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Updated: 03/27/2020

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

The world and classroom that we return to Monday, March 30 is much different.  While the City will enact a Stay at Home/Work Safe Order at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, March 28, 2020, TAMIU’s mission will continue.  As the City of Laredo and County of Webb are aware, the University’s higher education mission moves forward, authorized as an essential service by the Governor of Texas.  While offices are operating remotely and with reduced staffing, the University’s essential services to students, faculty and staff continue.

As we are well aware, the global COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted all aspects of our lives.  Here at TAMIU, it has moved our traditional places of exchange and growth, the physical classroom, into the Virtual Classroom.  For the next four weeks, we will all work together to complete this semester.  You can now attend class from the comfort of your home.  TAMIU professors are eager to meet you online and finish this semester with you. All have dedicated themselves this week to transitioning coursework with OIT to be ready for you.

I know there will be challenges. We will share them.  And rest assured, the challenges we are facing are the same being shared at institutions across the state and the country. As always, we are passionately committed to your success.  Some students  have shared their disappointment about this sudden move away from face-to-face learning.  We understand this, but hope you will soon realize that the Virtual Classroom, while markedly different, does offer remarkable opportunities to expand both the teaching and learning experience.  

The University is remaining as flexible as possible throughout this crisis so that we may be of better service to our University community.  As you may have heard, in order to help our housing residence students and their family who have indicated they would prefer to return home at this time, we have launched a plan for qualified campus housing students to receive a waiver of their outstanding housing or meal plan balances, or a refund pro-rated for April and May. Details are here.

While the campus is closed to the general public, services here at the University will continue, respective of CDC Guidelines on gathering and social distancing. For students, faculty, staff or others having legitimate reasons to be on campus,  it is always advised that offices be contacted in advance. Some will have essential staffing only,  and others may be closed.  It is best to reach out by phone or visit websites first for revised schedules or service changes.  Some services will transition to online options.  The Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library has revised its operating hours and services in order to comply with CDC Guidelines. See those here.  Hours and access are always subject to change.

Those wanting to access Student Health Services here on campus must contact those offices by phone at 956.326.2235 in advance to schedule an appointment and visit.  Walk-Ins are not permitted.

For the remainder of this week, through Friday, March 27, University buildings with the exception of Bullock Hall will be open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.  The Student Center will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. This weekend,  March 28 – 29, all buildings will be locked with the exception of the Student Center, open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

For the week of March 30 and moving forward, most TAMIU buildings will be locked.  Exceptions are the Zaffirini Student Success Center, Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, Cowart Hall and Fine and Performing Arts from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.  The Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center and University Police Department will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and the Student Center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

I strongly encourage you to visit and bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 Response website for updates and information on often daily adjustments and changes as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic. Here’s a COVID-19 Self-Care Packet available there. 

We will begin registration for summer and fall 2020 on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Please visit our registration page for assigned registration dates. You can also make an appointment with your advisor over the phone or remotely.

In closing, I urge all of you to monitor your health and that of those you love carefully.  Please hold in your hearts and thoughts the medical professionals, first responders and care givers who are on front lines of this global health challenge.  In this time of great anxiety, let us all be known for the compassion we give and share and the kindnesses we practice daily. 

Indeed, we live in times of great challenge and change… but we are TAMIU Together… and so we will rise to this challenge together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: 03/27/2020 

Things are changing. You've got questions, we've got answers. Browse our FAQ section for the latest guidance and information regarding COVID-19.

About Campus Classes and Operations

This schedule is for the week of March 30, 2020 and moving forward.
  1. Senator Judith Zaffirini Student Success Center will be open Mon-Thurs  from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Please connect with offices in advance by email or phone.  Visit office websites for specific hours.  Open Friday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.; all services available by email and phone until 5 p.m.
  2. The Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library (KLM) will open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.
  3. Cowart Hall and CFPA will be open Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  4. The Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center and University Police Department will be open from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Friday.
  5. The Student Center will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  6. The OIT Help Desk will operate from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  7. The Bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  8. The Kinesiology, Wellness and Recreation Center will be closed through Monday, April 6.
  9. The Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium will be closed through April 30.
All office hours and services subject to change, contact specific department/office or visit their respective website for updated information.

