TAMIU to Follow A&M System Guidance on COVID-19; Foreign Travel by Students, Faculty, Staff Restricted
In light of concerns about the global outbreak of COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”), The Texas A&M University System this week issued new restrictions on foreign travel impacting the students, faculty and staff of its network of 11 universities and eight state agencies, including Texas A&M International University (TAMIU).
“We have no greater responsibility than to promote the health and safety of students, faculty and staff,” wrote Chancellor John Sharp in a letter to university presidents and agency directors, “We also are responsible for promoting public health, especially during this period of global uncertainty.”
TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz, concurred, noting that such measures are appropriate.
“We must do our best to protect our students and campus community. While some of these measures may seem intrusive, we must bear in mind that we are dealing with a developing health crisis. While Laredo is case-free, we believe an abundance of caution is well-advised,” Dr. Arenaz said.
Beginning immediately, the Texas A&M System and TAMIU are taking the following actions to protect students, faculty and staff:
- Strongly discourage all foreign travel by TAMIU students, faculty and staff while the outbreak of COVID-19 remains a dynamically changing and uncertain situation. Summer programs, including exchange programs, are also on hold. Use of University funds for sponsored travel is prohibited.
- Encourage all students, faculty and staff to return from all Level 1 or higher risk countries as soon as can be practically arranged.
- Direct students, faculty and staff to report all personal international travel to TAMIU if they have traveled to a Level 1 or greater risk country.
- Require students, faculty, staff and visitors traveling from countries with risk levels of 2 and 3 to self-isolate for a 21-day period before returning to school or work. Monitoring/isolation should follow the latest CDC guidelines, which currently suggest at least 14 days without symptoms.
- Require students to self-monitor and isolate at an off-campus or family residence whenever practical. Students should contact their university if these options are impractical.
- Direct students with symptoms to call campus health centers so medical personnel can be prepared or can direct the students to local health authorities.
TAMIU has also augmented its cleaning of facilities, using hospital-grade disinfectant and supplementing its 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. TAMIU has dedicated an online site to campus awareness on COVID-19, located at https://go.tamiu.edu/covid19-awareness
Arenaz noted that in a coordinated, statewide effort, all A&M campuses and agencies will also continue to raise awareness and encourage their communities to keep themselves safe, provide information on websites and regular social media updates.
“We urge all members of the University community and our community at large to remain vigilant, take an active role in their health awareness and that of their families, and to regularly monitor COVID-19 news updates,” Arenaz concluded.
Currently, TAMIU has suspended face-to-face classes for an additional week after Spring Break (March 16-20) so that faculty and staff can prepare for a possible transition to online course delivery. All current online courses resume Monday, March 23.
University offices remain open through Tuesday, March 17 and close in observance of Spring Break Wednesday - Friday, March 18 – 20. The Library will be closed March 18 – 22.
All University offices, including the Library, reopen Monday, March 23. Students are scheduled to return to classes Monday, March 30.
For additional information, contact TAMIU’s Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email email@example.com, click on tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliff Killam Library, room 268.