As we prepare for the fall semester, we are taking a number of steps to keep everyone as safe as possible. Below are some of the steps we have taken or are taking. Please note that many of these changes are subject to change at the recommendation of Texas A&M University, local, state and national officials.
If you test positive for the Coronavirus, it is important that you report it by going to the following link COVID-19 Report Form. For more information, I would also direct you to the message from the Office of the Provost dated July 25th delivered at 10:27 am (https://www.tamu.edu/coronavirus/messages/july-20-covid-19-reporting-process.html).
- In an effort to maintain social distancing and give students the option to learn from home, we have installed cameras in all of the classrooms. We are currently purchasing mobile cameras for the labs. You will be able to attend class either in the classroom (face-to-face) or virtually. Your professors will work with you to coordinate a rotation schedule, determining who attends face-to-face instruction one day, while giving other students the same opportunity for the next class period. Many of our classes have low enough enrollments that rotating students will not be necessary to maintain social distancing. Some of you may prefer to attend class virtually. Please communicate that with your professors.
- The labs are a bit trickier and we are working on some alternatives for you.
- In an effort to keep you safe and informed, we are administering COVID-19 tests. I have created a weekly schedule and will revise it as the need presents.
- For COVID 19 testing, you will need to setup an appointment by first going tohttps://texasam.curativeinc.com/welcome/screen/success
- After you address the screening questions, you will be sent an email. Click on the link provided and make your appointment.
- No Food, Drink or mouthwash: You should not eat, drink or use mouthwash 20 minutes prior to being tested.
- Test Type: This is an oral test (NOT a NASAL test). For testing instructions, please watch videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNopEE7lC6E&t=7s.
- While everyone who enters the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen will be required to wear a face covering, we will provide the added option of a face shield for all of our faculty, staff and students who want one. These reusable clear plastic face shields will be an added level of security we are providing. These face shields have been ordered.
- In an effort to further minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have installed plexiglass shields in key spots across the HECM. We plan to install shields for classroom podiums.
- Faculty, staff and students have the option of having their temperatures checked as they enter the building.
- To further protect you, class schedules have been adjusted so as to allow 30 minutes between classes. This will allow you to maintain social distancing as you walk to and from classes. At mid-day, the break between classes has been extended for 45 minutes, so that this time can be used to disinfect the classrooms. The building is being disinfected daily with EPA approved disinfectants. All offices and classrooms are also being outfitted with sanitizing wipes. The Office of the Provost offered more details at https://www.tamu.edu/coronavirus/messages/july-20-tamu-guidelines-related-to-the-monitoring-of-covid-19-reporting-and-cleaning-and-disinfecting-facilities.html.
- We have installed internet connectivity to extend to the student parking lot. You, could therefore connect to the internet from your vehicles if you prefer not to enter the building.
- To minimize contact, all academic advising is being offered virtually via ZOOM. Students needing advising will setup appointment via Navigate.
- For your protection, some faculty may hold office hours via ZOOM.
- Efforts to keep students safe while also keeping you engaged are underway. PALM camp and Howdy Week activities for new students will be conducted virtually.
- We continue to encourage you to wash your hands frequently. We have also installed sanitizing pumps throughout the building. We will also be providing disinfectant wipes in all the classrooms and offices.
While we realize that these are unique times, we know that working together, wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and maintaining social distancing; we can help curtail the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to providing you the very best educational experience. Do keep in mind that many of our current plans are subject to change, depending on local, state or TAMU recommendations and requirements.
Good luck and BTHO COVID.
Adolfo Santos, Ph.D. | Assistant Provost
Texas A&M University Higher Education Center
6200 Tres Lagos Blvd
McAllen, Texas 78504