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WACO, Texas – Baylor has been debating on whether the semester should start virtually, but they officially decided students will be in person for classes starting January 18.

They have made decisions for the first month, and on January 31 university officials will re-evaluate.

“We’ve proven that our Covid-19 precautions have worked and have kept our university community safe,” Baylor spokesperson Jason Cook said.

There is no vaccine mandate on campus, but they are strongly encouraged.

Masks must be worn inside classrooms and labs where academic instruction is taking place.

“While we have a requirement in those academic areas, we encourage people to wear masks in common areas and hallways, corridors that may have a lot of people, just as an added precaution,” Cook said.

Cook says one of the main reasons for this decision is because of the high vaccination rate and testing resources available on Baylor’s campus.

Baylor believes it is one of the safest places to be in the Waco area because of the Covid-19 precautions in place.

“When you’re on Baylor campus, you’re going to be around people who take it very seriously, who have been vaccinated, and many have been boosted,” Cook said.

Every student moving into a dorm, regardless of vaccination status, is required to get a Covid-19 test within 24 hours of arriving back on campus.

For the first month, any unvaccinated student, faculty or staff member must get a Covid-19 test twice a week.

Cook says parents and students have expressed how much they value the in-person experience.

“It’s not only within the classroom, but the rich, robust student activities and campus experiences that we’re known for here at Baylor are very important,” Cook said.

More details can be found in the president’s letter.