UT officially announced on Monday that all students living in on-campus housing or off-campus university-owned housing this fall semester will be required to take a Covid test. Those who test positive will be asked to stay home and will have their moving date delayed.
The test must be taken 3 days before the students move in. And those who are already living in their residence must test within 3 days before the start of class on Aug. 25.
The results of the Covid tests will be uploaded to the University Health Services student portal: MyUHS.
UT officials said that they will be requiring vaccinated students to take the test as well. And they recommend that students take the rapid antigen test instead of the PCR test.
UT will also be providing on-site testing from Aug. 20 to Aug. 22 for anyone who is not able to receive the test elsewhere.
If a student refuses to take a Covid test, then the student’s housing contract will be canceled. However, UT will allow exemptions for medical or religious reasons. Those who provide false test results will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students.
This decision is due to a recent spike in Covid cases and hospitalizations in Travis County caused by the Delta variant. Last Saturday, Travis County officials activated their emergency alert system and sent out a text that warned:
“The COVID-19 situation in Austin is dire. Healthcare facilities are open but resources are limited due to a surge in cases. Everyone needs to wear a mask & stay home as much as possible. If you have not been vaccinated, do not wait to get one. Go to vaccines.gov to find a shot.”
When asked about UT requiring students to take a Covid test, the President of the College Republicans chapter at UT, Grant Rommel, said, “With the vaccines being very effective and being produced in a record time under the previous administration, the university should focus on making sure all students have access and availability to the vaccine. Focusing on testing is only going to cause students to be regularly inconvenienced when we should be trying to make life as normal as possible for students coming back to the 40 Acres.”
The President of the University Democrats chapter at UT did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
For more information on UT’s recent Covid test policy, visit their website here.