REMINDER webinar at 3 pm and commonly asked questions
University News Service | July 2, 2020
Students, Faculty and Staff,
This is a reminder that from 3 pm – 4 pm today, university leaders are hosting a Health, Wellness, and Safety Webinar. The webinar announcement and participants are posted here.
The webinar will be recorded for those not able to participate during the scheduled time. You’ll receive an email with a link to the webinar recording tomorrow.
Please click on the link below at 3 pm to attend. The link will not display a presentation until the webinar begins. Time will be allotted for questions.
https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_YThjZjRlMGMtYjYxYS00NWRiLWJhMWYtNzA1NGU3ZjE0MWQ5%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22b19c134a-14c9-4d4c-af65-c420f94c8cbb%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22f99bc05d-0e2f-4e79-adf0-04b90b7e3e56%22%2c%22IsBroadcastMeeting%22%3atrue%7d Note: This live event has passed, so this link will not display the webinar.
In addition, below is a summary of the most frequently asked questions and responses from previous webinars held for faculty and staff.
Face Masks + Enforcement
Individuals have asked for clarification on the best types of face masks and how best to handle employees and students who are not conforming with the guidelines. Dr. Carranco and Dr. Rohde have stressed that wearing face masks are the single most important safety precaution the campus community can follow to protect themselves and others from the virus. Cloth face masks are effective at preventing respiratory droplets filled with virus from spreading into the environment. A good cloth face mask has at least two layers of material, covers the mouth and nose completely, and fits snugly against the sides of the face and chin so there are no gaps.
Individuals on campus are required to wear face masks if they are indoors unless they are alone and outdoors unless they can maintain at least 6 feet of social distance. If a student does not conform after being notified of the requirement, the instructor can ask them to leave the classroom or office or report them to the Dean of Students for repeated violations. Faculty and staff who do not conform to the requirement will be referred for further disciplinary action as needed.
Face masks for faculty can be ordered from COVID-19 Supply Orders and distribution to academic departments began July 1. Additional face masks will be available for distribution prior to the start of the fall semester. For more information, visit the Face Coverings and Masks page of the Roadmap.
Reporting, Testing, Announcing and Responding to Cases
All faculty, staff and enrolled students are encouraged to contact the Student Health Center to report if they have tested positive for SAR-CoV-2 or have been notified they are a close contact to a positive case. Case investigators/contact tracers will assess the situation and determine what additional measures may be necessary to address any other potential exposures on campus. Faculty or supervisors with questions regarding a COVID-19 situation in their class or department may also contact the Student Health Center for advice on precautionary measures by calling 512-245-2161 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All faculty, staff and students with possible symptoms of COVID-19 or notification that they are a close contact to a positive case may seek evaluation and testing at the Student Health Center. The evaluation begins with a telehealth visit with a medical provider. If the medical provider determines the individual needs testing, they will advise them to come into the health center. Tests are administered on site and results are generally available within 48-72 hours. You should assume your test is positive and self-isolate while awaiting test results. If the test is positive, the medical provider will advise the individual of the isolation requirements. Information will be obtained to begin contact tracing. There is a team of 8 trained contact tracing professionals who will contact individuals who have been exposed to a positive case, provide information on quarantine or isolation and recommendations for testing.
Dr. Carranco, the chief medical officer for Texas State University, maintains regular contact with the local public health department and monitors guidance provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services, the CDC, and public health and infectious disease experts to notify campus leadership of any changes that may need to be considered. Results from testing at the Student Health Center are shared with the county public health department. To date, all individuals testing positive at the Student Health Center have acquired the virus in the community, not through a campus contact. Most cases result from exposure to infected family or friends.
Texas State does not publish information about positive cases or case investigations due to its legal obligation to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved. State and Federal laws prevent disclosure of confidential medical information. If through testing and contact tracing, it is determined that a cluster of positive individuals may have acquired the virus on campus, then Dr. Carranco, in consultation with local public health authorities, will inform the community with a campus announcement.
High Risk Groups
Students: Students in a high risk group were asked to submit their academic modifications request forms for summer courses by June 29, 2020. The student requests are due by August 1 for the fall 2020 semester. The Student Academic Modifications Request Form is available here: https://www.ods.txstate.edu/current-student-resources/COVID-19-Special-Request-for-Additional-Academic-Modifications/Student-Academic-Modifications-Request-Form.html
Employees: Faculty and staff in a high risk group may apply for additional workplace modifications at https://www.sdi.txstate.edu/COVID-19-Workplace-Modification-Request.html. Faculty and staff directly involved in the instructional programs should apply for the modifications for the fall semester by August 1. If an individual feels that additional circumstances warrant consideration, they should discuss these arrangements with their supervisor or chair/director. Provost Bourgeois has recently encouraged faculty to submit requests by July 15.
Cleaning, Disinfecting and Supplies
Faculty and staff will not be required to clean instructional areas or offices. Custodial staff have been trained on effective methods and provided protective equipment as needed for their jobs. Cleaning supplies will be placed in a container in each classroom in case there is an immediate need. The containers will also provide a few masks for those individuals who may have forgotten their masks that day.
Classrooms will be sprayed nightly with a special disinfectant spray approved by the FDA and long-utilized in hospital settings.
Personal-sized bottles for hand sanitizers will be available for all faculty, staff and students. Refill stations will be located across campus, and individuals are encouraged to always have their hand sanitizer with them. Sanitizer solution is being produced by faculty and staff in the College of Science and Engineering.