Slowing the Spread & Fall 2021 Requirements     

August 20, 2021

The Galveston Campus continues to closely monitor the rapidly evolving environment as we learn more each day about the COVID-19 delta variant. As more information becomes available we are adjusting and adapting where needed to meet our mission to teach, learn, train, discover and innovate. Please be flexible in your planning and prepared to make adjustments as the situation evolves.

We continue to be committed to in-person classes and activities for the fall semester. We are equally committed to the protection of our campus community to the best of our ability as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our campus community and throughout the U.S.

We urge you to consider adopting the community mitigation strategies that so effectively served us during the spring semester. Vaccines remain the most effective tool to aid in reducing the severity of symptoms and the chance of hospitalization. Information concerning vaccine incentives available to students, faculty and staff is contained below.

We will continue to provide weekly updates to better aid you in planning for the fall semester and responding to adjustments as they are implemented. It is critical that you continue to monitor university communications and review the information in its entirety.

SLOWING THE SPREAD

Fall 2021 Requirements

We need all students, faculty and staff to adhere to these four requirements for returning this fall:

  • Participate in mandatory testing for COVID-19 and cooperate with case managers;
  • Self-report a positive test, symptoms or close contact with someone who received positive test results and cooperate with case managers;
  • Quarantine and/or isolate in accordance with CDC guidance if positive for COVID-19 or identified as a close contact to someone who tests positive for COVID-19; and
  • Read and agree to adhere to the COVID-19 guidance and protocols through:
    • Students: Howdy Portal
    • Faculty & Staff: TrainTraq

Mandatory Testing & Reporting

As was communicated on Friday, Aug. 13, the Galveston Campus is implementing mandatory COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to submit a COVID-19 diagnostic test. Test results should be submitted prior to Sept. 11.

No individual is required to test prior to arrival on campus and on-campus testing will be available, however, we highly encourage those with adequate testing options and facilities in their region to consider testing prior to arrival to conserve on-campus testing options for those in need.

There are three ways to meet the mandatory testing requirement:

  1. Provide proof of negative test results of a test taken within the past 72 hours from any testing center. Upload proof of a negative test through the COVID-19 Test Results Submission Form.
  2. Provide documentation showing that you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and submit documentation through the COVID-19 Test Results Submission Form. For those who tested positive through on-campus testing, no additional action is required.
  3. Test on campus.

All members of the Galveston Campus community are required to report a COVID-19 diagnosis, regardless of where tested, or if you have had close contact with someone who tests positive. This can be done in the Galveston Campus COVID-19 Reporting Portal.

On-Campus Testing

On-campus testing will be available beginning Monday, Aug. 23 through Friday, Sept. 10 to all students, faculty and staff. We encourage those with adequate testing options and facilities in their region to consider testing prior to arrival on campus to conserve on-campus testing options for those in need.

Location: Waterfront Pavilion
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Appointments are not required.

Additional hours and information on testing options will be communicated via university email and social media. 

Testing Information

The Galveston Campus is using Binax Now, a shallow nasal swab, which is highly effective in detecting COVID-19 in symptomatic individuals. Those who test positive will be given a Curative PCR test and a case manager will be in contact as soon as possible to conduct contract tracing. Results from the Curative test may take one or more business days.

Those who test positive from the Binax Now test will be asked to leave campus immediately after receiving the Curative PCR test due to limited on-campus resources available to support quarantine or isolation needs. Those who test negative will be able to proceed as normal. Students who anticipate difficulties securing alternate housing arrangements should contact their Housing Coordinator for assistance.

Testing options and reminders will be provided throughout the testing period.

Quarantine & Isolation

All students, faculty and staff should be aware that isolation and quarantine protocols are different for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the event of a positive test result or if determined as a close contact to someone who received a positive test. Please review the protocols thoroughly to ensure you are able to make the appropriate accommodations and arrangements if you test positive or are determined a close contact.

Where able, students should have a contingency plan in place to quarantine and/or isolate off campus in the event of a positive test result or if determined as a close contact to someone who received a positive test. Students who anticipate difficulties in securing alternate housing arrangements should contact their Housing Coordinator for assistance.

Instructions for students who need academic accommodations due to required quarantine and/or isolation will be provided no later than Aug. 26, 2021.

Emergency leave is available for staff required to quarantine and/or isolate. Contact Galveston Campus Human Resources for more information.

Vaccination Options & Incentives

Vaccines remain widely available in our region and also remain our most effective tool in slowing the spread of COVID-19. The Galveston County Health District has complete information on where and how to obtain a vaccine. Vaccine clinics will be available on campus during the first few weeks of the fall semester for those who choose to vaccinate. Additionally, the vaccine incentives developed by Texas A&M University extend to the Galveston Campus.

Events

We will continue to hosts events as long as staffing is available to do so. In the event we are forced to cancel or adjust an event, we will communicate that information as quickly as we are able to do so. Please be flexible in making plans and have a contingency plan in place.  

Staffing Rotations

Supervisors retain the authority to develop staff rotations and develop assignments to ensure business continuity through Aug. 27.