CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Monday, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi welcomed students back for the fall semester with a new testing requirement.
Campus administrators said in order for students, faculty and staff to remain on campus, they have to take a COVID-19 test at the school’s Dugan Center—regardless of vaccination status.
Over a period of three weeks, the university will provide free testing for thousands of people. As long as students, faculty and staff test negative, they are in the clear. But, if someone were to test negative, they are asked to quarantine for 10 days.
“Getting COVID tested I think that is important,” TAMUCC freshman, Paige Aguilar said. “I mean we are going to school with these people. I would want to make sure that people are either vaccinated and that they are safe about who I’m being around.”
Once tested, people will be given their results within 24. Administration said all who test positive should report it via their portal. And if student test positive, they are asked to report it via the university’s online portal.
Campus administrators said if students still feel uncomfortable coming to class, they could work with their professor on learning virtually.
“They’re real flexible with us,” Joseph Mejias, a TAMUCC junior said. “You know, if we’re sick, or if we are not feeling well, stay home and they’ll send us the material and that’s one thing I really liked that the professors are real engaging here.”
Being able to see their friends and learning in person, was a welcome change for many students.
“It was kind of weird last year,” Mejias said. “I’m more of a hands on learner and so making that transition to pretty much fully online, then also a hybrid once a week, coming to campus and having like nobody here, it was pretty weird.”
Around campus were hand sanitizer stations and free masks.
“We have sanitizer available around campus,” Vice President for Enrollment Management Andy Benoit said. “Take all necessary precautions. Also, if they want to wear a mask, we do encourage the mask. But you know we encourage all of our islanders to be safe.”
“I think it’s pretty even about people wearing a mask and not wearing a mask,” Aguilar said. “It’s their choice.”
Students that live on campus were required to be tested before they moved in.
“Whenever we started having students back, especially in the spring,” Benoit said. “Our students followed policy. Whenever protocol was everybody wear a mask, everybody social distance our students on this campus did that.”
Students, faculty and staff have between August 23 and September 10 to test.