Student COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols Update
July 14, 2021
July 14, 2021
The University has adopted the following policy updates to minimize the risk of COVID-19 as our community returns to campus for the fall 2021 semester. All health protocols are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve.
- Student Vaccination Requirement
- Student Exemption from Vaccination Requirement
- Student Testing
- Contact Tracing
- Face Masks
- Gathering Size and Occupancy Limits
- Travel Policy
- Reasonable Accommodations
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Southwestern University recognizes the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals and the importance of having a high vaccination rate across our community.
- The University also understands that a small number of community members may have valid reasons for not getting vaccinated.
Student Vaccination Requirement
- COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students prior to their arrival on campus unless a student qualifies for an exemption as described below. To provide proof of vaccination, students may email photos or scans of their vaccination cards to firstname.lastname@example.org or upload them to the patient portal at swu.medicatconnect.com.
Student Exemption from Vaccination Requirement
- The University will offer exemptions from the vaccination and proof of vaccination requirement based on underlying medical concerns, concerns related to the vaccine’s emergency use authorization, or reasons of conscience. Our process for reviewing conscientious exemption requests is modeled after the process the state of Texas uses for students attending public schools.
- To receive an exemption, a student (or their parent or legal guardian if the student is under the age of 18) must submit a notarized exemption form to the Health Center prior to their return to the SU campus.
- Students who have not provided proof of vaccination or submitted a valid exemption form will not be allowed to move into the residence halls or attend classes.
- Students who are not vaccinated may be required to participate in regular asymptomatic testing and/or take precautions such as masking, distancing, and avoiding crowds that are not required of those who are vaccinated.
- Unvaccinated students who are exposed to COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The University is not required to support any unvaccinated student quarantining with housing, care coordinators, or other services. Remote instruction will not be available during the quarantine period.
- Unvaccinated and vaccinated students who contract COVID-19 will be required to go into isolation for 10 days. The University is not required to support any unvaccinated student in isolation with housing, care coordinators, or other services. Remote instruction will not be available during the isolation period.
- Students who have not provided their proof of vaccination may be required to participate in regular asymptomatic testing and/or take precautions such as masking, distancing, and avoiding crowds that are not required of those who have submitted such records.
- Neither the NCAA nor our athletic conferences have released their plans or requirements for competition. The coaching staff will keep our student-athletes updated as the situation solidifies.
- The University will continue to utilize contact tracing to identify anyone who has been directly exposed to COVID-19.
- July 29, 2021, Update: Based on the increase of infection rates in Williamson County, the University is asking all students to take extra precautions before returning to campus - wear a face mask indoors, avoid crowds, practice physical distancing, and most importantly, get vaccinated.
- Students who have provided proof of vaccination are not required to wear a face mask indoors.
- Students who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask when indoors unless they are actively eating or drinking or inside their own residential room.
- Students may voluntarily wear masks at any time.
- Faculty and staff may request students and visitors to mask in their classroom, laboratory, or office.
- There is no requirement for wearing a face mask on campus when outside.
Gathering Size and Occupancy Limits
- There will be no COVID-related restrictions limiting the size of indoor gatherings. All other normal capacity restrictions (such as those imposed under the fire code) and pre-existing approval processes remain in force.
- There are no gathering-size limits on outdoor activities.
- Study abroad programs, faculty-led programs, and the travel components of other academic programs are being evaluated, and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Affected students will be notified of all decisions.
- There are no restrictions on student domestic or international travel other than restrictions imposed by government entities, airlines, or other travel providers.
- In the event a student employed by the University objects to any of the above measures based on religious or medical grounds, the University will offer to enter into a confidential process to examine whether any reasonable accommodations exist that would allow the individual to continue to perform their job.