The Governor’s Executive Order GA-34 recently changed the state’s restrictions related to COVID-19. Texas A&M AgriLife, in line with other members of The Texas A&M University System, is maintaining our current protocols until we receive further guidance. For a review of the procedures we are continuing to follow, please visit the AgriLife and Texas A&M University sites for COVID-19 information.
Based on our assessment of current conditions, this step will help us successfully complete the spring semester and is consistent with Gov. Greg Abbott’s order that masking and other protocols should be decided by our institutions, not by the state. At the end of the spring semester, we anticipate A&M System guidance being lifted so that all rules, procedures and practices regarding classes, travel, face coverings, testing, etc., will be determined locally, informed by local conditions, and reviewed by the A&M System. The System may provide additional guidance as conditions warrant.
Thank you for your patience and service during this ongoing pandemic.
In accordance with updates from the Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s office and guidelines for our Federal colleagues, The Blackland Research and Extension Center in currently closed to the public. Critical operations staff will operate phones and email on a limited schedule, please call us at 254-774-6000 if you have any questions.
Employees working part-time from the center – you must notify HR before you plan to be in, wear a mask when moving within the building, and be sure to sign in an out of the guest book so we can track who is in the building.
The latest guidance on carrying out our research mission can be found on the VPR website: https://vpr.tamu.edu/covid-19. To be better prepared in the event of a local outbreak, AgriLife units are required to complete a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) to describe how units will operate during a Coronavirus pandemic and recover afterwards to be fully operational.
Background Information for Pandemic COVID19
CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concernexternal icon” (PHEIC). On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
During the COVID19 pandemic, Texas A&M AgriLife and The Blackland Research and Extension Center has four objectives:
- Minimize the risk of pandemic COVID19 to employees.
- Support employees who may be impacted.
- Continue essential functions during a pandemic.
- After the pandemic, resume normal operations as soon as possible.
Employees will have access to this webpage which will be updated as new information becomes available. Due to our joint facilities with USDA – ARS and USDA – NRCS we share guidelines between the federal and state systems as appropriate. Information on COVID19 protocols circulated by TAMU system will also be posted in the AgriLife-Temple breakroom and circulated by email.
For questions, please contact the AgriLife Office of Ethics and Compliance with questions at 979-845-4789 or 979-845-7879.