Dear UT Health San Antonio faculty, staff and learners:
COVID-19 infections are on the rise locally and nationally. A new omicron subvariant, called XBB.1.5, is overtaking circulating subvariants. It is more transmissible than prior variants and is expected to increase in Texas, following trends seen in other areas of the country.
The COVID-19 transmission level, as measured by the CDC, shows that the local COVID-19 transmission level is high.
COVID-19 vaccinations remain our most effective tool for preventing infections and reducing the severity of infections for those who become ill. Anyone who is not up to date with vaccinations, including the bivalent booster, is at higher risk for infection and severe disease. If you are not up to date, NOW is the best time to get your COVID-19 booster.
To schedule your COVID-19 booster, log in to our scheduling website. Locations include the Medical Arts and Research Center (MARC) at 8300 Floyd Curl Drive, Wellness 360 located in the School of Nursing on the Long Campus, as well as in our primary care clinics. At the MARC, the bivalent vaccine is also administered on a walk-in basis, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Simply bring your university and insurance ID and your COVID-19 vaccine card that has the dates of your earlier shots so that it can be updated.
In addition to COVID, influenza, RSV and other respiratory viruses are circulating. Reflecting our commitment to the health of the community, all clinics of UT Health San Antonio continue to require the wearing of masks in all patient settings.
As the faculty, staff, students and residents of the university community are convening more frequently in person — whether it be in our classrooms, lecture halls, research labs, conference rooms, break areas or at program events — we are all called upon to protect ourselves and each other by continuing the following recommendations:
- In addition to getting vaccinated, a well-fitting mask when you are in group meetings or in crowds is encouraged, and at any time when social distancing is not being practiced.
- Continue rigorous hand-washing protocols.
- Eating and/or drinking together in groups is discouraged due to the current high risk of transmission. Thoughtfully plan food offerings in larger groups.
- If you feel sick, do not come to work. Instead, test yourself if you have any symptoms. COVID-19 testing is conducted at 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, under the School of Nursing tent that is situated in the parking lot adjacent to the nursing school, parallel to Louis Pasteur Drive. Schedule an appointment online.
- If you have had COVID, follow the applicable protocols before returning to in-person work environments. Protocols differ based on your work setting, so check with your supervisor regarding the required practices for your approved return to work. Additional information can be found here.
Please afford these guidelines your utmost attention. After these past three grueling years, it is natural for us to experience fatigue from consistently upholding these protocols. But it is only through our constancy and perseverance that we can do all we can to keep ourselves and others safe.
Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer