March 5, 2020
Dear faculty, staff, students, residents and fellows:
Out of consideration for the health and safety of our employees, students, trainees, patients and our community related to concerns around the new coronavirus (COVID-19) and upon the recommendation of infectious disease experts and UT System leadership, UT Health San Antonio is establishing immediate restrictions on international travel and is implementing continuing guidelines to protect our community.
We are closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and are working with federal, state and local partners. We are aware of new cases of COVID-19 emerging in Texas and thus any/all policies will require timely updating.
The following measures are effective immediately for all UT Health San Antonio faculty, staff students, residents and fellows:
- All international business travel is suspended until further notice with a review scheduled every 30 days. Any exceptions to this suspension must be reviewed through my office.
- All incoming (visiting) international travel for learners and visitors is suspended until further notice.
- We are quickly working to establish protocols for self-isolation for those visitors coming to UT Health San Antonio who are currently in transit from international destinations and for those employees, students, residents and fellows returning from international destinations.
- Domestic business travel is highly discouraged currently and is likely to be restricted in the future as circumstances warrant.
- We also encourage you to seriously scrutinize your personal travel plans, whether international or domestic, and it is strongly discouraged to travel to locations where there is identified risk. With rapidly changing travel alerts and increasing restricted regions, changes could occur while you are away that affect your risk and your return plans. Areas that currently are not considered high risk may quickly become high risk.
Please see the weblink (https://uthealthsa.sharepoint.com/COVID-19/Pages/Default.aspx) for the timeliest details regarding travel and other important updates. Since this is a developing situation, I would ask for your patience as we work out the many details and processes that are required.
In addition, I have canceled two large University events for which my office is directly responsible and I encourage those who are responsible for the scheduling of large events to carefully consider the necessity of hosting these gatherings during the next several weeks.
Please continue to monitor the information contained in the link above and take every precaution (frequent hand washing, limited close physical contact, cough in your sleeve, avoid large gatherings, etc.) to stay healthy.
With appreciation and respect,
William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP
President and Professor of Medicine