Governor's Phase 2 Extension Directive and University Reminders

June 30, 2020

This message was sent to faculty, staff and students at the University of Nevada, Reno.

To Our University Community, On Monday, June 29, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced that Nevada will remain in Phase 2 of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery plan, due to the trends in COVID-19 infection rates, the time needed for expanded contact tracing to identify trends, and to analyze the impacts of the new face covering directive. The Governor has signed an emergency directive extending the length of Phase 2 through the end of July.

In accordance with Gov. Sisolak’s directive and in alignment with previous health and safety instructions from Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly, the University will continue to follow previously issued instructions regarding Phase 2 of our operations. As a reminder, the following will remain in place:

  • Policies and Procedures for Phase 2 — as well as a Plan for Recovery from our divisions and units — that are designed to prioritize the health and safety of the campus environment while we fulfill our institutional missions of teaching, research and outreach. If you have questions regarding your division or unit’s Phase 2 recovery plans, be sure to ask your supervisor or manager for further clarity. Please be sure to review the procedures for the safe return of employees, researchers and affiliates.
  • Research Continuity and Lab Operations will continue in the current mode of operation during the month of July. I’m happy to report three hundred essential, critical or time-sensitive research and laboratory programs have been approved to resume full operations in University settings as we move through Phase II of Nevada’s reopening plan. For updated information and your one-stop source for resources, trainings and announcements related to our research, laboratory, scholarly and creative activities, visit Research Continuity.
  • The University will also continue to follow previously issued instructions regarding Phase 2 of our operations, which include, “Facial coverings are required in all areas except when an employee is alone in a private office space.” This includes use of facial coverings by faculty, staff and students in any type of in-person classroom instruction at any University office, property, field work or sponsored event. This also applies to visitors on campus. The University also continues to stress that social distancing of at least six feet is required at all times.
  • The University will return to on-campus classes for the summer session, which begins July 13. Classes in the second term of summer will be taught via a combination of online, hybrid, and in-person instruction following Phase 2 guidelines on social distancing (maximum gatherings of 50 and six feet of social distancing). There are 163 lecture, laboratory, and studio classes being offered. This includes 31 laboratory and studio classes, which will be taught primarily in person with appropriate social distancing.
  • Faculty have expressed concerns over the enforcement of required facial coverings for students. NSHE legal counsel has confirmed that we have the authority to require students to wear facial coverings and this is directed by Gov. Sisolak. Faculty and students will be required to wear facial coverings and maintain social distancing in the classroom. Institutional support for this policy falls under four categories: Education (why), Training (how), Policy (enforcement and consequences of non-compliance), and Alternative Accommodations.
  • For students, the University has developed a spectrum of plans to provide opportunities for student learning and to meet their co-curricular needs regardless of the conditions. Our goal is to maximize opportunities for safe and responsible in-person education while also providing online options for those who need or prefer it. In all instances, students will be able to continue their education at the University of a Nevada, Reno and graduate on schedule. Our plans are currently under review by the Chancellor along with those of the other institutions in the NSHE. Over the next few weeks, we will be providing regular updates on what to expect for the fall semester. We will meet the Governor’s directives while prioritizing a University experience and health and safety.

Please continue to visit the University’s Coronavirus Information page for updates to processes and protocols, as they continue to evolve.


Marc A. Johnson President