Questions Addressed Regarding Request for Students to Self-Quarantine Before Coming to TXST Campuses
July 31, 2020
In an email to students on July 30, the Texas State University Dean of Students recommended students self-quarantine for 14-days if possible before arrival on Texas State campuses for the fall 2020 semester. While the self-quarantine is not mandatory, it reflects the university’s commitment to a shared responsibility to keep ourselves and fellow Bobcats safe as we return to campuses. The information below addresses possible questions about the self-quarantine request. Additional questions can be emailed to the Vice President for Student Affairs, VPSA@txstate.edu.
Why are TXST students being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days if possible before coming to campus?
Texas State University has developed a Roadmap to Return website that prioritizes student, faculty and staff health and safety while delivering on our mission of excellence and innovation in teaching and research. Our plan outlines precautions in place related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Asking students to self-quarantine if possible is one of the many precautions we are taking to keep our Texas State community safe and well.
What if a student is not able to self-quarantine?
We understand students may not be able to self-quarantine for a variety of reasons related to work, family, and other circumstances. Students are asked to self-quarantine if possible for 14 days. If they are not able to fully self-quarantine, we suggest they be as responsible as possible before returning to our campuses by following the CDC recommendations for wearing face coverings, social distancing, handwashing/sanitizing, and not engaging in activities known to increase the spread of COVID-19, such as gathering in large groups, beaches, and parties. These prevention strategies will help protect against bringing COVID-19 infection into the university community and reduce the possibility of you missing classes at the start of the semester due to infection. Students are encouraged to read and take the Bobcat Pledge to acknowledge the shared-responsibility we have to keep ourselves and others safe.
Will administrators, faculty, and staff quarantine in this period as well?
Texas State has required cloth face coverings on campuses since June 8 and has precautions in place for physical distancing and cleaning/disinfecting throughout our campuses. Most of Texas State staff have been working on campuses since March. We have had very few positive cases reported for faculty and staff, and all of those reported to-date are the result of community spread, not through contact through personal interactions on our campuses.
Beyond self-quarantining, what can I do to stay safe when I return to TXST campuses?
The TXST Roadmap to Return outlines information students need to know before returning to campuses. We encourage you to spend time reviewing the Roadmap to learn how the fall semester will be different, and how you can keep yourself and other safe.
Below are several of the important initiatives we have implemented:
- Everyone is required to wear a face covering indoors and outdoors unless alone.
- We are following a detailed set of health and safety measures developed by a team of experts and based on the latest research.
- We have implemented capacity limits for classrooms, meeting rooms, and other spaces, so that no more than 50 percent of the room’s rated maximum occupancy may be present at a given time.
- We have bolstered face-to-face and online delivery of health services, including mental health services, and provided opportunities for higher-risk students, faculty, and staff to request additional work and academic modifications.
- Examples of the health and safety measures we are taking on both of our campuses include: reconfiguring furniture in learning spaces to support social distancing, optimizing air conditioning systems for better ventilation, adding hand sanitizer stations in multiple locations, adjusting walking traffic patterns to minimize personal contact, modifying dining services, and enhancing cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
- We have introduced “flexible” face-to-face courses that use both in-person and online instruction to reduce classroom density; this allows for social distancing while maintaining the benefits of face-to-face instruction, and we have significantly increased the number of online classes. We will provide face-to-face course instruction for those students who choose it or need it for degree completion.