Updated COVID-19 Guidance from the University System of Georgia
The following guidance is expected for fall 2021; however, the guidance is subject to change based on recommendations from DPH or Executive Orders from the Governor’s office. Institutions should remain flexible in their planning and be prepared to change course as necessary.
Further, the Covid-19 pandemic is still active. Every institution is expected to continue to educate and remind students, faculty, and staff of the individual responsibility to practice all of the behaviors known to reduce the spread of Covid-19, to include encouraging vaccination against the disease.
Institutions within the University System of Georgia are encouraged to review the plans they used to return to campus for fall 2020 and revise/acknowledge any decisions/guidance/expectations that will need to be discontinued due to new guidance from the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). No submissions are expected as a part of this review.
Fully vaccinated individuals can resume campus classes and other activities without physically distancing. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue socially distancing from others when possible. Summer courses may continue to observe appropriate levels of social distancing as determined by the institution.
Alternate Work Arrangements (Employees)
Alternate Work Arrangements (AWA) or accommodations granted to employees for fall 2020 or spring 2021 due to increased risk for severe illness with Covid-19 will end no later than June 30, 2021. All employees are expected to return to their previous work arrangement at that time. Current summer teaching assignments are excluded from this transition deadline. Lack of vaccination is not grounds for a request for an accommodation.
Alternate Educational Arrangements (Students)
Alternate Educational Arrangement (AEA) or accommodations granted to students for fall 2020 or spring 2021 due to increased risk for severe illness with Covid-19 will end no later than June 30, 2021. All students are expected to return to their traditional educational arrangement beginning fall 2021 semester. Lack of vaccination is not grounds for a request for an accommodation.
With limited exceptions, employees with current Covid-19 related telework assignments should begin transitioning back to their pre-Covid-19 work arrangements and all such arrangements will end no later than June 30, 2021. Pursuant to USG policy, department heads or their designees have the authority to establish teleworking arrangements. In no circumstance should telework be considered an employee right or entitlement. All telework requests and designations are based upon management discretion and in accordance with determination of what best serves the institution and students.
Face Coverings (Updated July 30, 2021)
Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask or face covering while inside campus facilities.
USG institutions will continue to ensure vaccine availability to faculty, staff, and students either through vaccination opportunities on campus or in partnership with a local provider. Institutions are not responsible for assessing current Covid-19 vaccination rates for their institution.
Note: Students, faculty, and staff who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.
Institutions are expected to resume traditional student life activities beginning fall 2021. Mitigation practices as recommended by DPH should be practiced and observed during these activities.
Events and Gatherings
Each institution should follow the most recent Executive Order from the Governor related to events and gatherings.
Beyond that guidance, institutions may establish institution-specific guidelines for hosting events and gatherings that include appropriate mitigation.
As of May 2021, The State of Georgia is no longer under a non-essential travel ban. Regular travel may resume under normal travel policies. Institutions should carefully consider international travel restrictions and requirements prior to authorizing international travel.
Institutions should follow their athletic conference guidelines for Covid-19. Institutions not affiliated with a conference should develop guidelines appropriate for their institution and its athletes.
All guidance listed here is subject to change based on recommendations from the Georgia Department of Public Health. Institutions should be prepared to adjust plans as necessary.