Skip to main content
 

COVID-19 Info

 

Updated Campus Protocols

Are you looking for fall 2021 COVID-19 protocols? Click here to jump down the page.

Summer 2021

Face Coverings

In compliance with Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-36, all mask requirements at Stephen F. Austin State University are rescinded.

Vaccine

SFA employees and students have assisted in the administration of more than 20,000 COVID-19 vaccinations in Nacogdoches County in 2021. As of Monday, March 29, Texas vaccine eligibility has been extended to all individuals 18 years of age and older, as well as educators. COVID-19 vaccines are not mandatory for students or employees at this time.

Read more about vaccination resources and upcoming clinics.

Occupancy Levels and Physical Distance

Occupancy on campus will open to 100%.

Travel and Transportation

In compliance with Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-36, all mask requirements at Stephen F. Austin State University are rescinded.

Sanitation/Cleaning

All areas on campus will continue to be cleaned and sanitized, with focused attention on high-traffic areas. This will allow custodians to begin to return to their regular cleaning schedule.

Dining

Continue current COVID-19 protocols.

Athletic Events

Continue to follow the NCAA protocols for athletic events.

Health Clinic Testing, Contact Tracing and Isolation Rooms

Remain in operation through the summer term.

If You Are Sick, Stay Home

It is important for individuals to remain vigilant of their health and symptoms. Individuals should screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms daily. If they feel sick, they must stay home. If they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has, they must follow quarantine and isolation guidelines and get tested. If an individual tests positive, they should report it in MySFA.

Flexibility

As with any pandemic plan, this plan must remain flexible. While we recommend reopening the campus to normal operation in Fall 2021 with a summer transition, some level of limitations may be necessary if pandemic conditions worsen. Such plans are developed and ready in reserve. We are hopeful that increased availability of COVID vaccines and increased herd immunity over the summer will allow campus operations to return to normal.

Fall 2021

Beginning Aug. 1, 2021, SFA will transition the campus pandemic safety protocols back to Status 1 (Normal Operations). This change adheres to evolving guidelines produced by the CDC and state mandates. With this transition, we look forward to the return of pre-pandemic operational norms in class formats, student life and other university traditions at SFA! Though most protocols will be lifted through this operational status change, some pandemic resources will remain as we begin the Fall semester.

Vaccine

Vaccination will remain voluntary and strongly encouraged. In compliance with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-35, the university will not require individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or provide proof of vaccination. We strongly encourage the SFA community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to further secure a fully in-person education experience. Getting your COVID-19 vaccine helps keep you and your fellow Lumberjacks safe. Do your part in getting vaccinated today!

We encourage everyone to complete SFA’s voluntary vaccine reporting survey, now live on the home page of mySFA. By completing this confidential survey, individuals assist the campus in identifying SFA’s overall vaccination rate.

SFA recommends unvaccinated individuals follow CDC guidelines and continue to practice COVID-19 protocols.

SFA employees and students have assisted in the administration of more than 20,000+ COVID-19 vaccinations in Nacogdoches County in 2021. In Texas, vaccine eligibility has been extended to all individuals 12 years of age and older and will be made available to students throughout the fall semester.

Face Coverings

These mandates have been lifted in all areas on campus. This change has allowed the university to comply with Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-36 which states the following:

“No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering.”

Occupancy Levels and Physical Distance

Occupancy on campus will open to 100% in all areas, with no physical distancing required.

Classrooms and Laboratories

Classrooms and labs will be open at 100% capacity with flexible modality available.

Travel and Transportation

Face coverings will not be required in any SFA/state-owned or rented vehicles including public transportation. Also, all vehicle and public transportation occupancy is at 100%.

Sanitation/Cleaning

All areas on campus will continue to be cleaned and sanitized. Custodians will return to their regular cleaning schedule.

Dining

Dining halls will be open at full capacity and will retain options for self-serve and to-go meals.

Residence Life

Residence hall move-in will be staggered over three days. Residents will be assigned a two-hour window to move in and may bring two helpers. All residence halls will be open at 100%.

