Baylor considers distance learning with Omicron | KWKT
WACO, Texas – The rise of the COVID-19 variant Omicron has some possible changes for Baylor’s spring semester.
President Dr. Linda A. Livingstone released a statement today discussing the following potential scenarios:
1: Spring semester could start as planned, but remotely / virtual / online for all classes, meetings and student activities until Tuesday February 1st. Baylor Law School students will receive a separate communication from their Dean. This potential move would allow the university to reduce the population density on campus for the first two weeks of the semester and allow time for all eligible people to voluntarily benefit from a booster injection. It would also allow Baylor to take into account any new information about Omicron that emerges after the New Year.
2: University residences could open as planned, but with the requirement that all residence students test within 24 hours of returning to campus. Students should have a plan if they are infected, as quarantine and isolation services will be severely limited.
3: Pan-Hellenic recruiting in person on campus could go as planned, but with high health testing and protocols in place, and the ability to switch to virtual, if needed.
4: January’s online and professional and educational programs could continue as planned.
5: Staff could return to campus as scheduled on Tuesday January 4.
6: The on-campus face covering requirement could continue for at least the first two weeks of the spring semester for all classrooms and laboratories when used for academic teaching, in addition to some indoor locations where appropriate social distancing may not be possible, private faculty and staff desks on request and other areas designated by road signs.
7: Mandatory testing for unvaccinated people could be maintained, but with the addition of mandatory surveillance testing of ten percent of all students, faculty and staff for at least the first two weeks of the semester. Those who have received a COVID-19 booster or who have had a positive COVID test in the past 180 days will be exempt from the test. You can use the form at www.baylor.edu/vaccine to download your completed vaccination record, including a booster dose, or your positive COVID test within the last 180 days.
The university’s strong preference is to start the spring semester and related activities as originally planned and as planned. Several projections indicate that Omicron will have risen and potentially fallen by the end of January, just past the expected start of the semester.
Baylor plans to provide another update early next week.
Source: Baylor University