COVID-19 Positive Cases Among Baylor University Community Members
*Based upon new CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 transmission levels, which are currently low in McLennan County, on-campus COVID-19 reporting to the dashboard has been suspended as of the week of March 7-11, 2022.*
Baylor University Baylor University maintains this dashboard to inform the Baylor Family about the daily number of positive COVID-19 test results reported among members of the University community. The dashboard – which will be updated daily by 3 p.m. CT – includes data on:
- Students who reside on-campus,
- Students who reside off-campus and are coming to the Baylor campus,
- Faculty and staff who are teaching, working or conducting research on campus, and
- Contractors: An individual contractor, or a person working for a company engaged by the University to perform specific tasks or functions, such as dining services, mailroom activities, facility management and maintenance/repairs on campus.
The Associated Press has advised against emphasizing case counts in ongoing coverage about COVID-19. As the pandemic has evolved, "hospitalization and death rates are considered by some to be a more reliable picture of COVID-19's current impact on society."
To coincide with Baylor University’s Spring 2022 protocols that reduced the isolation period from 10 days to 5 days, the University’s public dashboard now reflects active cases for 5 days instead of 10 for all cases beginning Jan. 3, 2022.
ABOUT THE DASHBOARD
- The dashboard includes the number of currently active cases; the cumulative number of positive cases since Aug. 1, 2020, and the number of new cases and positivity rate (percentage of people tested who are positive) over the last seven days.
- Due to historic winter weather conditions in Texas in February 2021, Baylor University canceled COVID-19 testing from Feb. 12-19, 2021. During this time period, the Dashboard reflects this reduced number of tests and therefore cases. Regular weekly COVID-19 testing resumed Feb. 22, 2021, for students, faculty and staff.
- A routine audit of the dashboard data found some tests and positive results in August 2020 and September 2020 were counted twice. This issue was resolved on Nov. 3, 2020. As a result, the total number of tests displayed from Aug. 1, 2020, until Nov. 2, 2020, was reduced by 7,011 (55,804 to 48,793) and the COVID positive test results decreased by 141 (1,280 to 1,139). Even with the data update, the University's overall positivity rate remained at 2.3%.
- Information for the dashboard is compiled from various data sources across campus:
- Baylor Health Services testing (student population, including student-athletes),
- Third-party testing kits sent to all students, faculty and staff before the start of the fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters,
- Self-reported positive test results from faculty/staff to Human Resources,
- Self-reported cases from contractor partners,
- Weekly random surveillance testing of students and employees, and
- Surge testing of off-campus students Oct. 19-30, 2020, which was provided through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, State of Texas and Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.
- Because of privacy and confidentiality laws (FERPA, HIPAA) regarding the disclosure of personally identifiable information about individuals who have tested positive, it is possible that some cases could be counted twice. However, the dashboard data is estimated at 90%-95% accurate.
- Dashboard counts are updated as test results become available. Positive cases are allocated to the date of the test and may take up to three days to appear on the Dashboard.
- Data includes Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing located in Dallas.
- While positive results received from the fall 2020 and Spring 2021 pre-semester testing are reflected on the Baylor Dashboard, those results will be counted by public health authorities in home county and state systems. Therefore, not all Baylor pre-semester testing is allocated to McLennan County.
- Surveillance positivity – The percentage of people tested for COVID-19 through Baylor’s surveillance testing program who have a positive test result. This is an accurate indicator of prevalence rates in the Baylor population. Surveillance testing is conducted through random, periodic testing of a percentage of the Baylor population. Surveillance testing is not tied to symptoms or exposure to a COVID-19-positive case.
- Total positivity – The percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who have a positive test result. Reasons for testing include symptoms, exposure to a known COVID-19-positive person, or surveillance.
- Surge testing results – During the week of Oct. 19-23, 2020, there were 11 COVID-19 positive results from the 2,193 tests conducted as part of the federally funded temporary surge testing program at the University. The surge testing results are incorporated into the aggregate numbers reported daily on the Dashboard, with the specific surge testing results provided in this section “About the Dashboard” when available.
- Surge testing has been provided through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, State of Texas and Waco-McLennan County Public Health District. The City of Waco and McLennan County were allocated 40,000 tests, while Baylor was allocated 5,000 tests specifically to test off-campus students over a two-week period. Baylor’s participation resulted from the recommendation of Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, after visiting the campus and meeting with University leadership, faculty and staff, as well as city and county officials, on Sept. 21, 2020.
- The in-session Baylor community of students, faculty and staff is approximately 22,700 individuals.
- For fall 2020, Baylor University operated in-person on a shortened fall academic calendar with in-person instruction beginning on Aug. 24, 2020, and ending on Nov. 25, 2020. Additional instructional days will be held online Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2020, with final exams online Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 7-8, 2020.
- Spring 2021 semester in-person instruction began on Jan. 19, 2021 and was completed on April 29, 2021. Finals were held April 30 and May 1, 3-5, 2021.
- The Associated Press has advised against emphasizing case counts in ongoing coverage about COVID-19, particularly as part of the Omicron variant's surge. As the pandemic has evolved, "hospitalization and death rates are considered by some to be a more reliable picture of COVID-19's current impact on society."
- To coincide with Baylor University's Spring 2022 protocols that reduced the isolation period from 10 days to 5 days, the University’s public dashboard now reflects active cases for 5 days instead of 10 for all cases beginning Jan. 3, 2022.
TEXAS AND WACO/MCLENNAN COUNTY DASHBOARDS
- The Texas Department of State Health Services maintains a COVID-19 dashboard that is updated daily.
- The Waco/McLennan County Public Health District also provides a daily COVID-19 positive case dashboard.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides the latest information about coronavirus and how to care for yourself and help protect others in your home and community.