Recreation Center

The Student Recreation Center will be open at 100% capacity and enhanced cleaning protocols will remain in place.

Athletic Events

Athletic events will be open at 100% capacity.

Visitors

It is recommended that all unvaccinated visitors continue to follow COVID-19 protocols to protect themselves and the SFA community from possible transmission.

Health Clinic Testing, Contact Tracing and Isolation Rooms

All will remain in operation through the beginning of the fall semester and will be re-evaluated periodically.

If You Are Sick, Stay Home

It is important for individuals to remain vigilant of their health and symptoms. Individuals should screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms daily. If they feel sick, they must stay home. If they have symptoms of COVID-19 or if an unvaccinated person has been in close contact with someone who has, they must follow quarantine and isolation guidelines and get tested. If an individual tests positive, they should report it in mySFA.

Report Positive Tests

Those who test positive for COVID-19 should report positive test results through the reporting link on the mySFA homepage. Reporting test results accelerates contact tracing and cleaning to decrease overall risk of spreading COVID-19 at SFA.

Monitoring

SFA will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases reported on campus throughout the Fall semester to ensure no additional protocols are necessary as the year progresses. The current case count for campus can be seen on the COVID-19 Cases webpage.

Vaccines

Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions

Is the vaccine required?

No. Vaccination is voluntary and strongly encouraged. In compliance with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-35, the university will not require individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or provide proof of vaccination. We strongly encourage the SFA community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to further secure a fully in-person fall semester. Getting your COVID-19 vaccine helps keep you and your fellow Lumberjacks safe.

Do your part in getting vaccinated today, Vax ‘Em, Jacks!

Where can I be vaccinated?

Visit vaccines.gov to find a vaccination provider near you today!

Nacogdoches County COVID-19 vaccination clinics and their sign-up forms are available by visiting bettertogethernac.com/vaccination-clinics

Who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Individuals 12 years of age and older are eligible to be vaccinated.

What COVID-19 vaccines are currently authorized in the U.S.?

The currently authorized vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in the United States:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech dose should be given three weeks (21 days) apart
  • Moderna dose should be given one month (28 days) apart
  • Johnson & Johnson is a single dose vaccine.

What is a mRNA Vaccine?

Learn how mRNA vaccines can help your immune system fight COVID-19!

Do I have to quarantine after being exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 if I’ve been vaccinated?

Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., more than two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or more than two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Face Coverings

Effective date: May 18, 2021

In compliance with Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order GA-36, all mask requirements at SFA are rescinded.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current status of the mask mandate?

Dr. Gordon sent this email to faculty, staff and students on July 1.

Updated COVID-19 Campus Protocols

Beginning August 1, 2021, Stephen F. Austin State University will transition the campus pandemic safety protocols back to Status 1 (Normal Operations). This change adheres to evolving guidelines produced by the CDC and state mandates.

With this transition, we look forward to the return of pre-pandemic operational norms in class formats, student life and other university traditions at SFA! Though most protocols will be lifted through this operational status change, some pandemic resources will remain as we begin the Fall semester.

Vaccination – Vaccination will remain voluntary and strongly encouraged. In compliance with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-36, the university will not require individuals to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or provide proof of vaccination. We strongly encourage the SFA community to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to further secure a fully in-person education experience. Getting your COVID-19 vaccine helps keep you and your fellow Lumberjacks safe. Do your part in getting vaccinated today!

We encourage everyone to complete SFA’s voluntary vaccine reporting survey, now live on the home page of MySFA. By completing this confidential survey, individuals assist the campus in identifying SFA’s overall vaccination rate.

SFA recommends unvaccinated individuals follow CDC guidelines and continue to practice COVID-19 protocols.

SFA employees and students have assisted in the administration of more than 20,000+ COVID-19 vaccinations in Nacogdoches County in 2021. In Texas, vaccine eligibility has been extended to all individuals 12 years of age and older and will be made available to students throughout the fall semester.

Face coverings – These mandates have been lifted in all areas on campus. This change has allowed the university to comply with Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-36 which states the following:

“No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering.”

