LIST: Return to campus plans for San Antonio-area universities, colleges amid COVID-19 surge

We’ll add more universities and colleges to this list as more information becomes available.

The main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio on June 15, 2021.
The main campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio on June 15, 2021.

SAN ANTONIO – Despite the current surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations both city and statewide, local colleges and universities are readying for students’ return for the school year.

With the delta variant continuing to surge, some schools are mandating masks and some may require COVID-19 testing, among other health guidelines.

Below, we’ve listed the current plans in place for these universities and colleges. We’ll update this list as more information becomes available.

Our Lady of the Lake University

  • Our Lady of the Lake University has a mask mandate in place for all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status.
  • The university is also encouraging everyone to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. For those who are not vaccinated, OLLU says they’ll be required to test for COVID-19 on a weekly basis to help mitigate the spread.
  • If students present their vaccine card, the university says students will be exempt from weekly testing. However, they will still be asked to take part in some random sampling testing.
  • Students who present their vaccine records to university officials will receive a $100 gift card.
  • The class schedule has not been changed as of yet and classes will begin on August 16th. Learn more at the university’s website here.

University of the Incarnate Word

  • The University of the Incarnate Word is requiring face masks for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals while indoors at all UIW campuses.
  • Although the university is not requiring the vaccine for students, UIW officials said it is highly encouraged and COVID-19 testing will be mandatory.
  • In-person classes are still planned and will begin Aug. 23.
  • University officials said due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, these protocols are subject to change.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio

  • Texas A&M University-San Antonio is strongly encouraging masks for students and staff, especially if they are unvaccinated.
  • Students will need to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. If they test positive, they’ll need to report it using the university’s Reporting Portal.
  • In-person classes will go on as planned, with additional health protocols. Classrooms will be routinely cleaned each day and each evening, sanitation carts will be placed in classrooms and large gathering areas, and there will be Plexiglass and sneeze guards, according to university officials.
  • The on-campus COVID-19 testing center will stay open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The university’s COVID-19 Monitoring Committee will continue weekly reviews of campus case numbers to determine the campus risk level and potential changes in the works.
  • You can read more on the university’s COVID-19 protocols here.

Trinity University

  • Although Trinity University’s campus is close to meeting its 90% goal for vaccinations, there are still some COVID-19 protocols in place. Officials said they’ll reevaluate these protocols in mid-September.
  • Faculty, staff and students will need to submit their mandatory vaccine status form to “indicate their vaccination status and intentions toward vaccination.”
  • Those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are still required to wear face masks indoors but will not have to undergo weekly surveillance testing or quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.
  • Those who are unvaccinated are also required to wear face masks indoors and in outdoor settings “where social distancing cannot be maintained.” University officials said they will also be asked to take part in weekly surveillance testing and will need to quarantine and isolate if necessary.
  • On-demand COVID-19 testing will be available to everyone on campus.
  • You can learn more about the COVID-19 protocols at Trinity University at its website here.

Alamo College District

  • These COVID-19 protocols will be put into place for Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, St. Philip’s College and San Antonio College.
  • Due to the COVID-19 surge, for Fall 2021, most courses will be remote for the first two weeks of the semester, from Aug. 23 - Sept. 6.
  • College operations in-person will continue at college advising, Advocacy and Welcome Centers, libraries, tutoring services, and more.
  • On Monday, Aug. 16, college officials said all employees, students and vendors’ employees who are scheduled to work regularly on-site will be screened for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. The screenings will be available several days each week at each of the colleges and DSO locations.
  • Face coverings are not required but are strongly encouraged for everyone on campus, according to college officials.
  • The colleges will have an incident report process and response plan in place for those who test positive for COVID-19. Once the college is notified of a positive COVID-19 test, the student will be required to complete the COVID-19 Incident Reporting Form and will not be able to access campus.
  • You can learn more about the COVID-19 protocols here.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.