Texas Tech University

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Last Updated: April 6, 2020 | 9:29 p.m.

If you are a faculty or staff member or student of TTU, TTUHSC, TTUHSC El Paso or ASU and think you may have COVID-19 (coronavirus), call (806) 743-2911 to speak with a nurse.


Texas Tech Physicians – MyTeamCare NOW App

Anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of COVID-19, may see a provider face-to-face via online urgent care through the Texas Tech Physicians app, MyTeamCare NOW. Providers are available with a video visit to assess your symptoms and determine the most appropriate care. Visit myteamcarenow.com or download the MyTeamCare Now app to get started.

How you can help: Donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to support local COVID-19 efforts.

All university updates and notifications on the novel Coronavirus will be available here.

University FAQ A-to-Z

CDC

Commencement

Will commencement take place?

The University will hold a virtual commencement in May and award degrees to all student who complete the necessary coursework and requirements. In addition to the virtual commencement, graduates will have the opportunity to participate in a future in-person commencement ceremony. Details will be shared once finalized. Check the Commencement website frequently. Updates will be posted there as available.

Community Support

What can we do to support members of our community from areas where coronavirus is present?

Texas Tech values the many people of different nationalities and cultures who are cherished members of our community. We must avoid stigmatizing anyone who comes from a country where the coronavirus is prevalent or who has been in quarantine.

Discrimination

What can I do if I'm experiencing bias or discrimination?

The Office of Equal Opportunity (EO) upholds each institution's anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policies and ensures that employees and applicants of the Texas Tech University System are treated fairly, equally and respectfully. An employee who believes they are being discriminated against or harassed based on or related to sex (including pregnancy), race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other protected categories, classes, or characteristics. Employees may file a grievance with the Office of Equal Opportunity without fear of retaliation. For additional information, please call 806-742-3627 or email eeo@ttu.edu.

Dropping Courses

Can I drop a course because of the change in modality?

Yes, but we strongly encourage you to talk with your academic advisor before making such a decision. There is a chance that dropping a course could result in delaying your academic progress. While the conversion of face-to-face courses to an online format is challenging, faculty and staff are making every effort to ensure that students receive the curricular content necessary to be successful in your academic programs.

EAP

I am feeling anxious or worried about the situation surrounding COVID-19. Where can I go for help?

Texas Tech University provides free and confidential counseling services to employees and their immediate family members through an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at The Counseling Center @ TTUHSC. For additional information or to make an appointment, please call 806-743-1327 or email counselingcenter@ttuhsc.edu.

Employee Medical Care

Is there a way to seek medical care without going to the doctor?

For employees who participate in HealthSelect, the University's medical health plan, virtual doctor visits are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays. Additional information about this benefit is available on the ERS website. Additionally, the ERS Dr. on Demand website has made available a Coronavirus Assessment to help prepare and protect you and the ones around you. BlueCross BlueShield also offers a 24-hour Nurse Line 1-800-581-0368. In most cases, the virtual doctor and nurse line visits will not have a co-pay.

Events/Gatherings

Will Texas Tech cancel large gatherings?

The City of Lubbock has issued a “stay at home” notice. University-related events are not permitted, including on campus.

Field Trip Courses

Will our field trip course be canceled?

It is expected that field trips be canceled, postponed, or replaced with some alternative online activity until such time a decision is made to revert to regular on-campus course activity.

Financial

Will there be additional costs to students when their courses change online? For example, will I have to buy a different textbook?

Our guidance to faculty and departments is to make the transition as smooth as possible and without more costs to students.

Can a student receive a refund for canceled Study Abroad trips?

The University will refund student deposits for canceled Study Abroad trips through their student account. Reimbursements for prepaid expenses such as airline change fees, cancellation penalties, and lost travel-related deposits will be reimbursed through the TTU travel system. The Office of International Affairs will assist students in processing such reimbursements. Students should cancel any remaining reservations as soon as possible to obtain possible refunds and/or unused airfare credits.

FMLA

Are there new policies in place for employee leave of absence of coronavirus?

Texas Tech's existing protocols for leave for employees remain in effect at this time. However, we know this is a concern, and Human Resources is studying this matter, and we will update the answer to this question.

Does the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) apply to absences due to COVID-19.

