Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022

Dear UNT Students,

The start of a new semester is an exciting time for our campus community, and I hope you are looking forward to returning to campus. The past two years of living with COVID-19 have presented us with nearly unimaginable challenges, but we have moved through this pandemic more safely than almost any other campus in Texas. As a community, we have worked together to keep each other safe by wearing masks, getting vaccinated, and testing on a regular basis.

As we return this spring, we are facing yet another COVID-19 challenge with the Omicron variant that is highly contagious but less dangerous. We know that there are breakthrough infections for those who have been fully vaccinated and boosted, but these cases generally result in milder symptoms and fewer hospitalizations. To date, we are not aware of any hospitalizations from Omicron cases on our campus. We also know unvaccinated individuals are more likely to experience severe infections and hospitalization. Thus, I strongly recommend that those of you who have not been vaccinated take advantage of the free vaccines and boosters offered at our Student Health and Wellness Center.

We also encourage all members of our community to get tested before returning to campus. Testing is available at the University Union and Student Health and Wellness Center.

The CDC also has released new guidelines for shorter isolation times for those who test positive and the current UNT guidelines can be found here.

As we try to achieve a balance between campus safety and what is best for your education and well-being, we have decided to keep our current start date of Jan. 18 with face-to-face instruction, but we need your help. You can do your part by wearing a mask indoors to keep our community safe, and we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated and boosted. Please make your appointment today

I hope you will take every precaution to help us keep you, your friends, your family, and our entire university community as safe as possible.

Have a great semester. And Go Mean Green!

Stay safe,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President