Roadmap to Reopening
As you know, we continue to monitor public health conditions in San Antonio and on our own campus carefully. We have recently resumed mass testing of students, faculty and staff and while we are pleased to report that our campus positivity rate remains low (0.9%), we are concerned about the spread of the virus and hospitalization rates in Bexar County and beyond.
We learned much over the course of the Spring and Fall of 2020, and have adapted in our abilities to manage the virus and associated operations. As a result, we are better prepared to respond in incremental ways to public health conditions.
Throughout this semester, I would encourage each of us to think of our operational status as something we can “dial up or down,” rather than the binary choices of “open” and “closed.” The last two weeks have been an example of that type of action.
I know many of you have questions about the Fall 2021 semester. We are working through scenarios and associated plans, and will share more with the Trinity community soon.
What You Need to Know
Classes and student activities will remain virtual until February 8. All students in San Antonio and all employees planning to work on campus will be tested for COVID-19 once per week during this assessment period before we resume weekly random sampling surveillance testing.
We will use mass testing outcomes during these first weeks of the semester and local health data to make a decision about the appropriate campus operating level on February 8.
Buildings and Facilities
Building hours, including the Library and CSI, will return to the 8am - 8pm schedule as determined in the Fall, which allows time for necessary nightly sanitization.
We are taking significant steps to help keep our students, faculty, and staff healthy. Check out ProtecTU Health Campaign for more information on our current efforts to mitigate and monitor risks for our community.
In an effort to control the virus in our community, we are significantly de-densifying the campus and increasing weekly testing. Check out Testing and Treatment for more information on health protocols.
If you have questions about Trinity’s response or plans as related to COVID-19, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requirements to Return
What to Expect
Based on improving public health conditions and our own campus indicators, we have made the decision to return to in-person activities and operations on campus beginning Monday, February 8. We fully expect the Spring semester to look much like the Fall, with a few updates to policies and practices.
In order to create space for the possibility of students requiring isolation or quarantine, Trinity is opening its residence halls only to a limited cohort of students.
Hybrid and in-person classes may resume meeting in person beginning February 8, as previously published and as determined by individual instructors.
Many classes and activities will necessarily proceed online, just as some students and faculty will need to teach and learn remotely. The University is making a significant investment in new academic technology to support a robust remote learning environment and has classroom sanitization schedules and safety protocols in place.
Spring Break is canceled but will be replaced by class cancellation days on February 15 and 23 and April 7, 15, and 23.
Employees who are essential to ensuring the success of students return to campus and university functions will be notified by their supervisors when to return to campus. Employees who desire an alternate work arrangement should discuss with their supervisor first.
Most faculty and staff should work remotely as much as possible and all those who do need to physically visit campus for more than 15 minutes at a time must first be tested and use the daily symptom screening.
The Reverend Judd Student Emergency Fund, named in honor of Chaplain Emeritus Rev. Raymond Judd ‘56, was created to help students who are facing emergency financial needs, such as access to necessary resources for remote learning, transportation, unexpected medical costs, and basic needs such as food and housing.
Funding decisions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and it is open to all Trinity students. To apply for the fund, please email Chaplain Alex at email@example.com or set up a time to meet confidentially at tuchaplain.youcanbook.me.
Trinity University is also acutely aware that COVID-19 may have caused a loss of income for some families and is committed to assisting. If this is the case, we encourage you to reach out to the Office of Student Financial Services to file a special circumstances appeal of your financial aid package based on a change in family economic circumstances. Appeals are reviewed by a committee and decided upon a case-by-case basis.
Potential indicators of the need to change the operating level (to a more or less restrictive level) include several San Antonio community and campus considerations, including but not limited to:
Local and State Factors
Significant, applicable actions by city, state, or federal public officials
Testing and tracing capacity on campus and locally
Numbers and trends of COVID-19 case and positivity rates for our community
Numbers and trends of COVID-19 hospital admissions and stressors
Availability of personal protective equipment and testing kits
Availability of isolation facilities and support staff for students
Trends among other comparable institutions of higher education
Availability and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine
* These indicators are taken into consideration together, so a single indicator moving in the wrong direction will not trigger a change.
For Students, Faculty, and Staff
A set of policies will be in place only for the duration of the pandemic. Please carefully review the changes in policies around benefits, support, behaviors, and procedures:
For Faculty and Staff:
CARES Act Statement
As of July 9, 2020, Trinity University has distributed $886,343.39 to 1,238 eligible students in the form of emergency grants related to disruption of instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The University will continue to update these figures as required by law every 45 days.
This statement provides information to comply with reporting requirements for Trinity University’s participation in the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).
April 9, 2020: In a letter from the Department of Education, Trinity learned that it was eligible to receive an allocation from the HEERF program of $1,665,508, of which no less than $832,754 (50%) must be distributed to eligible students in the form of emergency grants related to disruption of instruction due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
April 23, 2020: Trinity submitted the required grant documents for the first half of the HEERF funds for student emergency grants. Trinity submitted the required certification document at that time.
May 1, 2020: Trinity received notice from the Department of Education that the HEERF emergency student grant was awarded.
May 19, 2020: A CARES Act disbursement committee established by Trinity University determined that there were 1181 students enrolled in the spring 2020 semester that were Title IV eligible, which is a federal requirement to receive assistance. Of those, 366 students were Pell Grant eligible. The committee chose to award $828 to all Pell eligible students, and $650 to all other Title IV students (815) that demonstrated need through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
May 26, 2020: An electronic notice was sent to all eligible students informing them that they would receive their portion of the HEERF grant either electronically to their designated financial account or as a check sent to their address of record. This notice was posted on Trinity’s website on the same day.
June 3, 2020: The University begins the process of disbursing the designated grants to students.