News brief: ProtecTU policies to change


Kate Nuelle

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Trinity University has required masks in all indoor spaces since students returned to campus in the fall of 2020. Now, after monitoring the changes in COVID transmission on campus and in San Antonio, the Nerve Center has determined that the “green” threshold has been met. As such, face coverings will no longer be required in all indoor spaces on campus starting March 7.

Following the large COVID spike during winter break due to the Omicron variant, Trinity pushed back the start of classes to Jan. 31. Since late January, the case rate in San Antonio has declined to the point that the university can loosen certain restrictions.

“Students in need of medical accommodations as a result of these changes to ProtecTU protocols should contact Student Accessibility Services for support. Likewise, staff in need of medical accommodations should contact Human Resources,” wrote Tess Coody-Anders, former Vice President for Strategic Communications and Marketing, in an email to the Trinity community on Feb. 28.

There are certain exceptions to the new mask policy. Faculty and staff can still require face coverings in their classrooms or personal offices, which means students should continue to carry masks around campus. Masks will be required in Student Health Services, the COVID Health Clinic and Athletic Training offices, and those who are unvaccinated or at higher risk are urged to continue wearing masks indoors.

Surveillance testing will continue through March 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Nerve Center does not anticipate a surge following the break, but anyone concerned may choose to participate in testing.

In an email to students, Director of Residential Life Bret Biance wrote, “We encourage each roommate and suitemate to engage in dialogue around these changes. The challenge for most of y’all on campus is that you haven’t known a time outside of COVID and may have not had to engage in these types of conversations.”

Masks will be optional in residence halls, though roommates must agree about whether guests should wear masks in the room or not. The room occupancy guidelines will be the same as pre-COVID, and outside guests are allowed to enter your dorm room. Common spaces will no longer be limited by the number on the sign on the door.

The ProtecTU Green Badge will still be required to access certain areas, like Mabee Dining Hall.

“Lastly, please remember that the pandemic is not over,” Coody-Anders wrote. “[P]ublic health conditions may change and our ProtecTU policies will continue to adjust accordingly.”