Yes, COVID-19 qualifies as a “serious health condition” under FMLA allowing eligible employees to take FMLA leave if either the employee or an immediate family member is diagnosed with the disease. Please contact Human Resources for questions or assistance with FMLA.

If I am displaying signs of respiratory symptoms such as coughing or other symptoms identified by the CDC, can my supervisor require me to go home?

Yes, employees can be sent home; however, they cannot be penalized for being sent home.

If I am displaying signs of respiratory symptoms such as coughing or other symptoms identified by the CDC, can my supervisor require me to go to a doctor?

Supervisors should encourage employees to seek medical advice, but they cannot require them to go to the doctor.

Future Plans/Looking Ahead

What plans are in place if the outbreak continues for an extended period of time?

Texas Tech is following the guidance of the CDC and local and state health department officials. The Office of the President is examining potential scenarios to help protect the safety and well-being of faculty, staff, students, and visitors for an extended period of time while maintaining campus operations, even on a limited basis.

Graduating Students

Will graduating students be able to complete their coursework on time?

All efforts are to continue courses so that graduating students can complete their requirements this semester.

Will commencement take place?

The University will hold a virtual commencement in May and award degrees to all student who complete the necessary coursework and requirements. In addition to the virtual commencement, graduates will have the opportunity to participate in a future in-person commencement ceremony. Details will be shared once finalized. Check the Commencement website frequently. Updates will be posted there as available.

Online Access

Are current online classes canceled the week of March 23-27?

  • Yes, the suspension of classes March 23-27 includes all classes, including those already online.
  • Beginning March 30, classes will resume via online instruction. We will share additional details with you in the coming days, but at this time, you may want to view the following link that provides information for the transition to online courses: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/elearning/remote/. The IT Division has also set up a web page at https://go.ttu.edu/remoteaccess with information to help faculty, staff, and students to continue learning, teaching, and working remotely while utilizing existing technology solutions and software licenses at TTU and TTUS.

Will there be additional costs to students when their courses change online? For example, will I have to buy a different textbook?

Our guidance to faculty and departments is to make the transition as smooth as possible and without more costs to students.

Online Learning Resources

What if I don't have access to a computer and/or the internet?

Please refer to the Tools for Learning, Teaching, and Working Remotely at Texas Tech page.

Performance and Project-based Coursework

Will our performance group be able to have its show in April?

The University is advising that student performance activities that are not associated with a course or otherwise for academic credit be canceled. Faculty who are supervising or coordinating student performance activities associated with a course or that otherwise are required for academic credit have been given guidance to provide approaches for digital recording or streaming of the activity by individual students, or to cancel the activity and provide alternative assignments for the activity.

How will my lab course or 3D art course be completed online?

To augment their expertise, faculty members have access to the University's distance learning instructional design specialists to assist them in planning alternative activities for meeting their course objectives. The faculty will provide students with ample instructions for completing those activities.

Possible Exposure/Signs and Symptoms

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

Flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. For most people who have had the illness, symptoms were mild and resolved after several days. The CDC says people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic – the sickest. Still, it's possible to spread the disease before showing symptoms, so a person can feel fine and still have it, just as with other viruses. Such cases have been reported, but are not thought to be the main way it spreads. WHO reports that most people – roughly 80 percent – recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

What should I do if I believe I might have the coronavirus or think I have been exposed?

If you or someone you know – especially those with travel exposure – develops symptoms, please seek urgent medical attention. Call ahead before visiting your clinic or emergency room to inform them of your symptoms and concern for COVID-19 infection. Once arrived, stay in the car with mask on, and ask the clinic or emergency room to call you on your cell phone when they are ready to see you. Do not use the waiting room in the clinic or hospital.

Protecting Yourself

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

We ask all employees and students to help the Texas Tech University community stay well by taking the following steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases.

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into your elbow or upper sleeve, not into your hand.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Consider using telephone and video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings, if available, during this outbreak. If face-to-face meetings are unavoidable, meet in a large room to avoid close contact.
  • Refrain from shaking hands.

Returns/Refunds, Graduation Regalia (TTU Barnes & Noble – Student Union Building)

How can I return my regalia for a refund?

Once Barnes & Noble College reopens, we will resume in-person refunds for regalia purchased in the store. Oak Hall is handling all refunds for online orders of regalia. Please see the TTU Commencement page for more information.

SDS Online Accomodations

What if I have received accommodations through Student Disability Services?

  • Blackboard, the Learning Management System used by Texas Tech, includes resources for several types of accommodations, including the increased time to complete an assignment. Students who have questions about how their accommodations will be managed, given the transition from face-to-face to online instruction should contact Student Disability Services.
  • Students intending to be in Lubbock as of March 30 and who need assistance devices like a screen-reader may contact SDS or the Academic Testing Center for guidance.
  • Students who need assistance devices to complete online assignments and who do not intend to come back to Lubbock by March 30 should contact Student Disability Services.

Student Employees/Researchers

Should graduate lab assistants employed in a faculty member's research group follow guidance for employees or students?

Please refer to the Texas Tech Human Resources Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

I'm an undergraduate student working on campus. Do I come back to work?

Please refer to the Texas Tech Human Resources Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Study Abroad

What processes are in place for current and future Study Abroad students?

All Maymester and Summer Study Abroad programs are canceled. For specific Study Abroad information, please contact the Office of International Affairs (oia.reception@ttu.edu) if you have additional questions.

Can a student receive a refund for canceled Study Abroad trips?

The University will refund student deposits for canceled Study Abroad trips through their student account. Reimbursements for prepaid expenses such as airline change fees, cancellation penalties, and lost travel-related deposits will be reimbursed through the TTU travel system. The Office of International Affairs will assist students in processing such reimbursements. Students should cancel any remaining reservations as soon as possible to obtain possible refunds and/or unused airfare credits.

Textbook Rental Returns (TTU Barnes & Noble – Student Union Building)

How can I return my rental textbooks?

Barnes & Noble College will close all stores to the public effective March 24 for an indefinite amount of time. Students have the option of returning rental textbooks via UPS; a free shipping label is provided for your convenience. All rented books can be kept until finals are complete to assist with coursework.

  • All rentals must be postmarked by May 12. Law books must be postmarked by May 15.
  • Students will need their order number to print the label. That can be found in the confirmation email from online orders, or if rented in the store it is located in all the rental emails. Students may also sign into their bookstore account to print the label as well. The label can be printed on or before the due date and all books should be returned in one shipment back to the store. Rental emails will be going out to students with all the details on or around April 20.
  • If students need course materials, the B&N College website is always open and currently offering free shipping on all orders. Students may also visit Vital Source for access to free digital books until May 25.

How can I sell my books back to the store?

We are currently working on an option for students to sell back books. This can also be done in store once we reopen. As more information becomes available, the B&N College website and this FAQ will be updated.

Travel, Personal & University

All Texas Tech University and TTU System employees are required to report any travel to destinations more than 50 miles away from Lubbock.

The form can be found at the Texas Tech University Travel Portal.

What are the University's policies for personal travel?

At this time, Texas Tech University strongly discourages any domestic or international travel for personal reasons. To assist us in our efforts to support the safety and security of our university, please reconsider all travel plans. If you determine that travel is necessary, please carefully consider the avoidance of places identified with a travel health warning notice by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and be aware of the possibility to alter your plans as the spread of COVID-19 continues to develop.

If your travel was to an area within the United States where there is community-based spread of COVID-19, to a country identified by the CDC with a travel health notice warning of Level 3, or on a cruise, you will be required to self-isolate off campus for 14 days.

Upon your return, if you are required to self-isolate, please contact Human Resources to direct you on how to report your time. The University reserves the right to deny emergency leave (including non-working pandemic leave) and require normal leave procedures for any team member who knowingly travels to an area within the United States with a high risk of COVID-19 cases, to a country designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at risk for COVID-19 transmission, or on a cruise.

If you are currently working from home under an emergency remote work agreement, you will continue to work under that agreement ensuring that you do not come to campus for those 14 days. If you get sick and can no longer work, please follow normal sick leave procedures.

To assist us in providing support to students, faculty and staff who travel (whether internationally or domestically) and to ensure that we can adhere to appropriate screening before your return to work and school, please fill out this form before leaving on a trip to identify your travel plans.

Click on this link to view detailed information about travel health notices from the CDC.4

Click on this link for guidance from the CDC regarding travel within the United States.

