Concordia University Texas has maintained a low positivity rate throughout the pandemic through a combination of risk mitigation, testing, and intervention.
Fall 2021 Instruction
[Updated July 1, 2021]
Based on recent updates and guidance from national and state public health experts, CTX will return to in-person learning for the Fall 2021 semester.
At CTX, caring for people is core to who we are. Therefore, we will continue many of our current health and safety protocols over the next several months, including cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, providing hand sanitizing stations, and working to spread people out as much as possible.
Please know that we will continue monitoring the guidance of local, state, and national public health experts and provide timely updates to our campus community of any changes to our policies, procedures, and practices. In addition, we are committed to the health and safety of our entire campus community and want everyone to feel comfortable and confident when they return to campus.
Return to Campus
As we prepare to welcome students back to campus for the Fall 2021 semester, we will focus our health and safety efforts on three primary strategies outlined below – risk mitigation, COVID-19 monitoring, and intervention:
Our goal is to reduce the COVID-19 transmission risk significantly by maintaining health and safety protocols.
- Cleaning and sanitation – We will maintain our cleaning and sanitation efforts with guidance from the CDC and local public health officials.
- Face coverings – After reviewing updated guidance from the CDC on mask use and vaccinations, facial coverings are now optional for fully vaccinated individuals. Masks and face coverings are required for those individuals who are not vaccinated per CDC guidelines. While face coverings are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, everyone should feel free to continue wearing masks if they are more comfortable doing so. We will continue monitoring public health guidance regarding face coverings and update our policies according to emerging health and safety research and information.
- Vaccination – We will continue working with our health care partner Austin Regional Clinic to offer vaccinations to CTX community members.*
*We do not require all students, faculty, or staff to report vaccinations. However, students engaged in athletics, performing arts, university-related travel, or student groups that meet in person will be required to report vaccinations to remove other COVID-19 related testing and quarantining protocols.
We will maintain the University's health and safety protocols, including continuing our cleaning and sanitation practices, requiring face coverings in public space, and practicing social distancing. In addition, we will be offering COVID-19 testing for residential students and making the vaccine available to our university community on campus. We will provide updates when vaccination opportunities become available.
Residents are permitted to host other CTX-student guests. However, outside guests who are not CTX students are not allowed in residential rooms to maintain safety standards.
Our partnership with Austin Regional Clinic helps us detect COVID-19 cases quickly to take quick action to reduce the risk of transmission to others in our campus community. We also monitor data from local, state, and national public health experts to make data-informed decisions about the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
- Symptomatic testing – Anyone who is symptomatic and unvaccinated must quarantine for ten days OR receive a negative test result no earlier than four days from their initial symptom. Concordia does not provide COVID-19 testing on-site, but our partners at Austin Regional Clinic – Wilson Parke, can assist.
- Asymptomatic testing – Anyone determined to be a first- or second-generation close contact of someone who has tested positive must quarantine for ten days OR receive a negative test result no earlier than four days from the exposure. Concordia does not provide COVID-19 testing on-site, but our partners at Austin Regional Clinic – Wilson Parke, can assist.
- Environmental monitoring – We actively monitor COVID-19 infection rates in Travis County and the surrounding communities. We will continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and national public health experts.
We will continue our contact tracing and quarantine efforts. Once a person receives a COVID-19 diagnosis, they are encouraged to report it using the COVID-19 Positive Case / Exposure Form. A contact tracer will call within 24 hours to assess two generations of close contacts. Contact tracers will also walk the person with the positive case through the quarantine protocol. From there, the contact trace team will reach out to the 1st and 2nd generation close contacts and get them into the quarantine protocol.
We strive to ensure students who test positive for COVID-19 feel supported and have a safe place to isolate themselves while they recover.
We encourage each member of our community to receive a vaccination. However, vaccinations are not required. All vaccinated faculty, staff, and students who report vaccinations to the University will not be required to undergo testing or quarantine in the event of positive exposure. Those who have not reported or are not vaccinated will be subject to the same testing and quarantine protocols that have been in place for the last year.
If you are fully vaccinated, we encourage you to complete the confidential vaccination reporting form. Reporting vaccination status is not required of the entire campus community. However, completing the vaccination reporting form will help us understand the potential risk for COVID-19 spread and exposure on our campus.
While we will not require all students, faculty, or staff to report vaccinations, individuals engaged in certain group activities will be required to report vaccinations to remove other COVID-19 related testing and quarantining protocols. These activities include athletics, performing arts, university-related travel, or student groups that meet in person. Nursing students will also be required to report vaccinations.
We will work with our partners to provide vaccination opportunities for every member of our campus community. We will provide more information as those opportunities become available.
Concordia's quarantine protocols are different for people who are vaccinated and those who are not. Individuals who have been vaccinated and are symptomatic need only quarantine until their symptoms subside. They may return when they are feeling well and do not need a negative test result to return. Vaccinated individuals will not be considered to have been in close contact even if exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Students who are vaccinated, and have reported their vaccination, are not required to participate in regular testing protocols if their program otherwise requires it, such as for student-athletes.
We are committed to creating healthy and safe learning environments for all members of our CTX community and will be working with our partners to continue offering opportunities for Concordia community members to receive vaccinations.
Q: Will we return to campus for the Fall 2021 semester?
