2021 Return to Campus Update    

December 21, 2020

Dear Campus Community:

Our success during the fall semester is directly attributed to your support and compliance with best-practice community mitigation strategies such as wearing a mask, physical distancing, good health hygiene, and staying home when ill.

Timely reporting when symptomatic or in close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 allowed us to quickly identify cases and stop the spread on campus. In the process, we created an environment that limited virus spread and for this, we thank you. We hope to experience the same level of success in the coming year when we return for our spring semester.

Campus officials have continued to work with local and regional health authorities to collect information on how to best sustain the health and safety of our campus community. We evaluated a number of options to reduce the risk of campus and community spread as we return from winter break. Surveillance testing remains a critical part of managing spread, allows quick identification and isolation of cases (including those who are asymptomatic), expedites contact tracing, and helps us do our part in reducing spread in our island community.

Based on the most current available data, we expect COVID-19 cases to continue to rise into the New Year. We have been advised to anticipate an increase in cases, similar to the rise currently taking place locally and nationally, and we must continue to practice community mitigation strategies especially as we rejoin for the spring semester.

Therefore, we are adopting the following return-to-campus protocols for the spring semester to promote health and safety, successfully start and finish the spring semester in-person, and prevent us from contributing to spread in our community. Please review the following information carefully to plan accordingly.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements

STUDENTS

All on-campus student residents are required to receive a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 test no earlier than three days prior to moving into campus residence halls.

If you have received a positive test result in the last 3 months, please contact a case manager at COVIDinfo@tamug.edu to determine if you must test again.

Test results should be uploaded prior to moving in. If you are unable to complete the testing protocols please email covidinfo@tamug.edu for additional testing options, including no-cost options, and instructions.

No-cost on campus testing will be available for all students at Sea Aggie Center on Saturday, Jan. 16 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Test results received outside of on campus testing should be uploaded at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?TAMUGalveston&layout_id=8 .

FACULTY & STAFF

All faculty and staff, including part-time employees, student workers, and graduate students, are required to receive a PCRtest within three days of arriving back on campus and upload test results within five working days of arriving on campus. However, if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, do not return to campus and follow self-isolation protocols.

If you are unable to complete the testing protocols outlined above, please email covidinfo@tamug.edu for additional instructions testing options, including no cost options, and instructions.

If you have received a positive test result in the last 3 months please contact a case manager at COVIDinfo@tamug.edu to determine if you must test again.

No-cost, on campus testing will be available for faculty and staff at Sea Aggie Center between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Jan. 2. Test results received outside of on campus testing should be uploaded at https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?TAMUGalveston&layout_id=8.

All students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to restrict contact with others and to wear a mask and physically distance while awaiting test results. Diagnostic testing provides status at a single point in time and we must remain diligent to protect ourselves and others against potential exposure.

January Campus Staffing Adjustments

The maximum percentage of employees in any given physical location is reduced to 50% from Jan. 4 through Jan. 31 with the potential for additional adjustments in the following months. We will continue to communicate changes to you through university email. Please check with your supervisor for potential impacts to your current schedules.

---

If you receive positive results:

Those who receive a positive COVID-19 test result must self-isolate. A Galveston Campus case manager will contact those who report positive test results to provide support in returning to campus based on CDC guidelines.

COVID-19 Training & Certification

All students, regardless of whether you are taking classes face-to-face or remotely, are required to complete online COVID-19 Training and Certification no later than January 13, 2021.Information on this training was delivered to your university email.

All faculty and staff are also required to take the TrainTraq training assignment, COVID-19 Protocol and Certification. This training has been updated for the spring semester.

---

I know that you are tired and weary from the hardships and disruptions the pandemic has caused this year. We are optimistic that the current vaccines, once administered, will allow us to resume more of the activities associated with the ideal collegiate experience. I want to reiterate my thanks for your dedication and commitment to making a truly extraordinary fall semester successful. I hope you are able to use winter break to replenish your spirit and take a breather.