Dear TCU Faculty & Staff,
Given the quickly changing landscape and potential implications related to upcoming spring break travel for faculty, staff and students, we are sharing with you the most up-to-date guidance on COVID-19. As a reminder, at this time there are no known cases of COVID-19 affecting the TCU community. Our Emergency Planning Group is meeting daily as well as communicating throughout the day to ensure we keep members of our community safe.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued comprehensive guidance for colleges and universities with routine updates as more information becomes available. TCU will adhere to the guidance of Tarrant County Public Health (see attached pdf) and require self-observation for 14 days for anyone who has traveled to a country considered Level 3 Widespread Sustained Transmission by the CDC before returning to campus. For more information on self-observation guidelines, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.
Self-observation means remaining alert to symptoms including fever, cough or difficulty breathing. It also requires that you practice social distancing by avoiding places and events where others congregate, maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others and not using public or ride share transportation for 14 days.
Please note that if you are experiencing these symptoms but have not traveled to a country considered Level 3 by the CDC, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider before returning to campus. As always, and especially during this time of extra caution, we want to prevent the spread of communicable diseases on our campus. The safety of our campus community is our top concern.
14-day self-observation period and employee leave
TCU will treat a required 14-day self-observation period as an “illness” for purposes of TCU policies. Affected employees may use accrued leave in accordance with university leave policies. FMLA-eligible employees may choose to submit Medical Certification to treat the 14-day self-observation period as qualified leave under FMLA. To be eligible for qualified leave under FMLA, an employee must have been employed by TCU for at least twelve months and worked at least 1,250 hours during that twelve-month period. Additional information about Family Medical Leave is available on the HR website or email askHR@tcu.edu if you have any questions about the leave implications of the 14-day self-observation period.
Texas Health and Human Services asks that should you become ill, first call Tarrant County Public Health at 817.321.5939.
Additional resources for employees and their families with TCU Health Insurance:
Employees and their families covered by TCU Health insurance may contact:
- 24/7 Nurseline - call 800-581-0353
- MDLIVE website or call - 888-680-8646 (copays may apply)
Measures you can perform to prevent the spread of the virus include:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
Below you will find a letter sent from Kathy Cavins-Tull to our students today. We want you to be informed about how we are directing our students as well. For up-to-date information about TCU’s COVID-19 practices, please go to the FAQ posted to our website.
As we navigate the unknown of this virus and its potential impact, it is critical that we honor the dignity and respect of every member of the TCU community. We all have a responsibility for our personal health as well as maintaining the good health of our community. TCU is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination and harassment. We expect members of our community to avoid unkind comments or behavior toward those impacted by the illness or against members of our community from impacted countries. Making assumptions about any individual on our campus based on appearance or background may be a violation of university policy and is not consistent our values.
Thank you for keeping us all healthy and safe. If taking time off, have a safe and enjoyable Spring Break.
Yohna J. Chambers