By Daniel Schwalm and Domonique Tolliver
Classes began at Xavier University of Louisiana on Aug. 16 amid a citywide surge in coronavirus cases fueled by the delta variant.
Between Aug. 7 and 13, Xavier reported three new positive Covid cases. Two students tested positive along with one employee. In the past year, 153 Xavier students and 28 employees have tested positive for Covid-19.
In order to protect its campus community, Xavier is requiring all students to be fully vaccinated for the 2021-22 school year.
While both the city and the state are requiring that masks be worn indoors at schools, Xavier is expanding that mandate. It is also requiring students to wear masks while outside on campus.
Fourth-year pharmacy student Anre Robichaux said she is glad that Xavier is taking the steps to protect students.
“Like everyone says, we are in unprecedented times. No one knows all the right answers. We are better safe than sorry,” Robichaux said.
The university’s vaccine mandate is following city guidance. On Aug. 12, the city announced that anyone 12 years or older must provide proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative PCR test within 72 hours to enter areas with a high possibility of transmission.
Daniel Schwalm and Domonique Tolliver are journalism students at Loyola University and a reporting interns at NOLA Messenger.