Dear TTUHSC El Paso family,

As you know, we have been closely following the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our leadership has been updating policies and procedures and working with staff, faculty and students to prepare for a potential outbreak and spread of COVID-19 in our area.  Our primary goal is the safety and health of our students, faculty, staff and patients. 

Although the El Paso area has not had reported cases of COVID-19 infections, in an abundance of caution, we have, or will soon, implement the following actions: 

Week of March 6 – March 13

  • Foster School of Medicine - MS Year 1 and 2 community clinic rotations have been canceled until further notice.
  • Department heads review continuity of operations plans and telecommuting options should Level 2 occur.
  • University-sponsored events planned to accommodate more than 50 people will be canceled or rescheduled (TTUHSC system policy) until further notice. For smaller events, extra supplies should be provided according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. Consider moving these events to online delivery as feasible.
  • Both international and domestic university-related travel has been halted through April 30, 2020 for students, faculty and staff. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the President via an email to
  • We encourage staff, faculty and students to self-disclose personal international and domestic travel through April 30, 2020 by sending an email to

Week of March 16 – March 22:

Transition week to support distance education and online delivery

  • March 16 is a university holiday.
  • Facilities will remain open.
  • The Department of Operations will provide COVID-19 cleaning supplies and protocols for all spaces.
  • Deans and Associate Deans will begin transitioning to online education.
    • Foster School of Medicine
      • Pre-Clerkship – Classes will continue this week and students will work with faculty to ensure online options are fully functional. 
      • Clerkship – Clinical rotations will continue as planned under guidance of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ rules.
    • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences – Classes will continue this week and students will work with faculty to transition to distance education.
    • Hunt School of Nursing – Classes will continue this week and students will work with faculty to ensure online options are fully functional. Clinical rotations will continue as planned.
  • The IT Department will take steps to support academic, clinical and research functions.
    • IT will set up information sessions to inform faculty and staff on VPN, Box and WebEx for telecommuting options.
  • The Office of Faculty Development and other offices will provide online resources and training to faculty as needed.

Beginning March 23

  • Facilities will remain open.
  • Faculty and staff on duty will continue to go to campus and attend activities as long as there is “no increased risk relative to the general population.”  Departments may consider implementing remote operations plans under the approval of their dean or vice president.
  • Faculty and staff will be on duty with social distancing protocols (e.g. no large group gatherings, reminders about hygiene, etc.)
  • No in-person classroom instruction, all will be distance education/online delivery, with few exceptions:
    • GSBS students will continue their needed lab hours.
    • Foster School of Medicine will host NBME testing as necessary in small groups while adhering to social distancing recommendations.
    • Simulation center instruction will occur if essential and will adhere to very small groups and social distancing recommendations.
  • TTUHSC El Paso libraries will operate virtually.
  • Clinical operations will continue as usual with increased screening and new protocols as recommended by the CDC.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide information and recommendations to ensure the health and safety of our university community.

For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to the university, please visit There you will find the latest communication to the TTUHSC El Paso community, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, helpful resources and health factsheets.