Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020

Dear students,

Only a few weeks of in-person classes remain this semester, and you have done an amazing job keeping one another safe and protecting our community by following our COVID-19 safety guidelines. I am asking you to remain vigilant in helping slow the spread of COVID-19 as case numbers around Texas are growing.

UNT's Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) offers a limited number of daily asymptomatic testing in multiple campus locations, and the test is simple and quick. This type of testing helps prevent asymptomatic super spreaders from unknowingly infecting large numbers of people.

To encourage more people to get tested and help keep our community safe, the university is giving away $500 scholarships, Apple AirPods and Apple Watches (3 Series) through random drawings from students who participate in our on-campus, COVID-19 testing program. Only tests performed through the SHWC are included in the drawings, and the number of tests administered each day is limited. Non-UNT testing that occurs on campus is not part of the program, and students will be entered into the prize drawing after the first test is taken. Multiple tests do not qualify for multiple entries. See below for information about testing.

I know it has been hard. I know you are tired and stressed about many things. I also want you to know how incredibly proud I am of you. Your character, resilience, empathy, tenacity and bravery have been an inspiration. Three short weeks are all that remain before we leave campus for Thanksgiving and transition to virtual learning for the rest of the semester. Many of you will be spending time with family, including elderly relatives, over the holidays, which means now, more than ever, is a time to be diligent in our health and safety measures.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk
UNT President

You can win a $500 scholarship, Apple AirPods or an Apple Watch 3 Series if you participate in UNT's on-campus, COVID-19 testing program through UNT's Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC). To encourage more students to get tested, several of each of the prizes listed will be given away each Friday between now and Thanksgiving. You must visit UNT testing locations listed here to be automatically entered for the giveaway. Multiple tests do not qualify for multiple entries. Non-UNT administered testing that occurs on and off campus is not part of the program. While the number of COVID-19 cases on the UNT campus remains relatively low, especially compared to other universities in the state, continued testing is a vital part of our COVID-19 safety plan. And the test is simple and quick. It mostly just makes you feel like you need to sneeze for a moment.

Social distancing is still a key preventative measure. UNT has been very fortunate in managing to keep our numbers relatively low, even as we are seeing spikes around the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the state. However, when we have seen an increase in cases, it almost always has been traced back to large gatherings. Please be smart about how you spend time with friends and look for low-risk opportunities to socialize.

Wear your mask. It is a truly simple measure with profound impact. Not only has it been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of this virus, it also is a measure of empathy and kindness for our fellow human beings. My mask protects you. Your mask protects me. If you don't have a mask, or need more masks, there are many options available on campus.

Wash your hands frequently, for 20 seconds, using soap and water. Hopefully this is a practice we can all continue to support even beyond a pandemic.