Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 Questions: 903.566.7005 (Option #1)

Updated: March 18, 2020, 9:45 a.m.

What does self-isolate, quarantine and social distance mean?

Self-isolation is when someone who is sick with a communicable disease (like COVID-19) voluntarily separates themselves from others to prevent transmission. This is usually done by staying home and minimizing contact with other humans.

Quarantine is when someone who is not symptomatic but has been exposed to a communicable disease (e.g. shook hands with someone who had a communicable disease) is separated to see if they become sick.

Social distancing is when an individual or an organization takes steps to limit the sort of human contact that would be conducive to the spread of a communicable disease. UT Tyler’s moving classes online is an example of social distancing, because it limits interactions that could spread COVID-19.

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Should I self-isolate or quarantine myself?

If you are symptomatic or have traveled to or through anywhere with a Level 3 CDC travel notice, you should self-isolate or self-quarantine. Employees who are self-isolating or in quarantine should contact UT Tyler human resources. Students should contact Dean of Students Andrew Pettee at

More information from the CDC

I am not self-isolating or in quarantine, why should I go to my permanent home?

Scientist and health officials are recommending, to minimize the reach of the COVID-19 pandemic, that we minimize travel and excessive human contact. By asking students to stay away from campus and at home after Spring Break, we believe we can slow the spread of COVID-19. This is a form of social distancing. With the sheer number of UT Tyler students traveling, the chances of multiple students bringing the virus back to campus with them is high.

Most pandemics, like SARS and H1NI (Swine flu), have a similar life cycle. The hope is this social distancing, asking students to stay at home and not come to campus, will shorten the lifecycle of the COVID-19 pandemic by limiting the transmission of the virus.

Who can live on campus?

In an effort to minimize the amount of face-to-face interaction, all students have been strongly encouraged to return home. For the more than 300 students who remain in our residence halls, we are making sure the dining hall remains open to meet their needs.

What about student workers?

We realize that many of our student workers rely on their campus jobs for life necessities. We are working to minimize the negative impacts of social distancing on your employment. If you wish to continue as a student worker this semester, please work with your supervisor to devise a plan to continue working remotely.

If you have a student worker job that cannot be performed remotely, please call Human Resources. They will help you identify a potential alternative opportunity.

Graduate Assistants and Graduate Workers: Our graduate student workers are paid from a variety of funding sources with differing rules guiding those payments. For students who wish to continue working during this period of social distancing, I am instructing supervisors to identify telecommuting work options for those students, where possible. The supervisor must make sure that the work being done is consistent with the rules of the sponsor/funding source, particularly for those projects funded by student fees and outside grants.

With the schedule changes, should UT employees show up to work?

Staff have been given the option to telecommute when at all possible. While this is not an option for every staff member, due to the nature of their work, it does lessen the amount of campus interactions. Please contact your immediate supervisor for more information.

Will the Cowan Center events go on?

The remainder of this 2019-20 Season of the Cowan Center has been postponed. The Cowan Center is currently working to re-book all postponed events, but no new dates have been set at this time.

What events are being canceled?

What about Commencement?

The May 2 Commencement ceremony will be postponed. The Commencement Committee, which includes representation from students, faculty and staff, will meet in the coming weeks to determine a new date.

How is UT Tyler sanitizing public spaces on its campuses?

The University of Texas at Tyler facilities management team is working to ensure that our campuses are disinfected and cleaned appropriately. We are paying special attention to touch points such as handrails, door handles, water fountains, elevator buttons, arm rests, tabletops, and restroom fixtures. The specific disinfectant we are using is a hospital grade product (Virex) that we spray on and allow to dry or wipe clean. These efforts are in addition to our standard cleaning practices based on APPA (Association of Physical Plant Administrators), level 2 requirements.

More information from our janitorial services provider.

What about the University Academy?

As a precaution, UT Tyler University Academy has decided to extend Spring Break and have a Community Mitigation Period the week of March 16-20, 2020. Schools will remain closed during this time as we assess the situation in our community as students and staff return from their travels.

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What about labs and clinicals?

Students should contact their professors or program directors to find out the latest about labs and clinicals.

Will Patriot athletic events continue?

Similar to the NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments, the Lone Star Conference athletic season has been cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

Are campus tours still happening?

At this time, campus tours are suspended. Those interested in visiting our campus should reach out to the admissions team at 903.566.7203 for the latest information.

What campus services are closed?

At this time, all regular campus services are open during normal business hours.

What about the Houston Engineering Center, Longview and Palestine campuses?

Like the Tyler campus, all classes will be online through the end of the semester.

What about student events and student orientation?

Student Engagement is is encouraging all Student Organization events and meetings to reschedule for a later date, cancel, or contact the Department of Student Engagement at for additional assistance. All official student events have been canceled until March 31. Traditions such as Crawfish Boil, Midnight Breakfast, Mr. & Miss UT Tyler, etc. will be rescheduled for a later time.

There are currently no changes to New Student Orientation at this time. Any changes will be communicated from and posted on the Orientation home page.


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