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FAQs



I’m a UT student. I feel sick, I think I may have recently been exposed to COVID-19, or I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do? Should I self-isolate?

What to do if you feel sick

According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, or shortness of breath, which may appear two to 14 days after exposure.

If you start exhibiting these symptoms, you should:

  1. Stay home, limit contact with others, and contact your local health care provider or, if needed, your local emergency room. If you are a student still living on campus, a student living in the Knoxville area, or a student worker on campus, you can contact the Student Health Center nurse triage line at 865-974-5080. For after-hours care, contact the University of Tennessee Medical Center emergency room (UTER), 865-305-9000. Always call ahead before going to a health care provider or ER.
  2. Advise your health care provider regarding your recent travel history, other exposure risk, or positive COVID-19 infection status.
  3. Do not travel on public transportation.

Continue to maintain the same precautions recommended for everyone:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hand) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 percent–95 percent alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.

When to self-isolate for 14 days, even if you feel fine

Although the university has moved spring classes online and drastically reduced the number of students living on campus, it is important for students to understand when they should self-isolate. The university is following CDC and federal guidance for self-isolation and quarantine.

If you fall into one of the specific categories below, you are required to self-isolate or quarantine for at least 14 days:

  • Anyone who has had close contact with someone known to be diagnosed with COVID-19. Close contact means you were within about six feet of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case. Close contact also means having direct contact with secretions (typically coughs and sneezes) from a person with COVID-19.
  • Anyone arriving back in the US after traveling abroad.
  • Anyone arriving from a cruise ship (ocean or river).
  • Anyone traveling from New York City.

If you show any symptoms of COVID-19 during your time in self-isolation, contact your local health care provider or, if needed, your local emergency room. If you are a student still living on campus, a student living in the Knoxville area, or a student worker on campus, you can call the Student Health Center nurse triage line at 865-974-5080. For after-hours care, contact the University of Tennessee Medical Center emergency room (UTER), 865-305-9000. Always call ahead before going to a health care provider or ER.

All self-isolating students, regardless of location, are asked to complete the self-isolation form. If you are a student employee and need to self-isolate, complete the self-isolation form and communicate with your campus supervisor.

If your self-isolation or health condition could affect your ability to participate in your online classes, communicate directly with your instructors.

After you contact your instructors, if needed, complete the student absence notification form with the Office of the Dean of Students. Office staff will work with you on any needed adjustments to your academic schedule or living arrangements.

If you need support while you are home, assistance is available through the Office of the Dean of Students. If you are in distress, call 865-974-HELP.

What to expect if you test positive for COVID-19

If you test for COVID-19 and the results are positive, your local health department and your health care provider will be notified of your results.

Your health care provider should contact you regarding your positive test results and provide you with further directives regarding your present care, follow-up evaluations, and isolation requirements.

You must stay isolated from others until you are advised by your health care provider to do otherwise.

Your health care provider may also discuss your case with local health officials. The health department will initiate an extensive check of where you have been since you first developed symptoms and with whom you have come into close contact. Your close contacts will then also be contacted, advised of their exposure risk, and provided directions on what they need to do. Your personal information will not be divulged to your close contacts.

COVID-19 and student insurance

If you have the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) from United Health Care—Student Resources and have COVID-related insurance inquiries, call the Student Health Center Business Office at 865-974-3135 or the local SHIP insurance broker, the Hildreth Agency, at 865-691-4652. Questions regarding COVID-19 health insurance benefits from other providers should be directed to your health insurer. The insurer’s customer service number is typically listed on their card, usually on the back.

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Do I really need to practice social distancing?

It is critical that we continue social distancing. Please refrain from gathering with friends and large groups, avoid public spaces as much as possible, and keep yourself healthy so that we can keep our community healthy.

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When it comes to contact with others, when am I at risk?

With the exception of those returning from travel abroad or from river or ocean cruises, current CDC guidance for contact with others says you are at higher risk for infection only if you are a primary contact of someone who has been positively identified as infected with COVID-19.

