Texas Tech University

EHS COVID-19 Resource Hub

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

Our Commitment

As Environmental Health & Safety professionals, your health & safety is why we're here!

Our commitment

While we are individuals, we are not isolated.  If I practice safe behaviors you're safer, and if you practice safe behaviors I'm safer - we truly are in this together.  If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us at safety@ttu.edu.

Raider Smart, Raider Safe - Raider Well.

As our Red Raider family begins to return to campus for work and learning, we at EHS are striving to develop clear and conscientious tools and videos to help you work and learn safely.  We will continue to add them here.

Worker COVID-19 Awareness Training

Hand hygiene

Steps to effective hand washing.    

Wash 'Em Tech! Poster - 8.5x11

Wash 'Em Tech! Poster - 11x17

TIP!  ALWAYS wash your hands after removing your gloves.

 Glove doffing using "Clean-Hand, Dirty-Hand."

Clean-hand, Dirty-hand poster - 11x17

Glove doffing using the "Beaking Method" and why some prefer it. 

Beaking Method Poster 11x17

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 facemasks  in workplaces where respirators or facemasks are recommended or required to protect the wearer.  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.

Where and when a face covering is required @ TTU

In an official communication to the University on June 24th, President Schovanec outlined the use of face coverings at Texas Tech.  Presently, the University is implementing a mandatory face covering policy for all students, faculty and staff:

  • Students will be required to wear a mask or face covering when attending an in-person class. 
  • In the classroom, faculty that are leading instruction will not be required to wear a face mask or face covering so that students are able to clearly understand the instruction and for the benefit of the hearing-impaired.  To provide safety for our faculty and students, a social distancing barrier will be implemented in classrooms, studios, and laboratories. 
  • Face masks or appropriate face coverings will be required in campus buildings by all students, faculty and staff. 
  • Faculty and staff will be required to wear appropriate face coverings in all campus buildings with the exception of their private office or workspace.

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.

Disinfect with confidence.             

Steps to General Disinfection

Daily health screening information for employees

All TTU employees on campus are required to undergo daily health screening assessments which at minimum, consists of a temperature check.  This is in compliance with the Governor's employee screening criteria. If you experience symptoms of respiratory illness, do not come to campus.  Seek care by contacting your healthcare provider.

Employee screen can be completed in 3 different ways.

1.  Visit a campus check point.   

There are 2 campus check points available for faculty and staff:

    • Second floor, Flint Avenue Parking Garage | 6:30-8:30 a.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays | 6:30-8:30 a.m. Fridays
    • Office of Research & Innovation, Administration Building |7:30-8 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, beginning in early June.

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. 

3.  Complete and maintain record of the CDC Coronavirus Self-Checker You can copy and paste the test from the self-check into a word document or take screenshots with your mobile device.  These records must be maintained by the individual - not in a general location to comply with HIPAA.

One of these 3 health checks methods must be done on all days employees are scheduled to work on the Texas Tech campus or a Texas Tech-owned or managed property.

Central Warehouse has infrared thermometers available for resale/distribution to campus departments if your department would like to manage this in-house.

COVID-19 Case Response

If a TTU employee becomes ill or has symptoms COVID-19 at work:

  1. The sick individual must immediately remove themselves from TTU property and seek medical attention, including COVID-19 testing. Call (806) 743-2911 and ask to speak to a nurse or contact your healthcare provider. 
    1. Your return to work will depend on testing outcome.  Follow your doctor's guidance regarding your return to work.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19:

  1. Contact Human Resources by email:  hr.talent.management@ttu.edu
    1. Human Resources will assist with the coordination of the faculty or staff member's leave and work with Operations to ensure the workplace is properly cleaned and disinfected. 
  2. Follow the COVID-19 Positive Employee Protocol
    1. Persons in the vicinity of the infected individual will be notified of the positive case and asked to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19, including checking temperature twice a day.  
    2. Persons who had direct contact with the infected person will be advised based on the nature of their contact.

Situation Summaries

President Schovanec recently unveiled TTU's plan for reopening; 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.

The University is currently in Phase III; please review the Phase III document for details on operations in Phase III.  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 that is required for researchers 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 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.  

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. 

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.  

On May 14th, the CDC issued a health advisory regarding "Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)."  This syndrome has been reported in other countries.  It is currently unknown if MIS-C is specific to children or if it also occurs in adults.  More information will be added regarding this rare association as it becomes available.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 has officially met the qualifications of a pandemic, just 6 weeks after the outbreak warranted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).  See the WHO Situation Reports and/or the John Hopkins Outbreak Map for more information. 

Symptoms, Testing, and Prevention

Symptoms

Symptoms vary in presentation and severity and generally appear 2-14 days after exposure.  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.
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Diarrhea / GI upset
  • "COVID toes"

Visit the CDC's symptom page for the most current list of symptoms and access to the online symptom checker.

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. 

COVID-19 Testing

If you have been exposed, you may be asked to test 3-5 days post exposure.  Immediate testing would not accurately assess if your exposure resulted in illness. 

Current testing locations 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).
  • Most UMC Clinics - Call the clinic ahead of time or the UMC Covid-19 hotline at (806)761-0111 for pre-screening prior to arrival.  The drive up clinic at UMC is closed.
  • Covenant Health (serological testing at Covenant Health on Slide & 98th, antigen testing at the clinic at Health Plus (7601 Quaker Ave | (806) 725-9444) and Northwest (611 N Frankford Ave | (806) 725-5480).  Call the clinic ahead of time to schedule your testing.

Additional information is available on both UMC and Covenant Health COVID-19 pages.  

Who is at the greatest risk?

Possible risk factors for severe illness may include, but are not limited to:

  • older age (>65)
  • underlying chronic medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, renal disease, and liver disease
  • immunocompromising conditions, including pregnancy
  • Some reports suggest that infants under 1 year old and those with underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 than other children.

Prevention

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.

Consider protecting your eyes.  Wear glasses instead of contacts to avoid touching your eyes. 

For more information visit the CDC's page regarding the details about minimizing the spread of COVID-19 in communities.