eNews: Required emergency notification of positive COVID-19 cases on campus
As we begin the fall semester on our campus, Baylor University is required to send an Emergency Notification* under the Clery Act to all students and employees to ensure you are informed about where to access information regarding COVID-19 positive cases on our campus, important personal health and safety precautions and essential sources of information about the coronavirus.
The University provides an update on confirmed positive cases among Baylor community members on the Baylor University COVID-19 Dashboard, which can be found on the University's coronavirus website. The dashboard is updated daily by 3 p.m. and includes daily new reported cases, total active cases, positivity rate and cumulative cases, as well as several other important data points, such as vaccination rates and testing statistics.
The University's coronavirus website also contains links to the COVID-19 case dashboards maintained by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, and the latest information about COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about caring for yourself and helping protect others in your home and community.
Health and Safety
While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our local community and state continue to increase, it is important that all students, faculty and staff maintain their personal health protection so we can have a safe and full Baylor experience this fall.
On Aug. 13, 2021, the University updated its interim COVID protocols to include a temporary face coverings requirement in certain indoor settings. This includes the requirement that face coverings be worn by all students, faculty and staff in:
- all classrooms and labs when used for academic instruction,
- some indoor locations where appropriate social distancing may not be possible,
- private faculty and staff offices when requested, and
- other areas designated by posted signage.
Students, faculty and staff are welcome to wear a face covering in other indoor or outdoor settings based on their individual health and safety needs. Please keep a facemask with you at all times and respect others who might have personal or family health considerations.
Other health guidance from the CDC includes getting vaccinated as soon as you can, monitoring your health daily, wearing a mask in indoor public places and washing your hands often.
For at least the first four weeks of the fall semester, Baylor is requiring twice-weekly testing for all students, faculty and staff unless exempt (fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO for emergency use, within 180 days of a positive COVID test or working 100% remote). Testing locations include the North Village Community Center, lobby between Cashion Academic Center and Hankamer Academic Center, Robinson Tower and Washington Tower. Masks are required to be worn at all testing locations. If you test positive, the Baylor Contract Tracing Team will contact you with information and instructions regarding isolation.
The University is prepared to revisit the testing policy and interim COVID protocols early in the semester and make adjustments based on how effectively we contain the spread of the virus.
Vaccination Availability and Confirmation
Although Baylor University is not requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and staff for the fall semester, Baylor's medical team strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
COVID-19 vaccines are available for students and employees now at the Baylor Health Center in the McLane Student Life Center, as well as at walk-in clinics early in the semester that do not require pre-registration. Vaccination will exempt you from twice-week testing, provide protection from severe COVID illness and hospitalization and help us all safely have a full fall experience.
If you are fully vaccinated and have not notified the University so you can be exempt from testing, please upload a photo of your completed vaccination card at through the form at www.baylor.edu/vaccine.
What to Do If You Are Symptomatic or Exposed
If you are a Baylor student and experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and make a testing appointment by logging in to Health Portal on the Baylor Health Services website. Do not go directly to the Heath Center in the McLane Student Life Center for medical treatment.
Baylor employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should follow CDC guidelines and contact their primary care physician.
If You Are Unvaccinated and Have Had Close Contact with Someone Who Has COVID-19
Unvaccinated students who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should log in to the Health Portal on the Baylor Health Services website to make an appointment for testing at the Health Center.
Unvaccinated employees who have been exposed should seek out testing from their primary care physician.
If you are unvaccinated and have been identified as a close contact, you will receive more information from the Health Center or your physician regarding quarantine.
Per CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if they do not have symptoms. Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine as long as they remain symptom-free.
In addition to Health Services, Baylor students also have access to Pastoral Care, the Counseling Center and Paul L. Foster Success Center. Faculty and staff also can access additional services through the Employee Assistance Program.
The University also has adopted various Interim COVID-19 policies for students, employees, contractors and visitors.
Department of Public Safety
*Under appropriate circumstances, the Baylor University Department of Public Safety will issue emergency notifications and/or timely warnings regarding criminal activity or safety issues concerning campus as required by law. For more information on Emergency Notification/Timely Warnings - Baylor Alerts,/ please visit the University Compliance and Risk Services website.