Friday, Aug. 13, 2021
With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, especially among those who remain unvaccinated, I request that all students, faculty, and staff comply with a new mandate from the City of Denton to wear a face covering indoors per CDC guidance for our region.
If you are not vaccinated, I urge you to do so as soon as possible to protect yourself, your friends and family, and our campus. Vaccines reduce the chance of experiencing severe impacts from COVID-19 and minimize transmission of the disease.
To further protect the UNT community, we are implementing the following measures (Note: All forms, uploads, and required instructions referenced below are expected to be available via a link at the top of healthalerts.unt.edu by Wednesday, Aug. 18):
All students, faculty, and staff will be required to have a COVID-19 test at designated intervals throughout the fall semester, with the first testing interval being Aug. 16 - Sept. 10. Additional testing intervals will be determined and announced. Vaccinated individuals can opt-out of the mandatory testing requirement by uploading proof of vaccination by Sept. 10.
Testing is available in the Union through Curative, as well as the Student Health and Wellness Center. More testing information can be found here. All on-campus tests will be automatically shared with UNT, but tests from off-campus sites must be uploaded.
If you have already uploaded vaccine information as part of the UNT Vaccine Incentive Program, you will soon receive an email asking permission to use your prior proof of vaccine to opt-out of the testing requirement. If you contracted COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you also will be allowed to opt-out from testing until the 90-day period expires, but you must upload your positive test result. Learn how you can receive one of the approved COVID-19 vaccinations and participate in the UNT Vaccine Incentive Program.
Students, faculty, and staff will continue to be required to report symptoms and exposure to COVID@unt.edu, quarantine as necessary, and cooperate with the UNT COVID-19 Contract Tracing Team. Learn more at healthalerts.unt.edu.
Disciplinary Actions for Non-Compliance
Students who fail to comply with the mandatory COVID-19 testing and reporting requirements will go through the Student Conduct Process. This may result in being considered a student “not in good standing.” A status of "not in good standing" means a student is not fully eligible to participate in university activities and privileges or faces possible separation (i.e. suspension or expulsion) from the university.
Faculty and staff who do not comply with mandatory COVID-19 reporting and testing requirements will receive a verbal warning for noncompliance. A subsequent violation will result in a written memo of noncompliance and the faculty or staff member will become ineligible for merit this year. The written memo will also be placed in their personnel file, and the employee will be subject to other, more severe, disciplinary action as appropriate in accordance with university policies 06.025, Faculty Misconduct and Discipline and 05.033, Staff Employee Discipline and Involuntary Termination.
For On-Campus Students
All students living in on-campus housing have been instructed to develop an action plan in the event they are required to isolate or quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or exposure. Residents who test positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate at an off-campus location for 10 days. UNT is not providing a location for students to complete either quarantine or isolation and will not cover any associated expenses.
Despite the challenges of the past 17 months, I am very proud of the way we have worked together to serve our students and live our mission of being a caring community. I ask that you maintain that commitment and remain diligent as we continue to navigate this ever-evolving situation.
from President Smatresk
The hours for Curative's COVID-19 testing at the University Union, Room 381, are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. on Monday-Saturday and 1-7 p.m. on Sundays (closed on holidays).
Curative kiosk at Goolsby Chapel opens Sept. 1.
Find the latest information for testing at the Student Health and Wellness Center. For more about mandatory testing for all UNT faculty, staff and students, visit healthalerts.unt.edu/mandatory-testing.
Additional COVID-19 Disease
Immunization, Pandemics, and Public Health Crises
Want to Learn More?
UNT safety committees have been diligently reviewing federal and state guidance and making recommendations for how we apply the rapidly evolving changes to our campus operations. The health and safety of our UNT community continues to be our top priority, and UNT leadership will continue to carefully review the latest advice from public health experts and adjust our plans accordingly.
UNT is no longer requiring masks indoors for anyone per Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order May 18 prohibiting government entities from mandating masks. Outdoor mask requirements on campus were lifted Friday, May14. The following changes also will be effective on or before June 1:
UNT continues to urge students, faculty and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccine clinics at UNT and UNT’s vaccination registration site are being paused for now as the number of participants tapered off.
You can visit the Denton County site for information on vaccine availability and other providers.
All faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to get a COVID-19 test and to self-monitor for 14 days before coming to campus. Use the self-monitoring form as a guide. COVID-19 testing is provided to UNT community members by:
The CDC requires all air travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 before boarding flights to the U.S. from any international location. In addition, all faculty, staff or students who have not been vaccinated will be asked to quarantine off campus for 10 days. International students who will be living on campus will be provided with an on-campus quarantine room.
Remember that UNT’s response to the COVID-19 global health crisis continues to evolve, so our policies and plans are subject to change when necessary as more information becomes available. As a result, please plan to check this site frequently for updates.
UNT established a COVID Hotline to help community members report and understand COVID-19 symptoms, testing information and/or results, as well as receive guidance on actions they may need to take following potential exposure. Individuals also can get help with questions related to COVID-19’s impact on our university operations.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people exposed to infected animals, and then spread among people, as has been seen with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and likely now with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.
This is the first pandemic known to be caused by the emergence of a new coronavirus. In the past century, there have been four pandemics caused by the emergence of novel influenza viruses. As a result, most research and guidance around pandemics is specific to influenza, but the same premises can be applied to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemics of respiratory disease follow a certain progression outlined in a “Pandemic Intervals Framework.” Pandemics begin with an investigation phase, followed by recognition, initiation, and acceleration phases. The peak of illnesses occurs at the end of the acceleration phase, which is followed by a deceleration phase, during which there is a decrease in illnesses. Different countries can be in different phases of the pandemic at any point in time and different parts of the same country can also be in different phases of a pandemic.
The Texas Department of State Health Services offers information for COVID-19 testing and current case counts for the State of Texas.
Review the article, Why outbreaks like Coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to "flatten the curve," by Washington Post journalist, Harry Stevens (2020). The articles provides interactive graphs to learn how viruses like Covid-19 spread and provides four simulations for how populations can reduce infection through different response methods over different durations of time. The simulations in the article use a fake virus that is modeled to be more infectious than Covid-19.
While the content at the links provided below was developed to prepare for, or respond to, an influenza (“flu”) pandemic, the newly emerged coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that seems to be spreading much like flu. Guidance and tools developed for pandemic influenza planning and preparedness can serve as appropriate resources for health departments in the event the current COVID-19 outbreak triggers a pandemic.