Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has wrapped up COVID-19 testing in the Dugan Gymnasium. At the start of the fall semester, TAMU-CC required students and staff to get a mandatory BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test.
In an email sent out by TAMU-CC President Dr. Kelly M. Miller, the amount of people that were tested, the positivity rate and the number of those who were exempt due to online classes and remote work was released.
“We have tested 8,223 people with only 54 positive cases (0.6% positivity rate),” said Dr. Miller, “An additional 3,109 Islanders have received deferrals or exemption due to remote work/learning from the testing requirement.”
Ann DeGaish, Student Engagement and Success Dean of Students, has been helping students registered for COVID-19 testing. She commented that some faculty and students haven’t met the requirement.
“There was just a little bit more than 1,400 that had not met the requirement yet,” DeGaish said. “They hadn’t shown up for testing so we sent them communication that this was their last chance to get tested to meet the requirement.”
DeGaish added that if students don’t meet the requirement for COVID-19 testing, their information would be forwarded to the Student Conduct and Community Standards office.
From there they go through the conduct process. Faculty and staff would potentially face reprimands and progressive disciplines handled by the University.
If a student were to test positive for COVID-19, it would be the student’s responsibility to report it to the COVID-19 portal online.
Some people were concerned that relying on the honor system would unease others. However, DeGaish explained that if they don’t make a report then potential consequences would be enforced.
“If they don’t report it they would go through the Student Conduct process,” said DeGaish, “Just like any other conduct case, it could be everything from a minimal sanction all the way up to including suspension or expulsion.”
DeGaish added that they must also report their positive cases to the COVID-19 portal, including off campus positive tests, so that the university can take the appropriate action to stop the spread.
In an attempt to encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Miller announced a vaccine incentive program that has some great prizes you could win.
“Eligible registrants will be entered to win incentives such as parking passes, gym passes for faculty and staff, free personal training sessions, SandDollar$ bucks, Islander apparel and more,” said Dr. Miller.
Dr. Miller also added that the university is exploring opportunities for a large-scale vaccination booster clinic on campus once they are made available and encourages students to remain vigilant in order to stop the spread even with the low positivity rate.
“Although our positivity rate was low, we must remain vigilant,” said Dr. Miller, “This is a learning and community building experience for all, and we are continually working to improve our processes and procedures to better protect every Islander.”
All three vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are available through the University Health Center. You can schedule an appointment by calling 361-825-2601 to get your vaccine.