April 27, 2020

WTAMU Employee Tested Positive for COVID-19

As of the latest update posted at 8:00 am yesterday, April 26, there are 164 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Randall County. It saddens me to inform you that a member of our WT family has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee had worked on campus during the week of April 20th and was last on campus Friday, April 24th. It is known the employee was in direct contact with mail distribution on campus. In an abundance of caution, employees in the impacted department have been notified and quarantined. Additionally, the supervisor from the employee’s area has been informed and will help identify anyone else who may have come into contact with these individuals. In the event that any other employees test positive for COVID-19, Human Resources will provide notice to impacted departments. This weekend, SSC thoroughly cleaned and deployed hydrostatic cleaning equipment within the affected employees work area as well as areas they might have been used.

Although this is not the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Randall County, it is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at West Texas A&M University. I understand that this announcement will cause concern, and I want to assure you that we will continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Amarillo Public Health Department, continuing to follow all recommendations. Since the national COVID-19 outbreak began, all buildings and high-volume touchpoints on campus have been and will continue to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. Privacy laws prevent us from releasing more specific information publicly.

Once again, CDC recommends, and I urge you to follow these preventative measures to stop the spread of germs, including those associated with COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid shaking hands;
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
  • Do not come to work when you are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and discard used tissues, and;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaner.
  • If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath), please contact your medical provider. You should inform your medical provider in advance of arriving at their office so they can take the proper precautions. Faculty and staff should notify their supervisor if they test positive for COVID-19 and students should inform Student Medical Services at 806-651-3287 or to schedule an appointment so the University can take appropriate steps to prevent the spread of illness.

The safety of the WT Family Community and our larger community remains our top priority. Please join me in extending our thoughts and prayers to our fellow employee and their family as they face this challenge head on. Continue to take care of yourselves, your families, and your fellow employees. Together, we will get through these difficult times.

Walter V. Wendler