Southwestern University

Campus Health and Safety

COVID Update


County Transmission Rate


See COVID-19 Dashboard

Why vaccinate, mask, and physically distance?

 To Save Lives

The pandemic is still very real. In the past 28 days, there have been 235,026 COVID-19 deaths worldwide — 8,081 in Texas. We can protect ourselves, our families, and our friends from unnecessary suffering and life-threatening illness by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask in recommended situations, and physically distancing when necessary.

These steps protect us all from the threat of COVID-19, but they do even more. By reducing the demand on hospitals caused by COVID-19, people who need medical attention for other health emergencies can receive the help they need without added delay. This can mean the difference between life and death for these patients.

 To End the Pandemic

The loss of life, economic disruption, and unnecessary suffering caused by the pandemic can only end if we stay ahead of the virus. This means stopping the spread of COVID-19 by following all recommended prevention measures so that fewer and fewer people get sick. We must do this not only to protect others but to prevent the rise of new variants of the virus which, in the worst case, could start the pandemic all over again, repeating the worst of what we’ve been through. 


COVID-19 Dashboard

Key Student Data Points As of October 14, 2021
5 Students Isolating
1 Students Quarantining
Vaccination Rate As of October 14, 2021
Percent fully or partially vaccinated
Percent fully or partially vaccinated
Students
Faculty
Staff
Cumulative
89.4% 93.9%
85.4% 88.9%
Testing As of October 14, 2021
Weekly Testing
Sept. 7 - Oct. 14, 2021
Weekly Testing
Sept. 7 - Oct. 14, 2021
Number of Tests Positive Results
Students
139 4
Faculty
0 0
Staff
0 0
Quarantining & Isolating As of October 14, 2021
Quarantining
Quarantining
On-Campus Off-Campus
Students
0 1
Faculty
- 0
Staff
- 2
 
Isolating
Isolating
On-Campus Off-Campus
Students
0 5
Faculty
- 0
Staff
- 0
County & State Data As of October 14, 2021
Williamson County
View full dashboard
Williamson County
View full dashboard
Total Fully Vaccinated Eligible Population Fully vaccinated Eligible Population Partially vaccinated
59% 70.6% 79.4%
 
Daily New Cases Active Cases Recovered Fatalities
129 3301 70719 678
 
Texas
View full dashboard
Texas
View full dashboard
Fully vaccinated Partially vaccinated
51.9% 60%
 
Daily New Cases Active Cases Recovered Fatalities
9217 167455 3885138 66700
Students who are fully or partially vaccinated. Breakdown of student population vaccination status as of October 14, 2021:
  • 0.7% of students have received the first shot of a two-shot vaccine
  • 0.1% of students have received the second shot of a two-shot vaccine but are still in the 14-day post-vaccination waiting period
  • 88.6% are considered to be fully vaccinated
Fully vaccinated faculty and staff. Faculty and staff considered to be unvaccinated fit in one or more of the following five categories:
  1. Individuals who have not responded to requests for voluntary and confidential submission of their vaccination status to Southwestern University's Office of Human Resources (HR)
  2. Individuals who have submitted a self-attestation form indicating that they are not vaccinated
  3. Individuals who have submitted a self-attestation form indicating that they decline to disclose their vaccination status to HR
  4. Individuals who have requested a vaccine exemption based on religious or health reasons
  5. Individuals who have started their vaccine process, but still need an additional shot or are not two weeks beyond their final shot
The Southwestern University Office of Human Resources is required to keep the actual status of each employee confidential. Supervisors are informed that employees are in the group considered to be "unvaccinated" for testing purposes by the University, but not which of the categories listed above they fall into. Further, inclusion in this "unvaccinated" group does not mean an employee is actually unvaccinated. There may be individuals in this group who are vaccinated but choose not to disclose their status to the University. Supervisors are requested ONLY to aid those staff members who have not responded with either the submission of vaccination records OR the completion of a self-attestation form.

