- Latest guidance
- Safety measures
- Do your part
- Questions and information that can be requested of employees
- Agency testing
- Reporting COVID-19 cases
- Alternate work locations
- Remote work resources
- Working hours, time off and leave – benefits-eligible faculty and staff
- Emotional support
- Converting courses online
- Travel guidelines
- International study and study-away experiences
- Visiting scholars and international visitors
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student groups
- April 7, 2022 – Reporting is only required for those receiving a positive test. Exposures or close contacts will no longer be required/asked to report. This feature will be removed from the COVID Self-Reporting Form.
- Only self-reports will be allowed in the COVID Self-Reporting Form. The ability of supervisors, administrative staff, faculty members, etc., to report a positive case will be removed.
- The CDC has revised its face-covering guidance and now recommends indoor masking for only those in communities at a high risk level for COVID-19 based on hospitalizations, local hospital capacity and new infections.
- New protocols recently outlined by the CDC specify the shortened recommended isolation and quarantine period after testing positive or having a close contact with someone who has the virus.
- AgriLife continues to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved COVID-19 protocols related to isolation and quarantine, which can be found here.
Please note that county Extension personnel should follow the guidance provided by county leadership or, if there is doubt, with the applicable district Extension administrator.
Do your part
You are encouraged to please do your part by following these recommendations:
- Get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes the booster shot; check here for on-campus locations and here for off-campus sites, including CVS and Walgreens.
- Get tested before returning to campus. Free testing is widely available across the main campus and off campus.
- Get the flu shot.
- Don’t come to work if you’re sick.
Questions and information that can be requested of employees
Supervisors may ask, but not require, information about apparent signs or symptoms of illness that may be associated with COVID-19. Employees should not be asked if they have, or suspect having, a specific illness or diagnosis. However, employees may be asked about:
- Their possible direct exposure to COVID-19.
- Their having been advised to go into self-quarantine by a healthcare professional.
- Their recent travel or plans to travel, both domestic and international.
All information about employee illness should be maintained in the confidential medical record section of the personnel file. Elizabeth Schwartz, chief human resources officer, can advise supervisors on an appropriate way to have this conversation if necessary.
The A&M System continues to provide free on-campus testing options for faculty, students and staff at System campuses.
Testing locations through Curative at locations around the Texas A&M University College Station campus can be found here.
AgriLife employees outside of Bryan-College Station please utilize public health testing options in your local area. Free testing sites across the country can be found on Curative’s website. If you are having problems finding adequate testing resources, please contact Debi Fincher, at Debra.Fincher@ag.tamu.edu, with the Office of Ethics and Compliance.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to get tested if they experience COVID-19 symptoms or suspect they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes beginning 48 hours before the individual had symptoms, regardless of wearing a face mask.
We will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases locally and across Texas. As history has proven, COVID-19 conditions can rapidly change, so please routinely check this page for updates to existing protocols.
Reporting COVID-19 cases
Students, faculty and staff who test positive for COVID-19 are required to self-report.
Alternate work locations
- AWL requests are subject to supervisor AND unit head approval and must be based on appropriate job tasks that can effectively be performed remotely through the formal request process.
- Quarantine-related AWL requests, limited to only the time period an individual is required to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19 (if unvaccinated):
- Request must be documented in writing (email, memo, etc.) and include all the following:
- Employee name.
- AWL start and end dates.
- Remote work location address.
- Reason for the request, which is requirement for employee to quarantine.
- Unit heads are delegated authority to approve.
- Documentation should be kept in personnel file.
- Request must be documented in writing (email, memo, etc.) and include all the following:
Remote work resources
For AgriLife IT agency supported employees
AgriLife IT has put together the following reference guide with details on how to access email and files and perform voice, video and chat collaboration with fellow employees and others: https://firstcallhelp.tamu.edu/knowledge-base/remote-office-resources/
Additional information from the university on working from home can be found at https://it.tamu.edu/work-from-home.php.
For College employees
Information from the university on working from home, as well as VPN support, can be found at https://it.tamu.edu/work-from-home.php.
Working hours, time off and leave – benefits-eligible faculty and staff
- Employees who choose to self-monitor or self-isolate because they belong to categories considered to be at higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19 (adults 60+ OR people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease) should consult with their managers about telecommuting or working from home, where feasible. See more information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-care/underlyingconditions.html. Otherwise, employees may take other paid leaves as applicable to their position and situation.
- When an employee returns from self-isolation, supervisors may accept a doctor’s note if it is voluntarily provided but they may not require or ask for any specific documentation. However, supervisors may require that the employee notify them prior to return to work and may also require that the employee be asymptomatic upon return from self-isolation.
