Friday, March 6, 2020
  Community, Announcements

By News and Internal Communications

UTRGV Brownsville fountain
UTRGV archival photo by David Pike.

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – Editor’s Note: The following message was sent via email from UTRGV President Guy Bailey, on March 6, 2020.

Dear Campus Community:

We continue to monitor the progression of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and are taking proactive measures to mitigate impact to our campus community.

Therefore, to help ensure the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff, patients and community during the outbreak, UTRGV is instituting the following university-related and personal travel restrictions/guidelines. 

For more information, visit the UTRGV COVID-19 webpage.

University-Related Travel

All out of state and international business travel must be approved by the appropriate Vice President. All travel should be booked through iTravel/Concur. Travel not approved will not be reimbursed.  CDC level 2 and 3 and other domestic hotspots will not be approved.

All remaining study abroad programs for the year have been cancelled.  For further information, please contact the Office of Global Engagement.

In anticipation that additional international and domestic destinations will receive elevated travel warnings, we will continually review both inbound and outbound university-related travel. 

Spring Break and Personal Travel

Although UTRGV does not set requirements for personal travel, we strongly discourage travel to areas with active community transmissions. We recommend that you check the CDC’s COVID-19 travel page, U.S. State Department travel advisories, and the International Air Transport Association’s list of travel and entry restrictions for the latest information before departing.

You should also consider how your planned trip(s) may affect your ability to return to the United States and campus. If trip cancellation insurance is available to purchase, you may want to consider purchasing it in case last-minute cancellation is needed. Foreign travel continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, and it is difficult to anticipate what the future may hold.

If traveling abroad, you should allot additional time for airport screening measures, which generally include temperature checks and questionnaires, and should follow directives from authorities. 

Do not travel if you are sick; you may risk additional screening measures, potential entry denial, and quarantine. Additionally, anyone who is sick risks spreading germs and infection to others. The CDC answers other common travel-related questions, including the risk of infection on airplanes, here.

All international travel (both professional and personal) to CDC level 1, 2 and 3 countries must be reported to the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

All students, trainees, faculty and staff returning from travel to a country with ongoing widespread or ongoing community level transmission (CDC levels 2 and 3) of COVID-19 at the time of their travel are to contact their local health department and self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work or school.

After the 14 days of self-isolation, individuals should contact Student Health Services or Employee Health Services for updated guidance and requirements prior to returning to school or work. 




Guy Bailey, President


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.