Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses from the CDC website transmission page.
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
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. TAMIU students may call (956) 458-8300. For after-hours contact/inquiries, contact the City of Laredo, COVID-19 24-Hour Hotline at (956) 795-4954.
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.
Patients with COVID‑19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of Breath
At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of COVID‑19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS coronaviruses.
There is no specific vaccine or antiviral treatment to protect against COVID-19. People with mild COVID-19 symptoms may experience symptom relief from supportive care measures such as rest and over-the-counter medications for fever and cough. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions. The best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing your hands often.
Stay educated on the disease by reading the CDC website. Take care of yourself by doing the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
If you are healthy, you only need to wear a face mask while you are in a room taking care of a person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Those who are coughing or sneezing should also consider wearing a mask to protect others.
Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Before putting on a mask, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks. To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; and clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
A summary of the CDC’s guidelines follows:
Wear disposable gloves (e.g. nitrile or latex) when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Disposable gloves are single-use and should be discarded after each cleaning. If disposable gloves are not available, and reusable gloves (e.g. dishwashing gloves) are used instead, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection of products used. Wash hands with soap and waterimmediately after gloves are removed.
If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Focus on disinfecting other commonly touched surfaces such as keyboards/mouse, touchscreens, furniture (e.g. desk chair arms), coffee pot and refrigerator handles, etc.
For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
Diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water, or
- 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water, or
- 1-part bleach with 9 parts water
A list of products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims, maintained by the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC), is available on the Novel Coronavirus Fighting Products list. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims are expected to be effective against SARS-CoV2. based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.)
For porous surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:
- Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely, or
- Use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims that are suitable for porous surfaces.
- World Health Organization (WHO) updates
- Texas A&M University International Student Services travel updates
- Texas Health and Human Services regarding the Corona Virus (COVID-19)
- Texas Health and Human Services Texas Case Counts
- CDC regarding the Corona Virus (COVID-19)
- CDC Risk Assessment by Country
- Texas A&M University System's COVID-19 Travel Information
- COVID-19 Global Cases: John Hopkins University
- World Health Organization Rolling Updates
- Coronavirus Rumor Control
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order Thursday, March 27, 2020 requiring anyone flying to Texas from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or the city of New Orleans to enter a mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Texas. This mandate is effective Saturday, March 28,2020. The restrictions apply only to travelers flying to Texas from one of those locations — not by roadway. The order is part of an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 from other parts of the country. The mandate remains in place until rescinded or superseded.
Students, faculty and staff who travel — whether for personal or University business — to or through any country that is designated as a Level 2 or 3 by CDC for COVID-19 are required to complete and submit this form. If you have traveled internationally in the past 14 days AND arrived 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 stay home (self-isolate) for a period of 14 days from the time you left your international destination.
You should continue to be vigilant about monitoring yourself for fever and lower respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. However, not all affected individuals will exhibit all symptoms, and if you have any symptoms at all, call a healthcare provider or Student Health Services at 956.326.2235 if you are a student. Please call in advance of your planned visit.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid sharing food, beverages, and utensils. Avoid close contact with those who may be ill. Stay home when you are sick or have flu symptoms. Cover cough/sneeze with a tissue or cough/sneeze into your elbow. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces. Get your annual flu shot.
Residence Life is taking proactive steps to reduce exposure within each of the TAMIU residential communities. These efforts include:
The Office of Housing and Residence Life has installed hand sanitizer dispensers at every entrance of the Residential Learning Community and is installing exterior dispensers around University Village. Dispensers are currently found in the clubhouses of both communities. Additionally, the Housekeeping team is responsible for disinfecting all door handles throughout the communities twice a day with disinfectant spray. “Please wash your hands” signs are being put into the community restrooms.
Additionally, the Office of Housing and Residence Life has created posters that share best practices for good personal hygiene.
If a COVID-19 virus is confirmed, then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols will be followed. Those who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by the City of Laredo Health Department. TAMIU will fully support that effort.
- If you are feeling ill, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Students can make an appointment at Student Health Services by visiting the website or by calling (956) 326-2235.
- Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care or other healthcare facility without calling first. Your provider may need to take special measures to protect other people in the clinic. Telemedicine may also be available, enabling you to consult a provider from home.
- Do not go to an emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
- Practice social distancing. Stay indoors and avoid contact with others, just as you would with the flu. Those with contagious diseases should stay home from work or school until they are well. People with fever, cough and respiratory issues should seek immediate medical attention.
It is important to remember that this is cold and flu season, and regardless of an individual’s travel history, coughs and other upper-respiratory symptoms are much more likely to be signs of a bad cold or seasonal influenza than the new coronavirus. You can protect yourself in the same ways you would normally do to avoid getting sick:
- Clean your hands, and remind others to do the same. Wash your hands for 20 seconds frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Don’t share towels. Use paper towels after washing your hands, or use a cloth towel that isn’t shared with anyone else.
- Clean common surfaces. Use a standard household disinfectant, and wash your hands after cleaning the area.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with those who are sick.
While self-isolation is considered a University Excused Absence, students are encouraged to keep up with any class activities that can be completed away from campus, especially if they have no or mild symptoms. However, you are required to stay away from campus during your self-isolation period. If you attempt to attend class sessions in person during your isolation period, your instructor will temporarily remove you from class.
To keep up with your classes and other on-campus activities, we recommend you take the following actions as soon as your self-isolation begins:
- If you have traveled to or through a location designated as a Level 2 or 3 by CDC for COVID-19, provide your information through the Travel Reporting Portal. Maintain a copy of your travel reporting confirmation email along with related records of your travel (transportation itineraries, boarding passes, etc.).
- Contact your instructors to let them know that you will not be able to participate in any on-campus course activities. Ask about opportunities to access course materials and assignments electronically so you can work from your isolation location.
- Graduate student guidance:
- If you are defending your thesis or dissertation, please contact your committee chair and/or academic advisor to reschedule or discuss possible alternatives.
- If you are taking preliminary, qualifying, or comprehensive departmental exams, contact your committee to reschedule or discuss possible alternatives.
- Undergraduate students should contact their academic advisor, graduate students should contact their committee chair and/or academic advisor, and all students should check Howdy to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines related to pre-registration, degree plans, etc.
- If you are employed, contact your employer to explain that you are self-isolating and identify the date when you can return to work or inquire about opportunities to work from your isolation location. If you are a graduate assistant, contact your department chair or supervisor so that arrangements can be made to fulfill your duties in your absence.
- If you experience barriers to accessing online course materials (poor/no internet access, lack of appropriate technology, etc.), contact your college dean’s office.
- If you need support for self-care (counseling, health services, emergency aid, etc.) or access to items and facilities for daily living (medicine, groceries, laundry, personal hygiene products, etc.) contact Student Assistance Services.
- If you experience symptoms of COVID 19, contact Student Health Services at (956) 326-2235 (8:00am-5pm Mon-Fri ) closed daily from 12 pm - 1 pm.