Occupancy Levels and Physical Distancing – Occupancy on campus will open to 100% in all areas, with no physical distancing required.

Classrooms and Laboratories – Classrooms and labs will be open at 100% capacity with flexible modality available.

Travel and Transportation – Face coverings will not be required in any SFA/state-owned or rented vehicles including public transportation. Also, all vehicle and public transportation occupancy is at 100%.

Sanitation/Cleaning – All areas on campus will continue to be cleaned and sanitized. Custodians will return to their regular cleaning schedule.

Dining – Dining halls will be open at full capacity and will retain options for self-serve and to-go meals.

Residence Life – Residence hall move-in will be staggered over three days. Residents will be assigned a two-hour window to move in and may bring two helpers. All residence halls will be open at 100%.

Recreation Center – The Student Recreation Center will be open at 100% capacity and enhanced cleaning protocols will remain in place.

Athletic Events – Athletic events will be open at 100% capacity.

Visitors – It is recommended that all unvaccinated visitors continue to follow COVID-19 protocols to protect themselves and the SFA community from possible transmission.

Health Clinic Testing, Contact Tracing and Isolation Rooms – All will remain in operation through the beginning of the fall semester and will be re-evaluated periodically.

If You Are Sick, Stay Home – It is important for individuals to remain vigilant of their health and symptoms. Individuals should screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms daily. If they feel sick, they must stay home. If they have symptoms of COVID-19 or if an unvaccinated person has been in close contact with someone who has, they must follow quarantine and isolation guidelines and get tested. If an individual tests positive, they should report it in MySFA.

Report Positive Tests – Those who test positive for COVID-19 should report positive test results through the reporting link on the MySFA homepage. Reporting test results accelerates contact tracing and cleaning to decrease overall risk of spreading COVID-19 at SFA.

Monitoring – SFA will continue to monitor COVID-19 cases reported on campus throughout the Fall semester to ensure no additional protocols are necessary as the year progresses. The current case count for campus can be seen here.

Any additional questions may be directed to Jeremy Higgins at ext. 4532.

Dr. Gordon sent this email to faculty, staff and students on May 18.

Mask requirements immediately lifted in compliance with Govenor's executive order

Dear members of the SFA community:

Effective immediately, to comply with an executive order issued today by Governor Greg Abbott, all mask requirements at Stephen F. Austin State University are rescinded.

Governmental entities in Texas are now prohibited from requiring mask wearing, or they will face penalties beginning this Friday, May 21. The SFA Charter School is permitted to continue with its mandates until June 4.

Individuals may choose to wear masks, but they cannot be mandated to do so. Previous requirements that mask-wearing be mandated in classrooms, labs and on public transportation are now lifted.

We continue to encourage everyone to practice proper hygiene, stay home if you are sick, report positive tests in MySFA, and pursue vaccination to keep our community healthy.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to bringing COVD-19 levels down through your previous compliance and care for each other.

If you have any additional questions Please contact Jeremy Higgins, director of environmental health, safety and risk management, at higginsjk@sfasu.edu or ext. 4532.

Axe ’em,

Scott A. Gordon, President

Dr. Gordon sent this email to faculty, staff and students on May 14.

Updated COVID-19 Campus Protocols

Overview

This coming Monday, May 17, marks an important change in the campus’s COVID-19 safety protocols and bringing us to Status 1.5 before an anticipated return to full classroom occupancy and normal operations Status 1 in Fall 2021.

Most notably, face coverings will only be required in indoor classrooms, labs and public transportation. Physical distancing will reduce from six feet to three feet. All occupancy rates will return to 100%.

With the latest CDC guidelines issued May 13, individuals who are vaccinated are free to safely go without a face covering in all other locations. Those who are not vaccinated are strongly encouraged to continue wearing face coverings when in:

  • Elevators,
  • Hallways,
  • Lobbies,
  • Restrooms,
  • Conference and meeting rooms,
  • Break rooms,
  • Office settings,
  • Outdoor spaces,
  • SFA-owned vehicles.

