By Lexi Masarweh | Staff Writer
Baylor will be at full capacity for the fall semester with required COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated individuals.
If a student tests positive or has a COVID-19 exposure, they are required to have a plan in the event of a possible self-isolation or quarantine.
“With the large freshman class and scarce availability of housing and hotel rooms in the Waco area, the University’s ability to provide isolation and quarantine housing for students will be severely limited,” President Livingstone said in an email outlining the new protocol. “Availability will be prioritized for emergency use and for those students whose permanent residence is out of state or a significant distance from Waco.”
For unvaccinated students, faculty and staff, twice a week testing will be required for the first four weeks of school. There is one known testing location which is in North Village. The consequences for not following COVID testing protocols are listed in the Interim COVID-19 Testing Compliance Policy and Administrative Process.
“The key thing is that to minimize disruptions to the campus overall, or even for individual students, we strongly encourage you to get a vaccine,” Jason Cook, vice president for marketing and communications and chief marketing officer at Baylor, said.
Baylor offers the vaccines for no cost at The Baylor Health Center in the McLane Student Life Center, which is an authorized vaccine provider. Appointments are available for students, faculty and staff. Students can schedule their appointment online through the Health Portal.
Baylor does not require students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated, but it is highly encouraged. Individuals who are vaccinated can be exempt from self-isolation or quarantine if they fill out a short form and upload a photo of the completed vaccination card. In order to access the form, you must be logged in to a Baylor email account.
Individuals who have had a positive COVID-19 test within 180 days of returning to campus should notify Health Services. Students must submit email documentation of the positive test at Health_Services@baylor.edu. Individuals may be exempt from weekly testing after 180 days have passed from the positive test.
“The overall vaccination rate across campus is around 45 percent. That is about 42 percent for our students,” President Livingstone said in a Facebook Live Q&A Session on July 29. “Our faculty and staff are at about 72 percent vaccination and our freshmen as they came into line camp and orientation were at about 60 percent.”