COVID-19 Update for Faculty, Staff and Students

Dr. Emilio Carranco, Texas State University Chief Medical Officer, Director, Student Health Center | November 19, 2020

Dear Texas State Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I want to update you on the COVID-19 situation and provide recommendations for staying safe over the Thanksgiving holiday.  

COVID-19 is increasing across the United States, and we are seeing more positive cases in our university community, as shown on the COVID-19 Dashboard. While our university positivity rate has increased to 4.1% with the current surge, it is lower than the positivity rate of the State of Texas (11.5%), Hays County (7.3%), and Williamson County (5.7%). Contract tracing continues to show transmission is not occurring on our campuses, but is taking place off-campus, primarily during social gatherings with family and friends. These are indications that the measures we are taking to control the virus spread on our campuses are currently working. It is critical to stay vigilant and continue to follow the three W’s – wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.

With higher COVID-19 transmission levels around us and 40% or more of infected persons having no symptoms, it’s important to review your Thanksgiving plans and consider whether changes should be made to protect your safety and the well-being of your family and friends.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the safest way to Celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people who live with you.

If planning to host or attend a social gathering, review Tips for Safer Social Gatherings.  If you are planning to travel for a social gathering, here are some additional precautions you can take to reduce the risk of becoming infected or spreading the infection to others: 

  • Commit to strict social distancing—that means not socializing with anyone who is not part of your household or immediate friend circle from now until the holiday gathering
  • Get tested for COVID-19 before traveling home or having your holiday gathering—take advantage of Free COVID-19 Testing on our campuses; get tested by November 23rd to allow time to get test results before Thanksgiving Day
  • Get tested for COVID-19 after the Thanksgiving holiday as soon as you return to one of our campuses

We must continue doing the things that work to prevent the spread of infection—wear face masks, social distance, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer often.  Make plans for a safer holiday gathering and consider getting tested for COVID-19 before and after Thanksgiving.  Let’s keep working to stop COVID-19! 

On November 23rd, President Trauth will provide an update on how we are preparing to keep our community healthy and safe through the end of the year and into the spring semester. In the meantime, I encourage you to use the information I have provided while planning your Thanksgiving break.  


Dr. Emilio Carranco
Texas State University Chief Medical Officer
Director, Student Health Center