  1. Primary contact means you have had direct close contact with a person infected with COVID-19. If you are a primary contact of a person infected with COVID-19, you should stay at home for 14 days, monitor yourself for the development of symptoms, and contact your health care provider if symptoms develop. You may be contacted by local health officials.
  2. A secondary contact is someone who comes into contact with a primary contact. Coming into contact with a healthy primary contact (that is, a person who has had contact with a COVID-19 patient) does not put you at high risk for infection.

For example, if a friend has been around someone with COVID-19 but you have been in contact only with your friend and not the infected person, you are a secondary contact and your risk of infection remains low. Your friend’s risk is higher because they are a primary contact of someone that is infected. They need to self-isolate, but you do not.

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What is meant by the term close contact?

Close contact is defined as:

  1. Being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 infected individual for a prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case, or
  2. Having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).

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Will the Student Health Center give out facemasks?

As the CDC recommends, the Student Health Center will provide facemasks to all patients with symptoms of a respiratory tract infection when they arrive at the health center. Patients should wear the mask while in the center and may wear it after they are discharged. The CDC does not recommend that healthy people wear masks, and the Student Health Center will not provide masks for general use. Health care workers wear masks because they work in close settings with people who have respiratory illnesses. The CDC notes that facemasks are not necessary or protective for the general public and may create a false sense of security that increases the risk of infection from respiratory pathogens such as COVID-19. Instead, proper hygiene and hand-washing are among the best ways to prevent infection.

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I heard there were students who were moved to another residence hall. I heard there were students wearing masks. Are they sick?

On March 3, a group of 12 students from Japan arrived on campus as part of the English Language Institute (ELI) for a five-month immersion program. Prior to their arrival, the university was monitoring guidance from the CDC and was in regular communications with the host university to ensure none of the traveling students had any symptoms that could be COVID-19. None of the students had or have any symptoms.

The university is continually monitoring federal and state guidance. On March 4, the Tennessee Department of Health communicated new CDC recommendations for travelers from CDC Level 2 countries, which is currently Japan, asking that they limit contact with others for 14 days.

As part of our ongoing efforts to follow CDC recommendations and with coordination by campus and municipal health authorities, we relocated these students to Laurel Hall, where they could limit contact to just each other, and further limited their access to campus for 14 days. A doctor from the UT Student Health Center visited with students to let them know what to do in case anyone experienced symptoms. None are exhibiting symptoms.

UT staff members communicated with the students frequently. During the 14-day period of limited contact, the students avoided interaction with others on campus. They had their own areas to live, study, and meet. Meals were delivered to them so they did not use common eating areas. UT provided dedicated laundry service and transportation for them as needed.

The procedures were established in coordination with the health department.

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How do I arrange to move out of my residence hall?

On Sunday, March 22, Chancellor Plowman announced the first confirmed COVID-19 case on campus.

With a case now on campus and a growing number of cases in our surrounding communities, UT Knoxville administrators have made the decision to suspend checkout processes in residence halls as well as sorority and fraternity housing.

We recognize that this decision is sudden and may represent significant changes to your plans. As we prepare to suspend checkout appointments, please review the following information.

Students Scheduled to Check Out on Monday, March 23

Students with checkout appointments for Monday, March 23, can move out as planned. Based on guidance from the Knox County Health Department, there is no need to suspend Monday checkouts.

If you choose to not come to campus to move out of your room or apartment, please notify University Housing at housing@utk.edu. Your belongings will remain secured in your room or apartment and all residence halls, sorority houses, and fraternity houses will be locked.

We will contact you in the near future to make new checkout arrangements.

Students Scheduled to Check Out on or after Tuesday, March 24

We anticipate that local COVID-19 cases will increase. For the health and safety of our community, we have chosen to suspend checkouts beginning Tuesday, March 24.

We realize that this sudden disruption is difficult, and we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding that this measure is for the good of our community.

All checkout appointments are suspended beginning Tuesday, March 24, at 7 a.m. EDT. Your belongings will remain secured in your room or apartment and all residence halls, sorority houses, and fraternity houses will be locked.

We will contact you in the near future to make new checkout arrangements.

Emergency Housing

We are processing emergency housing requests for students who have no other place to go that were submitted before last week’s deadline. Emergency housing requests will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 24.

