Dr. Deborah Birx visits Baylor University to discuss COVID-19 response

Local News

WACO, Texas – The effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 continues at Baylor University with the arrival of Dr. Deborah Birx, the Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Dr. Birx was there to talk to Baylor officials about the ways they are keeping their students safe. She has visited several college campuses over the past few weeks, gathering information on how universities are handling COVID-19 and on-campus learning.

She says Baylor University is doing a pretty good job so far. Baylor’s COVID-19 cases have actually dropped significantly – with only 77 active cases and a 2.7 percent positivity rate.

According to Dr. Birx, Baylor is actually doing better than McLennan County at the moment – with the county seeing a nine percent or higher positivity rate.

Some students did raise concerns about the impacts of quarantining for 14 days – saying they were worried about how this will impact their mental health.

It may not be this way for long, however. According to Dr. Birx, they are conducting a study that may shorten the amount of time students need to be isolated.

“Both the University of Arizona and several SEC schools are working with the CDC to test students every day while they are in quarantine to really define that period. Remember, that interval of 14 days was defined in a very small number of individuals and in older individuals. We have the capacity now to really study this closely and figure out what that number is,” says Dr. Birx.

Dr. Birx also says they are hoping to offer more surveillance testing in the community so those who are asymptomatic can be detected more often.

Dr. Birx continues her tour by visiting Texas A&M on Tuesday.

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