Throughout the pandemic the administration and the faculty of Southwest have worked to create practices and policies that prioritize the safety and well-being of our community as we navigate this generational health crisis. We have monitored closely the global, national, and local trends in terms of transmission and hospitalization and have endeavored to make decisions based on the facts and guidance available.
With COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates dropping rapidly both locally and nationally, with first dose vaccination rates in Travis County moving above the 50% mark, and with our own vaccine policy enacted and in place, we are now comfortable formally announcing that we plan to return to in-person and indoor instruction and worship in Fall. Summer classes will remain online.
As we have all learned, planning for the future amid this pandemic is difficult, even just a few months away. We anticipate that some restrictions might still be recommended by the CDC this fall.
In all instances, Southwest’s policies on managing our return to in-person classes and worship will pay close attention to CDC guidance. If infection and hospitalization rates begin to rise again at any time, we would reassess this decision.
We announce this news with great joy, but also acknowledge the anxiety and tensions that will be associated with our return to ‘normal’. Our hope is that by announcing this now, each of us can have the time to prepare for another significant change in how we interact and live our daily lives in this community.