The district may change its risk level to combat Delta variant, administrator said.
By Sergio Medina
Director of enrollment Chaye Peña wants students to know that in-person enrollment, financial aid, advising and advocacy services have resumed at this college.
“I think that is what our next charge is, to let students know that we’re back,” Peña said in a phone interview July 14. “These services are open to students who come to campus.”
Three weeks ago, the weekly average of Covid-19 cases in Bexar County was about 850, as reported by Metropolitan Health District.
However, cases have steadily increased throughout the first weeks of July as weekly cases surpass 1,100.
Nonetheless, student services have opened since July 6 and are available as follows:
The summer schedule for the welcome center, which assists with enrollment, student resources and financial aid, is 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday in Room 207 of Moody Learning Center.
Peña said no appointment is needed to use these services.
Students can find more information, including an enrollment checklist, contact information and virtual assistance, on the center’s website at www.alamo.edu/sac/admissions-aid/welcome-center/.
Virtual assistance, offered through Zoom, is offered 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The Zoom meeting ID is 2274653965.
The advocacy center, which provides counseling, food and clothing assistance also has resumed in-person services. Its hours are 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday. The center is west of Chance Academic Center.
Email the center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“So essentially, we’re back to the way we were prior to Covid,” Peña said.
In-person student services for the district stopped in March 2020 as the district closed facilities and transferred all classes and resources to remote settings.
Academic resources are also open to in-person visits.
The student learning assistance center, or SLAC lab, is open to students in need of computer use or tutoring 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday in Room 707 of Moody.
Tutoring is available for English, Spanish, math and writing. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call 210-486-0165 or email email@example.com.
Similarly, the student mega lab, which provides computer use and tech support, is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday and in Room 502 of Moody.
The library on the second floor of Moody is open to students 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and still offers curbside services 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
For more information on library services, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.alamo.edu/sac/about-sac/college-offices/library/.
Additionally, the bookstore is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. For more information, call 210-733-5960 or email email@example.com.
These hours will be in effect through July 29 when the district returns to a five-day week.
For more information on student services and availability, call the student helpline at 210-486-1111.
The resumption of student services comes as the district shifted from a 5% population limit on campus in the spring to 50% July 6 in conjunction with a downward trend in Covid-19 cases.
Administrators expect to increase the on-campus population to 75% in the fall.
Analytics by Metro Health report that Bexar County had a weekly average of about 1,500 new Covid-19 cases in May, the end of the spring semester, compared to an average of 10,000 cases weekly in late January.
Kristi Wyatt, vice chancellor of communications and engagement, said in a phone interview July 15 that cases are going down, “though Covid is still out there.”
Though Wyatt’s comments do not reflect case numbers that, until early July, stopped going down but are now increasing once more.
The national and local downward trend might not continue, especially among the unvaccinated, as the Delta variant of Covid-19 now makes up half the cases reported in the U.S., The New York Times reported July 14.
The Times reports the national weekly average of Covid-19 cases in June at about 11,000. As of July 14, that average has more than doubled into 25,500 cases.
Wyatt said the district is prepared to quickly change its risk level and adapt its ecosystem remotely to combat future spikes in Covid-19 cases.
She said students are advised and encouraged to take any measures that prevent the spread of the virus, including handwashing, mask-wearing, social distancing and vaccinations.
As of July 14, Metro Health reports 61.9% of San Antonio residents fully vaccinated, with 74.7% having gotten at least one dose.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration released a statement July 8 saying, “Americans who have been fully vaccinated do not need a booster shot at this time.”
However, the World Health Organization has said that single-dose vaccinations are not enough to stop outbreaks caused by emerging variants, an AP News report of July 1 reads.
With Gov. Greg Abbott’s May 18 prohibition on the use of masks in public institutions in Texas, the district is out of a major strategy against Covid-19 propagation.
Wyatt also said the district has had no conversations about requiring students to get vaccinated prior to attending, contrasting with a required meningitis vaccine before enrollment directed at residential universities.
Wyatt said students who visit the colleges or district support operations in person must have a Covid-19 screening, which is provided on the premises.
Wyatt said these screenings will help the district assess the risk situation as a new wave of Covid-19 cases loom.
For more information on the district’s risk level and accompanying conditions, log on to www.alamo.edu/returntocampus/.