The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
‘The stuff of dreams’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 11, 2024

As soon as the Mexico-Brazil soccer match at Kyle Field was announced, Jacob Svetz and Caitlin Falke saw an opportunity.  The match was scheduled...

The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin Chen June 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Omicron causes highest positivity rate on campus

Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Opinion columnist Zach Freeman advocates a return to mask wearing to prevent the spread of the new omicron variant of COVID-19.

The return to campus amid the omicron surge has taken its toll on the campus community with a 25.5% positivity rate, the highest since the outbreak of the pandemic. The 937 positives out of the 3,680 total tests administered last week have not surpassed the fall’s second week totals — 1,498 positive cases out of 26,382 total tests — which included the mandatory return-to-campus testing.
Announced on Jan. 12, the university will continue to hand out a free pack of COVID-19 at-home tests once per week to each student and faculty member, though — since the demand for these tests has declined — the number of distribution sites will be fewer, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Greg Hartman announced in a Jan. 25 email.
The sites will remain open Monday through Friday with the West Campus Wehner location distributing tests from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the A.P. Beutel Health Center location open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“For the home tests, you must visit the request site, select College Station, then use your NetID to log on and fill out the form,” Hartman said in the email. “A receipt number will be emailed to your Texas A&M account; show that number when picking up the test kit.”
A change since the first announcement, A&M has received more kits from the Texas Department of Emergency Management, though this set of tests include both BinaxNOW and another Food & Drug Administation-approved testing kit, INDICAID.
“The INDICAID product comes [with] 25 tests per box, so to distribute individually, we are carefully placing the supplies needed for an individual test in a clear Ziplock bag, along with instructions for use,” Hartman said. “While the process for taking this test is like other at-home tests, please be sure to follow directions closely.”
In addition to the at-home test option and regular testing on campus, the Texas A&M Health Maroon Line Clinic will host three pop-up vaccine clinics in the exhibit hall in Rudder Theatre on Friday, Jan. 28, Thursday, Feb. 3 and Friday, Feb. 11 from 12-4 p.m. each day.
No scheduling is required for these appointments, though organizers request individuals to get in line by 4 p.m. to ensure they receive a vaccine. Campus members wishing to get a vaccine should bring their vaccine card, if they have one.
“Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will be available for first, second and third doses, as well as boosters,” Hartman said. “A full third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is given to immunocompromised patients. Shots will be given only to those age 12 and older.”
Beyond campus, Hartman shared vaccine locations across town including the Texas A&M Health Family Care Clinic in Bryan, which is offering vaccines by appointment on Wednesdays from 1-4 p.m.
The White House has also played a proactive role in trying to stop the national spread of COVID-19 with the distribution of at-home tests through the U.S. Postal Service, a Jan. 14 White House press release said. The tests are limited to four boxes per household with two kits per box; to request the tests to be delivered, individuals should fill out the online form.
“Testing is an important tool to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Public health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [or CDC], recommend that Americans use at-home tests if they begin to have symptoms, at least five days after coming in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or are gathering indoors with a group of people who are at risk of severe disease or unvaccinated,” the release reads.
The Biden administration also announced on Jan. 19 that 400 million KN95 masks will be delivered to pharmacies across the nation, according to AP News. Since the announcement of the lower efficiency of cloth masks from the CDC, the administration hopes to get the most effective masks to many Americans to slow the spread of omicron.

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