Students who are awaiting a response on emergency housing should stay in their room to the maximum extent possible and practice social distancing.

Support & Engagement

You may understandably feel anxious and stressed in these challenging times. For the time being, remember these tips: maintain a regular routine, stay informed, and use social media to stay in contact with friends.

Please know that we are here to help. If you are experiencing distress, we can connect you with resources through 865-974-HELP. If you have other needs or concerns, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 865-974-3179 or dos@utk.edu.

We thank you for your understanding and appreciate your partnership as we work to protect the health and safety of our communities.

Please contact University Housing at housing@utk.edu if you have any additional questions.

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I live in fraternity or sorority housing. How do I arrange to move out?

On Sunday, March 22, Chancellor Plowman announced the first confirmed COVID-19 case on campus.

With a case now on campus and a growing number of cases in our surrounding communities, UT Knoxville administrators have made the decision to suspend move-out processes in sorority and fraternity housing as well as residence halls.

We recognize that this decision is sudden and may represent significant changes to your plans to move out of your sorority or fraternity house. As we prepare to suspend move-out plans, please review the following information.

Students Scheduled to Move Out on Monday, March 23

Students with plans to move out on Monday, March 23, can continue as planned. Based on guidance from the Knox County Health Department, there is no need to suspend Monday move-outs.

If you choose to not come to campus to move out of your room or apartment, please notify your house director. Your belongings will remain secured in your room or apartment and all sorority houses, fraternity houses, and residence halls will be locked.

We will contact you in the near future to make new move-out arrangements.

Students Scheduled to Move Out on or after Tuesday, March 24

We anticipate that local COVID-19 cases will increase. For the health and safety of our community, we have chosen to suspend move-outs beginning Tuesday, March 24. We realize this sudden disruption is difficult, and we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding that this measure is for the good of our community.

All move-out plans are suspended beginning Tuesday, March 24, at 7 a.m. EDT. Your belongings will remain secured in your room or apartment and all residence halls, sorority houses, and fraternity houses will be locked.

We will contact you in the near future with new move-out arrangements.

Emergency Housing

We are processing emergency housing requests for students who have no other place to go that were submitted before last week’s deadline. Emergency housing requests will be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis by 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 24.

Students who are awaiting a response on emergency housing should stay in their rooms to the maximum extent possible and practice social distancing.

Support & Engagement

You may understandably feel anxious and stressed in these challenging times.

For the time being, remember these tips: maintain a regular routine, stay informed, and use social media to stay in contact with friends.

Please know that we are here to help. If you are experiencing distress, we can connect you with resources through 865-974-HELP. If you have other needs or concerns, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 865-974-3179 or dos@utk.edu.

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What is the status of facilities, dining, parking, transportation, and other campus operations?

As the UT Knoxville and UTIA campuses shift to online classes and remote work, there are several changes to hours of operations and services.

The number of people on campus is being limited, and employees are practicing social distancing and taking appropriate protective measures as they keep essential services available.

Hours of operation and services can change suddenly as the situation evolves. Check back for updated information.

Student Union

The Student Union is maintaining abbreviated hours of operation.

  • Monday–Friday: 7 am–6 pm
  • Saturday–Sunday: Closed

Vol Dining

Starting April 4: Check Vol Dining for specific hours.

  • Arena Dining offers takeout breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • WhichWich in the Arena Café has takeout lunch on weekdays.
  • The UTIA campus POD is open weekdays 7:30 am–3:30 pm.

Parking and Transit Services

University Libraries

Physical access to all UT Knoxville and UTIA campus library facilities—Hodges Library, Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library, and DeVine Music Library—is limited to staff members. All online library services and resources remain operational.

Student Health Center

The Student Health Center has modified its appointment process and is working with vendors to add a telehealth option.

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center is making adjustments to their operations to continue serving students.

VolTech

VolShop retail stores are closed except for the VolTech location on the ground floor of the Student Union. VolTech is open from 8:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday and offers computers, peripherals, and supplies for Mac and Windows computers and smartphones, as well as on-site computer repairs. Online shopping is available for all store items. For more information on online course materials and VolShop merchandise, visit utvolshop.com.

