Dear Horned Frogs and Families,
Happy New Year! Your Texas Christian University family is looking forward to the spring semester and having our Horned Frogs back on campus in less than two weeks. Spring 2021 will look very much like fall 2020; we have continued to improve and implement our safety precautions to create a safe and enriching experience. Our community’s health and safety and our dedication to an exceptional academic experience remain our top priorities.
Spring 2021 Public Health Guidance
Today I share our newly updated Public Health Guidance for Spring 2021, reviewed and endorsed by the Chancellor's Campus Readiness Task Force.
Request for Quarantine; Change to Quarantine Duration
We ask that students practice self-monitoring and prevention strategies for 10 days before they return to campus. Avoid parties or gatherings that do not follow the recommended prevention strategies. You’ll note that the duration of quarantine is reduced to 10 days (previously 14 days). This change is based on CDC guidance, local health authorities and public health policy group recommendations.
Testing Made Easy
While we don’t require entry testing, we do ask that you test if you have symptoms, so we can protect our friends and neighbors. And if you’re sick, STAY HOME until you’re well enough to rejoin the community. We have extended the free, contactless testing on campus through Curative. The current location in Parking Lot 6 will remain open through the spring. An additional TCU-only Curative testing site will open Jan. 12 in the BLUU (more information on this site coming soon). See additional testing location information in the FAQ below.
Protect the Purple
As you prepare for a return to campus, we want to reiterate our plan and community expectations. A student’s symptoms may be very different - or even non-existent - from those of the faculty or staff members they will interact with, or a friend with underlying health issues. A successful semester requires that all community members assist with prevention and self-monitoring strategies outlined by the CDC and endorsed by the university to Protect the Purple. This includes regular hand-washing, daily monitoring for symptoms, wearing a face mask, physical distancing and avoiding large gatherings. Note that our testing and tracking process found no instances of in-classroom transmission.
Connected Campus Microsite
Our TCU Connected Campus microsite is a user-friendly source for important health and safety topics included in the Public Health Guidance referenced above, academic excellence and continuity, the on-campus student experience and support services. Continue to visit the site often for updates. Please read through the bottom of this email for FAQs based on questions I’ve received recently, and bookmark this link.
Last week, TCU received and distributed its first allotment of 100 COVID-19 vaccines to priority health care groups. All doses of the initial allotment of the vaccine have been distributed. The university expects additional shipments, but has no timeline on delivery. As the vaccines are delivered, and in compliance with the Texas Department of State Health Services’ protocols for distribution, the university plans to offer vaccination to all TCU students, faculty and staff who choose to take it. If you have the opportunity to receive the vaccine prior to campus return, we encourage you to do so, given the uncertainty of our delivery dates. Visit the Connected Campus microsite for vaccine-related FAQs.
Students will also receive a text message notification today with a link to this letter. We will utilize text messaging in the new year to help communicate important COVID-19-related protocols to our campus. Finally, thank you for being a member of our Horned Frog family and helping us Protect the Purple. We love so many things about our Horned Frogs, and our sense of community and support from families remains a defining trait. I’m full of optimism for the new year and can’t wait to see our students this spring.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and
Chair, Chancellor’s Campus Readiness Task Force
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you require quarantining before returning to campus in January?
We ask that students practice self-monitoring and prevention strategies for 10 days before they return to campus. Avoiding parties or gatherings that don’t follow the recommended prevention strategies is critical during this time.
If you have access to COVID-19 testing, we recommend getting a test during this 10-day period with enough time to know the results before you travel. The combination of a negative COVID-19 test and following prevention strategies will allow you to move to campus with greater confidence that you are not ill.
If you are displaying symptoms at home or have tested positive, please do not come to campus. Instead, quarantine or isolate at home and report your symptoms or positive test using the preferred online self-report forms. Someone from the university will be in touch with you quickly to assist with your delayed return by helping set up in-person classes temporarily online, arranging delayed residence hall move in, and whatever other services you may require. Students who have COVID-19 will be cleared to return to campus after the TCU Health Center staff determines they should be considered recovered, based on Tarrant County Public Health and CDC guidelines for isolation. If you have further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the TCU COVID Report Line at 817-257-2684.
Where can I get a COVID-19 test on campus?
There are three options for students to get tested on or near campus:
- Free on-campus PCR testing through Curative will continue in spring 2021. Check the Curative testing website for the testing site open dates and to schedule an appointment in advance. The TCU location in Parking Lot 6, 2820 Stadium Drive, is typically available from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, but hours may vary. Walk-ups are welcome, and the site is open to the public. The site is a partnership with Curative and funded by the Texas Division of Emergency Management. *An additional TCU-only Curative site will open Jan. 12 in the Brown-Lupton University Union (BLUU). More information on this location is coming soon.
- The TCU Brown-Lupton Health Center is prepared to test any symptomatic or exposed student. Some results can be returned in less than an hour. Students should call the Brown-Lupton Health Center at 817-257-7940 to schedule an appointment for testing.
- TCU has partnered with the University Urgent Care Center at 3107 Greene Ave. to provide testing after hours. University Urgent Care will share medical findings with the TCU Health Center (assuming that the proper permission was granted).
Will TCU continue contact tracing?
Yes. TCU will complete a thorough contact tracing effort when we know someone has tested positive for COVID-19. When we identify a COVID-positive community member, a Case Investigator from the Health Center will call to provide medical advice, issue guidance about isolating and gather information about those with whom they were in close contact. A Care Coordinator will assist students with notifying professors about the need to take classes online, arrange food deliveries and offer virtual support services. A contact tracer then will contact those people who were in close proximity with the COVID-positive person to notify them to quarantine and get tested.
It is very important to answer the contact tracer’s call or return messages so that we can help reduce the spread of the virus. Since this becomes a public health issue, your cooperation is imperative. If you choose not to engage in this effort, the university will move forward with conduct process 3.2.8 in the Code of Student Conduct: Failure to comply with a University Authority.
Please report your positive test result to the TCU (24/7) by using the preferred online self-report forms. This will trigger the university’s support and guidance for you. You should isolate immediately following the CDC guidance for isolation. You will be contacted by a Care Coordinator to finalize arrangements and begin 10 days of isolation.
Can you define TCU’s terms for daily self-monitoring, quarantine and isolation?
- Daily Self-Monitoring
Every community member is expected to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 daily, including taking your temperature (Daily Self-Monitoring). Assuming that you show no symptoms, you can continue with your normal routine, following the prevention strategies. If you are showing symptoms, please submit a report using the online self-report form and call TCU’s Brown-Lupton Health Center at 817-257-7940. This notification will start the university’s support effort for you. You will be asked to get a COVID-19 test by TCU Health Center personnel.
TCU community members who have been identified as a close contact to a COVID-positive person will be called by a contact tracer to discuss quarantine. This means you will be required to quarantine and get a COVID test even if you don’t have symptoms.
Quarantine means that you primarily stay in your room. For any in-person class, you will temporarily shift to an online format. You may leave your room to use the restroom, do laundry, pick up to-go food, or get outdoor exercise. We ask that you are extra vigilant with personal hygiene, physical distancing and face coverings. You will not be allowed to attend meetings or hang out with anyone other than your roommate/suitemates (distanced appropriately).
Assuming a negative test and symptoms improve, you will receive instruction to end your quarantine after 10 days from exposure. If you test positive, your status is moved from quarantine to isolation.
We will expect that community members who test positive for COVID-19 to isolate in their bedroom. Isolation is stricter than quarantine as you will not be able to leave your room except to receive medical care due to the potential to spread the virus to others.
Your isolation location must provide your sole use of a bedroom and bathroom. Off-campus students should develop a plan to accomplish isolation if a roommate becomes ill. On campus students will either isolate in their room (assuming a single room and sole use of a bathroom) or be moved to an isolation location provided by the university.
If on campus, TCU will bring meals to your isolation location, arrange for laundry if necessary, provide telehealth assessments and offer virtual support efforts. Off-campus students will receive the telehealth assessment and virtual support efforts. Your Care Coordinator will assist you with all services. Isolation ends after 10 days from the onset of symptoms AND 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of a fever reducing medication) AND symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
- Quarantining or Isolating from home or away from your campus location
Some students may wish to quarantine or isolate away from their campus location. Obviously, you cannot fly if you are COVID-positive. If you wish to leave your campus location, please notify your Care Coordinator so we can update records.
What prevention strategies do you recommend?
The prevention strategies are simple:
- Wash your hands frequently using plenty of soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Wear face coverings any time you are out of your private space. Handle your face coverings carefully and wash hands after removing the face covering you just used.
- Use a clean face covering every day.
- Stay 6 feet away from people (physical distancing) even with a mask on.
- Avoid contact with those who are sick, and stay home if you are sick.
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Disinfect common spaces you intend to use for any length of time before and after use. This includes tables, desks in classrooms and other community-shared furniture or equipment.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks.
- TCU will provide disinfectant wipes for classrooms and other common spaces. Bring supplies for your private spaces. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.