Emory University will hold in-person classes at full capacity, and more campus and sporting events will be held in the fall semester, according to Associate Vice President and Executive Director of COVID-19 Response and Recovery Amir St. Clair in an April 19 email.

The message followed an announcement from University President Gregory L. Fenves informing students that a COVID-19 vaccine would be required for all students in the fall semester, with some medical and personal exemptions.

Labs will operate as normal and residence halls will be occupied at full capacity, the email stated. Same-room reservation has already closed and housing selection begins for juniors and seniors on April 26.

The email from St. Clair also mentions “expanded student life activity; intramural, club sports and fitness options for students; and gatherings beyond the classroom,” but does not detail what these activities might include.

Adaptations made to Emory’s campus to fight COVID-19. (Caelan Bailey)

Mandatory masking, regular COVID-19 screening testing and the ability to adapt campus conditions according to the operating status and gathering risk meters will remain in place in the fall.

The gathering risk meter and operation condition status meter are currently in the “yellow” zone, indicating that many athletic facilities are open to both on-campus and off-campus onboarded students and that some intercollegiate competition may take place.

Vaccinations and variants

Emory Healthcare has administered more than 135,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses, with over 14,000 Emory faculty, staff and students partially or fully vaccinated as of April 15, according to St. Clair. That number does not include Emory community members vaccinated outside of Emory Healthcare.

“We only have a few weeks left in the semester and a large contingent of our students, both on campus and in the metro area, have already received at least a first dose, which is great,” St. Clair said in an April 19 interview with the Wheel. “We’re looking now in terms of what’s the best and most efficient ways to have longer extended sessions.”

Emory has not yet recorded any new variants on campus. While not every sample is tested for variants, St. Clair said Emory is watching for any major known variants as well as new mutants.

Latest cases

Emory has recorded nine new cases since April 16, with seven students and two staff testing positive. This includes three off-campus students, two students in the Clairmont Undergraduate Residential Center and one student each in the Clairmont Residential Center and Longstreet-Means Hall. Staff cases were recorded at Emory University Hospital Midtown and the 1599 Clifton Road building.

There are six students in isolation and eight in quarantine at the Emory Conference Center Hotel as of April 21.