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UNT System COVID-19 Information

Updated CDC Recommendations

Revised July 28, 2021

On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated information for fully vaccinated people given new evidence on the Delta variant currently circulating in the United States. The CDC recommends for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, which includes the entire North Texas region. The CDC says fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated. The CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

View the CDC's Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

It is important to note that there is no mask mandate in Texas, as summarized in a statement released by Gov. Greg Abbott’s office on July 27, 2021:

"Governor Abbott has been clear that the time for government mandating of masks is over—now is the time for personal responsibility. Every Texan has the right to choose whether they will wear a mask, or have their children wear masks. Vaccines are the most effective defense against contracting COVID and becoming seriously ill, and we continue to urge all eligible Texans to get the vaccine. The COVID vaccine will always remain voluntary and never forced in Texas."

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

The best way to ensure your personal safety with regard to COVID-19 is to obtain a full course of vaccination. Vaccinations have been found to drastically reduce the chance of experiencing severe impacts from COVID-19 and minimize transmission of the disease. You’ll find vaccine options at local pharmacies and other locations.

UNT System employees should follow system guidelines in interacting with coworkers, students and the public. All employees are permitted to make decisions about the use of personal protective measures, as long as those decisions are not imposed on others. For example, we encourage everyone, especially those who are not vaccinated, to wear masks in accordance with new CDC guidance.

Gov. Greg Abbott's Executive Order

Per Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order on May 19, 2021, prohibiting government entities from mandating masks, the UNT System is no longer requiring masks indoors for anyone. We will continue to encourage social distancing and frequent handwashing. Please visit the CDC website for a full list of guidelines and continue to visit our UNT System COVID-19 website for updated information.

Effective May 19, 2021, UNT System Administration employees working in UNT System offices should note the following:

  • Indoor/outdoor mask requirements for all individuals are eliminated
  • Elevator occupancy limits are lifted
  • Water fountains are being turned on
  • Work items can be shared – such as pens and paper – following CDC guidance regarding a lack of evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 via surfaces

If you are a UNT System Administration employee working on one of our campuses, please follow guidelines specific to your location:

As it relates to employee requests for leave, work modifications or other needs due to COVID-19-related circumstances, we will continue to follow established UNT System policies related to Flexible Work Arrangements and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Please contact your System or Campus HR office with any questions related to CDC guidelines, employee leave, Flexible Work Arrangements and the American with Disabilities Act:

Face Coverings

Revised Aug. 11, 2021

The rapidly spreading Delta variant is placing renewed importance on wearing a mask in indoor public places and even crowded outdoor settings considering the current high rate of transmission across all of North Texas, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends:

  • If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places.
  • In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
  • In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may NOT be protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, see When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).

When selecting a mask, there are many choices. Please review the CDC's do's and don'ts when selecting a face covering and well as this helpful guide that ranks best and worst face mask types.

Social Distancing

Revised May 18, 2021

The UNT System continues to encourage social distance indoors, when possible – especially in tight spaces and for those that are not vaccinated. This guideline is intended to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state and local authorities, and does not supersede any established regulatory requirements regarding personal protective equipment in the workplace for regular daily work.

Specific Requirements:

References:

Self-Assessment, Reporting, Testing and Tracing

Revised May 18, 2021

The intent of this guideline is to outline the Self-Assessment, Reporting, Testing and Tracing requirements during the emergency event associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This guideline is intended to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state and local authorities, and does not supersede any governing regulatory requirements.

Specific Requirements:

  1. All faculty, staff and students are required to perform a self-assessment before coming on-site for the following potential COVID-19 symptoms:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  2. Faculty and Staff who have a potential COVID-19 symptom, should:
    • Contact their primary health care provider for preliminary screening and a determination of whether a referral to a testing site is required
    • Notify your supervisor and follow campus protocols for reporting
  3. Resident Hall Students who have any symptoms associated with a potential COVID-19 infection, should:
    • Notify the campus clinic and follow any campus protocols for reporting
    • Contact their primary health care provider for preliminary screening and referral to a testing site
    • Follow further instructions from their residence hall coordinator concerning isolation
  4. Non-Resident Hall Students who have any symptoms associated with a potential COVID-19 infection should:
    • Notify the campus clinic and follow any campus protocols for reporting
    • Contact their primary health care provider for preliminary screening and referral to a testing site
    • Not return to campus until cleared by a physician
  5. All tracing will be performed in accordance with CDC guidance in conjunction with the local department of health

References:

Travel Guidelines

Revised May 18, 2021

The intent of this guideline document is to outline the framework for international and domestic work-related and personal travel in response to the emergency event associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This guideline is intended to be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as federal, state and local authorities, and does not supersede any governing regulatory requirements.

Domestic Travel:

  1. Fully vaccinated travelors do not need to get tested before or after travel unless their destination requires it.  View updated information for Travelers.

    • Fully vaccinated travelers should still follow CDC's recommendations for traveling safely, including:

      • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth

      • Stay 6 feet from others and avoid crowds

      • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer

International Travel:

  1. Effective Jan. 26, the CDC requires all air travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 before boarding flights to the U.S. from any international location. In addition, all faculty, staff or students will be asked to quarantine off campus for 10 days. International students who will be living on campus will be provided with an on-campus quarantine room.

    To report your international travel to the COVID hotline, call 844-366-5892, or email COVID@untsystem.edu for instructions on their quarantine period or on-campus quarantine housing.

  2. Any exceptions to these travel restrictions must be submitted for review and approval. The approval process will be determined by the President/Chancellor for each institution.
  3. Personal travel – international or domestic – to areas of active community COVID-19 transmission is strongly discouraged.
    • Your decision to travel to these areas for personal reasons may affect your ability to return to campus and to your regular professional or educational activities.
    • You are not permitted to come to campus for any reason until authorized in accordance with your institutional protocols if you have traveled to a CDC Level 2 or 3 country.
    • Travel to a country with ongoing widespread or community-level transmission (CDC Levels 2 and 3) of COVID-19 will require self-isolation and self-monitoring for symptoms for 14 days without returning to campus.
    • Individuals who are unable to return to the United States or who are required to self-isolate following personal travel will be required to use available, applicable leave accruals or leave without pay pursuant to UNT System and institutional policies unless they are approved to work remotely.

References: