How Texas A&M plans to manage COVID-19 cases

A rise in cases is expected as tens of thousands of students take classes on campus, but Texas A&M officials say they have a plan in place.
Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 11:12 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2020 at 11:37 PM CDT
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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young addressed students on social media Thursday saying if they don’t act responsibly, all classes could go virtual.

The university released information Thursday that in the week leading up to school from August 11 to August 18, 27 students reported through the university’s COVID-19 reporting portal that they had tested positive for COVID-19 along with three employees, which include members of faculty and staff.

Daniel Pugh, the university’s Vice President for Student Affairs, said A&M wants to provide students with the college experience while creating a safe environment. Pugh said a spike in cases is expected with tens of thousands of students attending classes on campus, but that they have procedures in place to manage exposures.

He said students or faculty members who believe they may have had potential exposure to the virus will need to quarantine, ”For 14 days from the last possible exposure date. So if it’s Sunday, it would be two Sundays forward. We’re asking all those individuals to be tested,” Pugh.

The university is asking those who test positive to report their cases through an online portal. Students who test positive would then take all their classes online during that quarantine period.

Before the university would go fully remote, they say they would address hot spots on campus first.

“We may have to shift large classes into remote for a week if we’re seeing some spiking. We may have to do something based on fourth-year classes or first-year classes. We may have to do something with the Rec Center or in a residence hall and if we can begin to do really well with tracing and identifying where the threats are, then we can respond to those areas without impacting the totality of what is there,” Pugh explained.

Pugh also shared Wednesday that the university has 248 isolation beds on campus, which include a room and a bathroom, if an on-campus student needed to be isolated from other students.

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