Message from the President: COVID-19 contact tracing and other safety precautions for UT Health San Antonio community

Newly diagnosed COVID-19 cases in Bexar County continue to rise indicating that transmission of the disease is still active and can occur anywhere, including on our campus. We must continue to be diligent with hand hygiene and wearing masks as key preventive measures. As more employees, students and faculty return to campus, we at UT Health San Antonio continue to assess the COVID-19 situation daily. We continue to work to ensure a safe environment for everyone and this effort requires everyone’s attention and participation.

In the past few months, we have implemented a number of protocols on campus to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including social distancing, masking, temperature screening, symptomatic testing and sanitation precautions.

As a reminder, quick and easy COVID-19 testing has been established for you at Wellness 360. It’s essential that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, chills, change in taste or smell) stay home and call the hotline at (210) 450-8000 for assistance.

Face masks are required at all times in all public spaces on campus. Always wear your mask when entering and leaving your work area or building. It’s very important – don’t forget your mask!

Another safety precaution being added is a process called contact tracing. Contact tracing is a way to support patients and warn contacts of exposure in order to stop chains of transmission. Contact tracing is being implemented at UT Health San Antonio with the intent to provide guidance and direction for students and employees exposed to a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in order to prevent it from spreading to others. Anyone who is exposed on campus by someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be notified.

Wellness 360 offers screening tests and works with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District on this contact tracing initiative by providing data of confirmed cases for national reporting. To learn more about contact tracing, and how it can support reducing transmission rates, please visit the CDC’s site for contact tracing.

As a reminder, part of our protocol to protect staff, students and faculty includes recommended self-isolation and self-monitoring when someone has come in high-risk contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. See this document for the steps we are taking for contact tracing.

Thank you.

William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP
President and Professor of Medicine

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