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Baylor considering switching to remote learning in response to latest COVID-19 surge

WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Baylor University President Dr. Linda A. Fingston on Tuesday asked students and parents to begin planning for the possibility of distance/virtual learning during the spring semester as the Omicron variant fuels the latest COVID-19 wave in the US.

“If you remember, we saw a spike in COVID-19 cases at the start of every semester during the pandemic,” Livingston said, “and given the latest forecast, we should be prepared for an even bigger spike among students, faculty, and staff with Omicron.” .”

The Baylor University Health Management Team, in consultation with outside experts who have provided advice and guidance throughout the pandemic, has been closely following Omicron before the start of the semester on January 18, 2022.

“As we have seen with airlines, health care and services during the holidays, we understand that Omicron has the potential to cause widespread employee absence — even with mild symptoms — and severely impact the ongoing operations of an organization,” Livingston said.

“For Baylor, such operations would be the availability of faculty to teach classes, counselors to support student activities, dining and custodial staff to look after students and campus, and staff to support a variety of day-to-day university functions.”

President’s Council Livingston recommends students and their families consider and prepare for the following possibilities for the start of the spring semester at Baylor:

  • Beginning of Spring Semester as scheduled but on a remote/virtual/online basis for all classes, meetings and student activities through Tuesday, February 1st (Baylor Law School students will receive separate communication from their Dean). Possible The decision will allow us to reduce the population density on campus during the first two weeks of term and allow time for everyone who is eligible to voluntarily receive a booster dose. Also, this will enable us to take into account any new information about Omicron that appears after the New Year;
  • Residence halls open as planned, but with the condition that all resident students take a test within the first 24 hours of their return to campus. Students should have a plan if they become infected, as quarantine and isolation services will be severely limited;
  • Initiate on-campus and in-person recruitment for Hellenic as planned, but with high health and testing protocols in place and the ability to switch to default if needed;
  • Continuing January’s online, professional, and educational programs as planned;
  • Staff return to campus as scheduled Tuesday, January 4th;
  • Continuing campus face coverage requirements for at least the first two weeks of the spring term for all classrooms and laboratories when used for academic instruction, as well as certain indoor locations where appropriate social distancing may not be possible, private faculty and staff offices upon request, and other areas that you specify advertised banners; And
  • Maintain mandatory testing for unvaccinated individuals, but add mandatory control testing of 10% of all students, faculty, and staff for at least two weeks into the semester. Those who have received a COVID-19 booster dose or who have obtained a positive COVID test result within the past 180 days will be exempt from testing. Use the form at www.baylor.edu/vaccine to upload your completed vaccination card, including a booster dose, or positive COVID test for the past 180 days.

The university has activated its call center at 888-283-2158, which will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time Monday through Friday for any questions students or parents may have.

click here To read the message of Dr. Livingston is complete for students, faculty and parents.

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