The university is establishing additional COVID-19 procedures for the spring semester and expects a vaccine to be available on campus “sometime this spring.”
“Once we receive it, we will notify you of our plans to make it available,” said Dr. Schubert, president of the university. “Meanwhile, we will continue to require face masks and emphasize social distancing to protect the health and safety of our campus community.”
The university is already reporting 68 active cases of coronavirus as of Friday. It was over six weeks into the fall semester in 2020 before cases reached that number.
“We fully expect to have a significant number of COVID-19 cases as we begin the semester, but not more than we are prepared to handle,” Schubert said. “The experience we gained last fall as we took successful measures to reduce the prevalence of cases on our campus has informed our spring planning.”
Students are asked to quarantine upon returning to Abilene if they have traveled. They also are highly encouraged to receive a test if they have been exposed to someone who may be exhibiting coronavirus symptoms.
“No plan is perfect in such a challenging environment, and we know more adjustments may be necessary in the coming days and weeks,” Schubert said. “We will continue to watch our numbers closely and monitor the local and statewide situation daily.”
ACU will also expand the Bean’s grab-and-go food options, and no visitors will be allowed in residence halls for the spring semester.
“We want to keep both your health and safety, and the ACU community’s, a priority,” said Dr. Tamara Long, vice president for enrollment and student life. “If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 over the winter break or have even mild symptoms, we encourage you to consider testing before you return.”