The University of North Texas System and its member institutions are committed to the well-being and safety of our students, faculty and staff. As it relates the Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat, each of our campuses are regularly communicating and coordinating their efforts with the Texas Department of Health and other local, state federal agencies. Our approach to the COVID-19 threat is focused on ensuring that we take precautions to protect our campuses and communities, while continuing our daily education, research and clinical activities in ways that are appropriate under the circumstances. We are monitoring this ever-changing situation daily and will adapt our plans as necessary.
Please check the following pages for more information:
- COVID-19 Working Conditions: for information on which leave options to use with clarifying examples
- Cybersecurity Safeguards for Working Remotely: for information on safely working remotely
- HR FAQ for COVID-19: for questions on how to respond in different health and work scenarios
- Your Insurance and COVID-19: for details on insurance related to COVID-19
Additionally, we are taking the following precautions, system-wide:
- Suspending system/university-sponsored international travel until further notice.
- Only domestic travel necessary for business continuity will be supported until further notice. Guidelines for essential business travel will be established by each campus and by the Chancellor for UNT System Administration.
- Faculty, staff or students returning from countries with travel restrictions or visiting a UNTS campus or office from a country with travel restrictions will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
- Minimizing large public gatherings on all campuses.
- Payroll checks will no longer be available for in-person pick up. We are requesting that people transition to Direct Deposit or the Brinks Skylight Money Card. More information on the Paychecks Update on the HR site.
- We will continue to adapt to this dynamic situation based on any emerging changes. Please continue to check this page for updates moving forward.
Any UNT System employees with symptoms or exposure to the COVID-19 virus should contact their human resources representative and inform their supervisor. Additionally, employees with symptoms or exposure to the virus may contact Texas Local Public Health Organizations.
UNT System Member Institutions and COVID-19
Each unique UNT System institution has its own set of dynamic circumstances to navigate, so there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution when it comes to mitigating the risk of COVID-19. With that in mind, each of our universities are updating their campus communities regularly through their respective institutional web sites.
At this time, specific institutional plans are as follows:
- All Campuses have only critical staff on campus, with all other offices moved to virtual services. Classes have been moved to online instruction for all traditional classes for the remainder of the semester. All remaining campus events are canceled.
- UNT's Commencement ceremonies that were scheduled for May 7-10 have been postponed with the new dates to be announced later. This postponement does not effect official graduation. Residence halls and dining facilities remain open for students currently on campus as part of shelter in place rules for Denton County. Student Health and Wellness Center Clinic and Pharmacy is open for acute illnesses and injuries; able to collect COVID-19 samples for testing at a limited capacity. Telemedicine is available for those under self quarantine.
- UNT Health Science Center students received guidance from the deans of their respective schools to make arrangements to conduct alternative forms of academic experiences.All HSC campus health clinics have transitioned to telehealth services.
- UNT Dallas' campus nurse is available via telehealth/virtual appointments.
Everyday Habits to Prevent Infection Spread
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when coughing and sneezing
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
The current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a novel coronavirus (nCoV), a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
UNT Health Science Center experts Dr. Diana Cervantes and David Mansdoerfer recently provided COVID-19 guidance in this Fort Worth Star-Telegram Op-Ed.
Dr. Cervantes, an epidemiologist at UNTHSC, helped lead the state's response to the Ebola outbreak in Dallas. David Mansdoerfer, special assistant to HSC President Michael Williams, is former deputy assistant secretary for health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) do NOT recommend that the general populous wear face masks unless:
- you are coughing or sneezing
- you are taking care of a person who has or is suspected to have 2019-nCoV
- you are a health worker who has been recomended use one
Health-related tips from UNT Health Science Center:
- If you are sick, stay home and, if you must leave the house, cover your cough and sneeze with your sleeve or disposable tissue, keep at least a six-foot distance from others, and wash your hands often.
- Know your underlying health conditions. Any kind of chronic pulmonary disease, including asthma, elevates the risk of severe symptoms once infected. So could having diabetes or being morbidly obese. If necessary, check with your healthcare provider to recognize your risks.
- Know when to seek medical care. Only people with severe illness should seek medical care in the emergency room. Signs of severe illness generally include trouble breathing, high fever, rapid heart rate, symptoms improving and then rapidly getting worse. If you have any concerns, call your healthcare provider to seek out their advice. One of the biggest dangers to the healthcare system is the “worried well” overwhelming hospitals and care clinics. It is vital that patients who need immediate care can receive it quickly.
- If you are traveling overseas, check the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Levels. The travel advisory levels state the risk of traveling to each country and reflects terrorism and health risks — like COVID-19.