Resuming in-person classes September 13th
On August 11 we announced adjustments to the beginning of UTSA’s fall semester, shifting most face-to-face instruction to online delivery for the first three weeks. This was done primarily to manage the recent COVID-19 Delta variant surge here in San Antonio, balancing an open campus with a mix of course and work modalities to optimize learning, teaching and research while protecting the health of our community.
We have remained in constant communication with our colleagues at UT Health San Antonio, as well as infectious disease experts at San Antonio Metro Health, UT System and government agencies. We followed daily reports from local public health experts, modeled forecast trends from IHME for Texas, CDC composite modeled forecast trends for Texas and for Bexar County, the State of Texas confirmed cases database, the Bexar County public health dashboard maintained by San Antonio Metro Health (updated yesterday for the August 28 – September 3 timeframe), and our own dashboard indicating direct campus impact.
Based on the most recent data and consults with our advisors, including conversations yesterday, we understand that the most important leading indicators—positive tests, positivity rates and new hospital admits—have been decreasing here in Bexar County. Encouragingly, we appear to be past the peak of the COVID-19 Delta variant surge.
Moreover, UTSA’s contact tracing and quarantine management programs are in good shape, and the positivity rates within our Roadrunner community are below that of Bexar County. Finally, we can report our UTSA community vaccination rates as of last week: approximately 76% of faculty and staff and 62% of our students have gotten at least one vaccine dose. While this is positive news, we continue to encourage everyone in our Roadrunner community to get fully vaccinated.
Given these data, we believe that it is appropriate to proceed with ending our modified course delivery period on September 12 as planned. Face-to-face instruction components will begin for all traditional in-person and hybrid courses starting on Monday, September 13, according to the course modality and schedule as listed in ASAP. We will have a tent set up in the Sombrilla next week to assist any students who need help finding their in-person classes.
In addition, we will continue to provide robust on-campus services to our university community as we have done since the semester began.
As a reminder, these important public health protocols will continue for the rest of the semester:
UTSA's mandatory testing program begins Monday, September 13, for students, faculty and staff who meet specific criteria. Our testing program is an important step to manage risk of transmission and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 among the Roadrunner community.
Getting vaccinated is the single most important step you can take to protect your health and the health of your family, friends and loved ones. If you haven’t done so already, we urge you to get a COVID-19 vaccine and to take advantage of our on-campus vaccination clinics.
We strongly encourage you to wear a mask while in classrooms and other indoor, public campus spaces to reduce transmission.
Rest assured we will continue to work with our colleagues at UT Health San Antonio to closely monitor the status of the pandemic – especially as we move into the late fall and winter months. We will adjust our operations as needed should the situation warrant.
Roadrunners, though the beginning of this semester had its challenges, we were so proud to see all of you show your continued resilience and adaptability. Above all, we appreciate your persistence and fortitude as we worked through this surge.
Kimberly Andrews Espy
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Veronica Salazar Mendez
Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Business Affairs