During the week of March 23 - 27, students should continue any planned coursework or research papers for their courses.  All current online courses will resume March 23.  Throughout your period away from campus, please regularly check your student email account and this COVID-19 website for additional news and updates.

For more on what to anticipate with resumption of classes March 30, see a message from Dr. Arenaz

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has joined 11 other Texas A&M University System campuses in suspending face to face classes March 23 – 27 so that TAMIU faculty and staff can prepare for transition to the Virtual Classroom.  The Virtual Classroom will begin Monday, March 30, and continue for the remainder of the semester.

Virtual means “being on or simulated by a computer or computer network” or “primarily occurring or existing online.”  Your TAMIU Virtual Classroom is located inside each of your classes in Blackboard, which has a variety of resources to assist you.

But virtual classes are much more than online classes. In a virtual class, you might be able to logon and listen to your professor lecture in real time -- just as if you were sitting in a campus classroom.

You might also be able to logon when most convenient and listen to a recorded lecture by your professor or other scholar.

Bottom line, you’ll be able to access your classes from wherever you have access to some sort of device (smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer) and an Internet connection.

At this time, in accordance with federal, state and local directives, TAMIU is remaining open.

You can always come to campus and use our computer labs or campus Wi-Fi. If you have the needed technology described above at home, you don’t need to come to campus for virtual offerings!

Read our Guide to Adjusting Your Study Habits During COVID-19 prepared by the University Learning Center.

Many believe that online courses cost less to offer than face-to-face courses. In fact, the costs just come from different types of services unique to each. Both face-to-face and online instruction have faculty, and academic and student support costs.

Face-to-face fees include in-person services like health, recreation, athletics, and student facilities (each covered by its respective fee). Virtual and online courses require additional support for tech infrastructure to deliver courses-- and the support staff to help faculty in conversion or delivery.

As required by current federal, state and local directives, the University is remaining open so you can still access traditional face-to-face services (the library, select campus computer labs, and tutoring, writing, and health centers). Some of these services are also being transitioned to a virtual format if you choose not to come to campus.

While we understand that this sudden change is stressful for students, taking classes face-to- face is no longer an option at ANY University across the state and nation. With only four weeks left in this semester, University faculty have undertaken the daunting task of converting their face-to-face classes to an online format to provide students the best opportunity to complete their semester, earn their grade and continue their degree progress without interruption.

The TAMIU Catalog provides clearly defined points when a refund is possible, as specified by Senate Bill 537 (85th Legislature). Briefly, after the 12th University class day (February 5, 2020 for this Spring Semester), no refund is possible. In addition, the State’s Education Code, Sec. 54.006 provides specific times at which a refund or adjustment of tuition and mandatory fees for dropped courses and student withdrawals is possible…and that time has also elapsed.

Yes, we realize that when your Spring semester began face-to-face classes were the expected standard…but we are living in much different times. Today, there’s a global pandemic the likes of which has not been seen in centuries. Today, there’s a public health crisis that mandates normal day-to day-interactions cannot occur in order to stem the tide of COVID-19. Today, all our days are defined by an unseen challenge to the lives of all those we hold dear. Today, TAMIU students join students across the state and nation doing the same thing – learning in a virtual, online environment.

Yes, things have changed and options are limited. We’re all moving forward to provide TAMIU students with the safest, most accessible and success-focused experience…together.

We hope you’ll give the new Virtual Classroom a chance to succeed and that you’ll continue to take an active and responsible role in your success here. Again, four weeks remain in this semester. No one knows what the future will bring… but we all look forward to a day when we can once again share this campus and its classrooms.
The University is actively exploring a Pass-Fail option for grading this semester. Any additional information on this will be shared as available.

All registered students can visit with Student Health Services if they are in need of medical attention.  However, to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, you must schedule an appointment prior to your arrival.  Unfortunately, we are unable to see walk-ins at this time.  Students who do not have a scheduled appointment will not be admitted to Student Health.  Please call 956.326.2235 to schedule an appointment or speak with a Registered Nurse.  For additional information, visit the Office of Student Health website.  You can also contact the City of Laredo 24-hour Hotline at 956.795.4954. More information is available under the tabs below:  General COVID-19 Information and Monitoring Your Health.