Get Vaccinated

  • Anyone can get vaccinated at no charge at most pharmacies. The vaccinating pharmacy closest to Southwestern is the CVS at the corner of University Ave and Austin Ave. This CVS administers the Pfizer vaccine, and, as with many pharmacies, you can schedule an appointment online
  • There are several other vaccine providers in Georgetown, including Walgreens and HEB. See this map for a list.
  • Vaccine providers across the country can be found by using the search tool at vaccines.gov.
  • The Pfizer vaccine:
    • Is fully FDA-approved for ages 16 and up
    • Has an emergency use authorization
      for ages 12 - 15. If you have an unvaccinated 12-15 year-old in your family, consult your family health care provider.
    • Is approved for booster shots which are recommended for:
      • ages 65+
      • ages 18 to 64 with underlying health conditions or at high risk for occupational or institutional exposure
      • People in either of these groups can schedule a booster shot appointment if six months have passed since they were fully vaccinated. (This link is for CVS, but the other providers mentioned above can also give booster shots.) 
  • For information on FDA approval status and booster shot approval for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, visit vaccines.gov.

When and How to Wear a Mask

  • For everyone, vaccinated or not:
    • When to Wear a Mask
      • Wear a mask when you are indoors
      • Masks may be removed in private areas such as residence hall rooms and offices and while dining or drinking in approved areas such as the Commons.
    • How to wear a mask
      • Fit the mask snugly against the sides of your face to prevent gaps
      • Fully cover both your nose and mouth with the mask
      • The mask must have at least two layers of fabric
      • Other types of face covering such as gaiters and bandanas are not permitted
      • Watch our Masks 101 video to learn more.

Don’t Stand Too Close

  • Unvaccinated
    • Maintain physical distance from others
  • Vaccinated
    • Maintain physical distance  from others who have possible symptoms of COVID-19

If You Are Exposed

  • Students
    • Unvaccinated
      • Remain at home or go home
      • Immediately begin a 14-day quarantine
      • If you are identified as a close contact by an SU student who tested positive, you will be called by a contact tracer
      • If you are not contacted by a contact tracer, contact the Health Center at 512.863.1252 for guidance
    • Vaccinated
      • Get a PCR test 3-5 days after exposure
      • Until you receive a negative PCR test result, wear a mask at all times, indoors and outdoors 
      • If you develop symptoms, follow the steps in “If You Feel Sick” 
  • Faculty/Staff
    • Unvaccinated
      • Remain at home or go home
      • Immediately begin a 14-day quarantine
      • Alert your Department Chair/Dean of the Faculty (faculty) or Supervisor (Staff) of your anticipated absence (it is not required to disclose the reason)
      • Contact HR to confidentially discuss your situation
      • If you are symptomatic in any way, complete the CDC’s Self-Checker and follow its recommendations.
      • Keep in contact with the HR department during the isolation period. If you remain free of symptoms, HR will clear you to return to work and will inform your Department Chair/Dean of the Faculty or Supervisor
    • Vaccinated
      • Get a PCR test 3-5 days after exposure
      • Until you receive a negative PCR test result, wear a mask at all times, indoors and outdoors
      • If you develop symptoms, follow the steps in “If You Feel Sick”

If You Feel Sick

COVID-19 symptoms may include:

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
  • Decrease sense of smell or taste
  • Unexplained diarrhea
  • Unexplained headache
  • Muscle aches/ body aches
  • Unexplained fatigue/ tiredness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Sore throat

If you experience any of these symptoms, do the following:

  • Students
    • Stay at home
    • Separate yourself from others
    • Do not attend class, work, or other group activities today
    • Call the Health Center during business hours for further guidance
    • If you have trouble breathing or other emergency warning signs, call 911.
  • Faculty/Staff
    • Run the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker
    • If the Coronavirus Self-Checker instructs you to seek medical attention, follow the recommendations and then notify the Office of Human Resources at 512.863.1435
    • If you have trouble breathing or other emergency warning signs, call 911.

A PCR test is recommended for anyone who feels sick and has any of the COVID-19 symptoms mentioned above.

