Texas Woman’s University currently has five students, faculty and staff in isolation and 24 in quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19.
“It is still a good amount considering where we have been,” executive director of risk management Matt Moustakas said.
TWU will not change any of its protocols despite Gov.Greg Abbott’s decision to remove the mask mandate, which will take effect March 10. The university will still require people to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. As long as the TWU community continues to follow the guidelines that are in place, there is not a reason to believe the university will see a major shift in cases, university spokesperson Matt Flores said.
“We are still taking all of the preventative measures,” Moustakas said. “We will taper them off per CDC guidelines and what makes sense for our community. It’s worked well for us to be more conservative in our approach than the state has been at times.”
On-campus testing is currently available to TWU students, faculty and the public in the southwest section of the Lowry Woods parking lot in the AlphaDERA trailer. No appointment is required, and tests are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They will be available for as long as the university deems necessary, Moustakas said.
“I encourage people to go, the more testing the better,” Moustakas said. “Our public health ambassadors will be walking around mentioning it to people. They are going to have these little quarter-page cards with a QR code for [AlphaDERA’s] website and just telling [them] where it is and what the hours are.”
There is little concern for a rise in cases at TWU from spring break. There are new requirements in place made by the U.S. government for people who travel internationally that would require a negative COVID test and a quarantine period when they return to the U.S.
“As far as the university community is concerned, I don’t see any big, significant shift,” Flores said. “As long as people continue to be responsible and adhering to the practices in place, I see no reason for there to be much deviation.”
Student Health Services is currently registered to receive more vaccines from the state, but there is no word on whether or not they will or when more doses may arrive. Although teachers are now able to receive the vaccine, that does not apply to TWU specifically, because it is for educators at primary and secondary learning institutions.
Laura Pearson can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.