Members of the TAMIU community seeking help with stress now have an online ally at their fingertips: Therapy Assistance Online (TAO). It’s open to all actively enrolled students and employees too. Use your University email and login to TAO.

You’ll be redirected to login with your current University credentials (University email and password). Employees must use the enrollment key: Wellness19-20 (case sensitive/no spaces). Students do not need an enrollment key.

After logging in, you’ll complete an approximately 5-minute wellness survey and then will have access to all available assistance modules and a mindfulness library.  Additional services will be added online as available.

Read our dedicated COVID-19 Self-Care Packet, produced by TAMIU Student Counseling and Disability Services for Students.

The Lone Star Conference has cancelled all competition for the remainder of the Spring season.

The decision was reached by the LSC Council of Presidents with the health, safety and wellness of student-athletes, coaches, administrators, athletic staffs and fans as the top priority. 

The announcement aligns with the recent NCAA decision to cancel all Spring championship events due to the evolving COVID-19 public health threat.

Yes, The Academy extended their deadline to May 1, 2020. Visit the Staggs Academy of International and STEM Studies webpage to submit an online application.

Please feel free to contact us at 956.326.2860, or email academy@tamiu.edu.

This saddens us all, but in light of the restrictions on gatherings by the White House, CDC, state and local government, we must postpone May Commencement Exercises. We share your disappointment and wish this were not the case. We look forward to celebrating your accomplishment and commitment in the future.  See the Campus Schedule entry here for more information.

Students living on campus who wish to move out of campus housing will now be eligible for a housing waiver of their outstanding housing or meal plan balances, or a refund pro-rated for April and May.

While we remain fully committed to keeping TAMIU housing open for those students wishing to remain on campus to continue their education virtually (online), we realize that some students and their families may feel it best to bring their student home for the remainder of the semester. We offer this proactive program to assist students and their families during this difficult time. Find out more.

The Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library is closed to the public. Only TAMIU faculty, staff and students may enter the building with their current TAMIU ID. The current Library hours, subject to change, are Mon-Fri from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The Library has discontinued the use and lending of physical items (books, DVDs, etc.) including physical lending of Interlibrary Loan for the time being. For electronic Interlibrary Loan requests email Malynda Dalton at mdalton@tamiu.edu  Library building access is currently restricted to the first and second  floors and no study rooms are currently available.  Reference Services are available online via chat (tamiu.libanswers.com) email (researchhelp@tamiu.edu) or phone 956.326.2138.  The Special Collections Reading Room is closed.  More Library information is here.

The University Learning Center will provide online tutoring and online SI for the rest of the semester via Blackboard Collaborate. We have adapted our services to meet your needs via virtual sessions. Online services are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. No weekend hours are available. To sign-up for online tutoring, go to the TAMIU Net Check In app or visit our website. Include your name, phone number, and email for instructions to connect with a tutor. If your class has Supplemental instruction sessions, check Blackboard messages for more information on online sessions and schedules. In compliance with CDC gathering and social distancing standards, we will no longer provide our space for independent study or computer use. If you need access to a computer, the SKYLAB will be open. If you need to acquire internet access, Spectrum is offering free 60 day service to students. Please contact Spectrum directly and request information on the “free Spectrum broadband and WIFI access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps.” Please note that all ULC hours and services are subject to change.

The  Writing Center will offer online assistance for all tutoring and supplemental instruction sessions.  Students will submit their essay using a form, providing contact information and general assignment specifications.  It will be assigned to a writing for feedback and guidance using the Word comment feature. The writing consultant will return the essay and an attendance verification form through email. Students should use their @dusty.tamiu.edu email account.   Any online submission sent after 3 p.m. on Fridays may not receive a response until the following Monday. For supplemental instruction sessions, students will be utilizing Blackboard Collaborate to participate in virtual SI sessions facilitated by their SI leader. For students in an SI course, please check your emails for details from your SI leader. In order to comply with the CDC guidelines regarding gathering and social distancing, no more than 10 people will be allowed in the Writing Center. The Writing Center will no longer offer its space for independent study and computer use. If you need to have access to a computer, the SKYLAB will be open.  Effective March 30, 2020 the Writing Center will  be open Monday – Thursday  from  8 a.m. – 8 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. No weekend hours.  All online assistance will occur during these hours. Students should call or email the Writing Center in advance at 956.326.2884 or  email writingcenter@tamiu.edu. Please note that all Center hours and services are subject to change.

