Coronavirus Travel Update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Coronavirus Travel Update from President Wendler

March 16, 2020

As spring break begins, we remind our West Texas A&M University family that all nonessential university travel remains canceled for students, faculty and staff. We understand that some travel will still occur during the break, so we remind our community to keep safe and to take prudent steps to help prevent the spread of this virus.

Any faculty, staff and students returning from international travel on or after March 14 and arriving in-country to clear customs at the Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), New York City (JFK), Chicago (ORD), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Los Angeles (LAX), Atlanta (ATL), Honolulu (HNL), Newark (EWR), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW) or Washington, D.C. (IAD) international airports should consider themselves as having returned from a Level 3 COVID-19 location and self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival before returning to campus. Self-isolation guidance is listed below and on the CDC Care Guide.

If you are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and are asked to self-isolate after returning from a country listed on the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page as Level 3, you should stay off campus and remain home.

Do not go to campus including work, residence halls and apartments, classes, athletic events or other social gatherings until 14 days after leaving the Level 3 country in question. Likewise, avoid public places and gatherings in the community.

Please follow these guidelines for self-isolation:

  • Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to your medical provider – preferably by calling to get advice and instructions. WT students may call 806-651-3287.
  • Stay in your room or apartment. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings until 14 days after leaving the Level 3 country.
  • Limit contact as much as possible. This also means limiting close contact with others including persons living in your residence.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage.
  • Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate.
  • Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant wipe. Wash your hands after cleaning the area.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms at least daily including measuring your temperature. Any symptoms of COVID-19 should be reported to your physician. To download the CDC Check and Report Every Day (CARE) Booklet which helps you understand how to self-monitor your health and how to check your symptoms daily visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID-19_CAREKit_ENG.pdf
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else.

The following precautions previously mentioned are still in effect:

  1. Effective immediately, all university-sponsored international travel for students, faculty and staff is cancelled until further notice.
  2. I cannot promise refunds for deposits and upfront costs for such travel, but pledge to do all in my power to secure funding for reimbursements of non-refundable university travel expenses.
  3. For non-university travel, it is recommended that students, faculty and staff cancel impending international and domestic travel plans, particularly in regards to spring break. My heartfelt suggestion is simply to stay close to home
  4. For essential health safety information and updates, please view WT's COVID-19 webpage.
  5. In a continuous effort to monitor COVID-19, it is recommended that WT students, faculty, and staff use the following link to report any international travel, personal or business, until further notice.

 

March 13, 2020

All nonessential university travel is canceled for students, faculty and staff. Consult with the vice president of your area to determine essential and nonessential travel. Additionally, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum is closed until further notice.

The following precautions previously mentioned are still in effect:

  1. Effective immediately, all university-sponsored international travel for students, faculty and staff is cancelled until further notice.
     
  2. I cannot promise refunds for deposits and upfront costs for such travel, but pledge to do all in my power to secure funding for reimbursements of non-refundable university travel expenses.
     
  3. For non-university travel, it is recommended that students, faculty and staff cancel impending international and domestic travel plans, particularly in regards to the approaching spring break. My heartfelt suggestion is simply to stay close to home. At this time of uncertainty, travel to an infected area, whether distinguished as such at the time or after-the-fact, could result in a 14-day quarantine upon return.
     
  4. For essential health safety information and updates, please view WT's COVID-19 webpage.
     
  5. In a continuous effort to monitor COVID-19, it is recommended that WT students, faculty, and staff use the following link to report any international travel, personal or business, until further notice.

In regards to academic programs, access to online options for courses will be shared from vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer, James Webb soon. The academic deans are reviewing online options as a contingency plan, and in order to meet your needs, 65 percent of courses have moved online.

Please help me share all related COVID-19 information being distributed in a helpful and positive manner. Our intentions at WT are to serve the people who work and study here and our extended WT families in the best possible way during this time.

Our intention at WT is not to cause alarm but to arm our community with information and resources to sustain your daily life with little complication in the future. I pray for protection on our campus, our extended communities, and the communities that we serve and that serve us.

Walter V. Wendler
President