For questions and concerns please see the contact information below.

For staff and student employees:

Office of the President
Grace Hernandez
Associate Vice President & Chief of Staff
grace.hernandez@ttu.edu
806-742-2121

For Faculty:

Office of the Provost
Dr. Rob Stewart
Sr. Vice Provost
rob.stewart@ttu.edu
806-834-3917

The information provided will be handled confidentially within TTU and reported as required.

Are there travel restrictions in place for University-sponsored travel?

  • We have canceled all University-sponsored international travel through April 30. Continue to check back for updates.
  • All non-essential, domestic University-sponsored travel through March 31, including activities such as conferences, meetings, and site visits, is discouraged. Please review all essential travel with your Department Chair or supervisor. This applies to university employees as well as Texas Tech University System Administration employees.

COVID-19 Information

ABOUT COVID-19

What is COVID-19 and how does it spread?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, which can cause illness in humans and animals. Those who have become sick are reported to suffer coughs, fever, breathing difficulties and tiredness. In severe cases, organ failure has been reported.

  • What experts know about COVID-19, a relatively new virus, is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The World Health Organization named this illness “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated COVID-19).
  • Person-to-person: The CDC says that the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person, which means those who are in close contact with one another, and/or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby and possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • CDC officials say that it is possible a person can contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or an object that has the virus on it, and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes, but they said this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How serious is COVID-19?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including cases that have resulted in death. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but the risk of severe illness is higher in older people and those with underlying conditions such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes.

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

Flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. For most people who have had the illness, symptoms were mild and resolved after several days. The CDC says people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic – the sickest. Still, it's possible to spread the disease before showing symptoms, so a person can feel fine and still have it, just as with other viruses. Such cases have been reported, but are not thought to be the main way it spreads. WHO reports that most people – roughly 80 percent – recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?

Medical experts across the globe are rushing to find a cure. However, there is not one at this time. The disease is viral, which means antibiotics will not help; the antiviral drugs that work against the flu do not work against coronavirus. Those with a weak immune system and those who already are sick are urged to be especially cautious.

Should I wear a mask?

The WHO suggests people with no respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, do not need to wear a medical mask, but those who do have symptoms of COVID-19 and those caring for individuals who have symptoms (coughing, sneezing) should wear a mask.

How widespread is the virus?

COVID-19 has been confirmed on all continents but Antarctica. As of April 6, there have been more than 1,346,794 total cases reported worldwide. In the United States, more than 367,507 cases have been confirmed in many states. The number of cases being reported globally – including in the United States – will increase significantly in the days and weeks ahead, as testing for COVID-19 becomes more available. This is not necessarily cause for additional alarm as it is likely that there have been many existing cases that have not been identified, and the additional information will help improve the understanding of and response to the virus.

How can I track the COVID-19 outbreak?

There are a number of online resources for tracking the number of reported cases of COVID-19 globally. Johns Hopkins University is maintaining an interactive map that is gathering data from a number of sources. See Johns Hopkins map.

Are there confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus or in the surrounding community?

As of April 6, there are 180 confirmed cases in Lubbock County and three deaths related to COVID-19.

Is the University working with local, state and federal health officials?

The University remains in constant contact with the City of Lubbock Health Department and continues to follow the coronavirus guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control.

What steps is Texas Tech taking to help protect the safety and well-being of faculty, staff and students?

  • The University has canceled all classes for the week of March 23-27. Beginning on March 30, all classes will resume with online instruction. We will share more details on this in the next week.
  • The University's ongoing monitoring of COVID-19 is being coordinated by the Office of the President.
  • The University is working closely with medical personnel from the TTU Health Sciences Center and City of Lubbock Health Department to do everything possible to ensure the health of the campus, Lubbock and surrounding communities.
  • Upon initial concerns surrounding coronavirus in January, we recalled one student from China, who has continued his studies in Lubbock, and altered the study abroad program for two other students to avoid a stay in China. Three students studying abroad this semester in Italy were brought home in early March, due to the increasing spread of the virus. These students were required to self-isolate for 14 days, before receiving medical clearance to return to campus. Additionally, Texas Tech has announced it is bringing home more than 100 students – many currently in affected countries – from study abroad programs.

Where can I find the most up to date information about Texas Tech's response to COVID-19?

