Frequently Asked Questions
Although in-person activities have resumed on the UTEP campus, the University continues to evaluate regional COVID-19 data and monitor guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Stay home when you’re sick. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms, get tested. Testing is available to students at the Student Health and Wellness Center. Learn more at utep.edu/covidtesting.
- Vaccination is the most important thing we can do to take care of ourselves and each other. Visit epcovidvaccine.com to learn about UTEP’s on-campus vaccine clinics and find the numerous sites where you can receive a free COVID-19 vaccination.
- To reduce the risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:
- Do not need to wear a mask outdoors but may choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised.
- Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission (El Paso County is currently in an area of substantial transmission).
- Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
- The vaccination rate in El Paso is over 80% and the vaccination rate among UTEP faculty and staff is over 90%. The vaccination rate among students is fluid as the student body changes each term. Learn more about the local situation here: epstrong.org/results.php.
Below are answers to some common questions about how the pandemic impacts the campus environment.
No, you are not required to wear a mask at UTEP indoors or outdoors. For vaccinated individuals, the CDC does not recommend wearing a mask outdoors. For communities designated as a high or substantial transmission area, the CDC recommends masks for vaccinated individuals while indoors in a public setting, and/or if someone in their household has an impaired immune system or is unvaccinated. The CDC recommends that unvaccinated people always wear a mask.
Stay home when you’re sick. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, we recommend that you get tested for COVID-19. COVID-19 testing is available for all currently enrolled students at no cost in the UTEP Student Health and Wellness Center located in Union Building East, first floor. No appointment is necessary, although preregistration online is required. More information, hours of operation and a link to preregister are available here: covid.utep.edu. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult with a healthcare professional.
Faculty members are being asked to be as flexible as is practical in the event that students cannot come to class due to illness. Talk to your professor to make arrangements for any missed work.
UTEP will host an on-campus vaccine clinic operated by University Medical Center for the first three days of classes for students and employees. We anticipate that the vaccine clinic will be on campus every three weeks. We also will be conducting campaigns to encourage vaccination among students. Students who live far from campus may find it easier to choose a local option. The El Paso vaccine website (epcovidvaccine.com) reports that Uber now provides free vaccination rides through its app in order to facilitate access.
No, you are not required to disclose your vaccination status to anyone at UTEP.
Yes. Students living in campus housing during the fall 2021 semester can show proof that they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 anytime before Oct. 31, 2021, to qualify for the $550 incentive. Please take your proof of vaccination to the front desk in your residential community.
Yes. Students who get vaccinated between Aug. 23 and Oct. 31 can bring proof of vaccination to the Vice President for Student Affairs Office in Union Building East, Room 301, after the first shot to receive $25 in Miner Bucks, a T-shirt and a water bottle. After the second shot, students may return to claim another $25 in Miner Bucks. The Miner Bucks will be credited to students’ accounts within 24-48 hours.
The general incentives are for those students who receive a vaccination between Aug. 23 and Oct. 31, whether they get it on campus or elsewhere.
Miner Bucks are loaded onto a student’s Miner Gold Card and can be used to make purchases at retail locations on campus including the UTEP Bookstore, food service outlets and vending machines. You can also use Miner Bucks to pay for making copies and printing on campus.
Students who test positive are advised to self-report by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Students are assigned to case management through Environmental Health and Safety and the Office of the Dean of Students. Case managers contact students and make sure that their needs are met. They encourage students to work with their instructors to manage coursework.
Undergoing a COVID-19 test is not a requirement to be on campus. However, COVID-19 testing is available for all currently enrolled students at no cost in the UTEP Student Health and Wellness Center located in Union Building East, first floor. No appointment is necessary, although preregistration online is required. Students can be tested even if they are not experiencing symptoms. More information, hours of operation and a link to preregister are available here: covid.utep.edu.
Our COVID Action Team will continue to get in touch with close campus contacts of students or employees who report positive COVID-19 tests to email@example.com. The CDC recommends that those who are unvaccinated quarantine after exposure to COVID-19. Vaccinated people do not need to quarantine unless they have symptoms. Students, faculty, and staff should continue to voluntarily report positive tests to firstname.lastname@example.org. The COVID Action Team will provide support for students, check in on them to determine what they need, and contact faculty and supervisors, as needed.
The CDC recommends that all individuals exposed to a positive case monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date of exposure.
Vaccinated individuals who do NOT have symptoms should test 3 to 5 days after the date of exposure. These individuals do not have to self-isolate but should wear a mask indoors when they are in public.
Vaccinated individuals who DO have symptoms must self-isolate and test 3 to 5 days after the date of exposure.
Unvaccinated individuals, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not, must self-isolate and test 5 to 7 days after the date of exposure.
If anyone tests positive, regardless of vaccination status, they must self-isolate and report their results to COVIDAction@utep.edu. An Environmental Health and Safety representative will contact the individual and offer additional guidance and instructions.
Students who are not comfortable with face-to-face courses should check Goldmine to see if the University offers the class online. They also should contact their adviser to review their options. UTEP is offering significantly more online courses this fall than before the beginning of the pandemic. Be aware that the University has reinstated its distance-learning fee for online courses for the fall 2021 semester. The University used temporary federal funding to pay for distance learning infrastructure during the first 16 months of the COVID-19 crisis.
Campus Activities and Services
Yes, on-campus dining is available at multiple venues across campus. For a list of venues and their hours, click here.
Yes! Student engagement on campus is an important part of the college experience, and contributes to student health and well-being. The University is planning more than 40 exciting on-campus events for students, most of them outdoors, and that’s just during the first two-and-a-half weeks of the semester! Take a look at the full lineup of Miner Welcome events at utep.edu/minerwelcome.