COVID-19 Testing, Reporting, and Response Steps
The four most important steps students, faculty and staff must take responding to possible COVID-19 cases are:
- Notify your instructors and/or supervisor
- Seek medical evaluation and get tested
- If positive, report in Bobcat Trace
- The San Marcos Campus currently has two COVID-19 testing site locations:
- Flowers Hall: Please pre-register for the free test at this link (in either a Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browser). You may choose from a list of dates and times to visit the Curative kiosk for testing. Bring a Texas State University ID to check-in for your test. Onsite registration will also be available.
- LBJ Student Center Center (next to the bus stop): MD Diagnostic Labs from San Antonio is providing COVID-19 PCR testing using an oral swab. No appointments for testing are necessary—simply walk-up at your convenience. Testing is available Monday-Friday from 9am – 4pm. Please bring your Texas State ID, driver’s license and health insurance card. MD Diagnostic Labs will bill your health insurance plan or the CARES Act for those without insurance.
- For more information about this free testing, check the COVID-19 Testing Kiosk, visit the COVID-19 Campus Testing, or call the Student Health Center at 512.245.2161.
- Testing sites near the San Marcos Campus, include:
- San Marcos Public Library - 625 E Hopkins St, San Marcos, TX 78666
- San Marcos CISD - 1331 SH-123, San Marcos, TX 78666
- To learn more about these and other alternative locations, please visit the Student Health Center Testing Page.
- Testing sites near the Round Rock Campus:
- Georgetown Public Library - Trailer - Appointment Required, 707 South Martin Luther King Jr St, Georgetown, TX 78626: To register for a test, visit the Curative Appointment webpage
- Round Rock - Kiosk, 2008 Enterprise Dr., Round Rock, TX 78664: To register for a test, visit the Curative Appointment Webpage
- A significant proportion of those infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and don’t know they are infected. Thus, regular testing is important to keep our Bobcat community safe. Regardless of vaccination status, get tested when selected to participate in Texas State’s random COVID-19 testing program.
- The Delta variant that is spreading rapidly often causes mild symptoms like a cold (headache, sore throat, runny nose and fever).
- If you have developed cold-like or other COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, stay home and contact your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center (SHC) at 512.245.2161 for evaluation and testing for COVID-19.
- If you are not vaccinated and you were in close contact with someone who tested positive, even if you have no symptoms, stay home and contact your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center (SHC) at 512.245.2161 for evaluation and testing for COVID-19.
- The SHC evaluation may be conducted in the clinic or via a telehealth visit. Tests are administered on-site and results are generally available within 24-48 hours. You should self-isolate while awaiting test results.
Promptly report to Bobcat Trace if you test positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who received a positive test result. If you test positive for COVID-19 at a facility other than the SHC, notify Bobcat Trace so that contact tracing can be initiated and an assessment made about the need for any other safety measures. Upon submitting a report to Bobcat Trace, an e-mail notice will be automatically sent with instructions on isolation or quarantine as appropriate.
- If you test positive, a contact tracer will reach out to you to discuss close contacts and answer questions.
- If you are a close contact, the e-mail notice sent to you should provide all the information necessary to quarantine.
- Forward the email notice to your supervisor/instructor with a note explaining that you will not be able to come to work/attend class due to isolation/quarantine.
- Supervisors/Faculty should not require a negative COVID-19 test result or medical note from the employee or student in order to resume in-person activities.
- Isolate if you test positive for COVID-19. Stay home and away from others for 10 days from the start of symptoms or the positive test if you have no symptoms. Do not return to class or your university workplace until completing your isolation period, and until you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, and your symptoms, including respiratory symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath, have improved.
- Quarantine if you have been identified as a close contact and stay home (do not return to class or your university workplace) for the prescribed time period.
- Fully vaccinated Bobcats who are asymptomatic are not required to quarantine but should get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after last exposure. They should also wear a face mask when indoors in public spaces for 14 days since the exposure or until a negative test result is obtained three to five days after exposure.
