*Editor’s note: This story previously said Huston-Tillotson University was requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to the 2022 spring semester, as the university had stated in a letter sent to students. The university told KXAN that vaccines are not required for students, but are highly encouraged. A new letter will be sent out to students with updated information.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Huston-Tillotson University said its asking students to report their COVID-19 vaccination status ahead of the 2022 spring semester.
In a now-deleted letter on the school’s website, officials had initially said students needed to show proof they’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine or file an approved and notarized vaccination exemption form before starting classes.
The university has since told KXAN that it is not requiring COVID-19 vaccines at the university but instead asking for students to provide information on their vaccination status like it did for the fall semester.
The letter initially said students that don’t file the required paperwork will have a hold placed on their accounts and won’t be allowed to go to class, the letter said. Anyone who filed the paperwork previously won’t have to again, the letter said.
The historically Black school in east Austin has “highly encouraged” students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and it required weekly PCR testing for students and employees who aren’t vaccinated since it resumed campus operations this fall. Masks have been required for everyone indoors, and health screenings are required for campus entry and participation in activities.
St. Edward’s University moved to require students and employees to provide proof of vaccination before the Fall 2021 semester, but after Gov. Greg Abbott enacted Executive Order GA-35 to forbid places that receive public funds to require a COVID-19 vaccination, it loosened its regulations to include more qualified exemptions. St. Edward’s, while a private college, receives public funds for financial aid.