During the past 14 months, our actions together have helped stem the tide of COVID-19 cases on our campus and in the greater Austin community. Since December, we’ve been administering vaccines, delivering our 100,000th dose in April. Mounting data confirms the efficacy of these vaccines against a variety of COVID-19 strains — as one example, our campus Proactive Community Testing (PCT) program has not seen a positive case since May 7, and the last 1,191 tests have been negative. Furthermore, we now know that those who have been vaccinated are less likely to either have an asymptomatic infection or to transmit the virus to others.
With all this in mind, we’ve been cautiously optimistic for some time — and we’ve embarked upon a phased approach to returning our campus to near normal. This week, we are also issuing new masking guidance consistent with both the governor’s executive order and recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).