If You Test Positive

  • Students
    • Immediately begin a 10-day self-isolation
    • Notify the Health Center by calling 512.863.1252 during normal business hours
    • After hours, you may call 737.667.0705 to speak to a contact tracer
    • After notifying the Health Center, email your positive test result to covidtesting@southwestern.edu
  • Faculty/Staff
    • Immediately begin a 10-day self-isolation
    • Contact your healthcare provider
    • Alert your Department Chair/Dean of the Faculty (faculty) or Supervisor (Staff) of your anticipated absence (it is not required to disclose the reason)
    • Contact HR to confidentially discuss your situation
    • If you are symptomatic in any way, complete the CDC’s Self-Checker and follow its recommendations.
    • Keep in contact with the HR department during the isolation period.

How to Quarantine

Quarantine applies to you if you are unvaccinated. It lasts 14 days if you remain symptom free.

  • Separate yourself from other people
  • Wear a mask if you must be in close contact with others
  • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, see “If You Feel Sick”

If you are vaccinated, instead of quarantining, in general you should follow the steps given in “If You Are Exposed”.

How to Isolate

Isolation lasts 10 days as long as you have been fever free for at least 24 hours and symptoms are improving at the end of the 10 days.

  • Students
    • Stay home except for medical care
    • Stay in an off-campus residence
    • Limit contact with other people in your household
    • Wear a mask if you must be in close contact with others
    • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, see “If You Feel Sick”
  • Faculty/Staff
    • Stay home except for medical care
    • Run the CDC Self-Checker every day and follow its recommendations
    • Wear a mask if you must be in close contact with others
    • If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, see “If You Feel Sick”

Know the Policies

COVID-19 Health and Safety Policies — Updated August 12, 2021

All policies are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve.

Students
Faculty and Staff


Students


Vaccinations

  • 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 covidtesting@southwestern.edu 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.

Student Testing

  • 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.

Student-Athletes

  • 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.

Contact Tracing

  • The University will continue to utilize contact tracing to identify anyone who has been directly exposed to COVID-19.

Face Masks

  • Indoors:
    • August 12, 2021, Update: Based on the increase of infection rates in Williamson County, the University is currently requiring masks to be worn indoors by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. See the announcement.
    • 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.
  • Outdoors:
    • There is no requirement for wearing a face mask on campus when outside.

Gathering Size and Occupancy Limits

  • Indoors:
    • 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. August 6, 2021, Update: All indoor events, meetings and activities are currently limited to no more than 100 individuals. See announcement.
  • Outdoors:
    • There are no gathering-size limits on outdoor activities.

Travel Policy

  • 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.

Reasonable Accommodations

  • 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.

Frequently Asked Questions


Faculty and Staff


Faculty and Staff Vaccination and Exemption Policy

  • The University strongly encourages all faculty and staff to get vaccinated. Our recent staff survey found that almost 90% of respondents are vaccinated (approximately 64% of staff responded to the survey).
  • Faculty and staff may confidentially submit their proof of vaccination or a completed COVID-19 Vaccine: Self-Attestation Form to Cynthia Nguyen, benefits coordinator, in Human Resources by interoffice mail or via email at nguyen@southwestern.edu . Please note that unless a confidential process to identify reasonable accommodations is requested, faculty and staff are not required to provide an explanation for why they have not received a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Faculty and staff may request an exemption based on religious or medical grounds by August 6, 2021. Please contact Elma Benavides in Human Resources at ext. 1441 or benavide@southwestern.edu for more information.

Faculty and Staff Testing

  • Faculty and staff who have not provided proof of vaccination or a completed COVID-19 Vaccine: Self-Attestation Form 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.

Contact Tracing

  • The University will continue to utilize contact tracing to identify anyone who has been directly exposed to COVID-19.

Face Masks

  • Indoors:
    • Faculty and staff who have provided proof of vaccination or submitted a COVID-19 Vaccine: Self-Attestation Form are not required to wear a face mask indoors. August 12, 2021, Update: Due to increasing infection rates in Williamson County, the University is currently requiring masks to be worn indoors by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. See the announcement.
    • Faculty and staff who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask when indoors unless they are actively eating or drinking or inside their private office.
    • Faculty and staff may request students and visitors to mask in their classroom, laboratory, or office.
  • Outdoors:
    • There is no requirement for wearing a face mask on campus when outside.

Gathering Size and Occupancy Limits

  • Indoors:
    • 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. August 6, 2021, Update: All indoor events, meetings and activities are currently limited to no more than 100 individuals. See announcement.
  • Outdoors:
    • There are no gathering-size limits on outdoor activities.

Travel Policy

  • 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, faculty, and staff will be notified of all decisions.
  • There are no restrictions on faculty or staff domestic or international travel other than restrictions imposed by government entities, airlines, or other travel providers.

Reasonable Accommodations

  • In the event a faculty or staff member, including 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

August 12, 2021 Health and Safety Protocol Update

Q:  What is the current CDC guidance for fully vaccinated people?
A:  The CDC website provides guidance for fully vaccinated individuals

Q: Why do I have to mask if I’m vaccinated or if I have had COVID-19?
A: Masking not only protects you, it also protects those who cannot be vaccinated because of a medical condition or due to their beliefs and when everyone masks, this protection increases. Additionally, Williamson County is currently considered an area of substantial or high transmission ; therefore the CDC recommends everyone wear a mask indoors, especially in public areas, like our campus.

Q:  Is the University requiring masking for everyone?
A:  Yes,  the University is requiring face masks to be worn indoors by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors on our campus. Masks are not required in outdoor settings. Masks may be removed in private areas such as residence hall rooms, offices, and while dining or drinking. Additionally, the University urges all members of our community to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and avoid gathering in large crowds while they are on and off campus.

Q:  What is the University’s vaccination rate goal?
A:  We have set a vaccination rate target of 90% for our campus.  Vaccination is an important tool available to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the University encourages everyone who is able to get the vaccine.  Getting vaccinated not only helps protect you, it protects others as well. 

Q: Can I get tested off campus?
A: Yes, if you are in the testing pool and you prefer to test off campus, you may arrange for an off-campus test on your own and provide the result to covidtesting@southwestern.edu by 2:00PM on Friday each week.

Q: I like the convenience of testing on campus, but I can’t afford $35 weekly.
A: Consider applying for assistance through the University’s Emergency Fund .

Q: Can I test off campus AND on campus on alternating weeks?
A: Yes.

Q:  If I get tested off campus, can it be a rapid test

A:  The test must be a PCR.

Q: What happens when students who are vaccinated are exposed to someone who then tests positive?
A: Care Coordinators and contact tracers will work to identify anyone who meets the definition of a close contact with someone who has tested positive. A student who is unvaccinated will quarantine for 14 days. A student who is vaccinated will, per CDC guidance, be tested 3-5 days after exposure.

Q: What constitutes “close contact?”
A: Based on current CDC guidance, anyone who has been within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more is considered to have been exposed to the virus. Vaccinated persons who have been exposed are not required to quarantine automatically, but should be tested 3-5 days after exposure. Unvaccinated persons who have been exposed are required to quarantine for 14 days. 

Q: What happens when students are not complying with the mask mandate?
A: At this time, masking is required in most indoor settings (with exceptions for private rooms/offices and while eating or drinking) for all members of the SU community. If a student is not wearing a mask when required, you should request that the student put on a mask. Repeated or intentional violations of the mask mandate will be addressed according to our Judicial Policy. Outcomes of disciplinary meetings are not shared with anyone other than the student(s) involved.

Q: Why was this masking policy determined before all students’ vaccinations or exemptions are due?  
A: The University has followed CDC guidance throughout the pandemic. Current guidance recommends masking indoors for everyone living in areas of substantial or high transmission, regardless of vaccination status. 

