I hope that the much needed holiday break provided you with rest and refresh as we prepare for the spring semester. Because of your hard work and dedication to students the fall semester was a huge success and I anticipate that the Spring will have similar results.
What we currently know about the present state of the pandemic is that the omicron variant continues to be highly transmissible, and the majority of those that are currently hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated. Vaccines remain the best option for protection against severe illness from the virus, specifically those who are vaccinated and boosted. I strongly encourage everyone who is not vaccinated to get vaccinated and boosted, for those eligible to receive the booster.
The CDC continues to recommend us the use of face coverings when in public setting and specifically indoors in areas with high transmission rates. While Southeastern Oklahoma State University does not require masks in campus buildings or on campus, the University is a “Mask Friendly” campus, and strongly encourages everyone, especially unvaccinated individuals, to continue to wear face coverings inside university facilities.
Southeastern’s current COVID plan in its entirety, along with supporting web links are available at https://www.se.edu/coronavirus. In addition, the plan is attached to this email.
These policies and procedures have been implemented to protect our campus community and will be in place until further notice. The process is dynamic, and with the plans in place, Southeastern is ready to respond as necessary to continue with the on campus start of the semester on January 10, 2022.
The University will continue to work with our partners at the Bryan County Health department to have a free vaccination clinic on campus on a regular basis during the Spring semester, and will assist in vaccinations when the clinic is not on campus. Everyone is encouraged to consult with their healthcare provider in regards to vaccinations.
Students, Faculty and Staff are encouraged to continue to self-report through the SE.EDU website (https://form.jotform.com/201426138264046), and exercise diligence in continuing to stay safe and healthy. This reporting will enable the university to continue with the contact tracing process that has proven to be effective in mitigating the spread of the virus on campus.
Also note that the CDC has issued new guidance for isolation and quarantine. The university has adopted this guidance moving forward and will continue to rely on the CDC for guidance in regards to mitigation efforts. The significant change, as detailed below, is a shortened recommended time for isolation for people diagnosed with COVID-19 and the recommended quarantine period for those exposed. Reporting of illness and exposure are still required at Southeastern through the university website. University staff will still be contacting you to discuss your illness and email when you are cleared to return to campus.
|Tested positive, asymptomatic or symptoms resolving within 5 days||Isolate 5 days (Days 1-5 from positive test)||10 days from positive test||NA||Monitor symptoms 10 days from positive test.|
|Exposed, *vaccinated||None||10 days from date of exposure||Test on day 5 if possible||Monitor symptoms for 10 days from exposure. If you become symptomatic at any point, get tested.|
|Exposed, *unvaccinated||Quarantine for 5 days (Days 1-5 from exposure)||10 days from date of exposure||Test on day 5 if possible||Monitor symptoms for 10 days from exposure. If you become symptomatic at any point, get tested.|
- *Vaccinated: Vaccinated with initial series AND received booster
- *Unvaccinated: Not vaccinated OR six months from initial series of Pfizer/Moderna (or two months from J&J) AND no booster
- Symptoms resolving: Overall symptom improvement AND 24-hours fever free without using fever-reducing medication
The university is taking these steps in order to ensure, to the best of our ability, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community. These continue to be challenging times for all of us, both professionally and personally, but it has been clear over the last year that our University community is strong and committed to the safety of our students and each other.
Thomas W. Newsom
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