UA receives federal funding for COVID-19 testing and tracking

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CW / Hannah Saad

Keely Brewer | @keelykbrewer, Assistant News Editor

The University provided additional details on the procedures outlined in its Plan for a Return to Full Operations, which requires all students, faculty and staff to undergo mandatory testing prior to their return to campus. 

In addition to being tested before arriving on campus, these groups must utilize a symptom assessment tool and complete an online training course. 

On June 29, Governor Kay Ivey awarded $30 million of CARES Act funding to support two programs focused on reentry testing and tracking for Alabama’s public institutions of higher education. 

Testing for Alabama is the first of these two programs supported by Ivey’s funding. Led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health, it will support reentry testing along with sentinel testing throughout the year for public institutions of higher education in the state. 

Stay Safe Together, the other recipient of this funding, is a program being developed by UAB that includes an online assessment tool “that allows individuals to log their coronavirus related health status and symptoms” and will provide anonymous alerts to individuals in proximity to someone who has tested positive. 

At a June 15 press conference, UA President Stuart Bell said about 5,000 employees had already completed online training in preparation for the fall semester. 

Further details about testing, the Healthcheck assessment tool and the online training course will be communicated as plans are finalized in coming weeks.