Friday, March 27, 2020
  Community, Announcements

By News and Internal Communications

Editor’s Note: The following message was sent via email from UTRGV President Guy Bailey to UTRGV students, staff and faculty on March 27, 2020.

Dear Campus Community:

UTRGV learned today that one of our students and one of our faculty have each tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our student tested positive after traveling out of state and our faculty member after returning from international travel. Please join me in sending positive thoughts to these Vaqueros for a speedy recovery.

While news of our first positive cases is alarming, we should also try to remain calm and stay prepared. The Rio Grande Valley is expecting an increase in the number of cases as the region begins to ramp up testing capabilities.

Rest assured that UTRGV has been implementing proactive measures since January to help mitigate risks for our students, faculty and staff. We are still confident that these measures will allow us to minimize the amount of positive cases not only for UTRGV, but for the Rio Grande Valley community.

More on the positive cases

The student is a resident of Casa Bella Apartments on the Brownsville Campus. After traveling out of state, the student briefly returned to Casa Bella to pick up personal items. The student then returned to Casa Bella a couple days later and currently is in isolation and receiving care while following protocols from Student Health Services in coordination with the Cameron County Health Department.

To help mitigate risks for other apartment residents, the Department of Housing and Residence Life has increased the frequency of sanitation in common spaces and has encouraged all residents to follow personal measures as outlined by UT Health RGV.

The faculty member returned home to self-isolate immediately upon returning from his international trip. He is currently receiving care from home while following protocols from Student Health Services in coordination with the Hidalgo County Health Department.

Protect Yourself

In an effort to prevent the spread, UTRGV proactively moved all but essential operations off campus on Monday of this week. Although this effort may cause some temporary inconveniences and frustrations, it will protect you from the spread of this dangerous virus.

Additionally, it is critical that each of us take necessary precautions, which can be found on our UT Health RGV website.

Most importantly, if you are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing; have traveled internationally or traveled to an area in the US with known outbreak of the virus; or have been exposed to a sick traveler from any of these areas or been exposed to a person with Covid-19 infection in the last 14 days, you should contact Student and Employee Health Services.

Make sure to call ahead before going to your doctor’s office or emergency department to prevent any potential spread. You can find contact info, locations and hours of operation for Student and Employee Health Services here.



Guy Bailey


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.