Responding to COVID-19

Advancing Research, Improving Care

As an academic medical center, UT Southwestern is committed to providing you with the latest pandemic-related research that is advancing patient care and improving outcomes. We are proud to be contributing to many studies to safeguard our community from COVID-19. If you are interested in vaccination, please visit our COVID-19 Vaccination site, which features tip sheets, educational resources, and answers to frequently asked questions about vaccines, both for adults and children ages 12-15.

COVID-19 forecasting for DFW

UT Southwestern’s COVID-19 current state analysis and forecasting model illustrates how COVID-19 is spreading across DFW based on real patient data we have received from Dallas and Tarrant counties.

Masks for Everyone

We are requiring that everyone in our clinical facilities – patients, visitors, and staff – wear a mask that completely covers their nose and mouth and fits snugly. Given the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant and subvariants, we recommend everyone wear a medical-grade three-ply surgical mask, KN95, or N95 respirator. Cloth masks, including neck gaiters, offer a lower level of protection against Omicron. If you don't have a surgical mask, we'll be happy to provide one.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus is spread primarily through transmission of respiratory droplets from sneezing, breathing, talking, and coughing. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others, usually within six feet for a total of 15 minutes or more. People who are infected but not showing symptoms can also spread the virus to others.

To a lesser extent, COVID-19 can be spread from touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching one’s face.

To reduce the spread, it is important to:

  • Wear a mask that completely covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Stay home if you feel unwell

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms typically appear within 2 to 14 days after infection, and include:

  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat

According to the CDC, if you develop any of the following symptoms – trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face – seek medical attention immediately.