Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 on our Campuses
Emilio Carranco, M.D., M.S., Texas State Chief Medical Officer | August 12, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff,
As we prepare for the fall semester, I want to make you aware of new tools and resources available to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at Texas State University. The Student Health Center (SHC) is committed to working with you to protect our university community as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic.
Self-Assessment and Testing
Daily self-assessment for fever and symptoms of COVID-19 is important. If you are sick—do not go to work. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or schedule an appointment at the SHC by calling 512-245-2161. The SHC can provide medical evaluations via telehealth. You can find more information on COVID-19 Reporting and Response Steps in the Roadmap to Return.
The Student Health Center currently provides COVID-19 PCR testing and evaluation for faculty, staff, and students. New rapid COVID-19 PCR testing should be available by September for faster diagnosis and contact tracing. As new testing options become available, they will be assessed for use at Texas State.
Bobcat Trace Reporting and Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is extremely critical. Close contacts of an infected individual must quarantine for 14 days and be tested for COVID-19. Identifying close contacts as soon as possible can prevent them from infecting others. The university is requesting that all faculty, staff, and students who test positive for COVID-19 or who are identified as a close contact, report in Bobcat Trace. This new secure web application will facilitate our contact tracing efforts and help us monitor the incidence of COVID-19 on our campuses.
Supervisor and Faculty Resource
COVID-19 Supervisor and Faculty Questions is a new resource for faculty and staff supervisors who have questions about a COVID-19 situation in their classroom, area, or department. The university’s contact tracing team will respond to submitted questions.
Be Safe On and Off Campus
Texas State has developed a plan for reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 on our campuses, but we must take our prevention strategies into our homes and local communities. We must wear a face covering (cloth with multiple layers) when around others, maintain physical distancing of six feet or more whenever possible, avoid large social gatherings and crowded indoor environments, and wash or sanitize hands frequently.
I encourage you to visit the Roadmap to Return on the university’s homepage for information about university operations during the fall semester and links to resources. We will continue to update the Roadmap to Return as necessary.
The health and safety of faculty, staff, and students is our priority. If we all adhere to the prevention measures that have been implemented at Texas State, we can have a safe and successful fall semester.
Emilio Carranco, M.D., M.S.
Texas State Chief Medical Officer