I am an SMU faculty or staff member. How do I get a COVID-19 test?

Faculty and staff should contact their primary physician, or get a no cost rapid COVID-19 test through virtualcarefamilies.com/smu at the on-campus test site at Expressway Towers or one of their other locations in the DFW area.

There are three steps:

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 the Expressway Tower testing location or 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 on campus at Expressway Tower for your rapid COVID-19 test, or at a DFW Urgent Care for Kids clinic of your choice

Step 3: Find a Testing Site

Expressway Tower on SMU’s campus is available for rapid COVID-19 testing.

If you are unable to make it to the Expressway Tower location, there are 9 Urgent Care for Kids clinics, throughout the DFW area, open 7 days a week for rapid COVID-19 testing.

What should I do if I feel symptomatic or test positive and the Health Center is closed?

For COVID-19 emergencies such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips, or face, call 911.

Students who need a test or consultation when the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is closed can receive treatment through one of the local urgent care center listed here. The closest such facility to SMU is the Sanai Urgent Care Center (3414 Milton Ave., Dallas, TX 75205 // 469-522-3995).

If you test positive at an urgent care facility, or have come into close contact with a known positive case when the Health Center is closed, first fill out the CCC Form. A contact tracer will provide more guidance.

In the event a contact tracer does not reach out to you immediately upon filling out the form, follow CDC guidelines and isolate.

I am an SMU parent and am not receiving SMU communication such as email. How do I sign up?

To receive all university updates, your student needs to go into their my.smu account and grant permission for you to receive updates. To receive notifications from SMU alerts, please text SMUParent to 888777. Also, please follow COVID-19 updates at smu.edu/coronavirus.

What if I test positive for 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.

I am a student and I need to get a test for COVID-19. Where do I go?

  • Students experiencing symptoms should stay home and contact the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center at 214-768-2141 for a screening interview by trained medical staff and possible testing and referral for treatment. 
  • If the Health Center is closed, students can receive treatment through one of the local urgent care center listed here. The closest such facility to SMU is the Sinai Urgent Care Center (3414 Milton Ave., Dallas, TX 75205 // 469-522-3995).
  • Students who test positive must complete a Caring Community Connections Form to report their status. The University contact tracing team will follow up with information about isolation and quarantine procedures, if needed.

Where can I report individuals not adhering to the Pledge to Protect?

Everyone in the SMU community plays an important role in minimizing the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the Community Action Network’s Pledge to Protect. Individuals who choose to put the community at risk will be subject to the Code of Conduct. To report Pledge violations, fill out this form.

Will SMU reduce tuition and fees to account for decreased in-person instruction due to COVID-19?

SMU’s distinguished faculty will deliver instruction using SMUFlex and Virtual formats. The academic experience will be challenging and rigorous, consistent with the University’s high academic standards regardless of the delivery mode. As a result, the University’s tuition and fees for the fall semester will not change or be reduced. If your family is experiencing a loss of income, or change in financial circumstances we encourage you to reach out to our Financial Aid office to request a review of your financial aid package. 

How do I request a more flexible work arrangement?

SMU remains committed to adjusting campus operations, as needed, to meet the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and to best support our community. To reflect the most current guidance from the CDC and the State of Texas, the University has established a set of guidelines for flexible work arrangements. To learn more, please visit the Flexible Work Arrangements Guidelines.  

Will I be required to wear a face covering?

Face coverings are required to be worn over the mouth and nose in all public indoor spaces.  This requirement – in accordance with the latest local ordinance – includes classrooms; building entrances and exits; lobbies and lounges; as well as in hallways, stairwells, restrooms and elevators. Face coverings are not required outdoors when adequate physical distancing is possible; in private spaces such as inside an office or partitioned cubicle for employees; or inside an individual residence hall room for students.

Face shields do not offer the equivalent protection of face coverings over the mouth and nose.  However, due to the vocal aspects of classroom instruction, a face shield is an acceptable substitute for faculty members to wear while teaching as long as the instructor also adheres to the other required safety standards. SMU has added plexiglass barriers to podiums, provided face shields and coverings, and distanced desks and lecterns to accommodate faculty in conducting their instructional duties. Faculty can also wear a face mask instead or in addition to a face shield, for added protection.

Students are required to wear face coverings in classrooms. If additional accommodations such as a face shield are needed, students should work with SMU’s Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies for available options.

Understanding multi-ply face masks provide the best protection, SMU strongly encourages the use of multi-ply masks instead of other types of face coverings. Faculty can require students in the classroom to wear face masks versus other types of face coverings.

Are students required to live on campus during this pandemic?

SMU has a two-year residency requirement. However, due to COVID-19, students may request a one-semester exemption if they plan to live at home (locally), are approved to participate in the SMU Remote option, or have an approved accommodation for a COVID-19 related disability through DASS.  More information can be found here

How does contact tracing work in identifying people who may have been exposed?

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.

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.

How is the location cleaned after a positive case is identified?

When a positive case is confirmed, within four to eight hours, SMU custodial workers deep clean and sanitize the area in which the person worked or lived, as well as adjacent rooms and public spaces in the building.

In addition to routine enhanced frequent high-touch cleaning protocol, a broad disinfection of the identified and unoccupied areas will take place via electrostatic spraying. All known touch points will be disinfected in the generally used public spaces such as all entrances, elevators, stairwells, door handles, restrooms, hallways, related break areas, conference rooms and common areas. The zone-disinfecting spraying will follow all paths of entry and exit points for the specific space.

The entire three-step process is outlined in this handbook.