Baylor University is mailing students COVID-19 test kits and is requiring that all students have a negative test before returning to campus.
The Texas-based school will begin mailing the mandatory test kids to students starting next week, according to a Tuesday announcement.
Baylor said students should take the test as soon as they receive it. The kit will include a package for overnight shipping for students to send the test to a lab, and the school said it will take 48 hours to process the test from the date the lab receives it.
The university said all students must have a negative test result before returning to campus, with no exemptions for students to opt-out. Students not returning to any Baylor campus during the fall semester do not need to be tested.
If a student tests positive for the coronavirus, Baylor will require them to wait 10 days before returning to campus. If the student continues to feel sick after 10 days, the school recommends remaining home until symptoms improve.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend testing all returning students, faculty and staff as a plan for schools reopening for in-person instruction.
“Testing of all students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 before allowing campus entry (entry testing) has not been systematically studied. It is unknown if entry testing in [institutions of higher education] provides any additional reduction in person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected with implementation of other infection preventive measures,” the CDC said in guidelines listed on its website.
“Therefore, CDC does not recommend entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff.”
The number of coronavirus cases has continued to increase across Texas. The state reported 9,042 new cases and 313 new fatalities on Wednesday, bringing the total to 403,307 cases and 6,190 fatalities.