Following guidance from The Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M AgriLife is enacting the following precautionary measures:
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will move to skeleton crew for five days beginning March 16th through the 20th, and the remaining employees will work from home until the situation becomes clearer. Department Heads, Research and Extension Center leadership and Center/Institute/Core Facility directors should designate essential staff needed to maintain critical business operations and continuity during this time—and communicate this information directly with faculty and staff. Your business continuity/emergency management plans should provide guidance. County Extension personnel should follow guidance provided by county leadership or, if there is doubt, with the applicable District Extension Administrator. System will re-evaluate the situation on March 19th and further guidance will be provided.
Classes are canceled for the full week of March 16-20. This time will enable faculty, staff and student leaders to continue coordinated planning for the remainder of the semester. All lecture and lab classes will transition to online only format from March 23 – April 28 (the last day of classes). The university will remain open to faculty, staff and students who choose to be on campus. The latest information from the university can be found on the TAMU coronavirus website: https://www.tamu.edu/coronavirus/index.html.
As of March 13, 2020, no international travel is permitted, and no domestic travel is permitted unless it is deemed mission critical. Mission critical domestic travel should be reported to the Office of Ethics and Compliance with final approval by the Agency CEO or designee.
Regarding travel to Washington, D.C., as of 5 p.m. EST today, public access to the U. S Capitol complex, including the House and Senate office buildings, is limited until 8 a.m. Thursday, April 1. There will be no public tours or meetings with more than 15 visitors. Access for official business meetings will be limited and subject to staff escort from the building entrance. We expect these temporary access restrictions to expand to include federal agencies in the coming days. We recommend that any administrators, faculty, staff or students contemplating business travel to Washington, D.C. contact the A&M System Washington office prior to making any plans for further advice and consultation.
In addition, following the recommendation from System, we would like to provide guidance from CDC regarding self-isolation and self-monitoring:
According to the CDC, self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If you feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, you should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider. To download the CDC Check and Report Every Day (CARE) Booklet which helps you understand how to self-monitor your health and how to check your symptoms daily visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID-19_CAREKit_ENG.pdf
If you are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and are asked to self-isolate after returning from a country listed on the CDC’s COVID-19 travel advisories page as Level 2 or Level 3, you should stay off campus and remain home. Do not go to campus including work, residence halls and apartments, classes, athletic events or other social gatherings until 14 days after leaving the Level 2 or 3 country in question. Likewise, avoid public places and gatherings in the community.
Please follow these guidelines for self-isolation
Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to your medical provider, preferably by calling to get advice and instructions. Stay in your room or apartment. Do not go to work, classes, athletic events, or other social or religious gatherings until 14 days after your return to the United States from the country in question. Limit contact as much as possible. This also means limiting close contact with others including persons living in your residence. Wash your hands with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand rubs after coughing or sneezing or throwing a used tissue in the garbage. Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else. Avoid sharing household items. Do not share drinking glasses, towels, eating utensils, bedding, or any other items until you are no longer asked to self-isolate. Keep your surroundings clean. While the virus is not spread very well from contact with soiled household surfaces, try to clean surfaces that you share with others, such as door knobs, telephones, and bathroom surfaces (or any other object that you sneeze or cough on), with a standard household disinfectant wipe. Wash your hands after cleaning the area. Monitor yourself for symptoms at least daily including measuring your temperature. Any symptoms of COVID-19 should be reported to your physician. To download the CDC Check and Report Every Day (CARE) Booklet which helps you understand how to self-monitor your health and how to check your symptoms daily visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID-19_CAREKit_ENG.pdf
- CDC COVID-19 travel page
- U.S. Department of State travel advisories
- Texas A&M University coronavirus page
- CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
- AgriLife Extension coronavirus information
Please contact the AgriLife Office of Ethics and Compliance with questions at 979-845-4789 or 979-845-7879.
Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research