The President's Office maintains a webpage that has the most up to date information available.

Does the Texas Tech Student Wellness Center test for the coronavirus?

No, the Student Wellness Center does not test for coronavirus. If you believe you have symptoms, please seek urgent medical attention.

What should I do if I believe I might have the coronavirus or think I have been exposed?

If you or someone you know – especially those with travel exposure – develops symptoms, please seek urgent medical attention. Call ahead before visiting your clinic or emergency room to inform them of your symptoms and concern for COVID-19 infection. Once arrived, stay in the car with mask on, and ask the clinic or emergency room to call you on your cell phone when they are ready to see you. Do not use the waiting room in the clinic or hospital.

Resources

Travel Guidelines

Countries at Risk

The CDC has established a geographic risk-stratification criteria for the purpose of issuing travel health notices for countries with COVID-19 transmission and guiding public health management decisions for people with potential travel-related exposures to COVID-19. A number of factors inform the geographic risk stratification, including size, geographic distribution and epidemiology of the outbreak. View a risk assessment map.

Read health notices on the CDC and U.S. State Department .

Protocol for Arriving Travelers

To continue to protect the health of our campus, effective immediately all students, faculty, staff, and visitors returning from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Level 3 travel advisory locations (including airport layovers) for coronavirus (COVID-19) will be required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus. This applies to both university-sponsored and personal travel.

International Travel Guidance

As we carefully track the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Levels 1, 2 and 3 risk assessment for COVID-19, we are now implementing guidelines consistent with direction from The Texas Tech University System. Our regular updates can be found on this page.

The following countries have been designated as CDC Level 1, 2, and 3 as it pertains to the coronavirus:
CDC Level 1 (Practice Usual Precautions): Hong Kong
CDC Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions): Japan
CDC Level 3 (Avoid Nonessential Travel): China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea

How to Self-Isolate

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, classes, events or other social gatherings until 14 days after leaving the Level 3 country in question. Likewise, avoid public places and gatherings in the community.

Please review the precautions advised by the CDC for travelers from countries with widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission arriving in the United States.

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.
  • 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.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your upper sleeve or a tissue. Never cough in the direction of someone else.

Returning from an Affected Area

If you have traveled from or through any country that is designated as a Level 3 by CDC for COVID-19 within the last 14 days, you are required to report that travel to the Office of International Affairs. You will also be required to self-isolate upon returning from those countries for 14 days before returning to campus (See See How to Self-Isolate). You should continue to be vigilant about monitoring yourself for fever and lower respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. However, not all affected individuals will exhibit all symptoms, and if you have any symptoms at all, call a healthcare provider or Student Health Services if you are a student at 806.743.2848.

Traveling During Spring Break

  • Stay alert to travel advisories or restrictions and airline cancellations.
  • Be aware of any layovers in your travel itinerary that may be in a restricted country.
  • Purchase refundable tickets or ones that allow for flexibility.
  • Purchase trip insurance with medical evacuation coverage.
  • Keep cell phones fully charged.
  • Check email at least daily.
  • Travel with all key documents, including passport and insurance documents.
  • Check to see if your health insurance plan covers care outside the U.S.
  • Share your itinerary with your family and emergency contacts.
  • Practice everyday actions to prevent the spread of germs.
  • If you take prescription medication, bring at least an additional two-week supply with you.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself as quickly as possible and call the appropriate local public health authority immediately.

The Institute for Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech University

TIEHH, which hosts a Biological Safety Lab (BSL-3), is one of 10 sites statewide capable of testing suspected COVID-19 samples. The lab was the first in the state to come online in the last week of February and began testing samples at that time in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In the video below, Dr. Steve Presley, director of the lab, provides answer to several common questions.

Communications

Undergraduate Admissions FAQ

Prevention Guidelines

If you experience symptoms of respiratory illness, seek care from the local health department or our personal health care provider.

  • Avoid nonessential travel to countries/regions with travel advisories/restrictions.
  • Do not travel if you are sick, stay home.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into the elbow or sleeve – not the hands.
  • Fist bump instead of shaking hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don't eat, drink, or smoke after others.
  • When using a tissue, throw it in the trash immediately after use.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid direct contact with animals (dead or alive).
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Office of Communications & Marketing