Health and Wellness
COVID-19 Testing and Tracing
Robust and rigorous testing will be needed to monitor and limit the presence of COVID-19 on our campus and keep our community members as safe as possible as we continue to navigate the pandemic. Participation in all COVID-19 testing and contact tracing is completely voluntary, but we strongly encourage our community members to use these services as needed.
- If you are a UT student exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, you will be able to schedule a test with University Health Services.
- If you are a UT faculty or staff member exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, you will be able to schedule a test with UT Health Austin. You can also arrange a test with the health care provider of your choice.
- University Health Services (UHS) currently has the capacity to test hundreds of symptomatic students each day using its in-house lab.
- Our three rapid testing machines will allow for approximately 100 tests per day with a 15-minute turnaround time for results. This enables faster contact tracing and decreases unnecessary self-isolation. We are also contracting with commercial labs to serve as back up.
- Our goal is to test up to 5,000 UT community members each week using a strategic, scientific-based approach.
- Proactive Community Testing is done at no cost to the individual being tested, who will be notified directly if they test positive. The university follows privacy requirements consistent with public health reporting and contact tracing guidelines, and results are confidential and departments and supervisors will not be notified.
- Learn more about UT’s plans for proactive community testing.
Contact tracing helps slow the spread of COVID-19 by identifying individuals who have been in close contact with those who test positive and recommending they quarantine and get tested as well. We have a robust team of experienced contact tracers on hand to identify and test close contacts in a timely manner.
- The university, through an agreement between Dell Medical School and Austin Public Health, will continue to conduct contact tracing for university community members who test positive for COVID-19.
Taking Care of Yourself and Others
Protective Face Masks
Guidelines While On Campus
Wearing recommended protective face masks at all times when inside university buildings will be mandatory except when alone in a private office, eating at a campus dining facility, or when students are in their own residence hall rooms. Special considerations and exemptions apply for those with specific needs.
Wearing recommended protective face masks in outdoor spaces will be encouraged, especially if social distancing isn’t possible.
If members of the general public who are not part of the UT community enter a campus building and refuse to wear a mask, they will be asked to leave. This is also true for contractors and vendors.
UT will encourage compliance by increasing awareness and fostering a spirit of cooperation. For those who continue putting the community at risk with their behavior, corrective and disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the university’s guidelines for faculty, staff and students.
The university will provide recommended protective face masks for employees who require this type of personal protective equipment to perform their daily work and will have limited supplies available for other urgent needs.
Mask Wearing Best Practices
Make sure your recommended protective face mask covers both your nose and mouth.
Take care when putting on and taking off your recommended protective face mask, washing hands after both.
Wash your recommended protective face masks frequently.
Recommended protective face masks are not a substitute for social distancing 6 feet from others. You are most protected when you do both.
When you cannot wear a recommended protective face mask — such as when eating or drinking — maintain social distancing. To maintain safety in classrooms, students and instructors will not eat or drink in class.
Daily Symptom and Temperature Screening
Daily Symptom Screening
Daily symptom screening with the university’s Protect Texas Together app will be expected for all students, faculty, and staff coming to campus or living on campus. If you don’t have a smartphone, a phone-based application is also available. Guidance for Daily Symptom and Temperature Screening
Temperature Screening in Select Buildings
For select campus buildings and units, in-person temperature screenings will be required. One such building is Dell Medical School’s Health Transformation Building, home to UT Health Austin clinics.
Symptom Screening by Visitors
Visitors will be expected to complete a symptom screening to participate in campus meetings or other activities.
How the Virus Spreads
Learn more about how the virus is spread.
Wash Your Hands
Hand hygiene products and cleaning stations will be available across campus at building entrances, elevator lobbies and at the entrance of each Registrar-designated classroom.
The university will continue to educate the campus community about the importance of hand hygiene through posters and other communication tools. Guidance for Hand Hygiene and Personal Workplace Hygiene
The success of the community will depend on a combination of university action, outlined above, and individual behaviors. As a reminder:
If you are sick, stay home.
Wash your hands well and often.
Carry your own hand sanitizer and surface wipes.
Wear a recommended protective face mask indoors.
Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and others whenever possible.
Avoid touching your face and recommended protective face mask.
Keep your hands clean: Sneeze and cough into your elbow, and open doors without your hands if possible.
When possible, meet online or outdoors and in larger common areas, not private offices.
Faculty, Students, and Staff over 65 or with Underlying Conditions
The university developed training materials on basic safety precautions for students, staff and faculty.
Employees needing accommodations for special circumstances should work with their supervisors or contact Human Resources.
Quarantine and Isolation
UT community members who test positive or have been identified as high risk because of exposure will be expected to self-isolate or quarantine, as directed by health care professionals.
If they can’t self-isolate or quarantine safely in their residence — whether living on or off campus — they will coordinate with the university to access isolation spaces through Austin Public Health at the Crowne Plaza Austin. If the Crowne Plaza Austin becomes full, Austin Public Health has contracts with two additional hotels.
- The facility will be available to those who need to self-monitor due to COVID-19 exposure, have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but have not been tested or are awaiting test results, or have tested positive for COVID-19.
- It is also open to those who live with high-risk individuals or live in a group home and those experiencing homelessness whether sheltered or unsheltered.