The Advising and Mentoring Center will provide online advising and mentoring for the rest of the semester via Blackboard Collaborate to all freshmen and sophomores and MDS students in  virtual sessions. Advising services are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:00 pm.  To sign-up for online advising, use the Calendly appointment scheduler at the bottom of our webpage to schedule an appointment with your assigned advisor (named at the top of your DegreeWorks).   Mentor meetings remain as scheduled.  Your mentor will contact you by email with details on the use of Blackboard Collaborate for your regularly scheduled meeting. Face to face services  will not be provided in our offices in compliance with CDC gathering and distancing guidelines. Please note that all Center hours and services are subject to change.

Decisions about service-learning courses will be made with the faculty in a case-by-case course scenario. Faculty will contact the students with more specific instructions by March 30, 2020 or soon thereafter.  For more, visit our website. Please note that Service-Learning  hours and services are subject to change.

The Testing Center will be open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.  Services will be limited to all exams previously scheduled. We will be serving online classes and open for students needing to use our facility. We must comply with CDC gathering and social distancing guidelines of only 10 examinees at any given time for online proctoring for TAMIU students that require Examity (first-come, first-served). Assistance is available by phone at 956.326.2131 or  thetestingcenter@tamiu.edu. Please note that the Center’s hours and services are subject to change.

Beginning March 20, 2020, TRiO SSS will assist students in the following areas through  online assistance (Blackboard Collaborate) for all tutoring/ coaching scheduled in students’ contracts. 

 To comply with CDC, TAMIU, And the City of Laredo guidelines groups of 10 or less people, only full-time staff will be in the TRiO Office.  Thus, to ensure we are able to meet these guidelines, TRiO will no longer offer its space for independent study and computer use. Computer labs are available in SkyLab, Killam Library and Pellegrino Labs with applicable CDC guidelines for gathering and social distancing.   If you need to acquire internet access,  Spectrum is offering free 60 day service to students.   TRiO is accessible as an organization on Blackboard for all TRiO staff and students. TRiO hours are Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but hours and services are subject to change.

Acting out of an abundance of caution, the University will suspend all student organization events until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, meetings, fundraisers, large scale events, conferences, probates, award ceremonies, etc. As a reminder, all student organization travel is suspended until further notice as well. This is done to ensure the safety of all TAMIU students. For more, visit the Office of Student Orientation, Leadership and Engagement for office hours, meeting alternatives and more.

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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.

According to the CDC, self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If you feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, you should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider. TAMU students may call (956) 326-2235. For after-hours contact/inquiries, call the City of Laredo Health Department COVID-19 24-Hour Hotline at (956) 795-4954.

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
If you are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and are asked to self-isolate after returning from a country listed on the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page as Level 3, you should stay off campus and remain home.

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:

  1. Fever
  2. Cough
  3. 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.

There has been COVID-19 (Coronavirus) recorded in Laredo, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Centers for Disease control posts reports of confirmed cases regularly.

Stay educated on the disease by reading the CDC website. Take care of yourself by doing the following:

  1. 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.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  4. Stay home when you are sick.
  5. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  6. 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:

  1. 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water, or
  2. 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water, or
  3. 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:

  1. 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
  2. Use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims that are suitable for porous surfaces.
For specific information about pets and COVID-19, visit the COVID-19 and Animals section of the CDC COVID-19 FAQ

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. 

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.

