Face Covering Policy Requirements
On July 23, 2021, Austin Public Health’s (APH) moved their Covid-19 Risk-Based Guidelines to Stage 4 for Austin-Travis County. After careful review by university leadership, St. Edward’s has updated its face covering policy to require all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear an acceptable face covering over the nose and mouth when accessing indoor shared campus spaces (e.g., classroom, hallway, restroom, etc.). to protect our community. This policy change is effective July, 26, 2021.
This requirement will be reconsidered when Austin Public Health (APH) moves its Risk-Based Guidelines below Stage 4. The university continues to monitor recommendations from the CDC, APH and our medical advisors, and we will continue to make adjustments based on their guidance.
University Community Standards
Social-distance signage and markings have been installed across campus, and buildings have designated entry and exit points, hallway flows and stairwell directions.
Improved hygiene fixtures have been installed across campus, including 115 hand sanitization and 150 surface disinfection stations.
Unvaccinated employees and students will be required to test weekly on-campus for free via Genotox. More information will be shared in August about the testing center and processes.
individuals, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear an acceptable face covering over the nose and mouth when accessing indoor shared campus spaces (e.g., classroom, hallway, restroom, etc.). Masks are not required when alone in private work spaces or for students inside residence hall rooms and apartments. More details are available in the updated university Face Covering Policy.
University Community Requirements
- All individuals accessing campus must participate in the daily screening program on the TopperSafe app.
- All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear face coverings over the nose and mouth in all indoor spaces.
- Unvaccinated individuals must participate in asymptomatic testing throughout the semester (excluding those learning, teaching, or working fully online and not accessing campus facilities).
Campus Visitor Requirements
- Follow the face covering policy, including in outdoor spaces where six feet of distance is not possible.
- Adhere to closure of all fields and recreation areas. These spaces are reserved for student use.
- Use the daily Covid-19 screening on the TopperSafe app if entering campus buildings. University credentials are now required to access all buildings.
- Avoid visiting campus if experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or if recently exposed to the virus.
University Face Covering Policy
- Acceptable face coverings include cloth-based face coverings that cover the mouth and nose snugly and medical-grade masks (surgical masks or N95 respirators).
- Masks of any type fitted with an exhaust valve are not acceptable and should not be used.
- Face shields alone do not satisfy the university’s face covering standard. Face shields may be worn with a face covering for additional protection.
- Only instructors and support staff when remaining socially distanced from others in an instructional space (e.g., laboratory or classroom) may utilize a qualified face shield without a face covering. Qualified face shields must be transparent in color, must extend from the forehead to below the chin, should not have a gap between the shield assembly and the forehead, and must extend and wrap laterally across the face from the front of the left ear to the front of the right ear.
Testing and Campus Access FAQs
What documentation do I need to access on-campus learning and activities?
All individuals accessing campus MUST complete the daily screening in the TopperSafe App. The TopperSafe badging process will be updated and only yellow and red badges will be options while Austin is at or above Stage 4. Additionally, everyone will be required to wear a face covering indoors while on campus.
- Yellow - Approved to be on campus and required to use a face covering.
- Red - Not approved to be on campus and should continue to follow the guidance of a health care professional and their case manager if an employee or student.
When and where can I complete the required asymptomatic testing for Summer 2021?
Testing appointments must be scheduled ahead of time in the TRUTH™ portal at the TRUTH Station - St. Edward's University location. Appointments are made at the top of the hour and students my arrive at anytime during the 60-minute window. For example, if an appointment is made at 10 a.m., a student can arrive anytime between 10 a.m. and 10:59 a.m. After scheduling your appointment, you will receive a myTruth email with confirmation of your appointment and a QR code that you will need for your appointment.
Testing will be completed at:
Off-Campus Testing Pop-Up
2170 Woodward St, Ste. 100. (Proceed to the rear of the building by the loading dock)
Wednesdays from 8 a.m.–noon
Can I opt out of asymptomatic Covid-19 testing?
No. The only exception for the testing requirement is for those individuals meeting CDC guidelines for testing exemption due to a prior documented infection within 90 days. Please fill out this form if you meet this exemption.
If you are not yet 18 years old, please fill out this waiver to begin testing. Please print the completed form and bring it with you to the testing site at your first appointment.
Are staff and faculty included in the surveillance testing?