Remember, these protocols are not just about protecting yourself, but others around you. When you are vaccinated or wear a face covering, you protect yourself and you do your duty to keep others around you and in our community safe.

If you have any additional questions Please contact Jeremy Higgins, director of environmental health, safety and risk management, at higginsjk@sfasu.edu or ext. 4532.

Axe ’em,

Scott A. Gordon, President

Dr. Gordon send this email to faculty, staff and students on April 6.

Overview

With expanded vaccine availability and limited impact from spring break travel, COVID-19 conditions are trending in a promising direction on campus, in Nacogdoches, within the local trauma service area (TSA H), and within the State of Texas.

As of April 5, there are three active cases connected to campus – three students and zero employees – while available capacity at North and South halls for quarantine/isolation is at 99% respectively.

The COVID-19 Operations Team, Faculty Senate and Chairs Forum leadership, members of the President’s Cabinet, along with representation from the Student Government Association, have met and updated recommendations for campus COVID-19 protocols. I have reviewed and accepted their recommendations and put forward the following campus protocols for Summer and Fall 2021 terms.

This plan offers a path to move from Campus Operation Status 2 (which has been the status since Fall 2020) to a Status 1.5 in Summer 2021 before reaching Status 1 (normal operations) in Fall 2021.

Status 1.5 is recommended to take effect May 17, 2021, and remain in place until the beginning of the fall semester.

Summer 2021 - Status 1.5

Face Coverings

Individuals must continue to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth in indoor classrooms and labs, until further notice. Individuals are also strongly encouraged to do so wherever it is not feasible to maintain physical distance from another person not in the same household. The face covering exemptions process will remain the same.

Physical Distance

Campus physical distance requirements have been adjusted from 6 feet to 3 feet in classrooms and shared spaces.

Occupancy Levels and Physical Distance

Occupancy on campus will open to 100%, with the exception of classrooms, laboratories and shared spaces requiring a physical distance of 3 feet.

Travel and Transportation

Face coverings will remain mandatory on all public transportation. It is strongly encouraged in SFA/state-owned or -rented vehicles.

Dr. Gordon sent this email to faculty, staff and students on March 5.

Happy Friday, Lumberjacks.

Before spring break officially begins, I wanted to provide you with information regarding our COVID-19 policies and, specifically, the face-covering requirement. After receiving input from the Student Government Association and our Faculty Senate, our SFA COVID-19 Operations Team has recommended that the face-covering requirement remain in effect on campus until the end of the spring semester.

I concur with this recommendation, and as a result SFA’s face-covering requirement will remain in place until further notice.

Although Gov. Abbott rescinded the statewide mandate, his order encouraged institutions of higher education to establish standards provided by the Texas Education Agency. The Texas Education Agency responded by updating their protocols to include this statement:

Every student, teacher or staff member shall wear a mask over the nose and mouth when inside a school building, school facility, facility used for school activities, or when in an outdoor space on school property...wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household..

Additionally, federal public health officials have strongly urged Americans to continue wearing face masks to control the spread of COVID-19 and limit the emergence of potentially more dangerous variants.

The well-being of our faculty, staff and students remains our highest priority, and we are committed to maintaining a campus environment that is as safe as possible and minimizes the spread of COVID-19. I hope you will commit to complying with the safety measures that protect our ability to safely hold face-to-face classes and other events.

I appreciate the work of our COVID-19 Operations Team and support the team’s decision regarding face coverings. We will review the policy again at the end of the semester and keep you informed when any changes are made.

Have a fabulous and safe spring break.

Axe ’em!

President Gordon

Dr. Gordon sent this email to faculty, staff and students on March 3.

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I hope the first half of the semester has gone well for you and you were able to successfully navigate the extreme weather challenges we experienced. It is my hope for all of us that the remainder of the spring semester will be smooth sailing!

With many traveling or taking some much-deserved time off during Spring Break next week, I want to encourage you to keep yourself and those around you safe. It’s now been one year since we began battling COVID-19, and I understand that this is still top of mind for many of us. It is a substantial health risk, and when we return from Spring Break, the university will continue to work to minimize the risks and limit the spread of the virus.

