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Coronavirus Update


Texas A&M College of Dentistry

Updated: August 5, 2020 5:21 PM CDT

As the situation with the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, our priorities at the College of Dentistry are to protect our students, employees and patients from exposure to infection and to provide emergency oral health care to our most critical patients.

The methods with which we fulfill our ongoing education, research, clinical and community service mission are changing daily. Please continue to check this page for the latest information about the virus and the college's response.

Additional information may be found via Texas A&M University’s Coronavirus updates.


Information for Students

Yes!  Students are not to be on campus (in buildings or parking garages/lots), unless it is for an activity coordinated by the college/faculty member.  If a student needs to come on campus for an urgent reason, she/he is to email Dr. Ernie Lacy, associate dean for student affairs, that reason, along with the date and time he/she is requesting approval to be on campus. Dr. Lacy will notify Campus Security, who will restore access for that specific time frame. Please know that enforcement of this policy is for your safety and well-being as well as that of college personnel who must be at the college.

Students are not required to return to the college at this time. We understand that traveling by any mode of transportation presents potential exposure to COVID-19. Your health and safety is of utmost importance. If you have a computer available for remote learning, that should suffice.

Courses have moved online, and there is no reason to come in for any sort of work, including lab work, unless requested. The clinic is only open for emergencies. We will keep you apprised when you need to come back to campus.

Exams will be offered online. Specific details may differ from course to course. Please bear with us and follow the instructions from your course directors. We are setting up exam protocols that will monitor exam takers from a distance.

It is currently scheduled at Texas A&M College of Dentistry for Thursday through Sunday, July 16-19, 2020, where our students will use manikins instead of patients.

Texas A&M College of Dentistry Commencement rehearsal is tentatively scheduled for Friday, July 24, 2020,  from 8 a.m. to noon at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.  The Commencement Ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 25, 2020, at 10 a.m. at the Meyerson as well. More details to come. 

Additional information is available here. Dental and dental hygiene students will receive email updates from Dr. Ernie Lacy, associate dean for student affairs. The updates also will be reflected on the Student Updates page.

Information for Employees

Yes! Dr. Barbara Miller will facilitate passage meditation sessions on: 

  • Thursday, September 17, from noon to 12:50pm
  • Wednesday, September 23, from noon to 12:50pm

If you are new to passage meditation, please try to arrive in the Zoom room by noon. If you are interested in participating in any of these meditation sessions, please email Dr. Miller for the Zoom link at bhmiller@tamu.edu. 

If you are interested and these days don't work well for you, please let her know. Also, if you would prefer to learn about passage meditation on your own, please go to www.bmcm.org for more information and free resources. 

Updated Friday, May 1, 2020

In accordance with guidelines issued by Texas A&M University President Michael Young in his April 30 message, the College of Dentistry students and most employees will continue to learn and work remotely and our campus clinics will continue to only provide emergency care. 

Ideally the College will open clinics for non-emergency procedures on a limited basis by the beginning of June, if not sooner. This will only occur after the College has formulated and instituted protocols for ensuring the safety and well-being of its patients, students, faculty and staff.

Texas A&M University employees have access to resources that can help make the most of their time while working from home.

LinkedIn Learning

(formerly Lynda.com)

LinkedIn Learning – free courses for A&M employees

Employees will need to use their NetID and password to log in. 

Suggested Trainings:

  • Successful Goal Setting
  • Improving Your Listening Skills
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Critical Thinking for Better Judgment and Decision-Making
  • Being an Effective Team Member

Traintraq online training

Traintraq required training:

  1. 99004 - Orientation to the A&M System
  2. 99002 - Creating a Discrimination Free Workplace/EEO
  3. 99001 - Ethics
  4. 99003 - Reporting Fraud, Waste and Abuse
  5. 3001 - Information Security Awareness
  6. 11012 - FERPA
  7. 2111782 - HIPAA Privacy and Security for Physicians and Health Care Providers
  8. 2111212 – Export Controls & Embargo Training – Basic Course
  9. 2111243 – Introduction to Diversity and Inclusion

