Dear Horned Frog Families,
Your Texas Christian University family is looking forward to having most of our Horned Frogs back on campus in just a few weeks. As you prepare for your Horned Frog to return, we want to reiterate our plan and outline the actions we expect from every community member. A successful semester requires that all community members assist with common sense prevention and self-monitoring strategies outlined by the CDC and endorsed by the University.
Our Connected Campus safety practices are meant to protect our entire community of Horned Frog students, faculty and staff. A student’s symptoms may be very different - or even non-existent - from those of the grandparents they will visit, or a friend with underlying health issues. Following Protect & Prevent strategies protects them those they love.
Our TCU Connected Campus plan addresses important topics like academic excellence and continuity, new support services and safety and campus spirit during a pandemic. I encourage you to visit the site often for updates. Today I share with you detailed information in the form of Public Health Guidance, researched and compiled by TCU’s public health policy group. Not everyone wants this level of specificity, but we are taking your Horned Frog’s health seriously, and want to share our detailed plans. While these strategies may be inconvenient to some, they are not difficult, and will make a big difference in our ability to stay healthy and on campus.
Next week, you can expect more information from Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. about how your Horned Frog can take an active role in the health of our community. Until then, read on for an FAQ based on questions I’ve received recently, or bookmark this link.
Finally, everyone is dealing with this pandemic and other issues in different ways. Treating others with respect and grace will go a long way toward a successful semester. We love so many things about our Horned Frogs, but our sense of community and support from Horned Frog families is a defining trait. Thank you and Protect the Purple!
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do you require quarantining before returning to campus in August?
One of TCU’s biggest concerns is the spread of the virus from unknowing, asymptomatic COVID-positive students. We ask that you practice self-monitoring and prevention strategies for the 14 days before you leave for campus. Avoiding parties or gatherings that don’t follow the recommended prevention strategies is critical during this time. We realize that this may mean missing traditional going-away parties or events.
This 14-day period will help determine if you are ill (symptoms might appear during this time) or give the disease a chance to resolve if you are asymptomatic.
If you have access to COVID-19 testing, we recommend getting a test during this 14-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. This is a recommendation because we know that testing is not easily obtained in some parts of the country and the world, thus the prevention strategies are paramount.
If you are displaying symptoms at home or have tested positive, please do not come to campus. Instead, quarantine or isolate at home and contact the TCU COVID Report Line at 817-257-2684. Someone from the university will be in touch with you quickly to assist with your delayed returned by helping set up in-person classes temporarily online, arranging delayed residence hall move in, and whatever other services you might require. Students who have COVID-19 will be cleared to return to campus in consultation after the TCU Health Center staff determines they should be considered recovered, based on CDC Guidelines for isolation.
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. It is especially important to wash:
- Before eating or touching your face
After using the restroom
After leaving a public place
After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
After handling your cloth face covering
After changing a diaper
After caring for someone sick
After touching animals or pets
- 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.
What is TCU’s plan for testing?
The university will not require entry testing when arriving on campus in August. It is unknown if entry testing provides any additional reduction in person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected with implementation of other infection prevention measures (e.g., social distancing, cloth face covering, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection).
Therefore, the CDC does not recommend entry testing of all returning students, faculty and staff. Instead, we will concentrate our efforts on following the prevention strategies that we know will work even with community members who test positive for COVID-19 and ask that you follow the “Return to Campus” directives above.
The TCU Brown-Lupton Health Center is prepared to test any symptomatic or exposed student (817-257-7940). We define exposed as being closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes to a person with COVID-19. Once again, face coverings and physical distancing reduces risk of exposure. TCU also has partnered with the University Urgent Care Clinic (UUCC) for after hours and weekend testing. UUCC will communicate with the Health Center about your health status (with your permission, of course).
Is TCU contact tracing?
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 COVID-19 Report line (24/7). This call 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?
a) Daily Self-Monitoring
Every community member is expected to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 daily, including taking your temperature (Daily Self-Monitoring Link). 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 to this link 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 14 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.
d) 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.