COLLEGE STATION, Tex (KBTX)- On Monday, Texas A&M University has issued new restrictions on foreign travel due to concerns about coronavirus.
“We have no greater responsibility than to promote the health and safety of students, faculty and staff,” wrote Chancellor John Sharp in a letter to university presidents and agency directors. “We also are responsible for promoting public health, especially during this period of global uncertainty.”
Effective immediately, Texas A&M will implement the following actions:
• The university will strongly discourage foreign travel by all students, faculty and staff.
• All payment form system-sponsored travel will be prohibited except for “mission-critical” personnel working on response to the coronavirus.
• All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to return.
• Texas A&M will direct all students, faculty and staff to report all personal international travel to the university if they have traveled to countries with a Level 1 or greater risk.
• Will require all students, faculty, staff and visitors that have traveled to countries with a risk level of 2 or 3 to self-isolate for a 14-day period before returning to school or work.
• Required students to self-monitor and isolate themselves off-campus or at a family residence when possible and should contact the university if it is not.
• Advise students with symptoms to call ahead to the campus health centers so medical personnel can prepare or direct the students to local health authorities.
• The university will reimburse students for reasonable expenses due to canceled school-sponsored trips.
• Texas A&M will create a system-level reserve to help universities with costs associated with the crisis response.
• Encourage everyone to keep themselves safe by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, covering their coughs, avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth and staying home when ill.
• Provide information on System websites and on regular social media updates.
• Create an expert medical response team.
• Work with other university systems to ensure a coordinated, statewide effort.
• Coordinate weekly or biweekly conference calls among System leaders to share current information from the Texas Division of Emergency Management.
The School of Public Health and the AgriLife Extension system are also creating and distributing important information about the coronavirus and the spread of infectious diseases to help educate the public.