Fall testing protocols reflect highly vaccinated campus

Domenic Mesa, News Editor

Tulane administrators usher students into a fall semester with relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

Students who are unvaccinated are required to comply with COVID-19 testing twice a week. Those who are vaccinated will be randomly selected through a Tulane surveillance program to test for COVID-19 at least twice a month. 

According to an Aug. 12 update, over 92% of staff and 95% of students were vaccinated. 

Tulane administrators have updated mask-wearing policies in accordance with state and local guidelines. Students are required to wear masks when indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. This mask policy does not include private residences of students. Students are not required to wear masks while in outdoor spaces. Large outdoor events will have specific restrictions to reflect COVID-19 concerns. 

As of Aug. 25, the COVID-19 Dashboard for Tulane indicates that 73 students and 77 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 72 active cases, 55 being students. Scott Tims, assistant vice president for the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Health, commented on the growing number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19. 

The positive cases are spread out among students, faculty and staff,” Tims said. “There are no segments of the campus population experiencing clusters of cases. Given the size of our campus population and the number of tests we are performing, our current case numbers are low and are indicative of a highly vaccinated population in the midst of a global pandemic.”

Like many others throughout the U.S., Tulane students are traversing a rocky landscape as they begin their fourth semester during a global pandemic. Despite an inability to predict the ups and downs of the ensuing semester, President Mike Fitts believes “things are going to work out.”