Student Return to Campus Guide

Updated: August 21, 2020

Added: COVID-19 Testing, Required COVID-19 Reporting, Contact Tracing, Campus Case Count, and Guidance Regarding Self-Isolation sections.


01. Guiding Principles
02. Returning to Campus

03. Health & Safety Guidance

04. Guidance for Specific Scenarios/Locations


Guiding Principles

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s (TAMU-CC) policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in the safety and well-being of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The primary goals of TAMU-CC’s response are to protect the health of our students and employees while continuing the institution’s vital education, research, and outreach initiatives.

TAMU-CC’s plans are also consistent with guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Texas, The Texas A&M University System, Nueces County, and the City of Corpus Christi. Our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continue to evolve and our policies and plans will be updated as more information becomes available.

For more information, please see the University’s Plans for Campus site and Frequently Asked Questions at https://www.tamucc.edu/campus-guide/.

Returning to Campus

Expectations & Guidelines

All students are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols, and guidelines outlined in this document. Failure to do so may result in a Student Code of Conduct hearing. Information regarding Student Code of Conduct hearings may be found here: http://studentaffairs.tamucc.edu/JAffairs/studentcofc.html.

Per Texas A&M University System guidelines, all students must take trainings regarding safe practices and COVID-19 protocols prior to arrival to campus. More information on how to access the training will be forthcoming.

Symptom Monitoring Requirement and Testing

Students should self-monitor for symptoms daily and must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 before coming to campus. These symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19

Students experiencing symptoms should contact the University Health Center by telephone at 361-825- 2601 and inform their instructors of their absence by email or telephone. Students should not leave their residences or come to the campus while experiencing symptoms. Students residing in Islander Housing must notify their housing management staff by telephone of a potential need to self-isolate. Residents should not visit the office to complete this notification. Students residing at Miramar should call 361-825- 5000 and residents of Momentum Village should call 361-825-6200.

Per the Texas A&M University System COVID-19 Response Plan, students that test positive for COVID- 19 are required to notify the university by filling out the TAMU-CC COVID-19 Reporting form.

TAMU-CC will adhere to our standards regarding the treatment of Protected Health Information. If you have been exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 case, or if you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, do not report to campus. Contact your medical provider and fill out the TAMU-CC COVID-19 Reporting form. Questions pertaining to this process should be directed to covidreporting@tamucc.edu.

According to the CDC, individuals with certain conditions are at a higher risk of complications due to COVID-19. Those conditions may include:

  • Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Being immunocompromised
  • Severe obesity (BMI of 40 or higher)
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Liver disease

Students with high risk conditions should consult with their medical providers on how to take appropriate precautions when returning to campus and may want to consider taking all online courses. Academic advisors are available to help students select courses in the various formats.

Students may not return to campus if they:

  • have a diagnosis or suspected case of coronavirus;
  • are currently exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19 as they are listed in the Symptom Monitoring Requirement section above;
  • have had close (less than 6 feet) contact with anyone that has a lab confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days; or
  • in the last 14 days have returned from travel or traveled through an area with state or local travel restrictions that mandate quarantine upon arrival home.

Students who come to campus and are symptomatic as described in the Symptom Monitoring Requirement section above will be asked to return to their residences and continue to remote learn until they are symptom-free. Students residing in Islander Housing should notify their housing management staff by telephone of a potential need to self-isolate (Miramar: 361-825-5000 and Momentum Village 361-825-6200). Failure to comply with these guidelines, including failure to comply with a request to leave a campus facility due to non-compliance, and failure to report a positive COVID-19 test may result in a Student Code of Conduct hearing, to include sanctions up to expulsion.

COVID-19 Testing

The University will offer COVID-19 testing to students, faculty, and staff. Tests are limited in number and are available based on the following criteria:

  • person shows symptoms of COVID-19
  • person has been exposed to someone who tested positive
  • students going into clinical assignments including student teaching or nursing assignments
  • student athletes as required by the Southland Conference

Family members of students, faculty, and staff are not eligible and are asked to visit their medical provider or other public testing sites. Pre-registration is required, and appointments will be assigned if criteria are met. Information on testing will be posted on the campus FAQs. Anyone testing positive will be required to fill out the COVID-19 Reporting form.