VolCard Office

Although the VolCard Office office is closed, students may email the VolCard Office at volcard@utk.edu.

Legal Clinic

The Legal Clinic at UT Law is working remotely and fully operational. Call 865-974-2331 if you need assistance.

Closed until further notice

  • RecSports
  • McClung Museum
  • Ewing Gallery of Art and Architecture
  • Downtown Gallery

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I plan to travel internationally, what should I do?

Effective March 10, UT suspended nonessential UT-related international and domestic travel outside the state of Tennessee. If you have plans for university-related international travel in March, you are expected to cancel it. Do not book any new university-related international travel until further notice.

For graduate students, professional students and faculty/staff only

If there is a circumstance where you believe university-related international travel must occur, you may submit a request by completing the International Travel Petition form. Exceptions are not permitted for study abroad students. Study abroad students must follow the instructions they receive from the Center for Global Engagement.

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Can I travel in the US?

On March 10, UT suspended nonessential UT-related international and domestic travel outside the state of Tennessee.

Essential travel is travel that is absolutely necessary and required to preserve:

  • the safety of our students, faculty and staff;
  • the safety of a research subject; and
  • research activity which cannot be postponed.

If there is a circumstance where you believe university-related domestic travel must occur, you may submit a request for an exception by emailing the request to travelexception@utk.edu. Requests will be reviewed by senior university leadership.

We also ask that you be mindful of personal domestic travel and bringing visitors to campus. Please stay at home and don’t travel if you have respiratory symptoms.

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What prevention steps are being taken in residence halls?

University Housing staff is working daily to reduce the possibility of exposure.

Efforts include:

  • Wiping down high-touch areas such as handrails, elevator buttons, and door handles multiple times daily;
  • Maintaining hand sanitizer stations in lobbies of residence halls; and
  • Sharing UT’s coronavirus information resource, utk.edu/coronavirus, with students when they have questions or concerns.

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I am traveling for spring break. What do I need to know?

The Student Health Center sent guidance on COVID-19 and spring break. The Student Health Center urges you to carefully monitor the situation at your travel destination and be prepared for the possibility that you may not be able to come back to campus as planned.

Read the full message from the Student Health Center.

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What is social distancing?

Social distancing includes measures taken intended to reduce the likelihood of exposure to an infectious disease. These measures include, but are not limited to:

  1. Remaining out of congregate settings or public places where close contact with others may occur.
    (Examples of congregate settings include places such as shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, workplaces, and schools and other classroom settings.)
  2. Avoiding local public transportation (e.g., bus, subway, taxi, and ride share), and
  3. Maintaining distance from others (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters).
  4. Using web-based learning for instruction rather than classrooms,
  5. Modifying operations by allowing people to come in only to pick up materials that have been reserved or requested on-line or by telephone
  6. Changing company practices by setting up flexible shift plans, having employees telecommute and canceling any large meetings or conferences.

Social distancing is only one component of the infection control measures sometimes taken by public health officials to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease. Other important personal infection control actions include:

  1. Cleaning your hands often.
  2. Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    (If soap and water are not readily available, using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.)
  3. Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  4. Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  5. Staying home if you’re sick, except to get medical care.
  6. Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the used tissue in the trash, and immediately washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using the inside of your elbow.
    (If soap and water are not readily available, using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.)
  7. Wearing a facemask if you are sick.
  8. Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.
    (This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces appear dirty, clean them with a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.)

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Feeling worried about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

You may feel understandably anxious about the impact of COVID-19 disease, the new Coronavirus disease spreading throughout the world and recently diagnosed within our state. The continual news feeds combined with rampant uncertainty can wreak havoc on the mental health of students and employees who are already stressed by the routine demands of college, home, and work life. Below are a few tips and links to multiple resources to help you keep a perspective and stay emotionally well.

