The Dr. Bob Smith Health Center Is Fighting COVID-19 On Campus

SMU notified the campus community that an employee of the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center tested positive for COVID-19 on April 2.

As the number of COVID-19 cases increase within and around the university, SMU Health Center officials say that they are monitoring the spread of the virus and “making changes as needed to protect students and keep [the] community safe, while maintaining a high level of quality care for those who need it.”

Now, as in-person classes on campus transition online, nearly all visits to the Health Center will be virtual as well. Students will only be booked an in-person visit if deemed necessary by a health official via telephone. No walk-in appointments are available at this time.

For students required to come in for an in-person appointment, SMU health officials say their facility “crews are working diligently to keep the Health Center extra clean and in-line with CDC regulations. The Health Center is also using personal protective equipment and separate containment areas to ensure safe conditions are maintained.”

Two weeks ago, Maria Izaguirre was one of the few students visiting the clinic.

Upon arrival, “they would take your temperature, and then they would ask you if you had been out of the country in the past two weeks, and then they would let you in,” Izaguirre described.

She added that an official at the pharmacy and the nurse who took her temperature were the only people she saw in the Health Center who wore a face mask and gloves. In total, she came into contact with at least six people during her appointment.

Even after an employee tested positive, Izaguirre is still comfortable with returning to the Health Center, “especially since they said they would do a deep clean” of the facility.

Also according to the April 2 alert sent to all students and faculty, SMU health officials stated that “a limited number of students have physically visited the Health Center in the past 14 days, and the center’s medical director is reaching out to each of these students to inform them of what is perceived to be limited risk of exposure.”

Yet, Izaguirre is still waiting to be contacted.

“I’m surprised that they haven’t reached out,” she said. “It kinda bothers me.”

Despite the confirmed case of the coronavirus within the Health Center, SMU officials ensure that they are busy adapting and “making the necessary adjustments to our services so that [they] can continue to provide a high level of care for SMU students.”

Under the advice of the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center will be closed until Monday, April 6, for a medical-grade disinfection. If a student thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19, SMU health officials suggest calling the center to speak to a provider.