Yes, based on best-practice recommendations for universities, the university has prioritized surveillance testing for faculty and staff regularly accessing campus. Employees identified as Covid-level 3 or 4 or adjuncts not teaching on-campus are currently not eligible.
I'm a commuter student without blended or in-person courses and will visit campus a few times a week. Can I receive a surveillance test?
Yes. You may schedule testing appointments as you plan to be on campus and no more than once per seven-day period.
What if I have questions or concerns with my test or appointment?
I am a student-athlete. Do I need to test with the university or continue with the Athletics Department?
Due to NCAA and Lone Star Conference testing requirements, student athletes should follow protocols provided by the Athletic Department staff. Additional testing through athletics may be required. Speak with your athletic trainer and coach for more details.
What happens if I have Covid-19 symptoms or had an exposure? Can I now be tested on campus?
No. Symptomatic individuals will continue to be connected to diagnostic testing provided by health-care professionals.
Students and employees will be referred to Baylor Scott & White Health Services or their preferred healthcare provider if they need Covid-19 testing. Referrals can be self-identified or from the daily screening process via the TopperSafe app. Students should start out with a telehealth consultation with a medical provider first, either through Baylor Scott & White Health Services or SHIP telehealth.
Employees, students, friends and family of St. Edward’s University are also eligible to utilize a discount code for Covid-19 testing from Genotox. The discount is only valid at the Austin drive-through location of 5200 Davis Lane. The coupon reduces the current $130 cost by $20 to $110. The test is a PCR test and the individual can select either a nasal swab or saliva test when registering. Results are confidential and will be sent to the individual via their secure portal and email or text if selected at registration. Download the discount code.
Austin Public Health also operates several Covid-19 testing sites in the area.
What if I need to reschedule my appointment? What if I miss my appointment?
Appointments can be rescheduled to available appointment slots on the portal up to one hour before the appointment begins.
If you will be more than 15 minutes late beyond the hour window of your scheduled appointment, contact Genotox at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-419-1211 to reschedule.
If a student misses and does not reschedule more than two appointments, they will be referred to the Dean of Students Office for a follow-up conversation.
Will I be notified of my results after each test? How quickly can I expect to receive my results?
Within 36 hours of testing, students will receive an email notification of their positive/negative test result with an attached PDF lab report. Results will not be in the TRUTH Portal.
What happens if I test positive?
Individuals will be referred to Baylor Scott & White Health Services or their personal healthcare professional for follow-up. The individual will be asked to self-isolate until released by a healthcare professional to return to campus. Additionally, the university will support Austin Public Health to conduct contact tracing of all positive cases.
In addition to baseline testing, the university is implementing daily symptom screening for all employees, students, volunteers and campus visitors. When community members successfully complete the short survey via the secure TopperSafe app or website, they will receive one of two badges good for 24 hours: Approved to Be On-Campus badge or Stay Home badge. Specific indoor service areas on campus may require to see the badge to receive service, and professors may request the badge upon entering an instructional space. Individuals who test positive for Covid-19 will not receive the on-campus badge until they are cleared by a healthcare professional.
If the student is an on-campus resident, the university has separate procedures for self-isolation and care, including daily check-ins, meals, and additional support. Students living off campus will be asked to self-isolate and not return to campus until receiving medical clearance.
- Employees testing positive should notify their supervisor that they will be unable to be on campus.
- Employees that are asymptomatic positive or with limited symptoms may be able to work remotely until cleared by a healthcare professional for a return to campus.
- The university’s Human Resources team will be available to discuss leave opportunities to support their recovery as necessary.
- Employees testing positive will receive a daily badge via the app used by the university community for returning to campus after providing clearance to return-to-work from a healthcare professional.
Will the university have vaccine requirements for the Fall 2021 semester?
The safety and wellbeing of our SEU community is of the utmost importance. As we plan for increased on-campus capacity this fall and with expanded vaccine availability, the university has established a Covid-19 vaccination policy for students studying on-campus, faculty, and staff. Students and employees must submit a copy of their vaccine documentation or religious/medical/EUA decline to share vaccination status exemption through the secure submission portal by September 1, 2021.
Students eligible to get the vaccine must be enrolled in one or more courses for Fall 2021. Students are encouraged to review the pre-registration process for more details.
Updated July 23, 2021