  • Acknowledge your reactions and the reactions of your friends and family. Simply validating that this is a difficult time for everyone can be reassuring. Approaching this issue as a family can feel empowering and less isolating.
  • Maintain your regular routine as much as possible. Continue with your regular plans until advised to alter them by competent authorities.
  • Take care of yourself. While this may seem obvious, it is always easy to ignore our own self-care when distressed, which simply increases stress. Eat healthy, exercise, use hand washing and other reasonable precautions against virus transmission. Use your own typical calming rituals or outlets to stay internally chill. Stay connected to friends in safe ways and avoid isolating unless directed to do so.
  • Treat other people with kindness and compassion; especially avoiding the stigmatization of certain groups of people due to country of origin or travel. Such treatment simply drives fear and inhibits care. For more information on building resilience and avoiding stigmatization, follow this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/related-stigma.html
  • Use social media to maintain contact with friends (it is “social” media after all) and get your news from more reliable sources. If you need to distance yourself from others for a time, take steps to ensure your emotional health such as suggested here: https://store.samhsa.gov/system/files/sma14-4894.pdf
  • Stay informed by getting your information from competent sources like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention which can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
  • For UTK specific information go here: https://utk.edu/coronavirus
  • Seek support when needed . Reach out to family and friends. Stay connected to your spiritual or religious resources. Come to the counseling center if you begin to have thoughts of self-harm or suicide or just feel that your distress calls for professional assistance.

For more tips on coping with COVID-19 related stress look here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html

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Have you witnessed or been the recipient of a bias-based incident?

As we navigate these challenging times as an inclusive campus community, please do not make assumptions about others based on perceived symptoms or identities (e.g., race, ethnicity and/or national origin). We want to foster a campus environment in which everyone matters and belongs. This means showing empathy and respect to all Vols, particularly those for whom this may be an especially stressful situation.

It is important to uphold our values during this evolving situation and to protect every aspect of our community’s well-being. For those who may need additional support, please utilize the following resources:

  • Students can contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 974-HELP or the Student Counseling Center at 865-974-2196 for support services.
  • Employees can access resources through the Office of Human Resources or by calling 865-946-CARE.
  • For more information regarding bias and to make a report, visit bias.utk.edu.

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Why were classes moved online beginning March 23?

UT System Interim President Randy Boyd, in consultation with the chancellors of all UT campuses, made the decision on Monday, March 16, 2020, to keep classes online through the end of the spring semester.

We made this decision to protect the well-being of those on our campus and to do our part to protect the health of our broader community. These are not decisions we made lightly. Our campus response to COVID-19 has been based on ongoing CDC updates and regular communication with public health officials and our own infectious disease specialists at the UT Health Science Center.

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When will classes move online?

All classes will be moved online following spring break, effective March 23, through the end of the spring semester. We will continue to communicate throughout this period so students, faculty, and staff know what to expect going forward.

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How do I access my online classes?

The university will transition to online classes beginning after spring break (March 23) through the duration of the spring semester. Instructors will be in touch with their students with specific information about individual courses.​Please visit the OIT website for information on accessing online learning resources.

If you need special accommodations during this online instruction period, please contact Student Disability Services at 865-974-6087 or email sds@utk.edu. If you need technology services or support, contact the Office of Information Technology at 865-974-9900.

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Are any events canceled?

All events are canceled through the end of the semester, including commencement. Celebrating graduates and their accomplishments is a top priority for UT leadership, and we are working on a commencement ceremony at a later date. When a plan is finalized, UT will share that information with students and families.

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I understand campus events are canceled. What about athletics events?

The Southeastern Conference announced on March 17 that all regular season conference and non-conference competitions are canceled for the remainder of the 2019–20 athletic year, including all remaining SEC championship events, due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

In addition, all spring football games are canceled and there will be no pro days conducted by SEC institutions.

Read more on UT athletics.

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What about UT Institute of Agriculture employees?

UTIA has staff in all 95 counties, and regular and consistent communication is critical. Senior Vice President/Senior Vice Chancellor Tim Cross will continue to communicate directly with UTIA employees, including UT Extension and AgResearch employees across the state. Dr. Cross appointed a task to lead the development of UTIA plans in response to possible local transmission of the virus, and is working to ensure regular coordination with statewide Extension and AgResearch locations, as well as other stakeholders.

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How does the change to online-only course work affect research?

The Office of Research and Engagement is providing extensive guidance and updates for researchers.

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I’m going on a cruise for spring break. Can I come back to campus?

