Your Safety Is Our Priority

The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) is closely monitoring the worldwide situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and continues to follow the guidance of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Alabama Department of Public Health and related agencies. ACOM understands that this is an emerging and rapidly evolving situation, and the College will plan accordingly as the situation evolves.

Safety Measures

ACOM leadership continues to monitor the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Based upon the current information received, ACOM has implemented several actions in response to this dynamic situation to help ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and campus community.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Providing information on public health best practices and prevention, including signage and handouts
  • Enhancing campus cleaning and hygiene protocols
  • Initiating screening protocols
  • Requiring all students, faculty and staff who have flu-like symptoms and/or are running a fever greater than 100.4 degrees to stay home until they have been fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours
  • Providing ongoing email communications and updates to students, faculty and staff

ACOM continues to monitor the status of the COVID-19 pandemic to promote the health and safety of our academic community. Based on recent updates to federal and state recommendations, ACOM is amending our masking requirements to reflect these revised guidelines.

As of today, March 7, indoor masking will be optional on the ACOM main campus with the following exceptions:

  • Surgical or N95 masks will be required in all PCS, OPP and Simulation labs and activities. Cloth masks will not be allowed in these sessions.
  • Students, faculty and staff must wear a mask when you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Please report your exposure to the Director of Campus Safety & Security immediately.
  • Students, faculty and staff must wear a mask if you feel ill with cold, flu or COVID-like symptoms. Please report your symptoms immediately to the Director of Campus Safety & Security.

Masks will still be required in all clinical settings, including rotations at the ACOM Ashford Clinic and all clerkship rotations. Third- and fourth-year students are to follow specific clinical site guidelines.

This masking change is for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Please remember that anyone may still choose to wear mask in areas when not required and we ask everyone to be respectful of individual choices. Temperature screenings will still be required for entry into the ACOM campus.

ACOM is implementing a Curriculum Delivery Plan beginning March 21, which includes the following provisions:

  • Lectures, IS, TBLs, OPP, PCS and SIM sessions will be delivered on-campus in the designated area as noted on SEAMed.
  • Event locations will be clearly marked in SEAMed for faculty and students to view.
  • Course events will be live and in-person with the exception of some events, typically involving guest lecturers, that may be delivered live via Zoom (see Seamed for details).
  • Attendance is required at all mandatory events.
  • Attendance is strongly encouraged, but not required, at non-mandatory events.
  • Mandatory Course Lectures, IS, and TBL Sessions: ACOM faculty will present live without Zoom from the TBL Center for mandatory course lectures, IS, and TBL sessions.
  • Non-mandatory Course Lectures: ACOM faculty will present live with Zoom from the Auditoria or TBL Center for non-mandatory lectures.
  • Course lectures and IS sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be posted on Microsoft Stream
  • Course TBL sessions will not be recorded and posted.
  • Attendance Policy will continue per the current policy listed in the course syllabi, including grade reductions for unexcused absences and tardiness.

As of July 30, 2021, clinical rotations will continue as planned and will follow local policies designated by each Core Site and/or affiliated locations. ACOM is not currently changing its policy limiting each student to two virtual rotations; however, this may change depending on future COVID developments. To the extent there is flexibility in rotation scheduling, students may want to consider strategically the timing of in-person versus virtual rotations.

Students should plan to participate in clerkship rotations as scheduled, be open to learning as much as possible from experiences and be willing to function as an essential part of the healthcare team. ACOM will inform students as soon as possible if this plan changes and will continue to facilitate physician training success. Students should maintain active communication with the clinical curriculum team, credentialing team and core site training team (including preceptor, core site coordinator, medical education coordinator, and regional coordinator).

Students should still be mindful of following universal precautions, wearing appropriate PPE, and avoid treating known or suspected COVID-19 patients. As always, if the student becomes ill, he/she should follow the participation guidelines located in each syllabus, complete appropriate forms and do not report for the rotation. If the student feels that he/she is high risk for any reason, including but not limited to being immunocompromised, the student should reach out to Student Services to discuss options for a leave of absence or other special circumstance.

Despite the above precautions, some of students might have to deal with a possible COVID-19 exposure. Exposures may be considered low or high risk and each of ACOM’s training sites may have slightly different protocols. Regardless, if a student develops symptoms, he/she should seek medical attention and not report to the rotation site. However, the student must still communicate appropriately with the team.

Out of an abundance of caution for our students, faculty, staff and campus community, visitation to the ACOM campus is limited at this time to by appointment only. All visitors must check in at the security desk in the main lobby and will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 upon entering the ACOM facility. Visitors with COVID-19 may be asked to leave the facility.