Maintaining a Healthy Campus

Mask Policy

 

Masks are optional on the SMU campus in indoor spaces with a few notable exceptions.

  • Faculty have the discretion to require students to wear masks in their instructional spaces (classroom, labs, etc.) and during research activities.
    • More guidance for faculty about how to execute the mask requirement in their classrooms can be found here.
  • Although masks are not required in faculty or staff office spaces, individuals can wear one and request that others do so when visiting.
    • Consider moving to a larger room where social distancing is possible or setting up a Zoom meeting if one party does not want to wear a mask after being asked.
  • Masks are still required inside the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center and on public transportation including campus shuttles.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

  • SMU is strongly encouraging and providing vaccines for the campus community as well as employees' spouses and dependents at the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center.
  • The Pfizer (two dose) vaccine is offered at the Health Center. Additionally, second doses of Pfizer are available for individuals who may have gotten their first Pfizer dose elsewhere.
  • Please schedule your vaccination appointment through the health portal. If you do not have access to the portal please call the Health Center at 214-768-2141 (option 1) to schedule an appointment.
  • All information about SMU's COVID-19 vaccinations is available here
  • SMU has transitioned to a new way of voluntarily reporting your COVID-19 vaccination status.
    • The vaccine reporting tool previously located on the Mustang Strong website has now moved to the SMU Health Portal and is maintained by the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center.
    • If you were vaccinated on campus, your information will automatically be uploaded into your health record under immunizations (no action is necessary).
    • If you were vaccinated off campus, we ask that you now upload that information directly to the SMU Health Portal, even if you already voluntarily shared your status through the vaccine reporting tool last spring.

If You Need a COVID-19 Test

All students, faculty and staff are expected to conduct a daily self-screen for COVID-19 before coming to campus.

  • 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 outside the University’s Health Center 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.
  • Faculty and staff should contact their primary physician, or get a no cost rapid COVID-19 test through virtualcarefamilies.com/smu.

Student COVID-19 Testing Costs

  • If you are enrolled in the University insurance: Costs are fully covered without additional steps.
  • If you are enrolled in a non-University insurance plan: Costs are typically fully covered after filing a claim.
    • You may receive a charge for testing services on your student portal, which most private insurers will fully reimburse if you file a claim.
    • In the event your insurance denies your claim, contact the Health Center and ask for assistance on testing costs.
    

Contact Tracing

  • Contact tracing is an effort to identify and inform anyone who has come in close contact with an infected individual. The CDC defines “close contact” as being within 6 feet of an infected individual for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.
  • If you are identified as a close contact and are vaccinated, you may not need to quarantine. A contact tracer will reach out to you and recommend you monitor your symptoms, test three to five days after potential exposure and wear a mask.
  • Individuals who have tested positive, or come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive, 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. 
  • It is imperative that you answer SMU's contact tracing team truthfully should you receive a phone call. Your honest answers will play an important role in slowing the spread of the virus. 

Student Isolation and Quarantine 

  • SMU continues its essential pandemic protocols such as contact tracing and case management to identify and offer resources to those who test positive for COVID-19.
  • The University is providing a total of 88 isolation spaces for students living on campus who contract COVID-19. In many instances, students may opt to isolate at their permanent residence.
    • SMU will provide delivery of food for three meals a day during isolation, which typically lasts at least 10 days.
  • Students living off campus will isolate in their residence.  
  • Additional protocols are in place—and available to read in the COVID 2021 Operations Planshould demand for isolation quarters near or exceed capacity. 
  • Students in isolation can expect periodic check-ins from a member of the Health Center staff, as well as regular communication from the contact tracing team to discuss symptoms, provide further resources and answer questions. 
  • Students should stay in isolation for a minimum of 10 days and will be instructed about when they can leave by a member of the Health Center. 
  • Students who are identified as a close contact will be asked to quarantine in their own residence. 
  • Students should work with their instructors if they contract or are exposed to COVID-19 to make up lost work, as they would for any other illness where they would miss class time.