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Updated Risk, Ethics And Compliance Information Regarding COVID-19

August 24, 2021, 5:00 p.m. CDT

As we endeavor to begin the fall semester in a safe and compliant manner, given the newest phase and ever-evolving impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure we update our risk, ethics and compliance information with the most current information available.

Whether you are an employed faculty or staff member, student, an enrolled student, an affiliated partner at Texas A&M University's primary campus in Bryan-College Station, or at our branch campus, educational sites and centers around Texas, all university-approved guidance should be applied uniformly across Texas A&M.

There is currently only limited delegation of authority for adjusting the Fall 2021 COVID-19 Management & Guidance Plans* to certain labs and clinical locations for additional controls as approved by the COVID-19 Contingency Council and Vice President for Research. University Risk, Ethics and Compliance has received several complaints in regard to departments instituting differing stances on these topics.

To ensure your alignment/compliance with university operations, please refer to the following:

Interaction With Others

Vaccination status: Texas A&M employees are not permitted to require an individual to disclose their vaccination status as a condition of receiving services, education or employment. Should an individual elect to disclose their status, it is not protected health information but should be treated with confidentiality.

Face coverings: Texas A&M employees are not permitted to require the wearing of face coverings, although wearing face coverings is highly encouraged.

Testing: Texas A&M has the authority to conduct testing and provide consequences for individuals who elect not to participate. All testing outside of the program run on campus should be submitted to the COVID-19 Contingency Council; I would be willing to act as your conduit to that group.

What To Do When Sick Or Exposed And How Does Vaccination Status Figure In?

One additional area of significant discussion is what to do when you are sick with/have a positive laboratory confirmed result for COVID-19 and what to do when you are a close contact/exposed to someone who has tested positive. I encourage everyone to review the flow charts and written procedures that are provided for sick faculty and staff members*, as well as those who may have been exposed* to COVID-19.

As we adjust to the personal responsibilities of addressing the pandemic, one important change to note this semester is that the individual impacted as a positive case or a close contact is required to report their personal status as either a positive case or a close contact to the portal*. Supervisors, faculty and co-workers are no longer asked to report others to the portal. This ensures each of us is taking personal responsibility for reporting our current health situation, allows the university to analyze impacts on operations and supports our local health authorities by providing case investigation for pandemic reporting responsibilities.

Should you have any doubt as to your roles and responsibilities, please email us at Covid19@tamu.edu and refer to COVID-19 guidance for updates and changes to this evolving situation.

Additional information will be communicated in regard to your status as faculty or staff from the appropriate individuals.

Thank you for doing your part and here is to a successful and safe semester.

Kevin P. McGinnis
Chief Risk Ethics and Compliance Officer
Texas A&M University
mcginnis@tamu.edu

 

*link no longer exists and has been removed