COVID-19 Update: July 28, 2021

Get the Vaccine Flyer Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As we approach the beginning of the fall semester, I would like to provide an update on the university’s pandemic response efforts. 

Following the retirement of Dr. Jeff Ryan, I appointed Chief Michael Barton, Director of Public Safety, as COVID-19 Task Force Leader. Before arriving on campus, Chief Barton led the community’s pandemic response as director of the Calhoun County EMA. We are fortunate to have this JSU emergency management alumnus serving in this key role. 

The Task Force has remained active over the summer and is engaged in COVID-19 prevention and response efforts. To date, it has facilitated the administration of almost 1,800 vaccination doses and continued to provide information and support to all faculty, staff and students. The Task Force has also continued to monitor COVID-19 trends in our community, region and state.

As we prepare for the safe and successful start of classes on August 18, please review the following information from the COVID-19 Task Force. 

PPE and Masks
Based on updated guidance from the CDC, we are encouraging masks be worn in group settings at this time. Offices may continue to order PPE through Capital Planning and Facilities.

To encourage students and employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, the Task Force is launching an incentive program supported by federal funds. Beginning August 4, those who provide proof of initial vaccination since July 15 will be entered into a drawing for a $1,000 gift card. A total of four gift cards will be awarded – one to an active faculty member, one to an active staff member, and two to students enrolled in fall classes. Additionally, each student, faculty or staff member who provides proof of complete vaccination anytime before October 15 will be awarded a $100 Walmart gift card, available for redemption beginning August 17. More information will be provided over the next week on the incentive program, vaccine clinics, COVID-19 reporting and contact tracing. 

Over the course of the pandemic, our case numbers have remained low at JSU because of our shared commitment to effective health and safety practices. Let’s work together to ensure we enjoy a normal fall semester.    

Thank you,

Dr. Don C. Killingsworth, Jr.