Although Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order that will lift the statewide mask mandate effective March 10, the SFA COVID Team will be meeting this week and seeking guidance from health agencies and vested entities regarding any changes to the campus safety and health protocols. Until that time, all of our SFA safety protocols will remain in effect.

SFA will continue to make the health and safety of all Lumberjacks a top priority, and I encourage you to visit the university’s COVID-19 page for updates regarding health, student and campus services.

If you are traveling during the upcoming week, make sure someone you trust knows where you are going, when you plan to return, and has contact information for someone at home if you are in need of help. When you arrive at your destination, learn your surroundings and ensure you know how you will return before going out by yourself or in a group.

Whether you are staying home or traveling, I encourage you to take care of one another this coming week. Enjoy yourself, use good judgment, respect those around you, wash your hands, and return to campus rested and ready for the final portion of the academic year. And, as always…

Axe 'em, Jacks!

President Gordon

How many cases of COVID-19 are on campus?

Daily figures are provided on our reported positive cases page.

What happens when a test report is submitted?

When a test report is submitted, four protocols will be initiated:

Contact Tracing*: The case will be assigned to a contact tracer(s) who will work with the test-pending individual to identify those who may have been in close contact with him or her on campus. The contact tracer(s) will reach out to those identified to inform them of the potential exposure and provide guidance on next steps. Be sure to answer calls to the number you post on the report form so the tracer can connect with you. If you miss a call, please call back as soon as possible.

Student Affairs/Residence Life Support: If the student reporting resides on campus, he or she will be advised to complete the quarantine or isolation period at home when possible. If off-campus quarantine or isolation is not feasible or poses a higher risk, Residence Life will coordinate on-campus quarantine and/or isolation options with the student. Students needing additional support or assistance may reach out to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs by calling 936.468.7249 or emailing DOSA@sfasu.edu.

Cleaning/Disinfecting of Physical Spaces: Physical spaces on campus that have been impacted will be cleaned and disinfected. The Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management will coordinate with the Physical Plant and/or Residence Life to facilitate the appropriate cleaning and disinfection processes in place for such instances.

Notification**: Should a test result be positive, the Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management will coordinate notification of the positive case via the 'Reported Cases' website. This is an informational notification only. Notification of a person's potential 'close contact' with the individual would come from the contact tracing team, not via this notification.

What if I am notified that I have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Any person who is notified that he or she has been in close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with an infected individual is required to quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms. A quarantine would last for 10 days without a negative test and 7 days if you test negative. During the quarantine period, the person should self-monitor for symptoms. You may be advised to be tested as well. Contact SFA Health Services at 936.468.4008 or healthservices@sfasu.edu for more information.

If you are a student employee and an SFA contact tracer advises you to quarantine, your supervisor will be notified. Student employees should discuss telecommuting or potential leave options that may apply for the period of quarantine with their supervisor.

Fully vaccinated individuals can refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you have symptoms, it is important to stay away from others (quarantine) and be screened for COVID-19. You should contact your personal healthcare provider or the SFA Health Services (936.468.4008) to determine if testing would be appropriate.

If I travel out of the country for any reason, will I need to quarantine when I return?

Yes. Quarantining for 7 days is important for students and employees when returning from travel outside of the country.

The CDC recommends you get tested 3-5 days after travel AND quarantine at home for 7 days. Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days. If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home for 10 days.

Students who live on campus should inform their hall director of their need to quarantine so meals can be arranged.

Remember, quarantining is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others and helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others and monitor their health.

It is also important to remember that global recommendations regarding COVID-19 are fluid. Although travel may seem relatively free-flowing to an area at one particular moment in time, sudden changes may prevent your anticipated departure or return.

What triggers a requirement to quarantine?

A quarantine would be required for any person who has been in close contact (within 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with an infected person. A quarantine would last for 10 days without a negative test and 7 days if you test negative. During the quarantine period, the person should self-monitor for symptoms. You may be advised to be tested as well.

Fully vaccinated individuals can refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.

If a person in a class tests positive for COVID-19, will the entire class have to quarantine?

