SAN ANGELO, Texas — Classes at Angelo State University will transition to a hybrid of in-person and remote learning on Monday, August 30, 2021 after a rapid rise in positive COVID cases.

The school will “authorize and encourage” faculty to move classes to a hybrid format from August 30 until September 17, citing “a number of pandemic forecast models” that suggest the current surge in positive COVID-19 cases will peak in mid-September.

“We cannot afford to have a “pre-COVID” mentality such that we let our guard down and assume it is business as usual,” said ASU President, Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr in an email sent to students on Friday, August 28, “The rate of infections by students, faculty, and staff has risen dramatically beyond what they were a month ago.”

Angelo State Vice Presidents have been directed to “determine which employees can productively work off-campus,” while keeping offices and services open and available. Employees whose work can’t be done from a remote location are being directed to continue reporting to campus.

Students, faculty, and staff who do go to the campus are being asked to complete a “wellness screening,” a questionnaire that asks users to disclose COVID-like symptoms. Evidence of completion of the daily screening, which is integrated into the ASU mobile app, may be sought by members of faculty and staff from students who are on campus.

“While I am not at liberty to mandate the wearing of a mask or to get a vaccination, I strongly recommend everyone wear a mask while on the ASU campus and particularly while in a closed environment,” said Hawkins in the email, “I also strongly recommend everyone who is physically able to be vaccinated get the vaccination.

“We are not “out of the woods” with this pandemic, and must recognize the virus is indiscriminate and dangerously contagious regardless of age, ethnicity, or gender. The variant’s impact on the unvaccinated and younger populations is increasing the risk to our campus community.”