COVID-19 Information and Procedures

The University of Texas at Tyler

We strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated. The NET Health mobile vaccine clinic is on campus for your convenience. COVID testing is also available if you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the virus. Contact the COVID hotline, 903.565.5999, or submit the COVID-19 Report Form. STAY HOME if you do not feel well or have symptoms so that you do not risk exposing others.

 

Campus COVID Procedures

The university has developed campus protocols to guide the efforts of all students, faculty and staff in sustaining a healthy and safe environment. Read more.

 

Vaccinations

For COVID vaccinations, contact your local pharmacy or visit: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx 

Campus Announcements

Update on COVID-19 Protocols and Guidelines: One-week Extension of Mitigation Efforts

2/2/2022

We are grateful to begin seeing a decline in our campus case numbers; however, out of an abundance of caution, we are extending our precautionary measures for another week. 

Effective Monday, Feb. 14: 

  • We will return to face-to-face learning for those courses that were not originally scheduled as online or hybrid;
  • Remote workers will be asked to return to campus no later than Feb. 14. 
For staff who have approved remote work agreements prior to the Jan. 12, 2022 mitigation 

efforts, they may continue with their approved schedule. 

We will continue to be sensitive to student, faculty and staff needs for modifications. If you are immunocompromised, are caring for family with COVID or have children whose schools are temporarily closed due to high COVID cases, contact your professors or supervisors to make arrangements to accommodate your situation.

In consultation with the chair or dean, faculty may evaluate the method of course delivery with which they are most comfortable and is appropriate for their discipline.

Staff who would feel safer extending remote work should submit a request to their supervisor and complete the Request for Remote Work and Remote Work Agreements for human resources.

All other mitigation protocols regarding internal events and travel will remain until further notice.

While our objective is to safely return to some semblance of the campus life we knew before COVID, we are not abandoning the precautions that have kept us safe thus far. I urge everyone to continue best practices to protect your health and that of those around you. Patriots Protect Others!

Best Practices
  • Get vaccinated, including boosters.
  • Wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
  • Make sure your mask fits properly with no gaps.
    -KN94, KN95 and N95 masks provide the most protection.
    -Wear cloth masks over surgical masks to improve protection.
    -Wash cloth masks at least once a day or as soon as they are dirty.
    -Surgical masks are intended for one use per mask.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Stay home of you’re feeling sick and get tested.
  • Wash hands regularly.
Thank you for all you do to keep our campus community, and our region, safe.

Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP
President



Update on COVID-19 Protocols and Guidelines: Course Delivery and Remote Work

1/12/2022

Colleagues,

Over the last seven days, we have experienced an increase in positive COVID cases both on campus and in the community. The omicron variant of COVID is highly contagious and appears to be less likely to result in severe illness. Medical experts indicate this surge is expected to peak in early February. In accordance with our desire to maintain a healthy campus, our COVID Response Team (CRT) recommends the following:

Spring Courses
We strongly encourage faculty, who have not already done so, to temporarily move classes online through Friday, Feb. 4. Please consult and confirm schedules with your chairs and deans and notify students about the selected delivery method(s) and timing.

We are not canceling any classes. This temporary shift is designed to get us through the expected peak while mitigating the possibility of widespread absences due to COVID.

Remote work 
Supervisors are encouraged to permit non-essential staff to work remotely through Friday, Feb. 4. The university will continue to conduct daily business, so positions that are “student oriented” – that is work with students daily – will need to be on campus. If there are questions about which positions are considered essential, supervisors should consult with their chairs and deans or Human Resources. 

Employees who are working remotely, must complete the Request for Remote Work and Remote Work Agreements so that Human Resources can properly document our remote population.

Flexible scheduling
For essential personnel, flexible scheduling is recommended for positions that allow for that flexibility.

Virtual meetings
During this surge period, meetings should be conducted virtually. For those face-to-face meetings, all attendees are encouraged to social distance and wear masks throughout the meeting.

University travel
I advise discretionary, non-essential travel be curtailed until further notice. For those individuals who must travel for mission-essential business, please follow normal travel policies and obtain approval from the appropriate dean or vice president.

Campus events
It is suggested that, when feasible, event organizers move events to spaces that allow for appropriate social distancing and reduced density of attendees. Campus events (non-classroom/labs) are recommended to be held at a reduced capacity of 50%. Please encourage masks and social distancing, check in patrons in order to manage attendance and serve catered individually wrapped/boxed food only.

