The college is closely tracking the latest escalation of COVID-19 cases in our region. While the Omicron variant is less severe, it is spreading quickly and impacting friends and family. As Central Texas gets close to entering Stage 5 COVID-19 guidelines, we are focused on the health and safety of our employees, students, and community. With this in mind, ACC will make temporary changes to scale back the number of people on our campuses and to increase safety protocols.
Updated Health Screenings
Campuses will remain open to faculty, staff, and students with additional protocols. Beginning Monday, January 10, ACC will reinstitute health screenings at the door using the Appian Health Screening App. Each building will have at least one entrance staffed with screening personnel. Health screenings are required for all who come to campus.
The ACC Board of Trustees-mandated face mask requirements remain in place. Anyone who is 2 years of age or older will be required to wear a face mask in all ACC buildings.
Temporary Change to Instruction
To reduce the number of students on campus, some courses originally scheduled in-person will be held online for the first two weeks of the semester, from January 18 through January 30. Courses that require in-person instruction, including labs, will be held on campus as scheduled. Virtual options for Dual Credit and Early College High School are limited, so these courses will largely remain in-person as well. All other on-campus courses that can be moved to online formats will be for the first two weeks. During this period, you can expect our instructional offerings to look a lot like they did in the first three weeks of the fall 2021 semester.
Student Affairs offices will remain open for both virtual and in-person student support. Those in-person opportunities will be available on all campuses as scheduled. Students who need access to virtual classes can still access computers from the ACCelerators, libraries, and open computer labs.
By limiting the number of courses on campus and maintaining strict safety protocols, we will ensure our facilities are safe for those who are on campus or in the office. At this time, employees’ schedules are not expected to change.
We continue to strongly encourage and promote the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. COVID-19 vaccination clinics will resume on campuses starting January 18. Vaccination clinics offer first- and second-dose vaccines as well as the COVID-19 booster vaccine. A full list of on-campus clinics is available online. You can also visit www.vaccines.gov to locate a vaccination clinic near you.
It is important that we all do our part. Please remember to follow safety guidelines — get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home if you are sick. ACC’s COVID-19 reporting procedures are available online. We are also in the process of making updates to the ACC COVID-19 webpage. Additional details will be posted this week.
This is not how we wanted to start 2022, but we will get through this together. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our Riverbat community is strong, resilient, and capable of overcoming any challenge that comes our way. Thank you for your continued grace and diligence. We will continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and keep you informed.
Richard M. Rhodes, Ph.D.
Austin Community College District