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Community Information

For the latest campus operations, resource and safety information, please click on the links below.

Plan for Fall 2020

Resources for learning online here

UIW COVID-19 Community Updates and Operations Information

Safety and Shared Responsibility

COVID-19 Statement to Students Shared Responsibility and Acknowledgement of Pandemic

We are living in unique and uncertain times. None of us can know what the future holds for sure, but at the University of the Incarnate Word, we know this – we are dedicated to providing our students with a full University experience in Fall 2020. We at UIW are working hard and are confident that the academic and non-academic support services and curriculum will be the excellent academic, collegial and productive experience that drew you to UIW, whether delivered live, in a hybrid environment, or entirely remotely.

We recognize that you are seeking certainty; we all are. COVID-19, the virus responsible for the current global pandemic, is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. Research supports that the virus primarily spreads through respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, or sneeze. In addition, many people who contract the virus may be asymptomatic and unknowingly spread the virus. However, the full extent of how the virus transmits is unknown. Currently, there is no vaccine available for the virus nor known treatment for the adverse effects attributed to COVID-19.

Cardinal Red Statue with his wings spread on a bench

The risk of exposure and possible infection is real and present in any community environment where large numbers of people are regularly interacting, including on campuses at UIW. We are engaged in numerous efforts to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Efforts include increased cleaning, implementation of mask and face-covering protocols, social distancing, hand sanitizing stations, and other mitigation strategies.

Despite the University’s best efforts, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of positive cases or an outbreak on our campuses – while still operating on-campus classes, residential housing, and campus events. We cannot guarantee that people present on our campuses will not be exposed to and become infected with COVID-19. By engaging in the on-campus community of UIW, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.

As a Catholic institution of faith and education, UIW is committed to acknowledging and honoring the dignity of every person, as each is created in the image of God. We must all take steps to care for each other. Taking steps to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infections (or any other spread of disease) at UIW and in our community is a shared responsibility and a critical part of caring for all who live, work and learn with us. Students can help keep our community healthy by being mindful of their actions at all times and following the on-campus health and safety protocols.

Please understand that whether on any UIW campus or remote, a few things are certain:

UIW holds as paramount the health, safety and welfare of every member of its community.

None of us can guarantee what shape COVID-19 will take, and none of us – including UIW – can guarantee a COVID-19-free environment. This is simply not feasible. We want to be sure that you appreciate and understand that, by coming onto the physical campus of UIW, there is a risk you may contract COVID-19. We certainly do not wish this on anyone, and we are taking recommended steps to mitigate this risk, but we cannot categorically guarantee this will not happen.

Every member of our community – including you – must do their part. This means adhering to national, state, local, and university health and safety guidelines and requirements, whether on or off campus, including complying with mandatory reporting guidelines of the CDC and UIW. Specific details will be provided as circumstances dictate, but this may include such things as: temperature checks, social distancing, wearing masks or other facial coverings, using other PPE, reporting suspected and positive infections, not reporting to class or work if sick, and isolating and quarantining when required. You agree to do all of this not just for yourself, but for the safety of others, and because this is consistent with the Mission and spirit of how we care for one another at UIW. Download the Shared Responsibility and Acknowledgement of Pandemic Statement to Students (pdf).

General guidance for all students and faculty:

  • Persons with symptoms of possible illness will not come to campus.
  • Face coverings will be worn on campus at all times.
  • Seating will be at a safe 6-foot separation wherever possible, according to CDC guidelines.
  • Where 6-foot separation is not practical for required course activity, precautions will be rigorously practiced by faculty and students.
  • Everyone will also practice safe precautions when off campus.

Expectations for All Students

Lounge Area in the Student Engagement Center

COVID-19 is a “novel” virus. That means that we do not have historical knowledge about the virus and it is rapidly evolving. What we do know is that there is no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19 and relatively few therapeutics are available. While work is being done on both, we are all responsible for understanding what we can do and doing it to slow the spread of the disease and to protect vulnerable individuals.

UIW’s Mission is in part to create socially aware citizens who look out for the needs of the less fortunate. Now is the time to put this into action and protect those you love and those among us who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. It is up to all of us to accept this challenge!

Student Safety Protocols

In order to protect yourself and others, UIW expects all students to follow the commonsense guidelines below which are intended help us all as safe as possible while giving students the ability to continue to learn and grow as part of the UIW community.

  • While on UIW property all students will wear a face mask that covers both nose and mouth. A mask that does not cover both is not effective.
  • While in any public place (dorm rooms are exempted) students will stay a minimum of six feet away from others. When exercising, students should keep at least 12 feet of distance as aerosol particles will travel farther.
  • When entering or exiting a building or classroom, taking stairs or elevators please keep six feet away from others, even when you are wearing a face mask.
  • Besides a mask and distancing, keeping your hands clean is very important. Wash your hands frequently for 30 second. Using hot water and soap, humming Happy Birthday twice will give you very clean hands.
  • Use hand sanitizer frequently in between washing. You will find hand sanitizer at the doors of all university buildings and in classrooms. A good rule of thumb is when you see hand sanitizer, use it!

