COVID-19 Update: October 13, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
The fall semester is in full swing, the weather is changing, and Halloween will be here soon. Winter weather brings the onset of flu season. This year’s flu season will be complicated by COVID-19. As you probably know, there is low-level, sustained transmission of COVID-19 in our region. Current projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation indicate that our state will experience a surge in COVID-19 cases by mid-November. In fact, we are already starting see more COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county.
 
Over the past two weeks, we had a slight uptick in the number of positive cases in our campus community. From what we have learned from the details of these cases, the importance of mask wearing and social distancing have again been reaffirmed.
 
We are asking you to keep up your guard. Please practice good health and safety measures to keep you from getting both influenza and COVID-19. They are both transmitted in the same ways (through respiratory droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces). So, protect your respiratory tract with a mask, wash your hands frequently, and maintain social distance when in the presence of others. You can also get the vaccination for influenza free on campus this month as follows:
  • Student influenza vaccinations are free October 13, 20 or 27. Just head over to Kennamer Hall, 1-4 p.m., for your free shot. Free flu vaccines are also available at the RMC/JSU Health Center
  • Employee influenza vaccinations are also being offered on campus through the Alabama Department of Public Health. Upcoming dates are Oct. 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Nov. 9, 12:30-2:30 p.m., in Bibb Graves Hall, Room 308. Schedule an appointment in advance and be sure to bring your insurance card.
One of the things we have noticed is that students are still asking if they can "test out" of quarantine or isolation. Sorry, but you cannot test out of either of these. Isolation is 10 days for those who test positive. Quarantine is 14 days from the day you last had contact with someone who tested positive. It is important that you follow quarantine or isolation protocols. Please don’t be the one who exposes a large group of family and friends. If you have been exposed, tested positive, or don't feel well, stay home. If you live on campus and are in isolation or quarantine, please complete two forms: the Self Reporting Form and the Cocky Cares Support Questionnaire. If you need assistance, please email covidquestions@jsu.edu

I understand, as we enter the eighth month of responding to this global pandemic, we are all experiencing "COVID fatigue." Our friends at Houston Cole Library have put together a historical article, featuring information from university archives, on how JSU survived the Spanish Flu. I encourage you to read this article and take comfort in the fact that we have been through this before and we will get through it again. 

Please continue to adhere to campus safety protocols, so we can keep our community safe.  

Thank you, 

Dr. Jeff Ryan
COVID-19 Task Force Leader
 
Emily Duncan
COVID-19 Special Assistant
Office of the VP for Student Affairs