Important updates to COVID-19 policies/protocols
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
In recognition of the improving COVID-19 environment and the campus community’s continued effective management of the virus, today we are announcing several updates to Baylor University’s COVID-19 interim policies and protocols. I sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding as we have worked together throughout the pandemic while prioritizing the health and well-being of not only ourselves, but also of our friends, family, colleagues, guests and the greater Waco community.
Also, I want to personally thank our faculty and staff for your dedication and selfless service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We understand the additional responsibilities and challenges that the past two years have presented particularly to our faculty in the classroom and for both faculty and staff in your personal lives, and we are extremely grateful for you going above and beyond for our students in facilitating their continued academic progress.
Please note the following COVID-19 updates, which are effective immediately:
- All testing is now optional for students, faculty and staff. Unvaccinated individuals are no longer required to test on a weekly basis.
- Please continue to monitor daily for symptoms. If students are symptomatic, they should schedule an appointment to be tested in the Health Center in the McLane Student Life Center.
- Testing will be available through the North Village Community Center (NVCC) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday for faculty, staff and students who want to test voluntarily. Also, dependents of faculty and staff are eligible to test through NVCC at no cost.
- Testing locations in Cashion and the Robinson and Washington Towers are now closed.
- For the campus community we continue to encourage both COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for those who are already vaccinated. Both are available for students as well as employees and their spouses and dependents Wednesday-Fridays at the NVCC vaccination clinic.
- Face coverings will continue to be required to be worn by all students, faculty and staff (covering nose and mouth) in all classrooms and labs when used for academic instruction, in addition to 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 continue to 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 low vaccination rate.
- The CDC has recommended the use of N95 and KN95 masks for the highest levels of protection from COVID-19. The University has N95 masks available for students for free in the residence halls or for departments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We will consult with the Health Management Team, Faculty Senate, academic leadership and other groups over the next two weeks regarding any future changes with our face coverings policy.
One of the reasons we are able to adjust our interim policies and protocols at this stage of the pandemic is due to the high vaccination rate that our campus has achieved and our continued close monitoring of COVID-19 data, trends and impacts. While this semester began with several days of high case counts, those cases have generally been mild and short-lived, allowing us to manage the campus health environment effectively.
I appreciate the ongoing, significant work of the Health Management Team as they monitor COVID-19 daily and carefully develop recommendations for consideration by the President’s Council. While we are prayerful we are moving to this next stage of the virus that can be managed effectively with these updated interim policies and protocols, we also continue to closely examine conditions both locally and nationally.
Thank you, again, for a successful start of the spring semester. We pledge to continue our persistent monitoring of COVID-19 on the Baylor campus and within the campus community and keep you informed of any upcoming changes to our interim policies and protocols.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.