Required COVID-19 Reporting

Per the Texas A&M University System COVID-19 Response Plan, students, faculty and staff that test positive for COVID- 19 are required to notify the university by filling out the COVID-19 Reporting form. The information gathered will help the campus monitor activity across campus, ensure campus contact tracing is done, if necessary, and ensure spaces where the confirmed positive visited are deep cleaned.

TAMU-CC will adhere to our standards regarding the treatment of Protected Health Information. If you have been exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 case, or if you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, do not report to campus. Contact your medical provider and fill out the COVID-19 Reporting form. Questions pertaining to this process should be directed to covidreporting@tamucc.edu.

Contact Tracing

The Texas A&M University System is providing contact tracing services when an individual self-reports a COVID-19 positive test result.

Campus Case Count

To keep the community informed about the presence of COVID-19 on campus, TAMU-CC will be providing weekly updates on the number of positive COVID-19 cases reporting through our COVID-19 Reporting form.

Guidance Regarding Self-Isolation

If there comes a time when an individual may need to self-isolate, TAMU-CC will follow CDC guidance:

Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms may end isolation under the following conditions:

  • fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication),
  • improvement in symptoms, and
  • at least 10 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.

Persons who tested positive for COVID-19 who never developed COVID-19 symptoms may end isolation under the following conditions:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test.

If COVID-19 symptoms develop, then the above symptom-based strategy should be followed.

Individuals in close contact, defined as being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes within a 24 hour period regardless of wearing a face covering, with someone who has COVID-19 should take the following steps:

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19,
  • Watch for COVID-19 symptoms, and
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19.

Close contact also includes:

  • Providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19 (including a roommate or housemate).
  • Having direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them).
  • Sharing eating or drinking utensils with the person.
  • The person has sneezed, coughed, or somehow gotten respiratory droplets on you.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

Student assistance is available to offer emotional support during this stressful period. Telephonic or video counseling is available, and you can access this service using most smartphones, tablets, and computers with a camera. You may contact the University Counseling Center by calling 361-825-2703. The after- hours crisis line can be reached evenings and weekends at this number as well.

Your first day on campus

Students living on campus at Miramar and Momentum Village and those participating in Aloha Days will be provided a face covering and a small personal spray bottle of disinfectant upon check-in. All other students returning to campus should pick up their face covering and a small personal spray bottle of disinfectant, which can be refilled. Locations and times will be announced through email (iNews) and social media. Please bring your SandDollar$ card with you and follow social distancing markings to ensure at least 6 feet of distance.

If you require a refill of your disinfectant spray, the bottle can be exchanged at one of the three information desk locations.

  • Dugan Wellness Center (DWC)
  • University Center (UC)
  • Bell Library (LIB)

You will be asked to place your empty bottle in the blue container at the information desk and a filled bottle will be placed on the counter it be picked up. The used bottles will be disinfected and refilled for future use.

Health & Safety Guidance

Social Distancing

Always maintain six feet of distance (about two arms’ length) between you and other people. Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Social distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk.

Face Coverings and/or Masks

To prevent the transmission of the virus, the CDC recommends that employees wear a face covering or mask while in close proximity to others (within 6 feet) and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (common work spaces, meeting rooms, classrooms, hallways, etc.). TAMU-CC has established university procedures 34.99.99.C0.02, Usage of Face Covering to Reduce the Spread of Communicable Diseases providing guidance on the use of face coverings. Face coverings are required in all campus buildings and in all locations including outdoors where social distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible. Individuals alone in private rooms and offices do not have to wear face coverings in those situations. This requirement is in effect until further notice.

For a vast majority of employees, a face covering meets CDC guidelines, and one face covering will be provided by the University to all employees. Healthcare workers and first responders will be provided masks which meet CDC guidelines. Although the University will be providing a face covering or mask, you may wear your own choosing if you prefer.

Use and care of face coverings Putting on the face covering:

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face covering
  • Ensure the face covering fits over the nose and under the chin
  • Situate the face covering properly with nose wire, where applicable, so it is snug against the nose
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears
  • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face covering

Taking off the face covering:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the face covering.
  • Loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear or untie the straps.
  • Wash your hands immediately after removing the face covering.

