Follow-up to COVID Communications Fall 2021

Dear Academic Affairs colleagues,

I hope you had a restful and safe Labor Day weekend. Before the holiday I sent the attached message stating that we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 case count and trend lines and expected to see a rise in cases during the first two weeks of the semester, followed by a downward trend.

Due to this expectation, my message stated: “between now and Sept. 10, if you receive a letter from the TCU Emergency Operations Center (EOC) informing you that a student in your class has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you feel unsafe for yourself or your students, you may choose to temporarily move your class online for one week (unless your dean has determined that your course can only be taught in person).”

After September 10

We have been asked: “What if I receive a letter from TCU EOC on Sept. 11 or later, informing me that a student in my class has been diagnosed with COVID-19?”

The answer: Your options for academic continuity revert back to the protocols outlined at the top of the Faculty FAQs ( and below:

  • Go online temporarilyif you cannot ensure a good classroom experience. Keep a log of when you begin online classes and when you return to in-person instruction.
  • Record and share your lecture.
  • Allow isolating/quarantining students to watch your in-person class via Zoom but notinteract.
  • Teach your class as a dual in-person/onlineinteractive course.
  • Use the method you established for making up missed classesprior to Zoom.

As always with the pandemic, things may change quickly and we will communicate any changes just as quickly.

Similar but Better than Fall 2020

Attached is a graph from the TCU Emergency Operations Center depicting COVID-19 cases on campus for Fall 2020 as compared to Fall 2021. The blue plot line shows the number of positive COVID-19 cases per day for Fall 2020 on the y-axis, where the x-axis point #0 refers to the first day of class, Aug. 17, 2020. The gray plot line shows the same information for the Fall 2021 semester, where the x-axis point #0 refers to the first day of class, Aug. 23, 2021. For Fall 2020, the number of daily positive cases peaked on day 9 with 105 cases and did not come close to that point again for the rest of the semester. This semester, we saw a similar though much lower peak on day 9 with 43 cases, followed by a similar downward trend.

While the trajectories are similar, we cannot predict anything and so will continue to monitor the cases and adapt our practices as needed. I will continue to communicate Academic Affairs information, decisions and protocols frequently. Look for another message from me this Friday.


Best regards,

Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs