlled housing during the move-in process.
Section VII. 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 VIII. Reporting
- All Students, Employees, Contractors, and Visitors who have visited University-controlled property within the preceding (14) days are required to report as soon as they become aware if they are or were (1) positive for COVID-19, (2) symptomatic for COVID-19, (3) exposed to a known case of COVID-19, (4) potentially exposed to a known case of COVID-19, or (5) have traveled internationally or via cruise ship.
- Required reporting should be made to the University via the options made available by the University, including the online form (www.utc.edu/covid19notification) or a designated telephone hotline.
Section IX. 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 X. Student Organization Off-Campus Events
- Student Organizations that hold off-campus events are required to conduct their events in accordance with CDC, State, and Local Health Department guidelines.
Section XI. Travel for University Business
Departments within the University may permit business travel for individual Employees or groups of Employees and Students subject to prior approval of the dean of the college within which the Department resides (if an academic department in Academic Affairs) or the next level of administration of the other Division within which the Department resides (if a non-academic department).
When submitting travel requests to be considered by the dean or next level of administration, Employees and Department supervisors should include at least the following information: date, time, duration, location(s), overnight accommodation arrangements, number/type of participants (e.g., faculty, staff or students), mode of transportation, justification for travel, estimated cost, impact on the University's educational mission or strategic plan goals, and available alternatives for remote or postponed engagement in the business activity.
a. In addition to providing the information outlined above, guidance outlined in Section XI.5.a below should be followed to communicate anticipated impact travel may have on return to campus for advance consideration by Department supervisors and next level of administration when making such travel requests.
b. Examples of official University business travel include, without limitation, student-athlete recruitment, athletic games/events, staff/faculty recruitment, research endeavors that cannot be conducted remotely or postponed.
Department supervisors must report approved official University business travel for record to [email protected], including at least the following information: date, time, duration, location(s), overnight accommodation arrangements, number/type of participants (e.g., faculty, staff, or students) and mode of transportation.
Department supervisors are required to reiterate that the requirements of Section III (Face Masks) of this policy should be followed during travel for official University business to the extent feasible.
Department supervisors are required to ensure that all Employees and Students comply with Section VIII of this policy (Reporting) during and upon return from University business travel.
a. Employees and Students should take precautions prior to traveling outside of the Chattanooga area 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 a quarantine is recommended. If a quarantine is recommended based on travel plans, the Employee or Student should fill out a COVID-19 Notification Form no more than seven (7) days before leaving the Chattanooga area. Decisions related to travel should be considered prior to leaving Chattanooga to determine what impact the travel would have on the Employee's or Student's return to campus. If an Employee or Student has questions related to upcoming personal travel, they should contact University Health Services at (423) 425-2266.
All in-state, out-of-state and international travel requests should also continue to adhere to existing approval requirements pursuant to UT Policy FI0705 – Travel.
Section XII. 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 XIII. History and Review
This is the seventh version of this interim policy.
This version of this policy is effective September 3, 2021 and shall be revoked or modified at such time as the Chancellor deems appropriate.