Care, storage, and laundering:

  • Keep your face coverings stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be used more than one day at a time and should be washed after use with laundry detergent. Cloth face coverings should be replaced immediately if soiled, damaged (e.g. ripped, punctured), or visibly contaminated.
  • Disposable masks should not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after you leave campus. The mask should also be placed in the trash if it is soiled, damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured material), or visibly contaminated.

Taking Temperatures

Students should check their own temperature daily before leaving their residences (on and off campus) and entering campus buildings. There may be some instances in which social distancing is not possible that students’ temperatures will be taken on campus.

Handwashing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.

Hand sanitizer stations are located across campus and will be refilled as needed. If you find a station that needs to be refilled, please email facilities.services@tamucc.edu with the exact location.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene

Remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in the trash. You can also use the inside of your elbow. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Gloves

According to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing with soap or cleaning your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol often is considered the best practice.

Goggles/Face Shields

Other than in lab settings when necessary, students are not required to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus.

Cleaning/Disinfection

Service Solutions Company (SSC) teams have enhanced their disinfecting and cleaning practices across campus and are paying attention to high-traffic areas and high-touch fixtures such as door handles, push plates, light switches, elevator buttons, and handrails located in common areas. This disinfecting will be in addition to their routine custodial activities such as mopping, vacuuming, and emptying trash. SSC will continue to monitor soap and hand sanitizer dispensers more frequently. If you find a station that needs to be refilled please email facilities.services@tamucc.edu with the exact location using building name, floor, and room number.

Each student will be supplied with a small personal spray bottle of disinfectant, which can be refilled, to wipe down commonly used surfaces such as desks, mobile phones, computer equipment, etc. before and after use. The disinfectant meets the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and are appropriate for the surface. Ingredients and appropriate uses for this disinfectant may be found here https://www.amazon.com/PureTech-Sanitizer-Liquid-Alcohol-Approved/dp/B087HM7P78.

If you require a refill of your disinfectant spray, the bottle can be exchanged at one of the three information desk locations.

  • Dugan Wellness Center (DWC)
  • University Center (UC)
  • Bell Library (LIB)

You will be asked to place your empty bottle in the blue container at the information desk and a filled bottle will be placed on the counter it be picked up. The used bottles will be disinfected and refilled for future use.

Guidance for Specific Scenarios/Locations

In addition to the guidance above, the following locations are taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of our campus community. Please be sure to follow posted signage in addition to the guidance below.

Classrooms

Over 70 classrooms and laboratories were assessed for face-to-face course/lab delivery. The average capacity for classrooms will be 40% to maintain social distancing of 6 feet between faculty and students. Maximum room capacity will be posted inside and outside of classrooms. Classrooms will have indicators where students will sit for social distancing. Students will be seated with empty seats between them. In some stadium seating classrooms, there will be less than 6 feet of distance between rows, so plexiglass is being installed directly in front of the student’s seat to mitigate risks.

Some classes may be offered where one half of the class is in the classroom and the other half is participating remotely. Web cameras and microphones will be installed in many classrooms to support multiple modalities of course offerings. Each faculty member will communicate specific information on the delivery format of the course to the students via messages in the Blackboard course shell, via email, or information may also be posted in the online course schedule.

Students should wear face coverings while in class/labs unless otherwise instructed by your faculty member. In addition to the small personal spray bottle of disinfectant students are supplied, classrooms will be supplied with disinfectant to wipe down commonly used surfaces such as desks, computer equipment, etc., before and after use.

Classrooms with two doors will have signage indicating designated entry and exit doors. Classrooms with only one door will require students to allow one person at a time to enter or exit. Students should exit when they are dismissed by the faculty member and exit by rows.

Move-in

Islander Housing move-in for Spring 2021 will occur on Friday, January 22, 2021. Students will be assigned a specific move-in date and time to allow for appropriate social distancing during the move-in process. Students may not arrive for move-in outside of their assigned time without prior approval from the property at which they will reside. Detailed instructions for move-in, with assigned move-in times, will be communicated to each resident once available.

