Keeping FAS staff safe and healthy during COVID-19

7/10/20

Dear FAS Colleagues,

COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to be very active in our community, and I’m closely monitoring guidance shared by public health experts as more information is learned about the virus. My commitment to your health and safety remains my top priority as our portfolio continues to support the operations of the university during this challenging time, and as we continue to mourn the virus-related death of our colleague.

We all have a role in helping keep ourselves, our co-workers, and our loved ones healthy during this pandemic. The university has implemented many safety-driven expectations and supporting policies to help us do this together.

First and foremost, those of us who are able to work from home should be doing so. Working remotely limits our exposure to COVID-19, and it helps protect our colleagues who have job duties that require them to be on-site. We should have as few people on campus as possible so our co-workers on the front lines can focus on essential job duties without unnecessarily being exposed to situations that add additional stress to their work environment.

For our colleagues who perform essential and core duties that require them to be on-site, the buildings are being inspected and certified to ensure facility conditions are safe and systems are functioning properly for occupancy. Building access is limited, and things like water quality and air circulation are tested to ensure safe levels. Interior spaces are arranged to support social distancing expectations, and signage tailored for each building helps us understand things such as how to navigate hallways and stairwells and how many people should be in an elevator together – all based on public health guidance. Additionally, everyone on campus is required to wear face coverings and keep a distance of at least six feet from others as much as possible. 

The university continues to supply face coverings and other personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, hand sanitizer, and plexiglass barriers as applicable, and frequently disinfects and cleans buildings. Occupants of personal spaces like offices are responsible for disinfecting their space and any shared office equipment such as copiers, refrigerator door handles, and vending machines.

Regardless of our work locations, we should all be practicing preventive measures to take care of ourselves and others. Stay home if you are sick, and if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are being tested for the virus contact our Occupational Health Program (OHP) as soon as possible. OHP works quickly to provide guidance to those affected including contacting and advising others who may have been exposed to the virus, and coordinating with Environmental Health & Safety to determine if any campus offices or spaces need to be closed or undergo precautionary cleaning, sanitizing, or disinfecting.  

More information about what we can all be doing and what the university is doing to help keep ourselves and our campus community safe and healthy is on the university’s Protect Texas Together website. Familiarize yourself with the website, and check it regularly as new information and resources are frequently added.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and your loved ones. These are difficult and stressful times, but we are resilient and I know we can get through this together. 

Thank you for all you do.

Regards,

Darrell Bazzell
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
The University of Texas at Austin
Pronouns: he/him/his

COVID-19 FAS Updates Graphic
July 10, 2020