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COVID-19 and the Division


Jan. 13 Update

COVID VACCINE UPDATE: Plans for accelerated distribution
Gov. Asa Hutchinson has announced acceleration of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan. Phase 1-B, which includes higher education employees, will begin on Monday, Jan. 18. However, many details of the distribution from the state level have yet to be announced.
For the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, this means Division of Agriculture faculty, staff and graduate assistants who are required to work on-site are eligible for the vaccine.
While the Division of Agriculture does not require COVID-19 vaccination at this time, it is strongly encouraged that each employee consider receiving the vaccine as a part of efforts to enhance the safety of the work, learning and community environments.
For other details see our email:


Jan. 8, 2020 Update

  • STAGE STATUS — The Division of Agriculture will remain at Stage II at least through March 31, 2021.
  • MEETINGS — Proposals for meetings of 11 attendees or more must be submitted to the appropriate senior associate vice president (Drs. JF Meullenet and Bob Scott) for approval. Please allow sufficient time for the proposal to be reviewed by them, and potentially the Arkansas Department of Health. See the directive  which is in effect until March 1, 2021. Virtual meetings are encouraged. 
  • FFCRA and LEAVE — The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act expired at the end of 2020, which means Division of Agriculture employees must use sick leave for COVID related absences. However, the University of Arkansas System has approved its institutions to allow employees up to 80 hours of combined leave for COVID-related absences. Please contact Nytalya Salter at if you are in need of leave relating to COVID.

Finding a path back to the office

Since the COVID-19 pandemic sent us into work-from-home mode, the chief question has been: "When do we go to our offices?"

Division administration has been working on logistics to help us get back to our offices while minimizing the risk of spreading COVID-19.  Any return to the office will be a multi-stage endeavor.  Stage 1 represents the preliminaries. 





Before anyone returns to the office, the first step is conducting a self-assessment. Download here.


Additional guidelines 

Please follow recommendations from the Arkansas Department of Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control. If you believe you have symptoms start with UAMS's free online screening:


At the Division of Agriculture, the safety of our faculty, staff and the clientele with whom we work is top priority. We are following the advice of the Arkansas Department of Health, the federal Centers for Disease Control and, because of our international reach, the U.S. State Department, to ensure we all have safe and healthy environments in which to work. 


Best practices for field researchers. 


Effective March 5, Division of Agriculture faculty and staff were not permitted to travel for business purposes to countries designated by the U.S. State Department as Level 4 or Level 3. The State Department now has country-specific information related to COVID-19 and can be found here: or



Get additional information on Covid-19 and other travel alerts

I’ve been traveling. Do I self-quarantine?

If you have traveled out of state, we recommend following CDC guidance upon your return. Keep in mind that you may come in contact with the virus in airports, on mass transit or other public transportation such as taxis and ride-sharing services. CDC also has guidance for those who have traveled to high-risk areas.

Consult your physician or try UAMS’s online COVID-19 screening.


Until further notice the university system will continue to follow the leave use guidelines as provided in Board Policies 420.1, 420.2 and 420.3. Specific to a common question, at this time, authority under state law does not exist for paid administrative leave.

In some cases individuals may be quarantined by the Arkansas Department of Health, their physician or other health care authority.  They may not be ill or experience symptoms of the illness but will be unavailable for work. As practical for each role and as meets the needs of the individual campus, work-from-home assignments (which would include regular job assignments, available campus on-line training, or similar types of arrangements) are encouraged in those situations. If work-from-home assignments are not possible, accrued leave (sick and vacation) and leave-without-pay will be used in the normal manner.

The U of A System will continue to monitor this situation closely.

FAQs about COVID-19

The Cooperative Extension Service has a page that contains frequently asked questions and other important information about COVID-19 that is not included on this page.