Q:  Will spectators be allowed to attend athletic events this year?
A:  The University is not limiting spectators at outdoor sports venues. However, for indoor events, capacity will be limited based on available space to accommodate physical distancing. All attendees are asked to exercise caution by wearing masks at all indoor sporting events and to practice physical distancing. 

Q:  Are visitors allowed on campus?
A:  Yes, visitors are currently allowed on campus.  Although they are not required to show proof of vaccination, they are asked to adhere to our health and safety protocols.

Q:  Are there any time limits on in-person meetings?
A:  No. Meetings, classes, laboratory work, and events will no longer be time-restricted as long as all attendees remain masked. Regular breaks are encouraged for individuals spending extended hours amongst others.

Q:  Is there a maximum capacity for outdoor events?
A:  No.

Q: Will Pirate Bikes be available?
A: Yes!


August 6, 2021 Health and Safety Protocol Update

July 16, 2021 Health and Safety Protocols Update

Q: If faculty or staff have tested positive for COVID, will they be required to have a negative test prior to returning to work on campus?

No. The University requires a written release from the individual’s healthcare provider before being cleared to return to work on campus. When a faculty or staff member informs the University that they have tested positive for COVID-19, one of the items that the University provides to them is a notice to healthcare providers regarding its requirement for “clinical recovery” in accordance with CDC guidance to determine the ability to return to work.

Q: What if a student has received only the first shot of a COVID vaccination by the deadline for submitting proof of vaccination?

A: Students who provide proof of a first dose of the vaccination will be allowed to move into the residence halls. Each student should submit proof of their first shot before the deadline by emailing a photo or scan of their vaccination card to covidtesting@southwestern.edu or uploading it to their patient portal at swu.medicatconnect.com. They should submit proof of their second dose as soon as it is available. Community members are not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after their second shot, so students will remain in the testing pool until that date.

Q: How should students provide proof of vaccination?

A: Southwestern students are required to obtain a COVID vaccination prior to the return to campus. To provide proof of vaccination, students may email photos or scans of their vaccination cards to covidtesting@southwestern.edu or upload them to the patient portal at swu.medicatconnect.com. For students who cannot be vaccinated, a notarized exemption form is required.

The deadlines to submit a vaccination record or a notarized exemption form follow:

  • 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 for new students (first-year and transfer)
  • 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 for returning students

Students who have been approved to move in early should complete the requirement three days prior to move-in.

Q: Where can I find information about Williamson County (Georgetown) infection rates?

A. We have a link to the Williamson County and Cities Health Department data on our COVID-19 Dashboard .

Q: Has Southwestern set a target percentage of staff, faculty and students it would like to see vaccinated?

A: We are setting a staff, faculty, and students vaccination target of 90 percent. The closer we move to achieving our target, the fewer restrictions we will need to have in place; if we don’t reach our target, additional restrictions will be implemented.

Q: What is the percentage of faculty and staff who have been vaccinated to date?

A. All campus data about percentages of our staff, faculty and students who have been vaccinated will be posted to our COVID-19 Dashboard .

Q: In light of the increasing COVID-19 infection rates in Williamson County, will Southwestern start requiring face masks and make other changes to its policies?

A. The University is requiring face masks to be worn indoors by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors on our campus. Masks are not required in outdoor settings. Masks may be removed in private areas such as residence hall rooms and offices and while dining or drinking. As always, we are prepared to make adjustments to our policies based upon local conditions and mandates.


July 16, 2021 Health and Safety Protocols Update

Q: Why is SU just now announcing its student COVID vaccination policy?

A: With the ever-changing situation created by the pandemic, the University wanted to wait as long as possible so our decision about student vaccination requirements was informed by the latest health data and government policies. This is not a decision we made lightly, and our only objective is to ensure we continue to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe.

Q: How will SU support students with housing or other services if they contract or are exposed to COVID-19 and must isolate or quarantine? Will unvaccinated students receive the same support as vaccinated students?

