Fall 2021 COVID-19 Guidance for Faculty & Staff

September 20, 2021

Dear Baylor Faculty & Staff, 

Please review the updated Fall 2021 COVID-19 guidance for Faculty & Staff.

We are also in a critical and very fluid time with COVID-19, particularly as the delta variant increases its presence in Texas and our local community. Recently, President Livingstone announced some updates to our COVID-related protocols, underscoring the importance of our campus community remaining diligent in our campus-wide health measures to protect ourselves and others from the virus while allowing the full Baylor experience for our students in and outside of the classroom.

As we begin the semester, please be reminded of the following:

Vaccination. Baylor's medical experts continue to strongly encourage vaccination, which protects against severe illness and hospitalization. Vaccination also exempts you from required testing and quarantine if exposed to a positive case. 

The Baylor Health Center offers all three vaccines authorized for emergency use by the FDA to faculty, staff, their spouses and dependents, as well as to students. More information about COVID vaccines – including how to confirm your vaccination status or to make an appointment at the Baylor Health Center – is available at www.baylor.edu/vaccine.

If you are fully vaccinated and have not yet confirmed your exemption, please upload a photo of your completed vaccine card through the Confidential Employee Medical Record Form at baylor.edu/vaccine. Completing this form will ensure exemption from required testing and will help us know how well protected Baylor is as a community as we begin the semester. 

Face Coverings. In certain indoor settings, face coverings will now be required on a temporary basis. 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, 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. 

Outside of these required areas for wearing a face covering, students, faculty and staff can choose to wear a face covering in other indoor or outdoor settings based on their individual health and safety needs. We ask that you please keep a facemask with you at all times and respect others who might have personal or family health considerations. 

Failure to comply with wearing face coverings within these specific settings may result in action taken with regard to the respective faculty or staff disciplinary process. 

Healthy Habits. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on our campus, continue to practice these healthy habits:

  • Complete a daily self-assessment before coming to work on campus.
  • If experiencing any symptoms, stay home and contact your primary care physician. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water often.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve/elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Report a positive COVID-19 test to your manager. If you test positive for COVID-19 through on-campus or external testing resources, please communicate the result to your direct manager and HR Consultantimmediately. 

Twice-Weekly Testing. If you have not met the requirements for an approved exemption, you will be expected to complete mandatory testing twice weekly through at least the first four weeks of the semester starting Monday, Aug. 23. The University will communicate directly via email with students, faculty and staff regarding their twice-weekly testing responsibilities. 

Exemptions from testing include:

  • Full vaccination (14 days past final dose) with an FDA EUA vaccine
  • A positive COVID-19 test within the past 180 days
  • 100% remote work for the fall semester

If you have not already notified Baylor of any applicable testing exemption, please fill out the Confidential Employee Medical Record Form

Failure to comply with the twice-weekly testing requirements may result in action taken with regard to the respective faculty or staff disciplinary process. 

You do not need an appointment to test. Please pick a testing location and arrive during posted hours to receive a test. Also, please space your twice weekly testing out with at least 48 hours between tests. For example, if you test on Monday, don't test again until Wednesday, Thursday or Friday

Testing is available:

  • 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mon. - Thurs. at the North Village Community Center & the lobby between Cashion Academic Center and Hankamer Academic Center 
  • 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday at the North Village Community Center & the lobby between Cashion Academic Center and Hankamer Academic Center 
  • 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday & Friday at Clifton Robinson Tower 
  • 1 to 2 p.m., Wednesday & Friday at Piper Child Development Center 
  • 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday & Friday at Washington Tower

Faculty and staff located at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing, Dallas and Austin EMBA programs, and any other Baylor school or program satellite campuses away from the main Waco campus will have alternate testing requirements and instructions as communicated by their schools/programs. 

As President Livingstone noted, our COVID plans are subject to change in the event local conditions either improve or deteriorate through the first month of the fall semester. For additional COVID-related information, please visit www.baylor.edu/coronavirus or contact the Baylor Information Call Center at 888-283-2158 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

Thank you in advance for your adherence to these important COVID protocols as we keep our campus and local community healthy.

FAQs about Twice-Weekly Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Testing

What if I am sick for another reason and unable to come to campus to complete my twice weekly COVID-19 test?
Please do not attempt to come to campus to complete a test if you are sick or feeling ill for any reason. Please contact your primary care physician if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. If you miss a scheduled test in a week due to illness, please just continue with your testing appointments within the week of your return to regular work. 

What if I am on vacation for a week?
If you are on vacation and away from work, you will not be required to test in that week. Please continue with the next week's regularly scheduled test. 

Will I still be required to test twice weekly if I test positive for COVID-19 after the semester starts?
No, if you test positive for COVID-19 either through Baylor-provided testing or through your local healthcare provider, you will not be required to continue twice-weekly testing for at least 180 days after the date of your positive test. For an exemption, please email documentation of your positive test to Health_Services@baylor.edu.

What if I begin experiencing symptoms, can I test on campus at the Health Center or through MLD?
No, if you are experiencing symptoms, please seek out COVID-19 testing from your primary care physician. 

Can my spouse or dependents test on campus at the Health Center or through MLD?
No, please seek out COVID-19 testing for spouse or dependents through your primary care physician. 

For questions about faculty and staff testing, please contact askHR at 254-710-2000 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or send an email to askHR@baylor.edu. You call also contact the Baylor Information Call Center at 888-283-2158 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT.

Originally published on August 19, 2021 at 11:30am.

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