COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 Testing & Contact Tracing

Test providers in San Antonio are responsible for reporting all positive results to Metro Health authorities, who in turn will conduct contact-tracing procedures. Metro Health authorities will work with our Public Health Liaison, Victor Pantusa. If necessary, the Texas A&M University Health Science program will support contact tracing for the campus.

The University has a COVID-19 test site on campus with walk-up services opened Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2:30 p.m. located in Portable Building 101b.  Testing is available to on-campus students, faculty and staff exhibiting COVID-19-like symptoms or come in contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19. Individuals will need their insurance card or plan # when coming for a test.  Anyone without insurance is still accepted at no cost. Test providers will ask general health questions at the time of the test. Individuals may voluntarily disclose any other health-related information. Everyone who takes a test will be asked to self-quarantine until the test results are confirmed.

The University will publicize the dates and times the test site will be open. The test site is available only for individuals on campus with COVID-19 symptoms, or who have had direct contact with COVID-positive individual.

Faculty who are off campus and feeling ill or have reasons to be tested should not come to the University. Instead, they should consult their health care provider or use one of the testing sites in San Antonio that can be found at https://covid19.sanantonio.gov/What-YOU-Can-Do/Testing.

The public health awareness campaign and HR’s COVID-19 public health messages will announce the location of free community test sites. Additionally, test sites near campus that have rapid results (15 minutes) for a fee will also be announced for those who desire this resource.

The University will maintain a record of those who have a positive test result. This information will be provided to the President’s Cabinet for future decisions on possible on-campus population reduction or closure.

Faculty and Staff Testing

If an employee receives testing for COVID-19 off-campus, they must self-quarantine, refrain from coming to campus and notify their supervisor, who in turn will notify the Risk Manager of their status while they await their test results. Risk Management will also inform Human Resources (HR) of the testing. The employee must share their test results with the Risk Manager at safety@tamusa.edu or (210) 784-2028 to determine when they may return to campus. 

Once the University receives notice of an employee undergoing testing for COVID-19 an off-campus site or at the campus site, the Risk Manager will consult with the employee’s supervisor and determine those in the workplace who were potentially exposed. The supervisor and the Risk Manager will contact the individuals and inform them that they need to be diligent in their daily self-monitoring. Once the employee receives the results from an off-campus test facility, they must inform the Risk Manager (contact information above).

Test results from the on-campus site are available to the Risk Manager. For positive results, the Risk Manager will submit the information to HR to formally notify the faculty member’s colleagues as potentially being exposed. Faculty members will need to determine if they have had close contact with the positive individual; if there was close contact, the faculty member will immediately be asked to leave campus and later receive a letter stating the requirement to self-quarantine and not return to campus for 14 days from date of exposure.

If the employees were practicing social distancing and consistently wearing face masks during exposure, the University requests faculty to diligently self-monitor. The exposed employee will be sent a letter from HR on the actions they must follow before returning to work.

For negative results, department chairs will inform their faculty about the results.

COVID-19 Exposure

If a faculty member knows they have been directly exposed to a person with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, they must leave campus immediately even if they are asymptomatic and inform the Risk Manager and their supervisor. They will be advised to self-quarantine and not return to campus for 14 days.

Please keep the University informed of your health status, should you become ill or receive testing.

Office Environments

Touchless scan thermometers will be available to some offices (e.g., the Welcome Center) that have frequent visitors from off campus and conduct group tours or sessions for monitoring individuals. The offices will provide monitoring checklists to the visitors, as well. The University will not engage in effluent monitoring due to limitations in operations to perform these functions.

Disinfectants will be provided to employees to wipe down their own keyboards, phones, desks and other items. Individuals will need to wipe down surfaces before use; in general, private offices will not be part of the additional sanitization performed by SSC. Messages will be linked on computer screens about reminders on daily office sanitation.

Faculty groups in break rooms are discouraged due to social distancing protocols. Employees should wipe down all refrigerators, coffee machines, microwave handles and any other surfaces touched in common areas before and after use.

Additional barriers, such as Plexiglas, will be installed at customer service points to protect the University community. The service points may include the library, computer labs, science labs and customer-facing office locations. Business Affairs’ Facilities Services department will continue to evaluate the potential for additional barriers. Floor markings will be in place to promote social distancing.

For open floor plan offices, Facilities Services can be asked to help map out social distancing plans including visual cues, such as floor markings (Jaguar paw prints or lines), to help designate waiting areas and directional flow. Sharing office supplies, such as pens and paper clips, is strongly discouraged.

Self-Reporting Information

Information submitted through the self-reporting tool by University employees and students is not protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The University is not a covered entity subject to HIPAA. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of the information submitted through the self-reporting tool by currently enrolled University students, while the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the confidentiality of the information submitted by University employees.

The University can request that employees provide information relating to their COVID-19 diagnosis and symptoms. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has advised that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act permit employers to ask employees who report feeling ill at work, or who call in sick, questions about their symptoms to determine if they have or may have COVID-19. Additionally, an employer can send home an employee with COVID-19 or symptoms associated with it.

updated: October 27, 2020