Traintraq suggested training (see also LinkedIn Learning training available through A&M):

  1. Microsoft Access 2016
  2. Microsoft Excel 2016
  3. Microsoft OneNote 2016
  4. Microsoft Outlook 2016
  5. Microsoft PowerPoint 2016
  6. Microsoft Word 2016

Stress and Anxiety Assistance

Work/Life Solutions by Guidance Resources – Employee Assistance Program –Stress and Anxiety Assistance

Note: Employees will need to register with the following Web ID: TAMUS

Additionally, supervisors may recommend other online training sites for professional development and learning opportunities and request employees to submit a list of completed training modules to include during their annual performance evaluation discussion. 

Research is continuing, but not business as usual. Each laboratory must prioritize their research activities. Although a complete shutdown of research operations is not anticipated at this time, we should be prepared because an order could be given with short notice. If a shutdown were to occur, then a selected person from each laboratory could still go in to attend to lab activities. Every primary investigator should have a plan in place on how they will scale back, delay or halt research projects in the event of a shut down. Students and staff may not be coerced to come in to work and no one in high-risk groups should come in to conduct research activities. Those who come in should practice social distancing, frequent hand-washing and other CDC recommendations. Salaries and stipends on NIH grants will continue for those who are working remotely. 

 

Baylor Health Sciences Library has temporarily transitioned to a virtual library format.  Digital resources and services can be accessed from the library’s homepage: bhslibrary.tamhsc.edu/
 
  • If you are in need of a service or you have a reference question, please use our Ask-A-Librarian web chat feature, which will be monitored according to our normal business hours: bhslibrary.tamhsc.edu/ask/
  • If you currently have library materials checked out, we will be more than happy to extend the due dates for you.
  • If you need to speak with a specific staff member, please see the Contacts section from the library’s homepage where you can find their direct email address.
It is the library staff's goal to provide the best service possible while adhering to the directives in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Guidance is provided in the document Face Covering Use on Campus from Environmental Health & Safety, Texas A&M University. 

Information for Patients

At this time, the dental school is only providing emergency care. Emergency patients are being seen by appointment only.
Severe pain and/or swelling often indicates a dental problem needing more immediate attention.

If you are experiencing severe pain pain and/or swelling and believe you need an emergency tooth extraction, call 214-828-8489. 

If you are a patient of record currently receiving care through a specific department at the dental school, contact that department as you normally would. 

With approval from the Texas A&M University Office of the President, the College hopes to open the clinics on a limited basis by the beginning of June, if not sooner. However, this will only be done after the College has formulated and instituted protocols for ensuring the safety of our patients, students, faculty and staff. 

From the Dean

Posted May 1, 2020

I continue to be grateful for the flexibility, creativity and patience of our Texas A&M College of Dentistry community as we navigate through this challenging time.

With the end of Gov. Greg Abbott’s stay-at-home orders, we are beginning a new phase of adjusting to life with COVID-19.  At this time, our students and most employees will continue to learn and work remotely and our campus clinics will continue to only provide emergency care. However, I am hopeful that we will be able to open our clinics for non-emergency procedures on a limited basis by the beginning of June, if not sooner. This will only occur after we have formulated and instituted protocols for ensuring the safety and well-being of our patients, students, faculty and staff.

My continued thanks to our faculty – and the staff who support them – as they provide the online courses, allowing us to continue our educational programs. And of course, I am proud and thankful for the dedicated work of all of our essential staff and faculty who have helped keep the College going by showing up, day in and day out.  

I am truly inspired by the adaptability and optimism demonstrated by our community at this time. Please check out our Dentistry Insider news site for stories on how our students, staff and faculty are faring during these unprecedented times. I hope you will find their messages as uplifting and encouraging as I do.

For more information on Texas A&M University’s current guidelines, please see President Michael Young’s April 30 message.

We are all in this together, and we will emerge stronger and smarter on the other side. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your dedication and perseverance. Be safe and stay well.