COVID-19 Checkup 09-23-2021

SHSU_COVID_Checkup_HeaderNewsletter

September 23, 2021

Bearkats,

Well, it is officially fall and you know what that means besides PSL. With each passing day, the weather gets nicer and the humidity drops so it’s easier to stay outside without turning into a puddle. With the return of cooler weather, don’t forget that hosting outdoor events is a GREAT way to minimize the risk of COVID exposure. Whether it’s for a student org, class, or even a small meeting, there are so many outdoor spaces on our beautiful campus that can be reserved! And, don’t forget to take advantage of the upcoming outdoor events taking place over the next few weeks, both on campus and in Huntsville, including Bearkat football!

Student Survey

SHSU is offering the chance for undergrad and graduate students to win great prizes such as FREE TEXTBOOKS and Bearkat Bucks just by filling out a survey to help us assess overall vaccination rates on campus to ensure we are headed in the right direction. All responses to this survey are confidential, and will remain so even if you enter the prize drawing. Look for the survey in your Sam email account in a few days.

What to Say When Someone Asks Why You're Wearing a Mask

The debate continues…to mask or not? For some, this can be a really awkward or uncomfortable discussion, especially if asked by a stranger. So, what is a good reply? Of course, public health experts would say if there are high rates of transmission coupled with high levels of spread, you should wear a mask. Wearing a face covering can reduce the chance you'll get exposed to the virus or transmit it to others like small children or the unvaccinated. However, since most of us don’t have medical degrees, try the following:

  1. I don’t want to get sick or I don’t want my immediate family to get sick. (This includes your Bearkat family.)
  2. Be honest. Maybe you are immunocompromised. Maybe your spouse works in a hospital or you worry about your parents, grandparents or kids.
  3. Say to protect others. How can you argue that?
  4. Don’t say anything. Sometimes, not saying anything at all is the best response.

COVID Q & A

Q: Do I need a negative COVID test to end my isolation?

A: For the average immune-competent adult diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection and who served 10 days of isolation, there is no reason to take another COVID-19 test before ending your isolation. This CDC recommendation is based on studies showing that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is no longer contagious after the seventh day in immunocompetent patients.

If your immune system is suppressed for some reason (e.g., chemotherapy, chronic prednisone use, TNF-inhibitor use), different recommendations exist for your testing strategy, especially if you were hospitalized. Talk with your doctor for individualized recommendations before ending your isolation.

Take Advantage of Free Mental Health Services

Helpline: 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 – 9 p.m., Mondays – Thursdays.

Faculty/Staff: Our Employee Assistance Program, provides numerous resources 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. Also, resourcesforliving.com/ offers 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.

Testing

Self-Test: The Abbott Binax Rapid over-the-counter home COVID test is in stock at the SHC Pharmacy and 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.

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.

Work Group Members

Members

Name Department
Drew Miller Student Affairs
Brian Loft Academic Affairs
Robert Williams Health Center
Joellen Tipton Residence Life
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
Weslie Gray College of Arts & Media
Anne Gaillard Office of the Provost
Lonnie Booker Emergency Management

Ad Hoc Members

Name Department
Jerrell Sherman Dean of Students Office
Jessica Smith Human Resources
Rachel Valle Student Activities
Clint Lockwood Enrollment Management
Rachel Shorter Client Services
Kristy Vienne Auxiliary Services
Bill Angrove SHSU Online
Julie Schwab Provost's Office