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COVID-19 guideline updates

Published on Wed 09/15/21

Based on questions asked at the Faculty Senate meeting yesterday, I hope to provide some clarification to the COVID-19 guidelines for the semester. While we honor the governor’s mandate that masks cannot be required nor can there be inquiries about vaccination status, vaccinations are highly encouraged based on the overwhelming scientific evidence that indicates such individuals are less likely to be severely ill and/or hospitalized.

Excused Absences
Students may share information from the reporting portal as proof they are quarantining as they await test results or isolating after testing positive for COVID-19. Such information during a pandemic is an excused absence and will satisfy the documentation required in Student Rule 7. Students who furnish false information may be found in violation of Student Rule 24.4.1 and the Aggie Code of Honor.

Face Coverings
Face coverings have been shown to help curb the spread of the virus. The university president is working to make masks available in classrooms as soon as possible.

Instructor Exposure to COVID-19
An instructor, including a teaching assistant, who is self-quarantining or self-isolating should submit the reporting form and:

  • If at all possible, identify another instructor or teaching assistant to cover their instructional duties
OR
  • Send a notification to their department head and students that they will temporarily switch to remote class delivery for up to two weeks. The department head should acknowledge and send to the Vice President for Enrollment and Academic Services and copy the dean.

Make-Up Work
Faculty are encouraged to record their lectures using Zoom or other technology and make such videos available to students who are in self-quarantine or self-isolation. Videos may be synchronous (hybrid) or asynchronous. See KeepTeaching for additional information.

Plexiglass Barriers
While the latest research is mixed concerning the effectiveness of stationary plexiglass barriers in large classrooms, such barriers should be available for instructors that wish to use them. If you are unable to locate a barrier, please contact the classroom's building proctor. If the building proctor is unable to locate a barrier, please contact the Registrar’s Office.

Other questions related to the campus response to COVID-19 should be submitted to COVID19Process@tamu.edu.

Sincerely,
Timothy P. Scott '89
Interim Provost & Executive Vice President