In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 on campus, Texas A&M will require all faculty and staff to test for the coronavirus before returning to campus.
In an email sent out Dec. 14, President Michael K. Young and Provost Carol A. Fierke said that all faculty, staff, part-time employees, student workers and graduate assistants will be required to test for COVID-19 before returning for the spring 2021 semester. According to the email, all employees must receive a test between Jan. 2 and Jan. 12 either on campus or from their medical provider. Test results must be uploaded to A&M’s COVID-19 Testing Program portal by Jan. 15.
This announcement comes in response to the surge of positive COVID-19 cases on campus after Thanksgiving, according to the email.
“[Timely testing] facilitates contact tracing to effectively reduce the virus circulating on campus, enhancing the health and wellbeing of all, and helps us have a greater chance of being able to finish the spring semester with in-person activities,” the email stated. “Proactive testing and isolation can help reduce the spread in our community and burden on area hospitals.”
According to the email, employees can exempt from this requirement if the following apply:
“Employees who provide documentation prior to return to work for spring of a positive COVID-19 test result in the 90-days prior to start of classes (Oct. 20 or later) and are symptom-free.
“Employees with approved Alternate Work Location agreements in place before start of spring that involve no on-campus presence.
“A&M University System, including agency employees, should consult System leadership with regard to testing. Testing for members of these groups who spend time on A&M Bryan-College Station campus/sites is highly recommended.
“Employees who receive a positive test result will be required to “comply with isolation, quarantine, contact tracing and testing instructions given by the investigators [from the COVID-19 Operations Center],” according to the email.
For more information about A&M’s COVID-19 policies, visit tamu.edu/coronavirus.