Please watch for detailed instructions to be emailed to each resident as move-in approaches.

Cleaning Computers and Electronics

The following information provides guidance for cleaning computers, copiers, printers, and other electronics with the disinfectant provided. For computer labs, larger refillable bottles and wipes will be made available to disinfect surfaces. It is important to follow manufacturer recommendations to avoid damage when cleaning computers, computer accessories, touchscreen devices and electronics. Here are some general cleaning tips:

  • Use a lint-free cloth, such as a screen wipe or a cloth made from microfiber.
  • Avoid excessive wiping and submerging item in cleanser to avoid damage.
  • Unplug all external power sources and cables.
  • Do not use aerosol sprays, bleach or abrasive cleaners.
  • Ensure moisture does not get into any openings.
  • Never spray cleaner directly on an item.
  • Do not use fabric or leather surfaces on items, as this can scratch or damage to the items.
  • Do not use bleach to disinfect computers and electronics

For assistance obtaining appropriate cleaning supplies, contact Environmental Health and Safety. More information can be found on these websites:

Information is updated regularly on the Division of Information Technology website – http://it.tamucc.edu. Specific questions may be asked by contacting the IT Service Desk at 361.825.2693 or ithelp@tamucc.edu.

Library

The Mary and Jeff Bell Library is physically open while continuing to provide services and resources virtually. Spaces, technology, and services have been arranged to promote and support social distancing. Building capacity is limited and some areas of the library remain closed, including group study rooms. Other areas, such as the I-Create lab, are by appointment only. To help prevent the spread of the virus, all books and physical items being circulated will be quarantined for 72 hours between uses. For updated operational hours and more detailed information please visit our Library COVID-19 Guide: https://guides.library.tamucc.edu/covid19/

Rec Sports

The Dugan Wellness Center is open and ready for use. Visit http://recsports.tamucc.edu for facility hours. Programs, services, and events will occur with restrictions to ensure the health and safety of everyone. All users will be expected to wipe down surfaces or equipment used. For more information please visit https://recsports.tamucc.edu/reopeningprotocols_may.22.pdf

Organizational Meetings

Student Organizations should hold meetings virtually using WebEx. Events open to campus will be allowed pending scheduling approval utilizing established event safety protocols. Please contact the Student Activities Office at 361-825-2707 for guidance for Student Organizations.

Athletic Events

Attendance at Athletics events will be managed in conjunction with CDC guidelines and in adherence to all state and local orders. This may include, but is not limited to, restrictions on capacity, physical distancing requirements and personal protective equipment such as face

coverings/masks. For up to date information regarding protocols for Athletics events, visit goislanders.com.

All individuals entering athletics facilities may be required to undergo screening (Daily Wellness Check per facility). Such screening may include, but is not limited to, a COVID‐19 Risk Assessment Questionnaire, and temperature assessment.

Individuals disclosing symptoms and/or with a fever (temperature > 100 degrees F) will be denied entry to the facility, immediately given appropriate PPE, and will be referred to the appropriate medical facility.

Public Transportation

All TAMU-CC students are able to ride CCRTA city buses with  a valid SandDollar$ student ID card. When riding in public transportation, wear a face covering or mask before entering and try to avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol as soon as you possibly can. It’s a great idea to carry some hand sanitizer or your bottle of disinfectant with you!

Here are the fall 2020 schedules for the primary RTA routes supporting the campus:

Route 60 - Momentum Shuttle Service

7:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. every ten minutes Monday -Thursday 1:00-7:30 p.m. every 20 minutes Monday-Thursday
No service on Saturday or Sunday

Pilot Route 93 - Flex Services

7:35 a.m.-11:00 p.m. Monday- Friday 9:35 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. Saturday
No service on Sunday

Enter/Exit Control

Administrative Operations in coordination with Environmental Health and Safety has placed signage at building entrances noting if the door is an entrance only, exit only, or for the user to please stay to the right. Office suite and classroom access points, when possible, will have access points as designated entrances and exits. Students should exit when they are dismissed by the faculty member and exit by rows.