In most cases, if physical distancing has been observed, and face masks have been worn in the classroom, no quarantine would be required.

What is the protocol for returning to the classroom or on-campus activities after a positive test for students, including those living on campus and student employees?

A student who has tested positive for COVID-19 may return to the classroom or on-campus activities when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • At least 24 hours have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications), and
  • the individual has improvement in symptoms, and
  • at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

A person with symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19 who has not been evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19 should be assumed to have COVID-19 and may not return to the classroom or on-campus activities until he or she has completed the same criteria listed above. If the student has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to the classroom or on-campus activities before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain written clearance based on an alternative diagnosis from a medical professional.

A student with known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 should not return to the classroom or any on-campus activity until the end of a self-quarantine period from the last date of exposure. A quarantine would last for 10 days without a negative test and 7 days if you test negative. During the quarantine period, the person should self-monitor for symptoms. If no symptoms are observed during this quarantine period, no notification from a medical professional is required to return to the classroom or on-campus activities.

When can an employee return to work after testing positive for COVID-19?

An employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 may return to the workplace when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • At least 24 hours have passed with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications
  • and there has been an improvement in all other symptoms
  • and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

If an employee was unable to work during their period of isolation, they should be prepared to provide medical certification to their supervisor that they are able to return to the workplace.

What is the protocol for returning to the class, campus activities or work after a negative test for COVID-19?

The appropriate protocol depends on why you were tested:

  • Close Contact: If you were tested because you had been in close contact with a person who was infected, your last day of quarantine is 10 days from the date you had the last close contact unless you test negative in which case it would be 7 days. Be advised, an infection can emerge for up to 14 days after being exposed, so it's advisable to use extreme care until that time period has passed.
  • Symptoms: If you were tested for COVID-19 only because you had symptoms, your last day of quarantine is 24 hours after all of your symptoms resolve without the use of medicine. The illness that is causing your symptoms may still be contagious.
  • No Close Contact and No Symptoms: If you were tested for COVID-19 only because you were curious about your status, you do not have to quarantine.

What if I have had symptoms, but I was never tested?

A person with symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19 who does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19 should be assumed to have COVID-19 and may not return to the workplace, class, or any on-campus activities until he or she has completed the same criteria listed for a person who has tested positive.

How will I know how many positive tests have been reported on-campus?

The Reported Positive Cases website is updated regularly and indicates the total number of reported tests and the number of tests that returned with positive results for those SFA faculty, staff or students who may have been present on campus during the time of their infection. Since the information is self-reported, confirmation of the results of each test cannot be definitively verified.

For official information about confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nacogdoches County, visit the Nacogdoches County Dashboard for a complete local case report. For updates across all counties in Texas, consult the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard.

Who do I contact if I have a question or concern about COVID-19 protocols?

You may contact Dr. Jeremy Higgins, director of environmental health, safety and risk management, at 936.468.4532 or higginsjk@sfasu.edu.

Medical Related Questions: You may contact SFA Health Services, at 936.468.4008 or healthservices@sfasu.edu.

Contact Tracers may be reached at 936.468.7648 or contactracers@sfasu.edu.

What mental health services are available to me?

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges to students beyond those traditionally associated with adjusting to college. These may include feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression and grief. The following mental health services are available:
  • Free and confidential counseling sessions are available to SFA students from the professional counselors in Counseling Services. Individual, couples and group counseling sessions are all available via telehealth appointment. Call (936) 468-2401 to schedule an initial consultation.
  • For a brief 10-to-15-minute consultation with a counselor, students can call during "Call-a-Counselor" hours from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Although counseling sessions are reserved for students, counselors can also provide consultations and referral services to faculty, staff and students. To access a list of community health providers or to learn more, call Counseling Services at (936) 468-2401 or visit sfasu.edu/counselingservices.
  • Graduate students in the School of Human Sciences' Counselor Education Program provide on-campus counseling services in a separate counseling clinic to both SFA students and the general public. For more information, visit the SFA Counseling Clinic website or call 936.468.1041.

