Published on Mon 07/20/20
Texas A&M University Guidelines Related to the Monitoring of COVID-19 Reporting and Cleaning and Disinfecting Facilities
In an effort to provide the latest information to the campus community on how we are working to enhance the safety and maintain privacy of our students, faculty, and staff, the information below outlines Texas A&M University’s plans for monitoring COVID-19 cases reported at the university as well as guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting shared spaces, individual offices, and laboratories.
Monitoring of COVID-19 Reporting
The Texas A&M University (Texas A&M) Office of Risk, Ethics, and Compliance (OREC) will have real time access to the information reported through the COVID-19 Report Form
by Texas A&M students, faculty, and staff (COVID-19 Reporting Portal). OREC will convey information from the COVID-19 Reporting Portal (de-identified to the extent possible) to other key university officials so that they may make decisions regarding specific facilities and programs to contain the spread of COVID-19 while also protecting the confidentiality of the affected individual’s information to the extent possible. For example, OREC may inform a supervisor of the self-isolation or self-quarantine requirements that apply to their employee. De-identified data will be shared with university leadership and various department heads or deans (for colleges without departments) and facilities managers as necessary for the public health response. Privacy will be stressed when sharing the data, whether identifiable or de-identified.
OREC will also have access to the information reported through the COVID-19 Report Form by personnel of System agencies headquartered in the Brazos Valley. OREC will coordinate with the System agencies to provide them with the needed information.
OREC will also monitor information in the COVID-19 Reporting Portal to identify Texas A&M facilities and buildings that may need cleaning and disinfection in accordance with these guidelines. In addition, OREC will monitor for “hot spots” where the number of cases is escalating and convey that information to the appropriate offices at the affected System agency or Texas A&M school/college or department.
To facilitate medical care (such as well checks) and communicate with dorms and student groups as needed, OREC will produce a daily list of students that test positive for COVID-19 or that are symptomatic and distribute that list to the Dean of Students. Students who are close contacts of individuals with COVID-19 but do not have a positive test or are not symptomatic will not be shared with the Dean of Students unless their status changes.
Cleaning and Disinfecting of Facilities
In accordance with CDC guidance, Texas A&M facilities will be cleaned and disinfected pursuant to the guidelines listed below. Employees and student employees are required to notify their supervisors if they test positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic and also report this via the COVID-19 Report Form. Information about students will also be provided by OREC to the Dean of Students.
(1) In Shared Spaces
Texas A&M Facilities Services (SSC) will provide disinfection to classrooms, general areas, public areas, and breakrooms at a defined schedule, including disinfecting classrooms twice a day.
Note: Additional disinfection is not advised and will not be scheduled if:
- More than 7 days have passed since the last time the positive or symptomatic employee or student was on campus, and/or;
- SSC can confirm that the area has already been cleaned in accordance with the attached schedule.
(2) In Individual Offices (Including cubicles and/or shared offices)
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic, and that individual has been in the respective office within the last 7 days:
- Close the office area for 24 hours after the positive test result was received or the symptomatic individual last occupied the space for more than 15 minutes. After that time, OREC will arrange to have SSC or the responsible custodial service disinfect the area surrounding the affected individual’s desk or work area using EPA-registered disinfectant. For cubicles, any spaces immediately adjacent to the affected location must also be closed or cleaned.
(3) In Laboratories:
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic, and that individual has been in the respective lab within the last 7 days:
- Close the laboratory for 24 hours after the positive test result was received or the symptomatic individual last occupied the space for more than 15 minutes. After that time, OREC will arrange to have SSC or the responsible custodial service disinfect the laboratory area using EPA-registered disinfectant.
- For laboratory spaces that are not normally cleaned by SSC, the laboratory supervisor (Principal Investigator/Lab Manager) should close the area for 24 hours after the positive test result was received or the symptomatic individual last occupied the space for more than 15 minutes. After 24 hours the laboratory supervisor should arrange to have the laboratory area that the individual spent time in (>15 min) disinfected using EPA-registered disinfectant. SSC will provide instructions to the Principal Investigator/Lab Manager on proper protocol for disinfection/cleaning, upon request. The Principal Investigator/Lab Manager must either carry out the cleaning or supervise cleaning activities by other laboratory personnel in person.
Any additional precautions/disinfection procedures should follow these guidelines, as well as the CDC’s guidance, “Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Schools, Businesses and Homes.