A: Yes. We continue to monitor emerging public health news and guidelines. In addition, we will maintain many of our current health and safety protocols, including regularly cleaning and sanitizing surfaces, providing hand sanitizing stations, and spreading people out as much as possible such as moving classes into larger meeting spaces.
Q: Why did the University decide to return to in-person learning for the Fall 2021 semester?
A: Over the past 18 months, we have learned how essential in-person classes are to learning, socioemotional support, and building a sense of community on campus. Despite the changes and challenges we experienced because of COVID-19, we are confident we have provided high-quality virtual learning experiences. However, we recognize the immense value of learning face-to-face, collaborating with other students, and having access to resources for each student's personal and academic development.
Students with documented medical concerns will have the option to apply for an in-person learning exemption. Students who want to apply for an exemption should email Aaron Graf at Aaron.Graf@concordia.edu. All applications must be submitted by August 6, 2021. A University committee will review the applications on a semester-by-semester basis, meaning students will need to re-apply each semester. We will work with students whose exemptions are approved to ensure they receive a high-quality, equitable learning experience.
Q: What precautions will Concordia University Texas take to ensure the health and safety of the campus community?
A: We will maintain many of our current health and safety protocols, including continuing our cleaning and sanitation practices, practicing social distancing, and using larger classrooms and meeting rooms for classes, when possible, to increase the distance between people in shared spaces. We will also continue offering COVID-19 testing and making the vaccine available to our university community on campus.
Over the next several weeks, we will continue gathering data on the vaccination rates of our campus community and reviewing recommendations from various public health sources before making a final decision on mask requirements for the fall.
Classrooms and Labs
Our academic leadership team is working to ensure we use our larger meeting rooms, classrooms, and spaces (such as the chapel and Black Box Theater) to allow students to distance themselves as much as possible in these spaces. When feasible, lab courses will spread students over two different lab spaces to reduce the number of students in one room. When collaboration is required, groups will work in smaller teams to minimize the risk for exposure. All classrooms and lab spaces will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between each use. Personal protective equipment such as goggles will be assigned to individual students for the semester rather than shared between students.
Q: Where can I find additional information?
A: We will continue to email updates to students and update this COVID-19 information. Students may also email or call Student Central for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-313-4700.
Q: Where can I go for emotional support before and during the transition back to campus?
A: We recognize the shift back to in-person learning might be difficult for some students. We will provide the highest level of support possible to ensure students get the assistance they need to be academically successful and emotionally supported. We have several resources to help students navigate this change. If you need help, contact Student Central or visit at email@example.com 512-313-4700. You may also schedule an appointment with The Counseling Center by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, our Campus Ministry team will continue to provide pastoral counseling, spiritual care, prayer, and encouragement. For more information, visit Campus Ministry.
Q: How do I apply for a medical-related, in-person learning exemption?
A: Students with documented medical concerns may apply for an in-person learning exemption. We will work with students who receive a health-related exemption individually to ensure they receive a robust and equitable learning experience. Students who are interested in completing an in-person learning exemption application should contact Aaron Graf at Aaron.Graf@concordia.edu. All applications must be completed and submitted by August 6, 2021.
Q: If I am an athlete required to travel for competitions, can I apply for an in-person learning exemption?
A: Athletic participation does not exempt a student from in-person attendance. Athletes are encouraged to meet with professors before missing class for athletic travel to determine the best way to cover missed class material.
Q: What are the safety protocols and procedures for residential halls?
A: Our residence halls will follow the University's health and safety protocols, including continuing our cleaning and sanitation practices, providing hand sanitizing stations, and practicing social distancing. In addition, we will offer COVID-19 testing for residential students and make the vaccine available to our community on campus. We will provide more information as those opportunities become available.
Q: Will students be allowed to have visitors in the residential halls?
A: Residents are permitted to host other CTX students as guests. Outside guests who are not CTX students are not allowed in residential rooms to maintain safety standards.
Q: What protocols will visitors to our campus have to follow?
A: Visitors are required to follow the same health and safety procedures as students and employees.
Q: What are the processes for the bookstore, student center, library, cafeteria, and other public gathering spaces?
A: Each area has its own specific procedures, and they are posted in those areas. In general, wear a mask unless eating or drinking, practice appropriate social distancing, and wash your hands regularly.
Q: If I get tested for COVID-19 on campus, will I be required to cover the cost?
A: No. If there are costs not covered by your insurance or you do not have insurance, Concordia will cover the out-of-pocket cost for on-campus COVID-19 testing.
Q: If I receive a vaccine on campus, will I be required to cover the cost?
A: No. Vaccines are free to the public, regardless of insurance status.
Q: If I receive a positive COVID-19 test result, what should I do?
A: Stay home. Report to Concordia as soon as possible using the online COVID-19 Case Reporting Form. Someone from Concordia's Contact Tracing Team will reach out to you directly and discretely to assess the specifics of your case, determine procedures for quarantine, and coordinate support.
Q: If I find out I have been exposed to COVID-19, what should I do?
A: If you are fully vaccinated and have reported your vaccination to the University, you will not experience any restrictions. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to stay home and report your exposure to Concordia as soon as possible using the online COVID-19 Case Reporting Form. Someone from Concordia's Contact Tracing Team will reach out quietly to assess the specifics of your case, determine procedures for quarantine, and coordinate support.
Spring 2021 Updates
- COVID-19 Relief Funding
- CTX Response as Texas Lifts Mask Mandate
- Athletics Spectator Information
- Planning & Updates