Dear UNT students,

There have been noticeable increases in COVID-19 cases lately, not only in Texas and the U.S., but also on our campus. Although our numbers still are relatively low, we hope you will continue keeping one another safe and protecting our community by following our COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Thanksgiving is nearly here and many of you will be headed home to spend time with family. We should all stay vigilant in helping slow the spread of COVID-19 both for our UNT community and our families at home. Some reminders about how you can help slow the spread are below:

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.

You can win a $500 scholarship, Apple Air Pods 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.

Wear your mask. It is a truly simple measure with profound impact. It has been scientifically proven to reduce the spread of this virus, and it 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.