The CDC has now declared a global Level 2 Travel Advisory. Anyone returning from another country, or who has been on a cruise ship, including a river cruise, must stay home and not return to campus for 14 days. Do not go to work, classes, events, or other social gatherings during that time. If you experience symptoms, contact your health care provider. Students may call the Student Health Center Nurse’s Triage line at 865-974-5080.

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What is the status of research facilities?

The Office of Research and Engagement has outlined guidelines for labs and lists the current status of core facilities.

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Is campus open?

Yes. Campus offices should continue normal business operations. Research is continuing. Deans, directors, department heads, and others in supervisory roles should instruct staff to practice social distancing.

Several offices and resources across campus will have limited operations. Read more about what facilities are closed.

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What are the current cleaning procedures on campus?

Building Services is currently cleaning on its normal schedule. Disinfecting continues to be a top priority. We have heightened our disinfection protocols and continue to service all areas regularly. We use a disinfectant to clean all restroom surfaces and fixtures. Additionally, we have added Clorox Disinfectant Wipes for cleaning surfaces in offices and public areas. Those surfaces include doorknobs, desks, counters and handrails. We also have implemented the Clorox Total 360 System, which is sprayed into a large area and binds to and disinfects hard-to-reach surfaces effectively.

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Why do we have hand dryers instead of paper towels? Don’t hand dryers spread germs?

Facilities Services has received many inquiries about the effectiveness of hand dryers that have been installed in bathrooms around campus.

There is no definitive evidence that hand dryers are spreading germs. We have heightened our disinfection protocols in restrooms and continue to service all those areas regularly.

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What if I have courses that require in-person work (performance, art, lab, etc.)?

Some courses, such as labs, art and performance courses, are more difficult to offer online. In those cases, your instructor will reach out to you directly.

Research laboratories will remain open and operational. Research supervisors and graduate assistants should coordinate about details specific to individual research.

As a reminder, if you are sick, or fall into a CDC self-isolation category, please do not come to campus.

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What academic support and resources will I have while classes are all online?

We will continue to support academic advising, academic coaching, and tutoring through online delivery methods. Please visit your college advising center or contact the Student Success Center for details.

Libraries

Physical access to University Libraries is limited. They will continue to offer research assistance via chat from 8 am to midnight Mondays through Fridays and from 10 am to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays. Subject librarians are available to instruct in the use of library resources in all disciplines and offer research guides and self-paced tutorials. Learn more about the library’s services and resources for online students.

Disability services

Students who need disability-related accommodations should contact Student Disability Services at their earliest convenience at 865-974-6087 or sds@utk.edu.

Technology support

The Office of Information Technology has been able to secure additional laptops and Wi-Fi cards for students and continues to accept requests for technology to assist students with remote learning. Students who need to check out devices should submit their request to OIT at forms.utk.edu/tech-request. OIT will use your Volmail account to contact you about needed devices, and we will ship laptops and technology devices to you.

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I’m worried about my on-campus job. What should I do?

If you are employed as a student worker and want to continue working, we will have a job for you. Chancellor Plowman has asked supervisors to be creative and utilize student employees remotely. Your first point of contact should be your immediate supervisor, who should provide you an assignment.

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What about human subjects research, export control, and care for laboratory animals?

The Office of Research and Engagement is providing guidance on responsible conduct of research.

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What will happen when a student or employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19?

There are numerous circumstances that would dictate a responsible course of action. Some factors that could come into consideration include, but would not be limited to, matters like whether the student resides on campus or off campus; which department, building or facility a staff member works in; if the faculty member is an instructor or administrator, etc. There are too many variables to clearly explain a single course of action. Essentially, our response would depend on the circumstance. The end result would be to take a course of action in coordination with the Knox County Health Department consistent with CDC guidelines for appropriate patient care, and potential contact outreach and care.

We commit to being transparent with our community about what is happening, to the extent allowable by federal patient privacy laws.​

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Are student employees eligible to continue working during spring semester?

Yes.

If you are employed as a student worker and want to continue working, we will have a job for you. Chancellor Plowman has asked supervisors to be creative and utilize student employees remotely.

Your first point of contact is your immediate supervisor, who should provide you an assignment. We are providing information and support to supervisors so that you can have an assignment that does not result in loss of pay.

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Are student employees required to continue to work?

No. Student employees are not required to continue to work if they do not remain in Knoxville and/or if remote work is not an option. Even if they remain in Knoxville, they may choose (with no penalty) to end their on-campus work at this time.

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Will Federal Work Study students be eligible to remain on payroll?

Yes.

Effective March 23, 2020, while students will not be required to remain on campus, Federal Work Study students should remain on payroll at their typical number of hours per week. Supervisors will need to enter time for Federal Work Study students to ensure that they continue to receive their typical bi-weekly paychecks. Federal work study students should contact their supervisors to discuss telecommuting arrangements when possible. It is important to note that student pay will be based on the Federal Work Study aid that they have been awarded for the Spring term.

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Will I still receive credit for my courses and graduate on time?

Chancellor Donde Plowman, her cabinet, senior leadership, and faculty and staff are committed to your success—making sure you receive credit for your courses, and graduate on time.

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Will there be a graduation ceremony?

Celebrating graduates and their accomplishments is a top priority for UT leadership, and we are working on a commencement ceremony at a later date.

When a plan is finalized, UT will share that information with students and families.

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Will grading or other academic policies change to help students?

The Faculty Senate voted on March 25 to temporarily adjust several academic policies for the spring term as a means to support student success.

These adjustments include:

  • Extending the deadline to drop a class with a W grade to April 22, and permanently increasing undergraduate students’ lifetime limits on late drops from four to six
  • Allowing students, beginning in mid-April, to utilize a satisfactory/no-credit grading option during the spring semester for nearly all undergraduate courses and for any graduate-level course that allows it
  • Suspending academic dismissals for all undergraduate students through the spring and summer terms

It’s important to remember that dropping courses and altering grading options could have unintended consequences on financial aid and veteran benefits as well as other implications.

Undergraduate students who are considering using any of these policies should consult with their academic advisor.

Some professional programs, such as law and veterinary medicine, are working on program-specific policy changes. Graduate students should consult with their major professor and director of graduate studies.

Satisfactory/no-credit grading for undergraduate students

For nearly every undergraduate class offered during spring 2020, undergraduate students can choose, on a class-by-class basis, whether to keep regular A–F grading or to use satisfactory/no-credit grading.

  • Students will have the opportunity to choose satisfactory/no-credit grading in mid-April and must make this choice by 11:59 pm EDT on April 22, 2020. Students can change their mind before April 22, but they must make a final decision by April 22.
  • Each student can make their own choice on a class-by-class basis.
  • Students will use the online course registration system to choose satisfactory/no-credit grading for their classes.
  • Lab classes are among the many undergraduate classes where students can select satisfactory/no-credit grading.
  • Instructors cannot require students to choose satisfactory/no-credit grading or to keep regular A–F grading.
  • Instructors will not know whether a student has chosen satisfactory/no-credit grading until it is time to enter grades at the end of the semester.
  • Students who choose satisfactory/no-credit grading must complete all remaining assignments, quizzes, and exams.
  • The A–F grade that a student would have earned at the end of the semester will determine whether the student earns a grade of satisfactory (S) or no credit (NC). The grade of satisfactory (S) will apply if a student completes the class with any grade of C or higher. The grade of no credit (NC) will apply if a student completes the class with any grade below C.
  • For spring 2020, any class in which a student earns a grade of satisfactory (S) can be used to satisfy a curricular requirement where a grade of C or higher is sufficient.
  • Neither satisfactory nor no-credit grades will change a student’s UT Knoxville GPA.
  • Because neither satisfactory nor no-credit grades will change a student’s UT Knoxville GPA, these grades will not affect institutional scholarships such as the Volunteer, Pledge, or Flagship Scholarships. All students who are currently on probation for their institutional scholarships will be given an additional probationary term. Additional information will be forthcoming for students who are on probation for Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).
  • If a student has a Tennessee HOPE scholarship, their HOPE GPA will not be affected by either a satisfactory grade or a no-credit grade. Both S and NC grades will count as attempted hours toward students’ HOPE benchmarks.