A: The University will provide the same level of support to infected or quarantined students as is provided to students who contract any other significant illness or communicable disease, regardless of vaccination status. Any student experiencing illness can work through the Center for Academic Success to coordinate with their professors to stay caught up with coursework. Remote, real-time (aka synchronous) instruction will not be offered in the 2021–2022 academic year, so it will not be provided for students who miss class for any reason. However, faculty are able to provide asynchronous opportunities for students to stay caught up.

Q: What if a student has to isolate or quarantine and has no safe alternative housing?

A: We have reserved a small number of beds for these situations. If no beds are available for a student who must isolate or quarantine and has no safe alternative for housing, we will help the student find alternative accommodations.

Q: Will students who have had COVID-19 be required to get vaccinated, even if they still have antibodies?

A: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone should be vaccinated regardless of whether they have already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long people are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if a person has already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible that they could be infected again with the virus that causes COVID-19. Studies have shown that vaccination strongly boosts protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19.

Q: Will student vaccine status be shared with faculty? How will professors know who should be masked and who doesn’t have to mask?

A: For privacy reasons, a student’s vaccination status will be kept confidential and not shared with faculty. Each faculty member will establish a classroom policy regarding masking. This policy will be included in the syllabus and communicated to students prior to the start of class.

Q: Is the campus basically returning to normal operations in the fall?

A: Here’s what students, faculty, and staff can expect when they return to campus in August:

  • August 12, 2021, Update: Due to increasing infection rates in Williamson County, the University is currently requiring masks to be worn indoors by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. See the announcement.
  • Classrooms will return to full occupancy and a fully in-person instruction model, with limited exceptions for faculty members who require accommodations.
  • Faculty will be allowed to require masks in classrooms and labs at their discretion.
  • Residence halls will return to full occupancy.
  • Both indoor and outdoor gatherings will return to normal capacity, including athletic events.  August 6, 2021, Update: All indoor events, meetings and activities are currently limited to no more than 100 individuals. See announcement.
  • Building hours will be restored to pre-pandemic hours.
  • On-campus signage will change to be consistent with the latest CDC guidance.
  • Visitors may return to campus and are asked to adhere to our campus health protocols. 
  • Domestic and international travel is allowed in accordance with CDC guidelines and the policies of travel providers.
  • Note that these plans are subject to change based on public health conditions.

Q: International students living abroad may not be able to obtain a vaccination before coming to SU. What should they do?

A: We understand that it may not be possible for all international students to receive the vaccine in their home country prior to arrival in the U.S. In this case, students may begin the vaccination process when they arrive in Texas. Students will not be required to arrive early or quarantine. Please contact Monya Lemery or Meaghan Bellande at the Office of Study Abroad and International Student Services to request assistance. International students should click here for more information.

 

Q: When does this policy take effect?

A: This policy took effect on July 14, 2021.

Q: Will visitors need to provide proof of vaccination?

A: Although we do not require proof of vaccination, we expect visitors to comply with the same protocols as SU community members do.

Q: Will unvaccinated students living in the residence halls need to wear a mask in their own room? 

A: As was the case before vaccines were available, students will not be required to wear masks inside their own residence hall rooms. In cases where roommates need assistance defining shared expectations for their room or suite, residence life staff will provide support and facilitation.

Q: Will vaccinated students need to quarantine for 14 days if they are exposed to COVID-19?

A: According to the CDC , people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.
 

Q: What if students are partially vaccinated when they arrive on campus but still need a second dose or must complete a waiting period to be considered fully vaccinated?

A: Students who arrive on campus partially vaccinated will be tested weekly until their vaccination regimen is completed and documented.

Q: How will masking be enforced for unvaccinated students in settings where they are required to wear masks?

A: A student who enrolls at Southwestern voluntarily becomes part of a community where respect for others is the norm; each student’s voluntary entrance into the community implies their acceptance of University regulations. Unvaccinated students, therefore, are expected to demonstrate this acceptance by knowing and complying with Southwestern’s masking requirements. As with any policy violation, refusal to comply will subject the student to disciplinary action through an established procedure.