AUSTIN, Texas - The University of Texas at Austin has announced that all its undergraduate hybrid classes will be held online through the end of January, with some exceptions, due to COVID-19.
All undergraduate hybrid courses, except in pharmacy and nursing, will be held online as part of an effort to keep the UT community safe as students return to Austin, according to a letter to students issued Jan. 8.
Students that are enrolled in an entirely in-person class are to check with their instructor to determine how classes will be held during January. Students living in UT residence halls will be receiving a separate letter with specific information.
"The rollout of vaccines will eventually slow the spread, but we need your help to minimize exposure on and off-campus, particularly now," the university said in the letter. "Our hospitals and health care workers are stretched thin, and ICU availability is extremely limited."
UT Austin is advising students returning to Austin to do the following:
- Get tested before returning: UT Austin is recommending getting tested 3-5 days before traveling back to Austin to allow for at-home isolation if the test comes back positive
- Get tested on campus: Students can get a free PCT test on campus. UT Austin says that results are private and students who test positive will not be penalized in any way and that getting tested on campus can help the university reach out quickly to contacts of infected individuals
- Limit family drop-off time: UT Austin is recommending family and visitors limit their time in Austin during drop-off and especially limit their contact with those outside of their family
- Maintain your vigilance: UT Austin is urging students to wear a mask, to avoid gatherings and to try and limit contacts with others
- Listen to your body: Students who have even slight symptoms are urged to isolate from others and get tested right away, and should track their symptoms, as many cases arise when people with mild symptoms remain in contact with others
"You, our student community, deserve a great deal of credit for successfully suppressing spread of the virus during the fall semester," says the letter. "With your help, we can do so again in 2021."
UT Austin says that it will continue monitoring the COVID-19 situation in Austin and across Texas and that it will update students if further changes are needed.