Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that A&M hasn’t set a threshold to shut down in-person classes this fall, but 100 new infections a day has been mentioned as a mark to warrant a shutdown.
A shutdown, Young said, might also be dependent on whether its students or faculty are getting sick.
“If it was 100 professors a day, it would be game over,” Young told the Wall Street Journal. “We can’t lose 20% of professors and continue to run the university.”
Young said drafting a plan to unify East and West Germany while working for the U.S. State Department in the 1980s was easier than figuring out how to bring back A&M’s students, faculty and staff to campus this fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently, A&M is slated to begin its fall semester on Aug. 19. A&M Provost Carol A. Fierke said earlier this month that more than 50% of the fall course sections at A&M will be offered in-person and 63% of students will have two or more courses offered in-person. Fierke added the university is attempting to provide students with at least one in-person course and most with two in-person courses. All in-person courses at A&M this fall will have a remote option and faculty can choose to teach remotely.
On Monday, Fierke announced A&M is in the process of setting up 40 to 50 tents across the main campus with tables and WiFi to provide additional study space.
Fierke also announced that COVID-19 testing is now available for A&M students, faculty and staff by appointment in a tent located in the parking lot adjacent to the Beutel Health Center. Appointment windows are open 1 to 2 days before their availability and test results are available 2 to 3 days after the test is taken. Negative results will be sent to individuals directly via email and positive results will be sent to county health offices. The A&M Investigation and Operations Center will contact individuals testing positive.