- Unvaccinated Bobcats are required to quarantine for 7 days, test five to seven days from the date of exposure, and produce a negative test to leave quarantine and return to work or school. If an unvaccinated Bobcat cannot test, they must quarantine for 10 days and be symptom free before returning to work or school.
- Students: If you need to miss class due to illness or to being in close contact with someone who tested positive, notify your instructors to make appropriate arrangements for completing assignments. Such arrangements are expected to be like those offered in the past for students who missed class due to illness. If you are too ill to notify your instructors individually, complete the absence notifications form. If you are a student who is also employed by Texas State, notify your supervisor as well.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 at a facility other than the SHC, notify Bobcat Trace so that contact tracing can be initiated and an assessment made about the need for any other safety measures.
Step 1. Supervisors should set the expectation with employees that anyone who tests positive must immediately notify their supervisor and isolate. As a sidenote:
- If an employee is sick, then the supervisor should instruct them to contact the Student Health Center or their medical provider.
- If an employee believes that they are a close contact, then the supervisor should instruct them to report to Bobcat Trace so that contact tracers can determine if the employee is indeed a close contact and provide guidance on whether quarantine is needed. Contact tracers can ask about vaccination status and anything else pertinent to the case assessment.
Step 2. When contacted by an employee who tested positive, supervisors should require the employee to report to Bobcat Trace. Within 24 hours after the employee reports to Bobcat Trace, contact tracers will instruct the employee what to do next.
- As determined by contact tracers: employees who test positive will likely be isolated for ten days; and their close contacts will likely be quarantined for seven to ten days. Based on CDC guidelines:
- Fully vaccinated individuals who are asymptomatic are not required to quarantine but should get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after last exposure. They should also wear a face mask when indoors in public spaces for 14 days since the exposure or until a negative test result is obtained three to five days after exposure.
- Unvaccinated individuals are required to quarantine for 10 days since the time of last exposure or 7 days with a negative test result day 5 of the quarantine period.
- Note: Supervisors should not require a negative COVID-19 test result or medical note from the employee in order to resume in-person activities.
- Employees: If you work on campus, you may forward this email to your supervisor with a note explaining that you will not be able to come to work due to isolation/quarantine.
- Supervisors: Employees reporting that they must isolate/quarantine should provide some evidence of the need to do so, such as a positive test result, a medical note, or a Bobcat Trace notice. The Bobcat Trace notice can offer the documentation an employee needs to verify their need to be away from work for more than 3 days.
- Supervisors may not require a negative COVID-19 test result or medical note from the employee in order to resume in-person activities.
Step 3. Supervisors may send employees home they believe were a close contact to the employee who tested positive while waiting for the results of contact tracing. A close contact is someone who was within six feet of a person with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more. The name of the employee who tested positive should not be disclosed out of respect for confidentiality and privacy.
Step 4: Supervisors should restrict access to the immediate work area of the employee who tested positive until cleaned. Call 512-245-2824 to schedule cleaning. For the safety of our custodial staff, the area may not be cleaned for up to 24 hours.
- CONFIDENTIALITY: Supervisors must safeguard the privacy of the infected person. Releasing the names of affected employees violates their privacy and confidentiality. When a positive case is reported to Bobcat Trace, a contact tracer will notify those who came in close contact with the patient, and may request assistance from TXST employees or supervisors to obtain contact information for the exposed persons. Case information is shared only with those persons that need to know and who may have some action to take. Information about positive cases or close contacts is confidential information and should be safeguarded.
- As determined by contact tracers: employees who test positive will likely be isolated for up to ten days; and their close contacts will likely be quarantined for up to ten days.
- Depending on the nature of their work, employees in isolation or quarantine may be able to work remotely. Please consider remote work opportunities for employees whenever possible and appropriate.
- Employees diagnosed with COVID-19 may not return to work until the criteria set by the healthcare provider to discontinue home isolation are met. (Note: Employees are not required to produce a medical release upon their return to work.)
