COVID-19 Update: September 30, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
The COVID-19 Task Force would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for helping us slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus. We know you must be doing your part, due to the reduction in the number of active cases on our campus. Back on Sept. 1, we were at a peak of 219 active cases. As of this morning, we have 15 active cases. 
From the information we have gathered from individuals who recently tested positive, we attribute these new cases to people letting their guard down. So, please do your part by adhering to social distancing, wearing a mask, and practicing good health and safety standards. If you do test positive, please submit a Self-Reporting Form so we can connect you with Cocky Cares Support and a contact tracer from the Task Force. 
After completing campus reentry testing for the fall semester, JSU decided to opt out of the GuideSafe sentinel testing program this fall. After a careful evaluation of our needs and resources, we invested instead in building a rapid testing program at the RMC/JSU Health Center and focused on educating the university community on appropriate actions for addressing symptoms of COVID-19. Any student or employee experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should visit the center during morning hours to be evaluated and possibly tested by the clinical staff. The simple antigen capture test available at the center is very accurate (97.6 percent sensitive, 100 percent specific) and can produce results within 15 minutes. 
We get many questions about isolation and quarantine; so, let us clear this up. A 10-day period of isolation is warranted for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. That 10-day period begins either from the onset of symptoms or the date that the test was performed (for those who are not experiencing any symptoms). For those individuals who were determined by a contact tracer to have been exposed, a 14-day quarantine period is ordered. We cannot emphasize enough that, after an infection or exposure, a negative test does not warrant an early return to campus. There is no testing out of quarantine or isolation. The time periods are firm. 
If you are directed into isolation or quarantine by the RMC/JSU Health Center or one of our contact tracers, please notify your instructors or supervisor. We all understand the importance of following these directives as they are so important in limiting the spread of COVID-19. 
As we head into cold and flu season, the flu vaccine is more important than ever. Please protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community by getting a flu shot. Student Flu Vaccine Clinics will be offered every Tuesday in October in the Kennamer Hall gym, 1-4 p.m. Stop by for a free flu shot on October 6, 13, 20 or 27. 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. 
Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping our campus safe. 
Dr. Jeff Ryan
COVID-19 Task Force Leader

Emily Duncan
COVID-19 Special Assistant
​Dean of Students Office