COVID-19 Test Reporting

You are required to report when you have taken a test for COVID-19 by using the Report a COVID-19 Test online form. Do not wait until you receive your test results to report.

Since it is currently taking a number of days to receive the results of a test, this earlier notification allows our response efforts to begin more quickly.

Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management

The Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management department serves as the lead department in the university’s COVID-19 Operations Group and oversees the central collection of all test reports from both students and employees. This department works with others across campus to initiate the protocols designed to reduce the spread of the virus while also protecting the confidentiality of the affected individuals’ information to the extent possible. 

If you have any questions about the COVID-19 Reporting Process, please contact Dr. Jeremy Higgins, director of environmental health, safety & risk management, at (936) 468-4532 or higginsjk@sfasu.edu

General Guidelines for Employees and Students

Employee

If:

  • You are tested for COVID-19, or
  • You have been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19;

you must:

  • stay home,
  • notify your supervisor of your absence, and
  • immediately complete the COVID-19 Test Report Form (selecting "Self" as the reporter).

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (as listed on the CDC website) or you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19, or someone in your household has been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19, you must stay home and notify your supervisor of your absence.

Student

If:

  • You are tested for COVID-19, or
  • You have been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19;

you must:

  • stay home,
  • notify your faculty members of your absence, and
  • immediately complete the COVID-19 Test Report Form (selecting "Self" as the reporter.)

You must stay home if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (as listed on the CDC website); or you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19, or someone in your household (including a roommate or housemate) has been diagnosed with or received a positive test result for COVID-19, you must stay home and notify your faculty members of your absence. Students who suspect that they may have COVID-19 also are encouraged to contact SFA Health Services or their preferred health care provider for health advice.

Student Employee

If you are a student employee who works on campus, you must follow the steps above and also notify your work supervisor.

Both Students and Employees

When you report you have been tested for COVID-19, or if an infected person reports a close contact with you, you will be contacted by a "contact tracer." This person will provide guidance and answer questions about COVID-19.  

Reported Cases

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to report when I have been tested for COVID-19?

Yes. If you were tested for COVID-19 due to having symptoms, you are required to notify the university as soon as possible using the Report a COVID-19 Test online form. These reports can be initiated by the student or by others on the student's behalf, if needed.

You should self-quarantine after your test until you receive the test results. The results of your test will determine next steps.

What happens when a test report is submitted?

When a test report is submitted, four protocols will be initiated:

Contact Tracing*: The case will be assigned to a contact tracer(s) who will work with the test-pending individual to identify those who may have been in close contact with him or her on campus. The contact tracer(s) will reach out to those identified to inform them of the potential exposure and provide guidance on next steps. Be sure to answer calls to the number you post on the report form so the tracer can connect with you.  If you miss a call, please call back as soon as possible.

Student Affairs/Residence Life Support: If the student reporting resides on campus, he or she will be advised to complete the quarantine or isolation period at home when possible. If off-campus quarantine or isolation is not feasible or poses a higher risk, Residence Life will coordinate on-campus quarantine and/or isolation options with the student.

Students needing additional support or assistance may reach out to the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs by calling 936.468.7249 or emailing DOSA@sfasu.edu.

Cleaning/Disinfecting of Physical Spaces: Physical spaces on campus that have been impacted will be cleaned and disinfected. The Office of Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management will coordinate with the Physical Plant and/or Residence Life to facilitate the appropriate cleaning and disinfection processes in place for such instances.

Notification**: Should a test result be positive, the SFA director of emergency management will coordinate notification of the positive case via the 'Reported Cases' website. This is an informational notification only. Notification of a person's potential 'close contact' with the individual would come from the contact tracing team, not via this notification.

*A Note about Contact Tracing

The Texas Department of State Health Services is notified when a positive test is received from a lab and would typically delegate the work of contact tracing to the local public health department in the impacted city/area. Nacogdoches does not have a public health department, so the city depends upon the staff of TDSHS Region 4/5N, based in Tyler, for contact tracing. Covering many counties in northeast Texas, Region 4/5N is larger than 10 states in population and geographic size. Since rapid contact tracing is important for our operational continuity, the SFA's Health Services has been charged with tracing contacts among the university community when the staff is notified of a reported case. Contact tracers from the TDSHS also may follow up as they work through the positive test results they receive from Nacogdoches. In this case, employees may be contacted twice.