Travel

In accordance with evidence-based public health protocols for the control of infectious disease and per guidance from The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, students will be encouraged not to leave campus, the university area, or their current residences except for work and class activities such as clinicals and internships (e.g., do not return to permanent residences, nor travel to other communities, visit other university campuses, and avoid large gatherings) to limit exposure of friends and relatives at home and other locations, and/or reduce the likelihood of returning to the university area with virus exposure from these locations.
Students who disregard these protocols and travel, particularly to acknowledged “hot spots,” and suspect they have been exposed should review information on the University Health Center website at https://healthcenter.tamucc.edu/ for guidance. Students may be required to self-isolate for a period of time in accordance with current CDC guidance.

For up-to-date travel guidance, check the Texas Department of State Health Services site at: https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/coronavirus/travelers.aspx.

Common Spaces

Until further notice, a face covering is required to be worn in all buildings. It is always important to maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Chairs and tables have been arranged to ensure social distancing.

Hallways and Sidewalks

Because social distancing cannot be maintained, face coverings or masks must be worn while in building hallways and sidewalks between buildings.

Restrooms

Where there is more than one urinal, every other urinal will be closed to maximize the distances between individuals. In restrooms with stalls, users are encouraged to occupy every other stall, if possible. After using the restroom, wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Elevators

No more than two people may be on the elevator at a time. Those who are able should use the stairs whenever possible. While using an elevator, you must wear face covering or mask and, if possible, avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers. Wash your hands thoroughly afterward or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Events

On campus event guidelines have been outlined in a separate document and those attending the events are expected to follow the same social distancing and face covering requirements.

Faculty and Staff Office Hours

Since social distancing can be difficult in offices, students are encouraged to meet virtually with faculty and staff. For in-office meetings, face coverings must be worn.

Dining

Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus. Given the difficulty in complying with social distancing while serving food, you must wear a face covering or mask in the dining areas until you are ready to eat. Face covering or mask should be worn when exiting the dining areas as well. On-campus dining will have markings to ensure at least 6 feet of distance between each customer. Seating has also been removed to ensure social distancing. Students are encouraged to eat outside as able. Plans are being developed for those students requiring meals who must self-isolate.

Plexiglass

Plexiglass has been installed in areas where service to customers occurs within 6 feet (Bursar’s Office, Mail Services, Dining areas, etc.).

Outdoor areas

Wifi access is available in most outdoor locations and has been expanded to some parking lots to assist with remote connectivity options. Information about campus wireless coverage (including parking lots) is available on the Interactive TAMU-CC Campus Map.

International Students

International students with a F-1 student status are subject to certain rules and regulations in order to maintain non-immigration status while studying at TAMU-CC. Within 24 hours of arriving in the United States, international students must contact the Office of International Education (OIE). This will allow international students to take care of business needs while also determining whether or not they need to self-isolate for 14 days. International students must take a full course of study each term; if a student cannot study full-time, they must contact the designated school official (DSO) at OIE before taking any action.

A full course of study is 12 credit hours for undergraduate students and 9 credit hours for graduate students. During a typical semester, immigration regulations limit the number of online courses a student can count toward their full-time enrollment. Only one 3-hour online course can count toward a student’s full-time enrollment each semester. International students are responsible for maintaining their Form I-20 active and for reporting any changes in major or field of study, address, telephone number, email, extensions, financial support, employment, etc.

Due to the fluid situation of COVID-19 pandemic, the DHS SEVP has not issued any new rules, regulations, policies, and guidance on how international students need to register for classes for Fall 2020. OIE will update all international students on this issue immediately after receiving any new regulations from DHS SEVP.

Smoking Areas

Per University procedure 34.05.99.C1, smoking is only permissible in approved locations and it is always important to maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Cigarettes or tobacco related products are prohibited by anyone under 21 years of age, and E-cigarettes and vaping are prohibited in and on all university properties, residence facilities, university vehicles, and athletic events without exception.

University Student Employees

University student employees must read and adhere to the Faculty/Staff Return to Work Guide.

Campus Visitors

Visitors are permitted only when their visit is crucial to the University’s mission. Conducting business via WebEx or other digital means is preferred in order to limit the number of people on campus. In all instances, visitors must comply with the safety guidelines established by the university, including social distancing and wearing face coverings and must complete the Visitor Self-Declaration form prior to coming onto campus.