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Texas A&M Kingsville students and staff prepare for the upcoming semester

Texas A&M University Kingsville sets new technology in place to take attendance and monitor the spread of COVID-19.

KINGSVILLE, Texas — Every year college students have the option to take their classes online, in person or a combo of the two. While that hasn't changed, the way those courses will look has.

Students of Texas A&M University Kingsville plan on taking their courses completely online this semester, but some students say they prefer the more traditional route of in-person learning.

"I know there's the zoom meetings but it's just a lot easier to be hands on, on campus," said Micayla Grossman a sophomore taking a few classes in person.

If a student or faculty member does test positive for COVID-19, Dr. Shane Creel of Risk Management for the school explains.

'Public Health Region 11' which is out of the valley, along with local health authorities would conduct contact tracing, but he also says with school starting back up, that process needed to be faster.

"We needed a way that we could do preliminary contact tracing on campus. There was stuff that we already had we just needed to get together a lot of different expertise," said Dr. Creel.

At no cost, Dr. Creel and his crew created a QR Scan that students are required to use when they walk into class. He says, it not only takes their attendance but also, with the data the qr scan collects, if anyone tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing starts immediately after the university is notified.

"Down to the room, the time, the individual and then run a report that tells us everyone that was in this room at that particular time and let them know that they have been identified as someone in close contact of someone that tested positive," Dr. Creel added.

From there, plan B starts.

"Relocate other classes that would be held in this room for the remainder of the day. Activate our maintenance team so they can come in and do an enhanced disinfecting of the area"

Dr. Creel says most smartphones can read the QR Scan, and for the ones that can't, there's a URL that can be entered manually.