June COVID-19 campus updates and reminders

May 27, 2021

Dear SMU Community Member,

As SMU moves toward a fully in-person semester this fall, updates and modifications will be communicated during the summer months. Most of the changes were already shared in a letter from President Turner and are detailed in the “operations at a glance” grid that accompanied it. Here are some updates and reminders for Summer I – June term:

SMU moves to “low” operational level

After following guidelines under the University’s COVID-19 operational levels of “high” or “moderate” for more than a year, on June 1 the campus will move to “low,” which means a return to near regular activities. This designation means vaccines are widely available and infection rates are low, allowing prevention practices to be gradually lifted. The full, updated 2021 COVID-19 Operations Plan and other information about campus pandemic resources and responses can be viewed on the Mustang Strong website.

Restrictions lifted on domestic travel

Domestic travel for University-sanctioned activities is moving to Phase 4. Restrictions are no longer in place for students or employees traveling for academic and extracurricular purposes that are sanctioned by SMU. For international travel details, please visit the Global Preparedness & Response page.

Masks and distancing

Campus buildings are returning to regular occupancy levels. Instructors will notify students attending in-person prior to the start of class and include information in their course syllabus if masks are required in their classrooms.

Signs on campus about masks and distancing are being replaced with new signage displaying a QR Code that links to the most up-to-date COVID-19 requirements on campus. While masks are no longer required in campus buildings or offices, some people may not be vaccinated and/or may choose to wear a mask for their own protection and that of others. Please be respectful of individual responses to pandemic health concerns.

Vaccine and testing on campus

SMU strongly encourages students and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center continues to offer the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine as well as the Pfizer vaccine, as an alternative, for the campus community and SMU employee dependents (age 12 and up).

Vaccines will continue to be available by appointment from the Health Center throughout the summer. The SMU Vaccination Tent will be removed in mid-June and all vaccines will be administered in the Health Center. After receiving the vaccine – whether on campus or at another location – please record your status in the self-reporting tool on the vaccine page of the Mustang Strong website. Submitting this information is voluntary and helpful in managing the health and safety of the SMU community.

The health center will also continue to offer COVID-19 testing for students and employees over the summer. The on-campus drive-thru test site at Expressway Towers will close on May 28, but employees can still get free tests at other Virtual Care for Families locations around the DFW area.

SMU faculty, staff, and students who test positive for COVID-19 or are close contacts of a known-positive case, must report that information to the University. Employees can utilize the SMU Health Reporting form. Students should submit a CCC form. Links to both forms are also on the Mustang Strong website.

Case count dashboard/symptom checker email

The COVID-19 dashboard that displays case counts and isolation/quarantine numbers has recorded no new cases since May 4. Updates to the site dashboard will move from daily to weekly – every Thursday – while the counts remain low.

The daily symptom checker will no longer be emailed, but students and employees should continue to monitor their health and get a COVID-19 test, if needed.

For more information

As the campus makes this transition to regular operations, please check the Mustang Strong website frequently for the latest updates and more information about SMU’s response to COVID-19.