**A Note about Medical Privacy

We know that people often want to know the identity of those who have tested positive. SFA cannot release personal information about any university community members who are being monitored or who have tested positive for COVID-19. In accordance with federal and state law, confidentiality of the medical information and personal identity of those who have tested positive will be maintained to the extent possible.

Where does my submitted report go?

The Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management department oversees the central collection of all test reports from both students and employees. This department works with others across campus to initiate the protocols listed above.

What do I do if my COVID-19 test result is positive?

Continue to isolate yourself away from others. You will have been given instructions on how to report your test results to the university when you are contacted about your test-pending report.

The protocol for returning to the classroom or on-campus activities after testing positive is outlined below.

Student employees should discuss with their supervisor telecommuting or potential leave options that may apply for the period of isolation.

What is the protocol for returning to the classroom or on-campus activities after a positive test for students, including those living on campus and student employees?

A student who has tested positive for COVID-19 may return to the classroom or on-campus activities when all three of the following criteria are met:

  1. At least 24 hours have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications), and
  2. The individual has improvement in symptoms, and
  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

A person with symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19 who has not been evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19 should be assumed to have COVID-19 and may not return to the classroom or on-campus activities until he or she has completed the same criteria listed above. If the student has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to the classroom or on-campus activities before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain written clearance based on an alternative diagnosis from a medical professional.

A student with known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 should not return to the classroom or any on-campus activity until the end of a self-quarantine period from the last date of exposure. A quarantine would last for 10 days without a negative test and 7 days if you test negative. During the quarantine period, the person should self-monitor for symptoms. If no symptoms are observed during this quarantine period, no notification from a medical professional is required to return to the classroom or on-campus activities.

What is the protocol for returning to the classroom or on-campus activities after a negative test?

This depends on why you were tested:

  • Close Contact: If you were tested because you had been in close contact with a person who was infected, your last day of quarantine is 10 days from the date you had the last close contact unless you test negative in which case it would be 7 days. Be advised, an infection can emerge for up to 14 days after being exposed, so it’s advisable to use extreme care until that time period has passed.
  • Symptoms: If you were tested for COVID-19 only because you had symptoms, your last day of quarantine is 24 hours after all of your symptoms resolve without the use of medicine. The illness that is causing your symptoms may be contagious.
  • No Close Contact and No Symptoms: If you were tested for COVID-19 only because you were curious about your status, you do not have to quarantine.

What if I am notified that I have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19?

Any person who is notified that he or she has been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) with an infected person should self-quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms. You may be advised to be tested as well. Contact SFA Health Services at 936.468.4008 or healthservices@sfasu.edu for more information.

If you are a student employee and an SFA contact tracer advises you to quarantine, your supervisor will be notified. Student employees should discuss telecommuting or potential leave options that may apply for the period of quarantine with their supervisor.

What is the difference between "quarantine" and "isolation?"

Quarantine - the separation of a person or group of people possibly exposed to but not yet infected by a communicable disease from others who have not been exposed to prevent possible spread of the disease.

Isolation - the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease and potentially infectious from those who are not infected to prevent possible spread of the disease.

What is considered to be a "Close Contact?"

The CDC defines a "close contact" someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Will this guidance change?

Possibly. All SFA-issued guidance is based on guidance available from public health authorities and agencies. Our guidance may change as circumstances change or as the guidance we receive from others evolves.

Who do I contact if I have a question or concern about COVID-19 protocols?

You may contact Dr. Jeremy Higgins, director of environmental health, safety and risk management, at 936.468.4532 or higginsjk@sfasu.edu.

Medical Related Questions: You may contact SFA Health Services, at 936.468.4008 or healthservices@sfasu.edu.

Contact Tracers may be reached at 936.468.7648 or contactracers@sfasu.edu.