AUGUST 1, 2022 — Editor’s Note: The following message was sent today by email from the President Taylor EightmyProvost and First Vice-President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy and Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Commercial Affairs Veronique Salazar To all teachers, staff and students:
Those of you who have been following the news and keeping tabs on local COVID-19 case counts have likely seen that Bexar County’s community risk level has remained raised those last weeks. Current Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants are highly transmissive, but impacts to local hospitals remain low at this time. As we prepare for the fall semester, we look forward to commencing classes in their scheduled modality as outlined in the soonest possible, and we would like to reassure you that the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remain our top priority.
University management, in conjunction with Recovery Operations, San Antonio Metro Health, and public health experts in the UT system, continuously and carefully monitors the risk level of our local community to ensure that we are making informed decisions to ensure the safety of our Roadrunners. Additionally, we hope you will continue to do your part to protect yourself and those around you.
what you can do
We strongly urge all Roadrunners to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and stay up to date on boosters. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect yourself against serious COVID-19 infection and to protect your friends, loved ones and community. This fall, on-campus vaccination clinics will be held monthly in the student union’s Denman Ballroom. COVID-19 vaccines are also readily available at many convenient locations. vaccine suppliers.
Wearing a mask is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we encourage all Roadrunners to do their part by masking up. The CDC recommended those in areas with high community levels of COVID-19 wear a mask when indoors in public. Masks will be available at various busy locations on campus, and signs will be in place to mark these free disposable mask stations.
In addition, please constantly monitor your health. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home from work or school, minimize contact with others, and get tested as soon as possible. Testing is available on campus, at local testing sites, and through home testing kits. You should also get tested if you have been in close contact with someone confirmed positive for COVID-19, and follow CDC instructions quarantine and isolation protocols as they apply to you.
If you have a high-risk exposure or are tested for COVID-19, especially if you test positive, be sure to submit a COVID case report. Information obtained from case notification helps the COVID response team provide you with valuable advice on quarantine and isolation and take operational measures to help stop the spread.
Finally, remember that flexibility and understanding are key to supporting our campus community. Staying home from class or work when you are sick can disrupt our daily lives, but it is necessary to protect the health and safety of our fellow Roadrunners. Students are expected to attend and participate in class activities; however, when students are unable to attend the course in its intended modality (whether in-person, remote or hybrid) due to illness or isolation, we ask professors to allow reasonable accommodations to complete assignments or take exams, per HOP 5.09. Where appropriate, supervisors should provide remote work options for employees who cannot travel to campus. Similarly, students or employees who are required to stay home should promptly communicate this information to their instructors or supervisors.
What we will continue to do for you
Since the start of the pandemic, UTSA has maintained a proactive approach to protecting the Roadrunner community, providing resources for testing, vaccines, quarantine and isolation advice, and case notification. Our COVID response team is working hard to keep the dashboard of confirmed cases up to date, upholding our commitment to transparency and ensuring the valuable data gained from case notification is put to good use.
We are also closely monitoring recent monkeypox outbreak and will continue to work closely with public health colleagues at UT System, UT Health San Antonio and San Antonio Metro Health to stay abreast of the situation as it evolves. As with our response to the pandemic, we are committed to making the best and most informed decisions for the safety of our Roadrunners. We will keep the campus community informed as new information becomes available. For questions regarding monkeypox, students may contact Wellness 360. Faculty and staff should contact their physician.
UTSA’s response to the pandemic has been robust and effective not only because of the hard work of our experts and the COVID Response Team, but also because of our commitment to shared governance. Our campus governing bodies, including the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and Student Government Association, continue to provide valuable collaboration and insight.
We would like to thank you all for your continued support and dedication to health and safety on campus.