WACO, Texas – Baylor University will begin its spring semester in-person, with face-to-face instruction and student activities.

President Dr. Linda A. Livingstone provided an update to her statement from last week, saying she believes the university has put together a prudent, responsible plan which prioritizes the health and overall well-being of the entire campus community and continued operations.

“The COVID-19 vaccines, especially with a booster, remain the best protection available against serious reactions to the Omicron variant. The bottom line is that we believe the safest place for our faculty, staff and students from Omicron is on the Baylor campus due to our high vaccination rates, availability of testing and following public health protocols. With that said, we will begin the semester by continuing our COVID-19 precautionary measures from the fall through at least the end of January as we closely follow the spike and projected decline of this latest variant.”

– Dr. Linda A. Livingstone, Baylor President

Baylor has resumed operations on Tuesday, as originally planned. The university is fully open, with all offices functioning. However, remote work will be provided as an option for staff through the remainder of this week in consultation with their supervisors.

Free COVID-19 testing will be provided for staff and their dependents this Wednesday through Friday at the North Village Community Center (NVCC) from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. each day. Health Center staff will resume giving COVID vaccines, booster doses and flu shots on January 12 at the NVCC vaccination clinic. All staff who are not currently in a hybrid or permanent telework arrangement will be expected to return to work on campus in-person on January 10, unless they are taking sick or vacation leave.

Classes will start Tuesday, January 18 in-person and on-campus, as originally planned. However, every student – vaccinated and unvaccinated – living on campus during the spring semester will be required to take a free Baylor-provided COVID-19 test within 24 hours of moving into the residence halls.

COVID-19 testing will be required twice weekly for unvaccinated faculty, staff and students. This requirement will begin January 10, for unvaccinated faculty, staff and student employees. Unvaccinated students will be required to test beginning the week of January 17, with the first test having been completed by January 18.

You can go to www.baylor.edu/vaccine to upload your completed vaccination card – including a booster dose, or your positive COVID test within the past 180 days.

Initial testing availability is as follows:

  • Jan. 5-7: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., North Village Community Center (NVCC). Dependent testing available.
  • Jan. 10-14: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., NVCC and Cashion Academic Center Lobby. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use NVCC due to projected high volume at Cashion.
  • Jan. 15: 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., NVCC and Cashion Academic Center Lobby
  • Jan. 16: Noon – 10:00 p.m., NVCC and Cashion Academic Center Lobby
  • Jan. 17: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., NVCC and Cashion Academic Center Lobby

Testing times and locations following January 17 will be updated at www.baylor.edu/coronavirus in the days ahead.

Face coverings will be required for at least the first two weeks of the spring semester for 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. The use of face coverings in all indoor spaces on campus is strongly encouraged – including hallways and corridors – as well as out in the Waco community given the region’s continued low vaccination rate.

If you have any questions, you can call 888-283-2158 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also visit the Frequently Asked Questions and email coronavirus@baylor.edu.

Source: Baylor University