You know the drill – Patriots Protect Others (and ourselves)
We are all aware of the safety guidelines, protocols and resources available to protect ourselves and others from the virus. I strongly urge you to continue abiding by them. If you do get sick or feel badly, report to your supervisor and  do not come to work. Wear a mask and go directly to our COVID testing site or a site nearest you. If COVID positive, contact the COVID hotline (903.565.5999). Get vaccinated or boosted!

Let’s all do our part and make this a great semester.

Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP
President



Spring 2022: COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols

1/6/2022

Colleagues,

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the winter break and look forward with me to an amazing semester. 

Keeping our campus healthy remains one of our main priorities. I know that we have been dealing with COVID far longer than any of us had hoped. You may be tired of hearing about it, but that does not make it go away. We are seeing a rise in cases of omicron regionally, so we must continue to be vigilant in taking care of ourselves and our campus community. Omicron appears to cause milder symptoms that could easily be confused with allergies or a cold. However, it is more transmissible and still carries a risk of contagion, severe illness, hospitalization and long-lasting consequences – especially for the unvaccinated.

We will start the spring semester as planned on Monday, Jan. 10, with in-person classes and activities held as scheduled with the health and safety protocols in place. Faculty have the discretion to hold classes virtually through the month of January.

I urge everyone to implement our safety protocols.

  • Get the COVID vaccine, including the booster. Vaccinations are still the best defense in this fight to protect you from hospitalizations or death. UT Tyler COVID vaccine clinics are held 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Brookshire Hall.
  • Wear masks (regardless of vaccination status).
  • Practice social distancing (keep at least 3 feet between you and others).
  • Hold meetings virtually (if in-person, wear masks).
  • If you don’t feel well, stay home and get tested.

In addition to the aforementioned safety protocols, I encourage deans and vice presidents to:
  • Work with their teams to offer flexible remote work arrangements, where appropriate, during this period of significant virus spread.
  • Curtail discretionary, non-essential travel until further notice.
  • Finally, it is suggested that capacity thresholds for large, in-person campus events (non-classroom/lab related) should be reduced to 50% of the facilities’ stated capacity.
Questions regarding these additional protocols should be directed to your dean or vice president.

If you test positive for COVID, we are here to support you through your recovery, so please don’t feel as if this puts you at some kind of disadvantage. Contact the UT Tyler COVID hotline (903.565.5999) or use the COVID Report Form so that we can arrange for the proper support. We have incorporated the new CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation, so you will be instructed to isolate for five (5) days. If after that time, you are asymptomatic or your symptoms have improved without fever for 24 hours, you will be released from isolation and instructed to wear a mask for another five (5) days to lessen the risk of infecting others. 

University officials will closely monitor conditions within our campus and region and are prepared to alter our plans as conditions or new guidelines dictate.

Be safe and get the vaccine. The science is clear, and it’s the right thing to do.

Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP
President



12/21/2021

During the winter break, I strongly urge everyone to remember we are still living through a pandemic and the new variant Omicron has surfaced. While I want you to enjoy the holiday season, I also ask you to be mindful of your health and safety as well as that of the campus community upon our return in January.
 
The COVID Response Team (CRT) and university leadership continue to monitor developments locally and nationally in order to take the necessary actions should conditions warrant it to maintain the health and safety of the campus. Please monitor your email and the COVID website for further information. 
 
We are diligently committed to maintaining the health and safety of the campus, and we appreciate your commitment to do the same. Following evidence-based protocols has resulted in positive outcomes for our university.

• Getting vaccinated for COVID
• Getting the COVID vaccine booster
• Wearing masks
• Social distancing
• Limiting exposure to those outside of your personal circle – no large gatherings

These are all precautions to protect yourself, your family and your UT Tyler family. Prior to returning to campus in January, please consider getting tested to ensure that you are not positive for COVID and will inadvertently expose others.

One crucial precaution, and I cannot stress this enough, is if you do not feel well, please stay home and get tested. What you may think is simply allergies or a common cold, could very well be COVID, so monitor your health daily and act accordingly.

Student Daily Health Assessment
Employee Daily Health Assessment
 
It is also flu season, and getting the flu vaccine is also an important precaution.
 
Have a wonderful holiday and a restful break. 
 
Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP
President



Vaccinate to Win

9/16/2021

In a new incentive program, current UT Tyler students, faculty and staff who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can register to win prizes, including student grant awards up to $3,000 and Visa gift cards up to $500. Weekly drawings will take place Sept. 22-Oct. 27. Read more.



Patriots Protect Others

8/19/2021

Patriots,

The fall 2021 semester is just days away, and UT Tyler’s objective of providing a safe and healthy college experience remains unchanged. While I had hoped that we would be farther along in the fight against COVID, the dangers of the Delta variant have set us back. As a result, positive cases and hospitalizations are rising, so we must take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. 

Many of you have heard that we expect masks to be worn indoors, and some have asked if this is a requirement that violates Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order. I assure you it does not, and it is not our intention to do so. This is not a mandate with punitive consequences for noncompliance. 

This expectation is simply the epitome of our culture – Patriots protect others. You demonstrated this everyday last year by wearing your masks, and because the Delta variant is more transmissible, masks continue to be a layer of protection.

By masking, you not only protect others, but you protect yourself also. The CDC recently recommended everyone should wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others. 

We want our students to enjoy the collegiate experience – the face-to-face learning environment, socializing with friends and those activities that they have missed since COVID began. It must be understood that all these experiences have to occur in a safe manner as we continue to maneuver COVID. 

We must all be hypervigilant about daily health assessments. What you may think is allergies or a cold, may actually be COVID. So, if you are experiencing the simplest symptoms, stay or go home, get tested and call our COVID hotline (903.565.5999). 

While masks are one layer of defense, vaccinations are still our best defense. I continue to stress the need to be fully vaccinated so that you protect yourself from severe symptoms that may lead to hospitalization or death.

Stay safe and have a great year.

Kirk A. Calhoun, MD, FACP
President

 

 

UT Tyler bases its protocols and guidelines on current CDC recommendations.

Face coverings – Face coverings are expected indoors. Per CDC guidelines, they are strongly encouraged for those who are not vaccinated.

Social distancing – Please keep a distance of at least three (3) feet between you and others.

Travel guidelines – Travel is necessary to advance the university's mission. Everyone is encouraged to adhere to health and safety protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Requests for domestic travel should follow regular procedures with the approval of the respective dean or vice president.
  • Requests for international travel will have the approval of the International Oversight Committee (IOC) as well as the respective dean or vice president.

Based on updated CDC recommendations, the following quarantine and isolation protocols are effective as of Wednesday, December 29, 2021:

  1. If You Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)
    1. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
      1. Stay home for 5 days.
      2. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house.
      3. Continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
      4. If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves.
  2. If You Were Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)
    1. If you:
      1. Have received your booster vaccine OR
      2. Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months OR
      3. Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last 2 months
        1. Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
        2. Test on day 5, if possible.
        3. If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.
    2. If you:
      1. Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and have not received a booster vaccine OR
      2. Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and have not received a booster vaccine OR
      3. Are unvaccinated
        1. Stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
        2. If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.
        3. Test on day 5 if possible.
        4. If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home

 

 

Testing and Cases

If you have been exposed or test positive for COVID-19 and had recent contact with the campus community, please contact the COVID hotline, 903.565.5999, or submit the COVID-19 Report Form.

The dashboard reflects the testing and case numbers for members of the UT Tyler community that were physically present at a UT Tyler campus. For information about Smith County COVID cases, see the NetHealth webpage.

 

 

  • On-campus population naturally fluctuates throughout a semester. The figure here represents the on-campus figure as of the most recent official University census taken on January 24,2022. The number of students on campus is significantly lower after the Thanksgiving break, when all classes transitioned to online until the end of the semester. The transition was planned as part of the University’s response to COVID-19.
  • Active cases are defined as symptomatic or asymptomatic individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 at any testing location, and who are still under isolation directives from UT Tyler IRT.
  • All numbers reported here represent faculty/staff and students who participate in hybrid or face-to-face classes. Students who are fully online are not counted here.
  • Individuals taking multiple tests and the lag between testing and results may create minor variations in this data.
  • These numbers are provided as a public service, and while appropriate attempts have been made to be accurate, UT Tyler makes no guarantee of their accuracy.
  • Questions about this dashboard should be sent to bgolden@uttyler.edu.

 

FAQs

Are vaccines going to be required?

UT Tyler continues to monitor guidance from the CDC, State of Texas health authorities, and UT System to inform best practices on our COVID-19 response, including the role of any vaccine.

What were the previous COVID return procedures?