WACO, Texas — Baylor University released a statement and a slew of tweets regarding how it plans on starting the spring semester during the current surge of COVID cases.
The University plans on beginning the semester as originally planned and will continue its COVID-19 protocols from the fall semester until the end of January, per the statement.
"After reviewing the latest Omicron projections and our internal models, we did not find beginning the spring semester remotely would prevent a substantial number of COVID-19 infections within our campus community. Thus, we will begin the spring semester in-person with face-to-face instruction and student activities," said Baylor University President Linda A. Livingstone.
Livingstone continued on by stating that Baylor's campus is the safest place for faculty, staff and students because of its high vaccination rates, testing availability and following public health protocols.
Per the statement, face coverings will be required for at least the first two weeks of the spring semester for all classrooms and labs.
The University will require COVID-19 testing twice a week for the unvaccinated, according to the statement.
"COVID-19 testing will be required twice weekly for unvaccinated faculty, staff and students. This requirement will begin next week, Jan. 10, for unvaccinated faculty, staff and student employees. Unvaccinated students will be required to test beginning the week of Jan. 17, with the first test having been completed by Jan. 18," said Livingstone.
For students on campus: "every student vaccinated and unvaccinated living on campus during the spring semester will be required to take a free Baylor-provided COVID-19 test within 24 hours of moving into the residence halls," said Livingstone.
You can use the form at www.baylor.edu/vaccine to upload your completed vaccination card, including a booster dose, or your positive COVID test within the past 180 days.
Initial testing availability is as follows:
- Jan. 5 to Jan 7: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., North Village Community Center (NVCC). Dependent testing available.
- Jan. 10 to Jan 14: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., NVCC and Cashion Academic Center Lobby. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use NVCC due to projected high volume at Cashion.
- Jan. 15: 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., NVCC and Cashion Academic Center Lobby
- Jan. 16: Noon-10 p.m., NVCC and Cashion Academic Center Lobby
- Jan. 17: 9 a.m.-5 p.m., NVCC and Cashion Academic Center Lobby
Testing times and locations following Jan. 17 will be updated at www.baylor.edu/coronavirus in the days ahead.
The University says it plans on releasing updated guidance by Jan. 31.