NEW ORLEANS, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Tulane University student has tested positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19.

According to the statement issued to the campus Monday, the student lives off-campus, tested positive the first weekend of December, and has been in isolation ever since.

This past weekend, the Omicron variant was identified from a COVID-19 test administered last week to a Tulane graduate student living off campus. This individual has been in isolation since first testing positive for COVID and all close contacts have been notified.

With the Omicron variant now reported in at least 17 states, its appearance within the Tulane community is not unexpected. In fact, the frequency of our testing regimen and our ability to sequence this new variant means that we are much more likely to detect the presence of this variant. We are confident that following established COVID-19 protocols, including frequent testing, receiving vaccination boosters and social distancing and masking in certain situations as recommended by the CDC, are the best way to protect our community.

We currently remain in a mask-optional status for most of the campus. This means individuals in our community may choose to continue to wear masks for their own personal health and safety but are not required to do so.

We continue to offer vaccination and boosters to all Tulane students, faculty and staff. We will begin testing all Tulane students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 in larger numbers daily, making sure all individuals complete a test every 7-10 days.

Tulane University

The University will be testing 2,500 of the Tulane community through Dec. 17.