Dropping classes for undergraduate students

April 22 will be the last day to drop a class with a W for spring 2020. This applies to both full-semester and second-session classes.

  • Classes that students drop in mid-April will be entered on the transcript with a W, the same as classes dropped earlier in the semester.
  • Students’ fifth and sixth drops will become available in mid-April.
  • Students should always consult with their academic advisor before dropping classes.
  • Students should contact One Stop before dropping classes to avoid negative financial aid consequences.

Academic dismissals for undergraduate students

Academic dismissals of undergraduate students will be suspended for spring 2020 and summer 2020.

  • Any student on academic probation in spring 2020 will be allowed to enroll in summer 2020 and fall 2020.
  • If a student currently on academic probation has not returned to good standing by fall 2020, that student will be on academic probation in fall 2020.

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Will students be reimbursed for fees?

With the transition to online classes for the remainder of the spring semester, our campus has outlined a plan to provide prorated refunds of several student fees for services that cannot be accommodated in other ways for students not living on campus.

Beginning the week of April 6, 2020, student accounts will be updated to reflect refunds—prorated for the period between March 23 and May 9, 2020—for the following:

  1. On-campus housing
  2. Meal plans
  3. Study abroad fees
  4. Transportation fees
  5. Parking permits

If you have questions about refunds and your student account, contact a One Stop counselor at 865-974-1111 or email onestop@utk.edu.

Select e-Refund in MyUTK

If you haven’t set up your e-Refund, log in to MyUTK and review your e-Refund selections to expedite receiving refunds by direct deposit. Select “View/Pay Fees” under “My Services,” then select “e-Refunds” to set up your account. To expedite the refund process, make sure your e-Refund information is set up by Friday, March 27.

If the e-Refunds option is not selected, a refund check will be mailed to your address on file. If you prefer to receive a paper check or cannot receive a direct deposit, you should confirm your mailing address. To do so, log in to MyUTK and click on the small pencil beside the Address section. This will take you to “Self-service Banner.” Click on your current address to edit or delete it. Remember to save your address.

Flex Plan Dollar refunds

Students with unused Flex Plan Dollars should log in to MyUTK and click the link in the “Important Messages” section to submit a refund or rollover selection for any unused dining Flex Plan Dollars. Vol Dining is sending an email about this process.

Additional details

  1. Refund amounts are personalized and will vary student by student, based on factors including residence hall, room type, and meal plan. Students who received institutional financial aid in support of spring semester housing, dining, and mandatory fees will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine refund amounts.
  2. Refunds will first be applied to any outstanding balances with the university.
  3. Students who continue to receive services because they have an exemption to remain in university housing through the end of the semester will not receive refunds.

Additional fees

Additional fees continue to support services that are being transitioned online to the greatest extent possible—including libraries, student health, counseling services, and academic coaching and tutoring.

Facility upgrades that were under way are being completed.

Student programming is moving online with cooking classes, exercise classes, book clubs, poetry slams, and a variety of other opportunities for students to engage with each other, learn, and relax.

While they may not look the same for the time being, these services and resources are more important than ever, and we are fully committed to continuing to provide them.

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Will tuition be reimbursed or adjusted?

Because of the need to support the resources required to offer an unprecedented shift to online instruction, there are no plans to reimburse tuition.

We understand that this is a difficult situation and not one that any of us anticipated at the beginning of the semester. It is our commitment to be flexible and help our students succeed through this so they learn and graduate on time.

While class may not look the same for the time being, an abrupt shift in teaching to meet students’ needs during a pandemic requires resources.

On the first day of the transition to online classes, more than 39,500 people joined almost 2,500 Zoom meetings across the UT System. The technical infrastructure and staffing needed to support this volume of online instruction are substantial and crucial to keep students on track academically.

We are committed to using tuition dollars to educate and meet the needs of our students, wherever they are, so they do not lose time during these unforeseen circumstances.

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What is the current status of research and creative activity?

According to the Office of Research and Engagement, campus-based research and creative activity are currently scaled down in an effort to limit face-to-face interactions and keep faculty, staff, and students safe.

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