Texas A&M will share weekly COVID-19 numbers and updates

Close to 400 students and staff have tested positive from February to last week.
Published: Aug. 19, 2020 at 11:08 PM CDT

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Texas A&M University officials said Wednesday they will provide weekly COVID-19 case updates for the public to view.

The weekly report will detail the number of cases self-reported by students, staff, and faculty members through an online portal.

Wednesday night the university confirmed 250 students have tested positive since February through last week and in that same time period, 122 employees (faculty and staff members) have also tested positive.

The university also said it has received a number of reports of positive test results in student organization communities and that the appropriate officials in A&M’s Student Conduct Office have been investigating these reports while communicating with oversight officials within student organizations.

The university said administrators are working with health experts on a daily basis to evaluate the situation on campus and that the decision to reduce the number of classes taught in-person will be based on several factors.

“We will not go all-or-nothing this semester. The first classes we would move to remote-only are the very large classes in very large spaces. Then, if the infection continues, we’ll make classes smaller and smaller. Because we’re doing every class face-to-face and remote already, we can easily switch to remote—and back again—if things look better later in the semester,” said Texas A&M University Provost Carol Fierke.

Provost Fierke said the university looks at about 20 different metrics to make that decision, “healthcare facilities; the number of students, faculty, and staff who have COVID-19; our ability to quarantine anyone who needs a room; places where people could be quarantined; what’s happening in the community; available childcare and K-12 schooling, and others. And we’re not just looking in Brazos County. We’re also looking at what’s happening in McAllen and Dallas-Fort Worth and anywhere we have sites.”

This week the Brazos County Health District said numbers reported by Texas A&M will be included it its daily COVID-19 reports. However, the agency will not separate those cases by educational institutions or any other classification.

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