EHS COVID-19 Resource Hub
As Environmental Health & Safety professionals, your health & safety is why we're here!
While we are individuals, we are not isolated. If I practice safe behaviors, you're safer - if you practice safe behaviors, I'm safer; we are safer together. If you have questions or concerns about campus health and safety, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Texas Tech University COVID-19 related questions, please email email@example.com.
The CDC has recently updated exposure and testing guidance for persons who are fully vaccinated. You are considered fully vaccinated two full weeks after the second dose of those vaccines which require 2 doses or your single dose of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. View the CDC's info here >>>
On April 20, 2021, President Schovanec outlined the University's plan to transition to Phase I operations. View the memorandum >>>
On May 19th, President Schovanec announced facemasks are no longer a requirement in campus buidings; however, they are still required for pubic transportation, including Citibus. View the memorandum >>>
Raider Smart, Raider Safe - Raider Well.
As our Red Raider family looks forward to the return of normal operations, we at EHS have developed clear and conscientious tools and videos to help you work and learn safely. This guidance isn't just for a pandemic, it helps mitigate risks in a regular cold and flu season too!
Steps to effective hand washing.
TIP! ALWAYS wash your hands after removing your gloves.
Glove doffing using "Clean-Hand, Dirty-Hand."
Glove doffing using the "Beaking Method" and why some prefer it.
Why wear a face covering & how to do it safely
Face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators. These critical supplies are reserved for healthcare and other front-line workers. Cloth face coverings are not personal protective equipment (PPE) and thus not appropriate substitutes for PPE such as respirators (like N95 respirators) or surgical face masks in workplaces where respirators or face masks are recommended or required. The use of N95s by TTU employees is governed by the respirator protection program.
Face coverings are Community Protective Equipment (CPE). Wearing a cloth face covering helps protect people around you and may also minimize your exposure to COVID-19 by disrupting the transmission process. When used along with other preventive measures including social distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, face coverings reduce the spread of COVID-19.
What a face covering does and doesn't do for you and others.
How to safely use and care for your face covering.
Face coverings @ TTU
As of May 19, 2021, the University's masking requirements have been lifted with the following exception:
- Passengers using public transportation (including Citibus) are required to wear a face covering. This applies to all riders, both on and off-campus.
- The University highly recommends that unvaccinated persons still wear a mask.
Disinfection done right
Calls to Poison Control have increased since the start of the pandemic and new CDC report indicates 1 in 3 people are using disinfectants incorrectly. The process of disinfection is more that just applying a chemical to a cleaned surface; the video below can help you handle chemical disinfection safely and with confidence.
Disinfect with confidence.
Office Disinfection Touch Points
Daily health screening information for employees
Daily health screening assessments are still in place!
If you experience symptoms of respiratory illness, do not come to campus. Seek care by contacting your healthcare provider.
Employees have these options to complete their health screen:
1. Visit https://ttucovid19.ttu.edu/User/Consent and complete a quick assessment.
2. Complete and maintain record of the Employee Health Attestation Form. These records must be maintained by the individual - not in a general location to comply with HIPAA. This page can also serve to track contacts, locations, and vehicle use.
3. Complete and maintain record of the CDC Coronavirus Self-Checker or the Texas HHS Self-Checker. The CDC and Apple have partnered to develop a Daily check app. To maintain a copy of the CDC record from the website, you can copy and paste the test from the self-check into a word document or take screenshots with your mobile device. To copy the TX DSHS record, simply print the results as a hard copy or save as PDF. These records must be maintained by the individual - not in a general location to comply with HIPAA.
One of these health check methods should be done on all days employees are scheduled to work on the Texas Tech campus or a Texas Tech-owned or managed property.
COVID-19 Case Response
Employees who are not feeling well or are sick or have a household member that is sick should stay home.
If you have had or think your might have had COVID-19 visit the CDC's page for guidance about when you can safely be around others.
The CDC has recently updated their guidance regarding testing to include guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.
Recommendations for Vaccinated Persons
The CDC has developed guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. You are consided "fully vaccinated" for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after you have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after you have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).
There is still a possibility for contracting COVID-19 after you are vaccinated; this is called vaccine breakthough. You can read about the details of vaccine breakthrough from the CDC.
Even though you are vaccinated, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others. Supervisors should follow information from HR in response to exposures.
The Texas Tech Commitment is TTU's pledge to create a safe campus environment for students, faculty, and staff as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 20, 2021, President Schovanec outlined the University's plan to transition to Phase I operations. View the memorandum >>>
While the resupmtion of Phase I is approaching, the University is still in PHASE II; please review the Phase II document for details on operations in Phase II. For the latest communications from the University regarding COVID-19 visit the TTU Coronavirus (COVID-19) page. The Provost's Office has COVID-19 information related to academic affairs. EHS has developed an awareness training for those returning to campus.
Specific information for Researchers
COVID-19 Guidelines for Researchers is available through the OR&I page. Specific guidance regarding interactions with human subjects during this time is also addressed. Researchers can apply to return to campus by completing and submitting the request form through OR&I.
The City of Lubbock is receiving vaccine and holding vaccination clinics. Please visit the City of Lubbock for more information about local distribution. The city has individual web pages to coordinate your 1st dose and your 2nd dose of vaccine. Both doses of vaccine must be received to be considered "fully vaccinated."
The Lubbock county case count is available here: https://ci.lubbock.tx.us/covid19. Executive orders and declarations for the City of Lubbock are available here: https://ci.lubbock.tx.us/departments/health-department/about-us/executive-orders-declarations.
