October 4, 2021 | Update on campus safety protocols
Dear UT Health San Antonio faculty, staff, students, residents and fellows:
To provide a timely update on safety protocols for UT Health San Antonio locations, please be reminded of the following:
Everyone should wear masks on campus and at every operating location of our organization.
UT Health San Antonio is now providing COVID-19 vaccine boosters to our front-line health care workers, as well as all other faculty, staff, students and residents. Pfizer boosters are being administered and can be given to those who received the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.
Meetings should continue to be conducted virtually whenever possible. If in-person meetings are necessary, individuals should mask and social distance. No communal food should be provided at meetings. Communal eating in common areas and break rooms is discouraged. Individually boxed lunches are still allowed, but maintaining social distance while eating is critical.
Campus Visitors and Events
- Campus visitors should be limited to critical business functions and are expected to mask. Examples of critical business functions include recruitments in the final stage and visits by outside vendors that are needed to maintain equipment or products necessary for operations. Also, in-person events should be limited; conferences, retreats and other gatherings should be held virtually as much as possible through Dec. 31, 2021.
- If an event is deemed essential and mission-critical, approval of the event should follow the normal approval routing through the appropriate dean or vice president. Events costing greater than $2,500 should be routed to the Chief Financial Officer for approval. Appropriate masking and social distancing should be conducted during all in-person events and no communal food should be provided.
- Campus visitors should be asked about symptoms of COVID-like illness, including loss of taste or smell, or any exposures to COVID-like illness. If they have either of these, their visit should be deferred or should take place virtually.
Business travel suspension has been extended through Dec. 31, 2021. Deans and vice presidents will assess the critical need for previously planned and upcoming trips. At their discretion, deans or vice presidents may approve exceptions in cases where a vital humanitarian or business function will be harmed by not traveling. Travel exceptions approved by deans and vice presidents do not need to be routed to the Chief Operating Officer for further approval. Out-of-pocket expenses incurred for canceled business trips can be reimbursed.
Below are the protocol updates for those who have been exposed or are concerned about exposure, such as having a positive household contact. Positive exposure occurs when subjects are within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes unmasked in a 24-hour period. Exposure parameters may be less with the delta variant.
- Masks should be worn for 14 days for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
- Monitor closely for symptoms (even mild, including upper respiratory symptoms and loss of taste or smell).
- Obtain testing if symptomatic.
- Without symptoms, testing is offered at 4-5 days to prevent asymptomatic spread.
- Non-vaccinated people should quarantine for 14 days.
- Vaccinated people do not need to quarantine.
- Visit our internal COVID-19 testing site for testing options.
These guidelines will be updated as circumstances change. We appreciate your cooperation and vigilance in observing these precautions.
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer