What is the purpose of the Public Health Task Force?
UTSA is committed to fostering the health, safety and well-being of the campus community while enabling the continued academic progress of students. At the same time, the university recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing situation and it is imperative to gather as much information as possible to thoughtfully plan for the fall semester.
The UTSA Public Health Task Force was charged with developing a roadmap that will guide the university’s safe and healthy return to campus this fall. Its initial report provides overarching guidance for planning groups across the university.
The fall semester will entail a blend of online, hybrid, in-person and experiential learning activities. All in-person activities will include virtual alternatives to be inclusive of all, regardless of ability to come to campus or comfort-level with doing so.
What happens if the pandemic situation changes in the coming months?
UTSA's Public Health Task Force is monitoring recommendations and updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is working closely with partners at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, University of Texas System, Association of College Health Administrators, NCAA, City of San Antonio, Bexar County, State of Texas and San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
The framework developed by the Public Health Task Force is a living document that will be updated as new information becomes available.
UTSA's fall semester is designed to be highly adaptable in the event we need to quickly move all instructional and operational activities online.
Every class in ASAP is listed as taking place in person. Since the university hasn't yet decided the format of fall classes, should I be registering for my fall semester classes now?
Yes. Students should register for their Fall semester classes as they normally would. Each course listing will be updated in ASAP once a final decision is made about its delivery format (modality, location, times), by August 1st.
Current CDC recommendations include postponement of study abroad programs until further notice. We are awaiting further guidance from CDC and will continue to review spring and summer study aboard programs on a case by case basis. Fall 2020 study abroad programs have been canceled.
Will all scheduled Fall 2020 classes be offered in-person and online? What about labs?
We will offer a blend of online, hybrid, in-person and experiential learning activities this fall. All in-person activities will include virtual alternatives to be inclusive of all, regardless of ability to come to campus or comfort-level with doing so.
How will clinical teaching be conducted in Fall 2020?
This will be dependent on UTSA’s partnering school districts. Once the College of Education and Human Development receives definitive notice about their Fall 2020 plans, we will be able to provide information to our clinical teachers about Fall 2020 clinical teaching formats and placements. Fall Clinical Teachers should check the Clinical Teaching Blackboard for updates.
How can students, faculty and staff obtain a UTSACard?
The university is developing a process to allow students, faculty and staff to request a UTSACard remotely, including uploading their own ID photo. The process for distributing remotely processed cards is in development at this time. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
How will social distancing be managed on The Runner?
Campus Services is monitoring national, state and local guidelines and recommendations regarding bus service, as well as communicating with other higher education institutions to utilize industry best practices. Final decisions on The Runner social distancing procedures will be established based on the university’s guidelines and direction. We are considering ways to reduce occupancy on buses, keeping windows open and additional sanitation practices.
Will the bookstore be open in the fall? How will we get our books and supplies?
The Rowdy Campus Store (RCS) plans to open to for walk-in business as soon as it is permitted. The campus store will observe public health guidance and practices recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and UTSA Public Health Task Force best practices.
The Rowdy Campus Store expects students will be able to purchase course materials and supplies in the campus stores and/or through the stores’ website. Online purchasers will have the option to pick up their order at the store or have the order shipped.
Will the Roadrunner Café and other campus dining options be available this fall?
Yes, however the number of people allowed in any given area of the Café will be limited to ensure social distancing.
Additionally, UTSA Dining is considering a variety of options for RRC, including individually packaged to-go meals and replacing self-service buffet style dining with station attendants. A system for delivery of meals for residents in quarantine or isolation will be developed. For retail outlets, new technology will be implemented to reduce contact where possible and support social distancing, including self-checkout, cashless/touchless pay options and mobile ordering.
Will the university provide extra safety measures to departments/areas as we reopen (i.e. PPE, hand sanitizer, etc.)?
The university will provide one face covering to faculty and staff prior to the fall semester. Hand sanitizer will be available in dispensing machines distributed throughout the university and in most departmental offices. Restrooms will always be supplied with soap and paper towels. The university will also supply initial sanitizing materials to departments free of charge.
Will classrooms, chairs and desks be sanitized between classes?
Classrooms will be sanitized every evening. At this time, the university does not plan to sanitize classrooms between classes due to the logistics of such an effort. Facial coverings plus frequent hand washing/sanitation are believed to be adequate to prevent the spread of infection.
Will faculty and staff offices be sanitized daily?
Common areas will be sanitized each weekday evening and periodically throughout each weekday. Personal offices will be cleaned on a periodic basis but not sanitized on a daily basis. Faculty and staff will be responsible for sanitizing their personal workspace including phone, keyboard and mouse.
Will faculty members be required to wear a face covering while they teach?
This decision has not yet been made. While face coverings will be mandatory on campus, whether instructors will be masked during instruction will be determined according to safety considerations, the requirements of in-person classroom instruction and the comfort of the instructor. More information will be available soon.
May I choose to only allow persons in my office who are wearing a face covering?
Yes. University guidelines require that masks must be worn at all times in all campus buildings when individuals are within six or fewer feet of one another. If working independently, masks may be removed until another individual enters the workspace where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Will staff have the option to continue telecommuting if they do not feel safe on campus?
Possibly. Return-to-work modalities are being explored for staff and faculty as well as flexible workplace policies. College and department leaders are actively planning how services will be delivered in the fall and the level of in-person support needed to deliver those services.
The university expects to release more information on work modality on July 28.
Will staff involved in recruitment and support programs be required to travel outside the university as they normally would to attend and staff events?
Possibly. UTSA’s goal is to enable the health, safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff. Meetings and events that can be conducted virtually should continue to be conducted virtually. Those that cannot will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by employees and their supervisors.
Is UTSA considering the caretaking responsibilities of faculty and staff who have school-aged children?
UTSA recognizes that some area K-12 school districts may offer classes in a virtual or hybrid model and that those decisions could impact child care of faculty and staff. UTSA will provide additional guidance on this topic as part of its Fall 2020 scenario planning.
Will UTSA alter leave benefits for staff who must stay home due to quarantine or COVID-19 infection?
Employees should use their existing leave if they need to stay home due to COVID-19 symptoms or infection. Those who are quarantined may also work directly with their supervisors to make work from home arrangements.
Will students be able to live on campus this fall?
We will provide housing in our residence halls for students who wish to live on campus. Our Public Health Task Force will guide how housing is made available and the safety measures we will adopt. More information will be available in the next several weeks for students wishing to make on-campus housing arrangements.
Is there any chance that UTSA’s residence halls will close during the fall semester?
UTSA Housing intends to provide housing regardless of changes to the academic schedule or manner of instruction to support the housing needs of our students. UTSA Housing does not anticipate closing or issuing a refund as a result of such adjustments.
Additionally, housing units will be designated for students who need to isolate or quarantine, particularly for students who do not have a local residence in which to do so.
What will happen to football season and Homecoming?
UTSA intends to celebrate football season and Homecoming while putting appropriate protocols in place to practice social distancing. The dates for the football schedule are final with kick-off times not yet determined. UTSA Athletics is working with the Alamodome to establish protocols that provide a safe environment for all patrons.
Homecoming events may need to be scaled or held virtually based on future guidelines for large-scale gatherings in October.Applicationsfor Mr. and Ms. UTSA are currently open with plans to announce winners during Homecoming weekend.
Will UTSA limit on-campus events due to the pandemic?
Restrictions on events and social activities will be observed per current social distancing guidance. In-person events will be considered on a case-by-case basis with plans in place to maintain appropriate health protocols.
How will UTSA support vulnerable populations on campus?
Some vulnerable individuals may need to observe ongoing physical distancing for prolonged periods of time, even when many others have returned to campus.
UTSA will offer flexible working and learning conditions for individuals at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and those who live with or care for individuals at higher-risk, including extended telework and tele-education accommodations.
Will UTSA provide masks to students, faculty and staff?
UTSA will provide face coverings to students, faculty and staff prior to the fall semester. The university will also sell spare masks at RowdyMart at a minimal fee to individuals who forget, misplace, lose or damage their face coverings and need a quick replacement.