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Aug. 3, 2021 – Fall 2021 Update

Dear ACU Community,

I hope each of you is having a productive and restful summer! We have been preparing for a traditional start to the fall semester, and look forward to welcoming new and returning students to campus in a few weeks.

Last year we began classes with numerous protocols in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. The excellent teamwork demonstrated by students, faculty and staff was a difference-maker in being able to successfully complete a full academic year in person. This fall we are eager to return to campus operations as usual.

Starting this school year with full access to the COVID-19 vaccine gives us greater confidence in our ability to return to pre-pandemic operations, while being prepared to make adjustments as needed. I want to assure you we are monitoring CDC guidelines and following what we learned as we navigated the changing landscape of the last year. We are working hard to provide you with confidence and clarity around ACU’s health and safety protocols.

Because unvaccinated people in Abilene and elsewhere are proving to be the individuals most likely to be affected by the Delta variant, we strongly encourage COVID-19 vaccination. We realize that is your choice, and the university will not require it at this point, as we are shifting away from managing community care and asking individuals to be responsible for their wellness. That means vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

All three vaccines are readily available in Abilene, and vaccination will minimize disruption to your ACU experience. The Weber Medical Clinic on campus has the Moderna and J&J vaccinations available, and appointments and walk-ins are welcome.

At this time, vaccinated individuals will not have to quarantine if exposed. The CDC recommends they self-monitor, get tested within three to five days, and wear a mask for 14 days unless they test negative. Unvaccinated individuals must quarantine if exposed. To confidentially notify the Medical Clinic of your vaccination status, you can upload your vaccination card here.

The clinic is prepared to provide COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals seeking medical care. The cost for a visit and testing is $50. ACU is not requiring or offering surveillance testing at this time.

We will continue to require quarantine for unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19. This will be 10 days from exposure or seven days with a negative test. Students will be allowed to quarantine or isolate in their residence hall. We do not plan to provide housing accommodations for quarantine or isolation. In addition, faculty understand that students may need to miss class for quarantine or isolation, but courses this year are not necessarily designed for remote learning. This means students will be responsible for keeping up with their studies while away from class.

At this time, ACU is not requiring face masks to be worn. However, we encourage all members of our community to consider wearing face masks in indoor spaces on campus, and strongly recommend they be worn by all unvaccinated persons.

For the most up-to-date information and protocols, please visit the ACU Coronavirus website.

This semester will be the start of an exciting school year for all Wildcats! We look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Phil Schubert, Ed.D.