Published on July 14, 2021  

Dear Students,

Six weeks from now, we will commence the 2021-22 school year and we couldn’t be more excited! As promised in our June 18th update, this email provides further details about campus operations in the fall. 

General Update

  • We are busy preparing for your arrival and look forward to welcoming you back to campus next month. Looking ahead to the fall semester, we expect a return to regular activities and operations while continuing to monitor for the presence of COVID-19 on our campus. 
  • In order to be cleared for return to campus for the 2021-22 school year, all students are required to do three things:
    1. Electronically sign the Student Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk.
    2. Respond to the university’s Vaccination Response Form and upload verification if you choose (see below).
    3. Within 7 days of returning to campus, submit a negative PCR test result.
  • The university follows state law, local health orders and CDC guidelines for vaccinated persons. Those who choose to provide verification of vaccination are not required to wear masks indoors; have suspended sentinel (random) testing requirements; face reduced or eliminated isolation and quarantine requirements; and do not need to maintain distancing from other persons.
  • Below, under the headline “What do I need to do?”, you will find a link where you can provide your response and input.
  • Additional important details are outlined in a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), posted to the university’s COVID-19 website. Please read these carefully as you will find important information regarding our Vaccination Response Form and our testing programs. Return to this site often, as new FAQs will be added in the weeks ahead.

Our Most Frequently Asked Question:  What will campus really be like this fall?

No one knows with certainty. The university remains optimistic the school year will be without many of the COVID-19 protocols imposed last year. Faculty and staff are fully returning to campus. Ben Brown Plaza is once again free of tables and chairs. We are planning for the best while also preparing to respond if necessary. Much of the “feel” of the campus will depend on the percentage of vaccinated persons and the rate of positive cases on and around the Samford campus.  We are in the process of developing fall protocols that aim to be effective but fewer and less burdensome.  

Student Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk and Vaccination Response Form

We anticipate no restrictions on gatherings and movement around campus, nor are university students required to prove vaccination status as a condition of attendance or for receiving goods and services of the university. However, having an accurate picture of vaccination rates allows us to evaluate and put forth measured policy in response to any surge in COVID-19 cases. We therefore are requesting all students and employees to voluntarily identify their vaccination status. Any information you provide will be confidential and will not be shared with outside parties. If you prefer, you are provided the option to not disclose this information.

What Do I Need To Do?

Please sign your Student Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk. After you do this, please complete the Vaccination Response Form.

Student Acknowledgement & Assumption of Risk Form

Required Reentry Testing

As was the case last year, Samford will require a negative PCR test result before reentering campus, attending class, or accessing your residence hall. Samford will provide access to free test kits on campus or through the mail in the coming weeks to be administered within seven days of your return to campus. If you prefer, you may submit a PCR test result obtained at your cost from your own healthcare provider. Either way, the PCR test must be taken within seven days of your first return to campus. It is your responsibility to ensure you have a negative test result delivered to Samford before the start of the Fall 2021 academic semester.

  • If you live in the Birmingham metro area, we will offer on-campus testing prior to the start of the fall semester. We will collect your sample and deliver it to the lab for processing. Further details and dates will be forthcoming.
  • For those not living in the Birmingham metro area or if you will not be in Birmingham during the on-campus testing period, we will mail a test kit to an address you provide. 
  • For those choosing to have a kit mailed, you will self-administer the test and mail the sample on a specified date to allow sufficient time for processing results. Instructions will be included with the kit.
  • Student athletes and others participating in school activities requiring an early return to campus will receive separate testing instructions from the university. 
  • For those choosing to provide a test result from your personal healthcare provider, your test must be administered within seven days of your return to campus. The result must be uploaded to the university website no later than August 27, which is the Friday before the first day of class.

What Do I Need To Do?

Look for an email related to required reentry testing next week. At that time, you will be provided these options:

  • I will be taking my PCR test on campus.
  • I would like a test kit mailed to me and will provide an address for receipt.
  • I will be providing a test result from my healthcare provider by uploading it on the University Portal.

Please look for your testing email next week and another general update the week of August 2, 2021. If you have questions, direct them to covid19health@samford.edu. Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your summer!

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