eNews: Required emergency notification of positive COVID-19 cases on campus

January 18, 2022

As we begin the Spring 2022 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.

Daily Dashboard

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. To coincide with Baylor University’s Spring 2022 Isolation and Quarantine Procedures that reduced the required 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.

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 & Safety

As our local community, state and country experiences an increase in cases due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, 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 spring. This includes in-person instruction and the normal, robust array of rich academic and extra-curricular activities at Baylor.

On Jan. 3, 2022, the University updated its interim COVID protocols that continue the COVID-19 precautionary measures from Fall 2021 through at least the end of January while we closely follow the spike and projected decline of this latest variant.

Temporary Face Coverings Requirement in Certain Indoor Settings

The updated protocols include the temporary face coverings requirement in certain indoor settings. Face coverings must be worn (covering nose and mouth) by all students, faculty and staff in:

  • All classrooms and labs when used for academic instruction (from the time an individual enters the classroom or lab and until the room is exited),
  • 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.

We strongly encourage the use of face coverings in all indoor spaces on campus, including hallways and corridors, as well as out in the Waco community given the region's continued low vaccination rate. 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.

Free N95 Masks

The University has free N95 masks available for employees who would like an added level of precaution. If your department or office would like a box of these masks, please email the Office of Environmental Health & Safety at ehs@baylor.edu.

If you are a student living on campus, N95 masks can be accessed through your residence hall front desk. If you live off campus, N95 masks are available to be picked up at the McLane Student Life Center (SLC) during operational hours.

Vaccination, Boosters, Testing

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. These measures are based on our proven “Swiss cheese” model that provides layers of protection against COVID-19.

Although Baylor University is not requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for students, faculty and staff for the spring semester, Baylor's medical team strongly encourages everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to get a booster if eligible.

If you have completed your vaccination or you have recently received a booster dose, please submit documentation (PDF or image) of your completed vaccination card, including if you have received a booster, through the Confidential Employee Medical Record Form at www.baylor.edu/vaccine. Students and employees can use this form to update their vaccination information.

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available for students and employees as well as spouses and dependents of students and employees at the North Village Community Center vaccination clinic, operated by Baylor Health Services. For more information about making an appointment, visit www.baylor.edu/vaccine. Vaccination will exempt you from twice-weekly testing, provide protection from severe COVID illness and hospitalization and help us all safely have a full spring experience.

For at least the first two weeks of the Spring 2022 semester, Baylor is requiring twice-weekly testing for all students, faculty and staff unless exempt (fully vaccinated, within 90 days of a positive lab-verified test, working 100% remote or enrolled in a 100% online program).

Testing locations for students/employees include the North Village Community Center and Cashion Academic Center lobby and for employees in Robinson Tower, Washington Tower and Piper Child Development Center for employees. Updated days/hours are available at www.baylor.edu/coronavirus/testing. 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. You are responsible for complying with those instructions.

The University will revisit the testing policy and interim COVID protocols and provide any revised guidance by Monday, Jan. 31.

What to Do If You Have a Positive Test, 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.

When the Health Center is closed or the University is closed for the holidays, Baylor students have 24/7 access to on-demand urgent care through Baylor Telehealth by AcademicLiveCare.

If a student tests positive at an off-campus medical provider, they must immediately notify Health Services by emailing a copy of their lab-verified test results to Health_Services@baylor.edu. Students who test positive at on campus may rely on Health Services to make the necessary notifications for contact tracing. If you test positive, you will be contacted by a member of Baylor's Contact Tracing Team with further instructions.

Baylor employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay home, follow CDC guidelines and contact their primary care physician for testing. If an employee has a positive test, they should follow the University's Notification Procedures policy and immediately communicate the result to their direct manager and HR Consultant. Supervisors should follow their next steps in the Notification Procedures policy.

Baylor University has updated its Isolation and Quarantine Procedures for Spring 2022 that provide an outline of what you should do if you are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated.

Other Resources

In addition to Health Services, Baylor students also have access to Pastoral Care, the Counseling Center, Care Team in Student Health and Wellness 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.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the University’s COVID-19 website.

Baylor University
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

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