Why Wear a Mask - English Version

Why Wear a Mask - Spanish Version

UIW Health Services

UIW Health Services clinic is available for student via Zoom Telemedicine. To schedule an appointment call (210) 829-6017 or (210) 829-3175. It is important for every member of the UIW community to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Take note of any flu-like symptoms and if you feel sick, do not come to campus. COVID-19 symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough and/or sore throat 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing 
  • Fatigue   
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Mental confusion
  • Loss of appetite

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and/or have been in contact with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, you are required to self-isolate and self-report using the COVID-19 Illness Reporting Form. In the event of an emergency, the student should contact University Police at 210-829-6017.

Symptomatic patients will first have a tele-medicine consultation from the doctor on duty before having a test for COVID-19. Students who are living in UIW Residence Halls and are diagnosed or strongly suspected of having an infectious disease to include COVID-19 will be asked to return to their off-campus home if possible.

If a student suspected of having an infectious disease cannot return to his/her off-campus home UIW will have several residence hall units with private bathrooms that will be available for students suspected to have an infectious disease and/or who have had recent contact with individuals diagnosed with a communicable disease. There are detailed plans in place to make sure that a student who is self-monitoring or in quarantine will have medical support as needed and food delivered to the room.

Mask Requirement

One of the best ways to protect yourself and others is to wear a mask. The CDC is clear that wearing a face mask in public helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 but only if you wear it properly, making sure that it covers both your nose and mouth. Here are some great tips for safe mask wearing!

  • Wash your hands with warm water and plenty of soap before and after touching your mask.
  • Touch only the bands or ties when putting on a mask. Do not touch the cloth of the mask even if you have washed your hands really well. It is good to get into a routine that will prevent contaminating your mask surface.
  • Put on the mask and make sure that it totally covers your mouth and nose and fits comfortably. If you have to make adjustments to your mask make sure to wash your hands again when done.
  • If you are wearing a cloth mask make sure to wash it after each use. If you are using a disposable mask it is best to use a fresh one for each use but if that is not possible discard properly when visibly soiled. Remember, disposable masks are mean to be put in a trash can and not on the ground!

  • Don’t touch your mask while you are wearing it. Even with the best hand washing you don’t want to take the chance of contaminating yourself!
  • While it may look cool, do not wear your mask on your chin! Keep your nose and mouth covered at all times.
  • Don’t remove your mask while around others in public. If you are with family or others that you are certain are safe and have not been exposed you may remove, but when in doubt wear the mask.
  • Don’t share a worn mask with family or friends. UIW has plenty of masks if a friend needs one. You can find a clean mask at a variety of locations throughout campus.

You should wear a mask any time you are in a public space on a UIW campus. Students seen not wearing a mask will be asked to put one on. If they do not have a mask, one will be provided. Free masks can be accessed in several locations throughout campus.

Students who do not comply with wearing a mask will find that this will become a UIW Student Code of Conduct offense and will have ramifications. Remember, the way to beat this virus is to be a concerned citizen that understands it is everyone’s responsibility to look out for each other. At UIW, that is our Mission!

Masks do not have to be worn in your own dorm room or while you are seated and eating in one of the dining venues on campus.

Students who have been advised by a medical professional not to wear a mask due to a medical condition or trouble breathing, being incapacitated, or otherwise being unable to remove your mask without assistance are recommended to learn remotely until conditions improve. If this is not possible, accommodations may be available. If this applies to you, please contact Student Disability Services prior to coming or returning to campus for the fall.

COVID-19 Safety Rules

Here's some useful information about the coronavirus. Please do your best to follow general hygiene and safety guidelines to help contain the spread.

graphic icon of a coronavirus

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus discovered in 2019. Much is left to be known, but it is considered to be highly contagious and can cause severe cardio-pulmonary complications in patients.

Learn more about COVID-19 from the CDC

graphic icon about detecting covid symptoms

Symptoms

Many who test positive for COVID-19 report feeling flu-like symptoms, cough and shortness of breathe. However, additional symptoms have been identified over the last several months as more is learned about the virus.

Learn more about COVID-19 symptoms

icon graphic for an alert to get tested for infection

Testing and Reporting

Those with COVID-19 symptoms or who have been exposed are asked to self-report using the COVID-19 Illness Reporting Form. Students may request a COVID-19 test at UIW Health Services by appointment only.

Learn more at UIW Health Services

graphic icon for using a face covering

Face Coverings

Studies have proven that wearing a mask or face covering is an effective tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask or face covering while on any UIW campus is currently mandatory.

Learn more about the benefits of masks

graphic icon for maintaining a safe social distance

Social Distancing

Social distancing means keeping a safe space between you and others who are not part of your household. You should strive to maintain at least 6 ft. of distance between you and others.

Learn more about safe social distancing

icon graphic for hand washing and good general hygiene

Good Hygiene

Good hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and disinfecting surfaces help prevent the spread of disease. These measures will also help protect you and others from COVID-19.

Learn more about protecting yourself

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