The Daily Texan is reporting on how UT-Austin and local officials are responding to the spread of COVID-19. We want to hear about how coronavirus is affecting you — especially if you are a UT student, staff or faculty member.
We have done in-depth coverage on the University’s fall reopening plan and the number of cases in the community, and interviewed UT officials about campus guidelines and how the University is planning to respond to COVID-19. Here’s what we know so far:
The fall 2020 semester starts Aug. 26, and in-person instruction is scheduled to end Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving. Students will take final exams online from Dec. 10 to 16.
Masks will be required in all buildings on campus, student organizations will mostly operate remotely and the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium will be limited to 25% capacity, according to the Protect Texas Together website. Of the over 11,000 courses offered in the fall, 76% will be online, 19% will be hybrid and 5% will be in person.
University Health Services and UT Health Austin will test students, staff and faculty to monitor the spread of COVID-19. Students with COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 can schedule a telehealth visit with UHS. Faculty and staff who are symptomatic or who were in close contact with someone who tested positive can get tested at the UT Health Austin drive-through clinic.
UT will enforce COVID-19 health guidelines on campus this fall through an online reporting process. Off-campus violations will not be enforced by University staff or the UT Police Department, but they will be subject to the city of Austin ordinance banning gatherings of more than 10 people until December.
On-campus violations can be reported by community members to the Office of the Dean of Students, and repeated on-campus violations could lead to a conduct hearing and a potential suspension. Health guidelines will be enforced on campus for faculty and staff by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and University Human Resources, respectively.
According to the Protect Texas Together website, the University will constantly assess the level of safe operations for in-person classes and other events on campus. Factors that could trigger a campus closure include significant government action, significant increases in positive COVID-19 cases or an inadequate supply of tests.
As UT continues to respond to coronavirus, we want to hear from you. Do you have any unanswered questions? Has your travel or work been impacted by coronavirus? Have your professors canceled class or made significant adjustments? Are there any stories we should be investigating? Let us know.