TAMIU has augmented its cleaning of facilities, using hospital-grade disinfectant on surfaces and supplementing its regular cleaning schedule and staff. We are in ongoing communication with the CDC, State Department, our Texas A&M University System and the City of Laredo Health Department regarding any additional precautions or actions that should be considered.
TAMIU has an online form submitted by all students, faculty, and staff traveling from or through any country that is designated as a Level 2 or 3 by CDC for COVID-19 in order to register their travel. These individuals are also required to self-isolate upon returning from those countries for up to 21 days before returning to campus.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Do not go to an emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t share towels. Use paper towels after washing your hands, or use a cloth towel that isn’t shared with anyone else.
  3. Clean common surfaces. Use a standard household disinfectant, and wash your hands after cleaning the area.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.).
  2. 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.
  3. Graduate student guidance:
    1. If you are defending your thesis or dissertation, please contact your committee chair and/or academic advisor to reschedule or discuss possible alternatives.
    2. If you are taking preliminary, qualifying, or comprehensive departmental exams, contact your committee to reschedule or discuss possible alternatives.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. If you experience barriers to accessing online course materials (poor/no internet access, lack of appropriate technology, etc.), contact your college dean’s office.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

How is it Spread?

sneezing emoji with tissue icon

Coughing and sneezing

woman and man in close contact icon

Close personal contact

 
soap dispenser icon

 Not washing hands

hand icon

Touching your mouth, nose, or eyes

Prevent the Spread!

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

Do NOT touch your mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands

Avoid close contact with people who are sick

Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, throw tissue in trash

Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces

Stay home from work or school if you have fever or are not feeling well.

 

 

Symptoms

Symptoms may appear in as few as 2 days or approximately 2 weeks after exposure.

Symptoms may include:

sad emoji with thermometer in mouth

Fever

coughing emoji with mask

Cough

lung icon

Difficulty Breathing

 

If you have symptoms, contact a healthcare provider. Current TAMIU Students can call Student Health Services at (956) 326-2236 or visit Student Center (STC) room 125.

 

Download COVID-19 PDF Flyer

Información en Español

Past Updates

Office of the President

Dear Students,

As we continue to adapt to the daily challenges of an ongoing COVID-19 response, we want to help students and parents face these challenges. Students living on campus who wish to move out of campus housing and join their families will now be eligible for a housing waiver of their outstanding housing or meal plan balances, or a refund pro-rated for April and May.

While we remain fully committed to keeping TAMIU housing open for those students wishing to remain on campus to continue their education virtually (online), we realize that some students and their families may feel it best to bring their student home for the remainder of the semester. We understand this and offer this proactive program to assist students and their families during this difficult time.

Rest assured, we’ll continue to keep both University residences: University Village and the Residential Learning Center, open for those choosing to remain on campus -- and provide a range of services and support required for student success. For those wishing to move out, options will be available depending upon their status.

By April 1, students wishing to move out of campus housing must submit a Mobile Move Out Form to be eligible for a waiver of their prorated April and May outstanding housing/meal plan balances, or a refund as of the later of their April 1 or later move out date scheduled with TAMIU’s Office of Housing and Residence Life. To be eligible for this, students must fill out the Mobile Move Out Form and properly vacate the premises.

Students who have paid in full for housing and meal plans for the semester will be issued a pro-rated refund. This refund will be less any outstanding University balances (such as book loans, emergency loans, Title IV return and others). Electronic refunds will be issued starting on Fridays, generally within two weeks after move out. Student recipients of Pell Grant or other Title IV programs who withdraw from all classes are advised they may be required by federal law to return a portion of these federal funds.

For those students who have not paid in full, their outstanding housing and meal plan balances, excluding any past due balances, will be waived by the University as of April 1 or the day of move-out, whichever is later. Additional information is being shared directly with current residents.

We are living in challenging times and I am glad that we are able to provide this opportunity to students and their families. Information on the program will be forthcoming from the TAMIU Office of Housing and Residence Life directly to current residents. Other South Texas institutions in the Texas A&M University System are offering similar opportunities.

To our campus residents who may be departing, we wish you and yours all the best and truly look forward to welcoming you back to TAMIU this coming Fall semester. Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

From The Office of Governor Greg Abbott

Updated: 03/20/2020

This memo will provide additional guidance on the continued operation of your institution of higher education in light of the Governor’s Executive Order Number GA 08 issued on March 19, 2020. Educating future generations is a crucial feature of any society, second only to ensuring public safety. In the executive order, institutions of higher education are directed to operate in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. As described in the text of the order, the state is following guidance from the CDC to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent practicable. Please continuously monitor the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education for any updates. Texas’ institutions of higher education have already taken on this responsibility and acted swiftly in responding to this unique crisis. The work your institutions have already done is admirable and for that we are grateful.

Please click here to read the rest of Governor Greg Abbott's memo.

 Office of Texas Governor

Greg Abbott

Message President Arenaz

COVID-19 Update For Students 3-19-20

Updated: 03/19/2020

Dear Dustdevil Family,

This semester, Dustdevil Nation and our world have been dealt a blow, prompting some tough decisions. And so, there will be some changes. We must and will reimagine higher education for the immediate future.

Your classroom is now a Virtual Environment and our campus now is as close as the palm of your hand. Your TAMIU faculty and staff are by your side and we’re all ready to help. Together, we will rise to the challenge.

While the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, our situation remains fluid and so we must be flexible. Everything is subject to change, and we will adjust as needed within guidelines defined by authorities.

Currently, here’s what will happen Monday, March 30, 2020 (This may change):

  • Online classes resume Monday, March 23, 2020
  • All face-to-face classes resume Monday, March 30 in a Virtual Environment
  • Our Virtual Environment will provide a variety of ways to connect and advance your class learning with innovative teaching and delivery
  • Some classes and labs may require face-to-face interaction and will follow approved social distancing guidelines and CDC standards for group size limits
  • OIT Support will continue to be available
  • All Student Services will continue to be available
  • Food Services will continue to be available with modified operations
  • Housing on campus remains open to residents only
  • Cowart and Killam Library Computer Labs will be available
  • For students with Internet access challenges, a free program is available ( see attached)
  • The campus will follow all limitations on the size of public gatherings and meet social distancing requirements
  • If you’re a student worker or employee, additional information is forthcoming on your work assignment.
  • Students returning from domestic and international travel must follow guidance (below).
Domestic Travel Guidance: International Travel Guidance:
  • Given ongoing developments in COVID-19 transmission in recent days, any faculty, staff or students returning from international travel from any country (including cruises) AND through any U.S. airport must self-isolate for 14 days before physically returning to TAMIU. This policy is effective immediately.
May Commencement: This saddens us all, but we regret that in light of the restrictions on gatherings by the White House, CDC, state and local government, we must postpone May Commencement Exercises. We share your disappointment and wish this were not the case. We look forward to celebrating your accomplishment and commitment in the future.

 

Moving Forward:

In closing, please follow all guidance from the City of Laredo, state government, the CDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force regarding all aspects of the response to this pandemic. Any news, updates or additional resources will be posted on our dedicated COVID-19 website at: https://www.tamiu.edu/coronavirus/index.shtml

As I indicated at the beginning of this letter, we are indeed facing a formidable challenge – but the semester is two-thirds of the way done and our commitment to your completion remains steadfast.

Like our higher education counterparts across the state, nation and world, we will move boldly into the Virtual Environment. You can expect the same commitment and energy from your TAMIU faculty and staff that have always hallmarked your programs. We’re in this together.

With Dustdevil commitment and energy, I know that together we will rise to this challenge. Together, Dustdevils will finish stronger.

Be Well. Stay Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

MESSAGE PRESIDENT ARENAZ

Updated: 03/16/2020

TAMIU’s International Travelers Clearing Customs at 13 Airports Should Self-Isolate for 14-Days Before Returning to Campus

Dear University Community,

As you are likely aware, new United States government travel restrictions are routing travelers from Europe and other Level 3 countries through a specific set of 13 US arrival airports.

With increased health screening upon arrival at these airports, which are now experiencing long delays and large volumes of traffic clearing customs and health screening, any international traveler arriving at these airports (see below) – be it coming from a Level 3 or other country – from Saturday March 14 onward will have an increased chance of exposure than other travelers.

Therefore, any Texas A&M International University faculty, staff and students returning from international travel on or after March 14 and arriving 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 consider themselves as having returned from a Level 3 COVID-19 location and self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival before returning to campus. Self-isolation guidance is listed in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this web site.  More information is available on the CDC Care Guide.

