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 truly are in this together. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
For Texas Tech University COVID-19 related questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lubbock area is starting to receive vaccine for COVID-19. Please visit the City of Lubbock for more information about local distribution. Two vaccines have been granted emergency use authorization from the FDA; both require 2 doses for effectiveness. The State of Texas has a wealth of vaccination information (i.e., allergy information, distribution plan, etc.) on their website: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx. For more information about TTU's involvement in distribution, see the COVID-19 vaccine page.
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.
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 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; 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
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.
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.
On October 21, 2020, the CDC updated their guidance regarding testing. Currently, individuals exposed should seek testing even if symptoms do not present in the days following exposure.
Human Resources has developed the following guidance documents for responding to COVID-19 illness:
Exposure after Vaccination
On February 10, 2021, the CDC issued quarantine guidance for vaccinated individuals who are exposed to COVID-19. The University's COVID-19 task force is still in discussions with the city regarding this update and has not yet adjusted quarantine requirements in regard to vaccination.
This information will be updated as it becomes available.
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 August 3rd, the University transitioned to 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 clinic for those groups able to get the vaccine at this time. 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 "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, including group descriptions and groups eligible for vaccination can be found on the State Health & Human Services COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.
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. Several 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.
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 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 will resumed on January 14th. The testing location has changed. For location and hours of operation, please visit the TTU Commitment page.
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?
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. There is conflicting information regarding increased risk in women with a healthy pregnancy. However, those with underlying health conditions in pregnancy are at an increased risk of severe illness and death.
- 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.
Severe disease and dealth has occurred in individuals outside this age range with no known underlying comorbidities.
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 too. 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.
Vaccine is currently being distributed in Lubbock for those who fall under Phase 1A or 1B criteria according to the State of Texas Vaccination Plan. Visit the city's information page for details and to join the queue for an appointment: City of Lubbock.
Information in regard to distribution of vaccine to campus can be found on the TTU Commitment COVID-19 vaccine page.
FREEon-campus testing for COVID-19 will resume on January 14th. The testing location has changed. Please visit the TTU Commitment testing page for location and hours of operation.
EHS COVID Signage and Guidance
Updated! EHS-COVID-19 Support Signage