The availability of the vaccine, medical guidance from federal and state agencies, and SMU’s sharp reduction in COVID-19 cases on and off campus, contributed to the decision to remove the mask mandate.
Plexiglass partitions will remain in place, unless you request that they be removed. To have then taken out, please submit a Facilities Work Order.
Facilities crews removed older COVID-19 signs around campus and added new signs with a QR code and link to the latest campus requirements as the campus moves toward a regular fall semester.
It is optional for you or someone entering into your workspace to wear a mask. However, because SMU is no longer requiring masks to be worn on campus, you cannot require someone to do so.
The Provost Office is communicating with faculty that, in light of the governor’s executive order, faculty can only require masks in classroom spaces during the summer, and not during office hours. Like staff, faculty can opt to meet in a space that offers more social distancing or meet virtually.
While the mask mandate for campus is lifted as of May 18, 2021, it does not preclude you from wearing a mask at meetings or in social situations if it makes you more comfortable.
Under no circumstance, however, can someone refuse services to an individual who is not wearing a mask.
Other options include: meeting in a space that offers more social distancing or meeting virtually.
Faculty and staff can get a no cost rapid COVID-19 test two ways:
On campus (Dr. Bob Smith Health Center): An appointment is required and can be scheduled by calling the health center at 214-768-2141.
Off Campus (Virtual Care Families): Several locations around the DFW area offer COVID–19 vaccines.
There are three steps to get a test through Virtual Care:
Step 1: Pre-Screening
In order to be tested for active COVID-19, SMU faculty and staff (and your spouses and dependents) may book a visit at one of the DFW clinics ahead of time through a virtual visit.
Step 2: The Screening Process
Through the virtual screening process, a physician will triage you and based on your symptoms and exposure, determine if you are a “low COVID-19 risk” or a “potential COVID-19 risk.”
If you are confirmed to get a test, you will be booked at a DFW Urgent Care for Kids clinic of your choice
Step 3: Find a Testing Site
Several Urgent Care for Kids clinics throughout the DFW area are open 7 days a week for rapid COVID-19 testing.
The University uses the definitions as provided by the CDC. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease and monitors for symptoms. Students living on campus will quarantine in their room and watch for the development of any symptoms. If a student is required to quarantine, their roommate will also be required to do so.
An individual does not have to quarantine if they’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Contact tracers will make three attempts via phone and then send an email within 24 hours if an individual is not responsive. They will leave a message with follow-up instructions. All contact tracers are employees of the University, if “768” is in the number, that is a call from a University phone.
A member of the contact tracing team will reach out to you if you’ve come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive. Close contact is defined by the CDC as being unvaccinated and within 6 feet of another person for 15 minutes or more who has COVID-19.
Students who have tested positive, or have come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive, should stay home and submit a CCC form. They will receive a phone call from a member of the SMU contact tracing team to discuss symptoms, current living situation, isolation procedures, close contacts and academic support.
Employees who test positive should complete the SMU Health Reporting Form and remain at home. If a dependent tests positive, employees should contact their supervisor for additional instructions.
SMU is no longer requiring masks to be worn on campus with a few exceptions. The mask requirement is lifted except in classrooms and the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center. For the fall 2021, faculty will have the option of requiring them within their instructional spaces if they choose.
Faculty members will communicate this information prior to the start of the course and include a clear statement about the classroom mask requirement in their syllabus. Masks must still be worn in the health center in accordance with state requirements for health care facilities.
All individuals testing positive for COVID-19 are contacted and confidentially interviewed to identify people who came into close contact with the infected individual. University employees are trained on contact tracing by Johns Hopkins University and follow county, state, and federal guidelines. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. An individual is not considered a close contact if they’ve been fully vaccinated
This trace assesses the class schedule, living situation, activities, work locations including offices and job sites, face-to-face meetings and any other situations that may have resulted in close contact from 2 days before the onset of symptoms or testing (if asymptomatic).
This process will evolve as we add technology to further support these efforts.
When medically necessary and consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, testing to diagnose COVID-19 will be covered at 100% regardless of the SMU medical plan you and your family may be covered under. Testing will not be subject to copays or the deductible or co-insurance, and no prior authorization is needed.
Treatment cost-sharing related to COVID-19 has also been waived. Treatment related to COVID-19 includes deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. The waiver applies to costs associated with COVID-19 treatment at in-network facilities and treatment for out-of-network emergencies.
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