- COVID-19 qualifies as a “serious health condition” under FMLA, allowing an eligible employee to take FMLA leave if either the employee or an immediate family member contracts the disease.
Employees experiencing emotional challenges (such as anxiety) due to the coronavirus outbreak should contact their physician and/or Work/Life Solutions Program by GuidanceResources®. Work/Life Solutions employee assistance program offers a variety of services including consultations with clinicians for anxiety, depression, stress, grief, loss, life adjustments, relationship challenges, marital conflicts, etc. Also see additional information about Work/Life Solutions Program by GuidanceResources®.
Converting courses online
To support faculty in converting their courses to online formats, the college has established an onsite help center in the open-access computer labs in the Agriculture and Life Sciences Building. Instructors seeking assistance can log in to a desktop machine with their NetID and password or bring their own laptop. Registration is required so we can maintain social distancing safeguards.
- Faculty are recommended to review the guide at https://keepteaching.tamu.edu/ before scheduling time with the help center.
- For assistance, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request or questions.
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service employees are following pre-COVID travel authorization protocols. Supervisors should be following up with employees to confirm the process and approvals. International travel is being reviewed by the Office of Ethics & Compliance.
- Domestic travel authorizations for Texas A&M AgriLife Research are following pre-COVID protocols.
- All travelers should review the current levels of community transmission of COVID-19 in the locations where they will be traveling.
- Extension agents planning out-of-county travel should submit the travel request form AG-802 (pdf), approved by the immediate supervisor.
- Please note that any country on the CDC’s list of countries with restrictions on entry to the U.S. will be included on the A&M System Risk Management’s list of Extreme Risk Countries. Travel to these countries will not be approved. Please continue to check the CDC travel website, as these recommendations may evolve.
- Approval and Routing:
- Route all travel requests through Concur to obtain approvals.
- Requests will route automatically; departments have pre-loaded Concur workflows.
It is recommended that everyone self-monitor their health after travel, following the CDC guidelines for return from international travel. While full details can be found on the CDC website, they are summarized below:
If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.
All travelers (recommended):
- Get tested with a COVID-19 viral test 3-5 days after travel.
- Find a U.S. COVID-19 testing location near you
- Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
- Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.
If you are not fully vaccinated:
- In addition to the recommendations above, stay home and self-quarantine for a full 5 days after travel.
Self-quarantine and self-monitoring guidance can be found on the Texas A&M COVID-19 website and on the CDC Care Guide. Please check the CDC website for COVID-19 high risk countries and the U.S. State Department’s website for other countries’ travel restrictions for U.S. citizens.
Please continue to check the CDC travel website, as these recommendations may evolve.
International study and study-away experiences
Recent CDC guidance regarding study-abroad programs states that institutions of higher education should be aware that students may face unpredictable circumstances, such as travel restrictions, challenges returning home and challenges accessing health care while abroad. Taking this into consideration, study elsewhere and study abroad may be permissible under the following considerations:
- Semester-long study abroad experiences may be allowed on a case-by-case basis, depending on local conditions of the places to be visited.
- The statuses of some study-abroad and study-elsewhere experiences remain to be determined, depending on conditions at the places to be visited.
- Student travel should be mission critical.
- Approval processes are dependent on the type of student travel:
- A student planning travel associated with an academic program, or a faculty member planning a trip with students, should consult with his or her department head to determine if desired travel is essential to the mission of the university.
- Travel within the state of Texas essential to the mission of the university will be permitted at the discretion of the applicable department head. Out-of-state travel essential to the mission of the University will be permitted at the discretion of the dean. Mission-essential approval must be obtained prior to travel. Route all travel requests through Concur to obtain approvals.
- Student organizations should consult with the Department of Student Activities to determine if desired travel is mission-critical to the institution. Pre-approval for domestic travel is required from the vice president of student affairs and, for international travel, from the Office of the Provost.
- Students travelling for mission-critical research projects supported by 06 funding should continue to route from principal investigator to department head to Henry Fadamiro, Ph.D., associate director and chief scientific officer, AgriLife Research.
Please continue to check the CDC website as these recommendations may evolve: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.
Visiting scholars and international visitors
All international visitors to campus, including those invited for job interviews, should adhere to current CDC guidance. Please refer to the section above for international travel.
International visitors should ensure they have appropriate insurance coverage if they get sick. Departments/hosts should consider including providing testing on campus or within the community, if possible.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student groups
Please consult the student activities website for relevant updates pending further notice.