COVID-19 Checkup 09-09-2021

SHSU_COVID_Checkup_HeaderNewsletter

September 9, 2021

Bearkats,

For those who were unable to attend the COVID-19 Town Hall on Tuesday, September 7, it is now available for viewing on the COVID-19 website or on the university’s YouTube channel. We know that campus safety, especially in this time of ongoing pandemic, is a university-wide effort. So, in addition to thanking you for your time and attention, we want to thank each of you for doing your part to help.

Pandemic vs. Endemic

It is interesting to note, that even as different variants of the COVID virus emerge, believe it or not, we are moving towards immunity as a nation. When we move towards greater immunity, either vaccinated immunity or natural immunity, we will have less and less susceptible people affected. According to Dr. Candace Walkley, a physician and assistant professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases in the Department of Primary Care at the College of Osteopathic Medicine, “The virus is moving from a more epidemic or pandemic situation into an endemic situation. What that means is the virus will still be communicable in certain populations; those who are susceptible, such as babies, elderly adults and those who are losing their immunity and may need a booster. This is a normal and natural progression for the virus.” The good news? This is why we are not seeing as many fatalities as last year and represents a move in a positive direction.

Mental Health and Wellness Resources Available

Let’s face it. The past 18 months have been tough on everyone. Here at SHSU, we value the importance of your overall health and wellbeing and offer numerous programs as part of your benefits package.

Faculty/Staff: If you are not familiar with our Employee Assistance Program, take the time to visit to learn about the numerous resources available to help with a variety of issues, including stress and anxiety. These services are free for faculty, staff, spouses, live-in partner and eligible dependent children. Or, check out resourcesforliving.com/ for more extensive support options (Username: SHSU; Password: SHSU).

Students: The Counseling Center provides a variety of free, confidential mental health services to support you through any concerns that may be standing in the way of you being at your best. Visit their website to learn more about available resources and how to get started.

Helpline: Need someone to talk to? The SHSU Helpline has trained volunteers available to help you talk through many life problems, such as stress, anxiety, and loneliness. This after-hours mental health service is offered by the Counseling Center and is available to students and the larger community as a free resource. Trained volunteers are available to offer a listening ear and support in a confidential and nonjudgmental way. All Helpline volunteers are required to go through extensive training and receive on-going supervision and continuing education with mental health clinicians at the Counseling Center. The Helpline can be reached at 936-294-4111 between the hours of 4-9pm, Mondays – Thursdays.

Flu Shots

Don’t forget we are heading into flu season and in many instances, the symptoms of the flu and COVID are similar. How can you best protect yourself and others? Continue with proven interventions such as wearing face coverings when indoors in public places and getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is hosting a free flu shot clinic on Wednesday, September 22, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the LSC for faculty and staff only.

The Student Health Center will hosting a free flu shot clinic for students only on Tuesday, October 5, Wednesday, October 6, and Thursday, October 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the LSC.

Testing

Self-Test: The Abbott Binax Rapid over-the-counter home COVID test is back in stock at the SHC Pharmacy. The test kit is free with your SAM ID. This test contains two tests per box so you can test yourself with a simple nasal swab in the comfort and convenience of your home, with results in 15 minutes.

Students: The SHC offers free screening testing and testing associated with an appointment. Call 936-294-1805 and staff will help you to determine which test you may need during your visit.

A: The virus has an incubation period of 14 days. Once the virus enters the body, it can take up to 14 days to cause infection.

Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to test at least weekly during the semester whether or not they have symptoms or known exposure.

COVID-19 Updates

Community Transmission Rate: High

During high rates of community transmission, the CDC strongly encourages wearing face coverings when indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Weekly updates of confirmed cases of COVID-19 will continue to be added to the university’s dashboard every Friday, at approximately 4:30 p.m. To see the current number of cases, visit Dashboard Updates.

If you received a COVID vaccine, don’t forget to add that information to your Patient Portal for your records.

COVID-19 Work Group

Members
NameDepartment
Drew Miller Student Affairs
Brian Loft Academic Affairs
Robert Williams Health Center
Joellen Tipton Residence Life
Ann Theodori SAM Center
Stephanie Knific Marketing & Communications
Rachel Shorter Tech/Desktop Services
Dustin LeNorman Athletics
Matt Roberts Facilities Services
Rhonda Beassie Human Resources
Candace Walkley College of Osteopathic Medicine
Erica Bumpurs Health Center
Mary-Katherine Breen Academic Success Center
Wayne Barrett College of Arts & Media
Anne Gaillard Biology/College of Science & Engineering Technology
Steve Jeter Public Safety
Ad Hoc Members
NameDepartment
Jerrell Sherman Dean of Students Office
Jessica Smith Human Resources
Rachel Valle Student Activities
Clint Lockwood Enrollment Management
Terry Blaylock Client Services
Kristy Vienne Auxiliary Services
Bill Angrove SHSU Online
Julie Schwab Provost's Office