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COVID Updates for Spring 2022

TLU Campus Back to Face-to-Face Beginning Jan. 24

Message from President's Cabinet and COVID-19 Leadership Team:

Dear TLU Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Since making adjustments to the spring semester, we have continued to monitor our external environment, to track the impact of Omicron, and to be mindful of the needs of our community during this uncertain time.

We are now at a crossroads. As COVID cases have risen due to the Omicron variant, we see vaccinated, boosted, and unvaccinated people becoming ill, though typically not as severe as the Delta variant and for not as long of a time. We are also seeing the serious and significant impact of nearly two-years of social distancing, closures, and online learning on the mental health of our campus community.

We know we need to keep moving forward as a university, and we must do it with grace and flexibility for everyone – those vulnerable community members who need to continue online and those who need to return to some semblance of a pre-pandemic learning and working environment.

After extensive discussions among the President’s Cabinet and the COVID Leadership Team, the decision has been made to return to face-to-face learning beginning Jan. 24, with the caveat that faculty members who need to continue teaching online due to health concerns may do so. We recognize that we also have students and staff who are included in the vulnerable community population, and we encourage them to follow the same guidelines and procedures we’ve had in place since 2020 to safeguard this group (see more about this below).

Across every aspect of this pandemic, there has been little consensus. Here at TLU, we know there is a wide array of views on how we should respond, and we appreciate that feedback. At the same time, we assure you we will continue to make the best decisions for our community using the best information we have. We believe the decision to ease into the spring semester with a shift to a low-density campus was the right thing to do and allowed us to be attentive to the spread of the virus on our campus, to give our students time to seek out testing before moving on campus, to gain further understanding of Omicron’s impact, and to monitor local hospital conditions, while still allowing our semester to get underway.

Now, we believe it is time to transition from a prevention model to a management model — meaning we want to minimize major adjustments to campus operations while also being ever-vigilant about campus safety. As we resume in-person operations, it is more important than ever that every member of our community follow our COVID mitigation protocols. We will continue to require mask wearing for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors, and we support faculty members who require additional safety protocols in their classrooms, labs, and performance spaces to keep everyone safe. The COVID Leadership Team will continue to monitor conditions, track CDC guidelines, and stay in close communication with the campus community.

As we begin our spring semester face-to-face on Jan. 24, here is what you need to know:

  • If you are a faculty member who needs to continue teaching online for health reasons, please email Dr. Sarah Ferguson and Glenn Yockey by Friday, Jan. 21, so they are aware of all teaching arrangements. Dr. Ferguson will be following up with additional information in an email to all faculty.
  • If you are a staff member or student and you think you may fall under the criteria to be considered a vulnerable community member, please contact TLU Health Services at healthservices@tlu.edu and they will review the process with you.
  • As stated above, masks are still required for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors and must be worn at all times when indoors. The only exception is outdoors if you are vaccinated.
  • Hein Dining Hall will remain to-go dining through Sunday, Jan. 30. Full-service dining will begin on Monday, Jan. 31, and the Bite App for Hein will resume at that time as well. Tables will be spaced out and seating will be reduced with 2-4 chairs per table. Lucky’s and Tschoepe Café operations remain the same. Faculty/Staff lunch will begin Feb. 3 instead of Jan. 27.
  • Weekly testing for in-season athletes will continue through Community Labs of San Antonio.
  • TLU's Health Services Center (Hahn Annex) offers rapid COVID-19 tests for all students. Students who are feeling ill or have had exposure should contact healthservices@tlu.edu for a test.
  • Faculty and staff who would like a COVID test should reach out to their primary care physician or use one of the many drive-up testing sites in our area. We also encourage people to take advantage of the free at-home tests now provided by the Biden Administration. Go to covidtests.gov to order your free at-home tests today.
  • Students living on campus who haven’t moved in yet are still required to provide a negative COVID test prior to picking up their room keys. If you have questions about moving in, please contact campusliving@tlu.edu.
  • Faculty, staff, and students who test positive for COVID need to notify healthservices@tlu.edu. Health Services will continue to notify faculty and supervisors when students or employees need to go into isolation due to COVID, but they will no longer do contact tracing. Because of the shorter, 5-day isolation period and the amount of community spread, it is no longer feasible or effective to do contact tracing.
  • Faculty, staff, and students who test positive must follow CDC guidelines and isolate for 5 days before returning to class or work. If you need to isolate for longer than 5 days, please notify Health Services if you are a student and Human Resources if you are an employee.
  • Staff who have been working remote since Jan. 12 should plan on returning to campus beginning Monday, Jan. 24.
  • If you are planning an event, please email semc@tlu.edu so the COVID-19 Leadership Team can review your plans and provide feedback on ways to ensure a safe event for attendees as well as the people who are working the event.

We remain committed to open, honest, and consistent communications to our campus community. While we will continue to update our campus COVID numbers on TLU.EDU, we won’t send daily emails to campus. We will continue to meet as a COVID team and provide regular campus updates to ensure information is shared in a universal and timely manner. You may always refer to the COVID-19 web page on TLU.EDU for information or email semc@tlu.edu if you don't see what you need.

We want to thank you all for your patience, understanding, and support during these past few weeks, months, and even years. We will get through this together, as a community of learning, a community of faith, and a community that supports each other with hope, grace, and love.

Be safe and well,

TLU President’s Cabinet and COVID-19 Leadership Team

How We're Keeping Our Community Safe

TLU’s COVID-19 Leadership Team promotes the following strategies to protect the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for all faculty, staff, and students. All TLU faculty, staff, and students are required to complete the Vaccination and Exemption Reporting Form. While vaccinations are highly recommended, exemptions are offered for those who cannot get a vaccine (or choose not to).
  • Consistent and correct use of masks for everyone – vaccinated or unvaccinated. All faculty, staff, students, and visitors are required to wear masks indoors whether vaccinated or not. Masks should have two or more layers of washable/breathable fabric, cover your nose and mouth, and fit snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Practicing physical distancing. When possible, maintain physical distancing between people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces. People who are not fully vaccinated should be especially mindful of physical distancing.
  • Encouraging health-promoting behaviors such as hand washing and respiratory etiquette to reduce the spread of infectious illnesses including COVID-19.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Safety and Emergency Management Committee

Questions regarding TLU's COVID-19 policies and protocols? Email the TLU Safety and Emergency Management Committee at semc@tlu.edu.

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