Vaccine information for the State of Texas can be found on the State Health & Human Services COVID-19 Vaccine Information page. Presently all persons over the age of 16 can be vaccinated.
The Texas case-count is updated daily at noon on the DSHS website; there is high county-county variation in disease burden at this time.
Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are being distributed across the United States. Information regarding vaccines can by found on the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination page.
Community spread varies with location. The CDC updates the US case count Monday-Friday by noon. Local health departments will have the most-current information for a given area. As for international travel, travel notices can be found on the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.
Global vaccine distribution is now under way. Different versions of the vaccine are available in different parts of the world; many incorporate a novel approach using mRNA to introduce and facilitate immune response to certain proteins specific to SARS-CoV-2. Details regarding the different types of vaccines approved for emergency use in the USA are available from the CDC >>>
Symptoms, Testing, and Prevention
Symptoms vary in presentation and severity and generally appear 2-14 days after exposure. Visit the CDC's symptom page for the most current list of symptoms and access to the online symptom checker.
A person with COVID-19 may have:
- Fever or chills
- DRY cough
- Shortness of breath and\or difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath and high fever can result in lethargy. Additional signs & symptoms of low blood oxygen (hypoxemia) also include: headache, rapid heartbeat, confusion, and bluish color on skin, fingernails and lips. Seek medial attention immediately if you are experiencing signs of low oxygen.
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Diarrhea / GI upset
- "COVID toes"
If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19:
- CALL your healthcare provider FIRST. Many providers are screening patients before they arrive at their clinic.
- Consider a "virtual visit" if your insurance offers this evaluation option. Both UMC and Covenant have virtual visit options through their respective COVID-19 information pages.
Free on-campus testing for COVID-19 provided by the Texas Department of Emergency Managment is no longer available. Please consult your PCP or the Student wellness as appropriate. You can also visit the TTU Commitment page for any additional testing information.
If you have been exposed, you should seek testing ~5 days post exposure. Immediate testing would not accurately assess if your exposure resulted in illness.
Students can also seek testing through the Student Health Services. Faculty and staff can contact their primary care physician or call the UMC nurse-on-demand at 806-743-2345.
Current testing locations available to faculty and staff include the following:
- The City of Lubbock is maintaining a list of testing locations and managing a testing location at the Patterson Library, 1836 Parkway Drive (by appointment).
Who is at the greatest risk?
Generally speaking, the older you are the more risk there is of severe illness if you get COVID-19. While rare, severe disease and dealth from COVID-19 have occurred in individuals with no known underlying comorbidities.
People at an increased risk for severe illness and death with COVID-19 include:
- Persons of older age; the greatest risk is to those 85yrs or older. Click for details from the CDC >>>
- Persons with certain medical conditions that effect the vascular and pulmonary systems, diabetes, cancer, some neurological conditions, renal and liver disease, obesity, or other immunocompromising conditions (HIV, transplant recipient, immunosupressive medications, etc.). Click for details from the CDC >>>
- Pregnant women: studies suggest that symptomatic pregnant women may have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared to non-pregnant people. This risk varies with other demographics such as age and race/ethnicity. More on this from the CDC>>> As will non-pregnant persons, pregant women with underlying health conditions are at an increased risk of severe illness and death. Vertical transmission has been documented, but is not a common occurance.
Mayoclinc has a good information page for COVID-19 and children for concerned parents. View the mayoclinic page >>> Additional information is also available from the American Academy of Pediatrics >>>
Prevention: Wash - Wait - Wear & Wreck 'em
There are simple steps everyone can take to help prevent the spread of illness, especially respiratory diseases like SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. Help keep yourself and others healthy and encourage others to do their part by following common prevention guidelines.
Practice good hand hygiene.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- This is especially important after using the restroom, assisting children and changing diapers. There is evidence that indications fecal transmission.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-70% alcohol if soap and water are not available and rub hands together vigorously until sanitizer is evaporated.
- Hand sanitizer is not a replacement for hand washing; if hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water.
- Use lotion to protect your skin and keep cuticles from tearing.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with an effective disinfectant. Guidance on disinfection is in the following section.
- Use a 2% dilution of household bleach (1/3 c bleach to 1 gal of distilled water)or 70% ethanol/isopropanol. Make sure surfaces stay wet (i.e., "contact time") for no less than 3 minutes if using bleach and 30 seconds if using alcohol. Other disinfectants may take longer to inactivate the virus.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions for dilution and use, including protective gloves and eye wear. The manufacturer will also specify the shelf life of a prepared solution and the appropriate contact time.
Minimize contamination to yourself and others by wearing a face covering that covers both your nose and mouth. Properly wear, handle and maintain your face covering. Your face covering offers more protection to others if you are sick, but there are benefits to you to Wearing a face covering can keep your hands away from your nose and mouth. Filtration efficiency of your face cover depends on the fit and composition.
Consider protecting your eyes. Wear glasses instead of contacts to avoid touching your eyes. Wear a face shield or glasses in conjunction with your face cover.
For more information visit the CDC's page regarding the details about minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in communities.
Get good info - Give good info.
All Texans over the age of 16 are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Visit the city's information page for details and to join the queue for an appointment @ City of Lubbock or contact your prefered local pharmacy.
Information in regard to distribution of vaccine to campus can be found on the TTU Commitment COVID-19 vaccine page.
The Texas Department of Emergency Management has closed their free testing site on campus. Visit the TTU Commitment testing page for campus testing information.
EHS COVID Signage and Guidance
Updated! EHS-COVID-19 Support Signage