Domestic travelers through all airports and international travelers from non-level 3 countries arriving at airports other than those listed are required only to self-monitor at this time. Self-monitoring guidance is listed in the  Frequently Asked Questions section of this web site and on the CDC Care Guide.

Only international travel should be recorded on the TAMIU Traveling Form. Faculty and staff are advised that this should be entered as  Emergency Leave, subject to verification by TAMIU Human Resources.

Thank you for all that you are doing to help keep both TAMIU and our community safe.

Be Well,

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Message from Chancellor Sharp

Updated: 03/13/2020

Dear TAMIU Community,

I wanted personally to reach out to our students, faculty and staff during this difficult time. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose significant challenges and is likely to remain a concern for the next several weeks.

Please click here for the rest of Chancellor Sharp's update on the Texas A&M System's Response to COVID-19 spread.

Sincerely,

John Sharp

Chancellor

Message from President Arenaz

Updated: 03/12/2020

Dear TAMIU Community,

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) will join 11 other Texas A&M University System campuses in suspending face-to-face classes for an additional week after Spring Break so that TAMIU faculty and staff can prepare for a possible transition to online course delivery. The extension is being taken as part of an A&M System-wide response to the COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") pandemic.

In accordance with guidance from our System, we are acting out of an abundance of caution. The planned Spring Break from March 16 – 20 will be extended for students only to include the week of March 23 – 27. During that week, University faculty and staff will be dedicated to training for online course delivery, with possible deployment determined upon further assessment and guidance. TAMIU classes will return Monday, March 30.

The campus will be open and student housing will be in service as will on-campus food service.

The campus will operate during normal business hours. All student and academic support services will continue to operate, including the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, Student Health Services, Counseling Services and all business operations. Faculty and staff will observe their normal schedules.

It is recommended that TAMIU students remain at home or in University housing during this extended period and continue any planned coursework or research papers for their courses. They should continue to exercise ongoing precautions consistent with best practices recommended by health officials. This includes frequent handwashing, social distancing and staying at home if ill.

We will continue to monitor the developing situation and are in constant coordination and communication with the Laredo Health Department, and the Texas A&M University System, the Centers for Disease Control and the State Department.

Additional information will be posted here regularly.

Be well,

Dr. Pablo Arenaz

President

Dear University Community,

As all of you are aware, our country and world are gripped with concerns about the global pandemic of COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”).

While no cases have been reported in Laredo, on our campus or in Webb County, we must all proceed with an abundance of caution.  In partnership with the Texas A&M University System, we have instituted guidelines suspending  foreign travel for students, faculty and staff. 

Here on campus, we have also augmented our cleaning of facilities, using hospital-grade disinfectant and supplementing our regular cleaning schedule and staff.  The campus is in ongoing communication with the CDC, State Department, the Texas A&M University System and the City of Laredo Health Department. 

This dedicated web site will remain your go-to TAMIU resource for any news and information about COVID-19.  Please read through for important health information, including voluntary reporting forms for all personal international travel, health information and insight.  It will be updated regularly. Please bookmark and visit often. 

In closing, let’s be responsible and keep ourselves calm and well-informed. All things done well are done best with the help of others… something all members of the Dustdevil community truly excel at. 

Dr. Pablo Arenaz

President

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has made its way into the state of Texas. Maintaining awareness and vigilance is crucial as the number of outbreak cases reported in our nation grows. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a dedicated section with up-to-date information regarding the virus. 

Community is an integral part of our university and city. As responsible members of this community, we must take precaution-- not just for our sake, but for others as well. Since there is no current vaccine for the novel Coronavirus, staying informed is critical for preventing the spread of this illness.

 

Dr. Pablo Arenaz

President

Dear Dustdevil Community Members,

We are all aware of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China and its rapid spread across the globe.  While there are relatively few cases in the United States and Texas is considered at low risk, we should all maintain awareness and vigilance.

Fortunately, there are reputable resources available to all of us and I encourage your use of them. These websites are listed below.  Visit them regularly for the most current information.

Again, Texas is a low risk.  Let’s keep our awareness high. 

 

Dr. Pablo Arenaz

President