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Texas A&M President tests negative for COVID-19 after previous exposure

Texas A&M University - Facebook
Posted at 5:31 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 13:04:16-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Update:

On Aug 16, Texas A&M confirmed that President M. Katherine Banks has tested negative for COVID-19 following previous exposure.

This past exposure resulted in President Banks deciding to forgo attending commencement ceremonies last weekend.

Both President Banks and the person who contracted the virus were fully vaccinated.

Original Story:

On Aug 11, the President of Texas A&M University, M. Katherine Banks, confirmed she won't be attending the upcoming summer graduation ceremony after discovering she had been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

At the time of this publication, President Banks is reporting no symptoms and confirming that both herself and the person who contracted the virus, were fully vaccinated.

In a letter addressed to the public, President Banks confirms she has reported her potential exposure through the university's COVID-19 portal.

Full statement available below:

Since taking office as president on June 1, I have looked forward to Friday’s commencement ceremony. I am extremely disappointed to learn that I will not be able to attend in person to address the more than 2,000 graduates who have earned their degrees.

I learned late last night that I was exposed to someone in my office who tested positive for COVID-19 and — just like that person — I have no symptoms and am fully vaccinated. I followed all Texas A&M University protocols by immediately self-reporting in the university COVID portal, completing a COVID test this morning, and scheduling a retest Sunday. I will continue to take precautions, including wearing a mask indoors.

However, since the president’s role in graduation puts me in close contact with a large number of students, I have been advised to avoid potential exposure to our students and their loved ones until my final testing is complete on Sunday.

As we begin a new academic year, this is a reminder that we must continue to be vigilant. Vaccines remain the most effective way to protect our entire campus community from COVID-19. Texas A&M will continue to offer both free vaccines and testing to all student, faculty and staff members. The most up-to-date information can be found on our COVID-19 guidance page. Please join me in following our protocols to keep Aggieland safe and healthy.

And, to the graduates: Congratulations on this significant milestone! I will be cheering for you as I watch the commencement ceremony live on KAMU.
M. Katherine Banks - President of Texas A&M University