- Employees who are well but who have a family member at home sick with a confirmed case of COVID-19 should isolate from the member and notify their supervisor and report to Bobcat Trace for guidance.
- Employees who are caregivers for a family member with a confirmed case of COVID-19, and have frequent close contact while caring for them, should report to Bobcat Trace for guidance and follow the CDC recommendations for Caring for Someone Sick at Home.
- If the employee is exhibiting symptoms outlined in the Daily Self-Assessment, then they should go home and contact their healthcare provider or the Student Health Center for medical evaluation and COVID-19 testing.
- The EEOC has determined that COVID-19 qualifies as a direct threat, and accordingly, that “a significant risk of substantial harm would be posed by having someone with COVID-19, or symptoms of it, present in the workplace at the current time.” It is therefore permissible, at the current time, for a supervisor to send an employee home or refuse to allow them to work if they have a COVID-19 infection or symptoms of COVID-19.
- If an employee has questions about paid leave benefits or other leave policies, visit the Employee Time and Leave section on the Roadmap.
- CONFIDENTIALITY: Faculty must safeguard the privacy of the infected person. Releasing the names of affected students violates their privacy and confidentiality. When a positive case is reported to Bobcat Trace, a contact tracer will notify those who came in close contact with the patient, and may request assistance from TXST faculty or supervisors (if the student also works on campus) to obtain contact information for the exposed persons. Case information is shared only with those persons that need to know and who may have some action to take. Information about positive cases or close contacts is confidential information and should be safeguarded.
- The Student Health Center (SHC) is available to provide guidance to faculty with questions. Enter your questions in the COVID-19 Supervisor and Faculty Questions Form and a SHC staff member will respond promptly. For additional helpful resources that may answer your questions, go to FAQs for Faculty and Staff regarding COVID-19. The SHC may contact you or request your assistance as part of the contact tracing process. (Repeat for the supervisor section)
- If a student tells you they tested positive or were in close contact with someone who tested positive, request that they report to Bobcat Trace if they have not already done so. Within 24 hours, contact tracers will provide instructions via email. As a sidenote:
- If a student is sick, faculty should instruct the student to contact the Student Health Center or their medical provider.
- If a student believes that they are a close contact, then faculty should instruct them to report to Bobcat Trace so that contact tracers can determine if the student is indeed a close contact and provide guidance on whether quarantine is needed. Contact tracers can ask about vaccination status and anything else pertinent to the case assessment.
- Students should forward the Bobcat Trace email to their instructors with a note explaining that they will not be able to attend class due to isolation/quarantine.
- As determined by contact tracers: students who test positive will likely be isolated for ten days; and their close contacts will likely be quarantined for seven to ten days. Based on CDC guidelines:
- Note: Faculty should not require a negative COVID-19 test result or medical note from the employee in order to resume in-person activities.
Supervisors/Faculty may not require a negative COVID-19 test result or medical note from the employee in order to resume in-person activities.
- Faculty members will be responsible for determining appropriate arrangements. For more information, visit the Teaching and Research section on the Roadmap.
Contact tracing is critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19. All students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact should report in Bobcat Trace. This is a secure web application that will facilitate our contact tracing efforts and help us monitor the incidence of COVID-19 on our campuses. Identifying the close contacts of a positive case as soon as possible can prevent them from infecting others.
When a member of the campus community reports in Bobcat Trace, the web application automatically generates an e-mail to the person reporting with comprehensive information about how to safely isolate or quarantine. The person reporting is instructed to isolate or quarantine and contact their supervisor or professors to notify them of their need to be away from work or school.
The Student Health Center (SHC) has a team of contact tracing professionals, trained using the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health COVID-19 contact tracing course, who will contact individuals who have tested positive or been exposed to a positive case. Depending on the number of persons reporting, it may be several hours before contact tracers can speak to the person reporting. Positive cases are prioritized over close contacts. The goal is to make contact within 24 hours of the report. The contact tracers will obtain information to determine:
- Where and how the person may have been exposed to the infection
- Infection, isolation or quarantine periods
- Close contacts
- Whether a student attended classes during their infectious period
- Whether a supervisor or professor should be contacted for assistance in identifying close contacts
- Whether the Department of Housing and Residential Life should be contacted for assistance in coordinating arrangements for isolation or quarantine
- Whether there may be spaces that need to be closed, cleaned and disinfected
Contact tracers will then contact the appropriate persons to ensure that necessary actions are taken. Case information is shared only with those persons that need to know and who may have some action to take. Information about positive cases or close contacts is confidential information and should be safeguarded.
General announcements about positive cases in a department or class should not be made unless there is specific instruction to do so. Sharing information about a positive case when there is no specific action that others need to take is likely to create unnecessary concern and may lead to the case’s or close contact’s identity being determined resulting in a violation of their privacy. When deemed appropriate and necessary, the university will make announcements to the campus community about a COVID-19 situation and any precautions that should be taken.
Texas State University has a comprehensive testing program in place to monitor and limit the presence of COVID-19 on or near our campuses. Our goal is to make testing accessible for our students, faculty and staff, while gathering scientific data to inform university operations related to COVID-19.
Robust testing, combined with adherence to key precautions such as wearing face coverings, daily symptom screenings, hand hygiene and physical distancing, can help protect Texas State against the spread of COVID-19.
Our approach to COVID-19 testing consists of three components: testing for individuals who are symptomatic, testing for exposed individuals, and asymptomatic testing of university community members.
Each week during the semester, the Texas State Student Health Center (SHC) is selecting a random sample of faculty, staff and students for free, confidential COVID-19 testing. It is important that those selected complete testing. Results of testing will inform university decisions and guide planning.
Minors and students who have already tested positive for COVID-19 are not eligible to participate in the sample.
Free COVID-19 testing options are also available near our campuses. In San Marcos, free testing sites are located at the San Marcos Public Library and the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) Office next to Goodnight Middle School. For those in Round Rock, free testing sites are located at the Georgetown Public Library and 2008 Enterprise Drive. To schedule testing at these sites, click Curative COVID-19 Testing. For more additional testing site information, click on one of the following testing websites:
Weekly PCR testing is conducted to monitor students, faculty and staff who work in the Child Development Center on the San Marcos Campus. Athletic teams are tested at the start of their camps and weekly during competition.
Testing for Individuals Who are Symptomatic
PCR testing for COVID-19 is available for students, faculty and staff who have symptoms of possible COVID-19. By using a reference lab, CPL, to support SHC in-house testing, testing capacity can be increased up to 500 tests per day if necessary.
The university has two rapid PCR testing machines with a 15-minute turnaround time for results which are used in select situations. This enables faster contact tracing and decreases unnecessary self-isolation.
The university also has rapid antigen tests that provide results in 10 minutes. These tests are used in the Athletic weekly surveillance program and in other select situations.
Visit the Roadmap homepage for a dashboard that shows the number of positive test results reported among students, faculty and staff, as well as case data for Hays and Williamson counties.
Texas State is committed to balancing responsive and transparent communication with privacy and confidentiality laws including FERPA, HIPAA, and other state laws. We must safeguard all sensitive personal information, especially health information by following the “minimum necessary” and “need to know” requirements of these laws.
With a positive case of coronavirus, we focus on identifying and notifying close contacts. In some cases, we may expand that group to notify others who may have had brief but significant contact with the person who tested positive. We understand people are anxious to know all the information, but if they are not at risk and didn’t come in contact with a confirmed case, the university cannot release case information.
The university will not disclose the identity of positive cases to the general public. A positive case may be discussed with supervisors in order to coordinate additional actions that may be needed to prevent the spread of infection, but such information will be safeguarded to protect the privacy of the individual. The university is working in close coordination with the Hays County Local Health Department. The county and/or university will notify those who are in direct contact with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Can’t find the answer to your question?
COVID-19 Supervisor and Faculty Questions is a resource for faculty and staff supervisors who have questions about a COVID-19 situation in their classroom, area, or department. The university’s contact tracing team will respond to submitted questions.