COVID-19 Checkup 12-03-2021

SHSU_COVID_Checkup_HeaderNewsletter

December 3, 2021

Bearkats,

Well, we did it! We made it to the end of the semester despite so much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Thank you to each and every one of you for making the semester a huge success! But, as we’ve seen with COVID, we’re not done yet.

The first case of the Omicron variant in the U.S. could not have picked a worse time to emerge as we head into the throws of the holidays – extended breaks, crowded venues, family gatherings with lots of people, and travel. Of course, it’s too early to tell if Omicron will be more transmissible than previous strains. Nonetheless, now is really not the time to get lax with those prevention measures that have previously worked. If you haven’t already, consider getting vaccinated. Heading out to public venues or places with large crowds? Wear a mask as you don’t know who is or isn’t vaccinated. Continue to wash your hands, practice good hygiene and, if you don’t feel well, stay home.

If you are vaccinated, think about getting a booster shot. Just this week, the CDC strengthened its recommendation on booster doses for individuals who are 18 years and older. Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine.

We appreciate your efforts to keep our Bearkats safer and healthier! The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19 and for you to have a happy and healthy holiday.

Students – plan ahead for spring.

Students, we strongly encourage you to consider returning for the spring semester fully vaccinated. Being vaccinated against COVID 19 will help you be more successful in your academics. How?

  • If you are fully vaccinated and have an exposure to a confirmed case of COVID, you should wear a mask around others and monitor for symptoms, but DO NOT have to formally quarantine for 14 days as long as you remain symptom-free.
  • Unvaccinated Bearkats will still be required to complete a 14-day quarantine off campus if exposed, which includes missing classes, activities, and will not be able to stay in campus residence halls.

Although the Student Health Center is no longer providing COVID-19 vaccines, they are readily available at commercial pharmacies and local health departments.

Still need your flu shot?

Students can get a FREE flu shot before leaving for the semester break. Call the Student Health Center at 936-294-1805 to schedule an appointment or just WALK IN at your convenience, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Visiting family this holiday season? A self-test could make it safer for all.

Before you head home for the holidays, take a COVID-19 self-test and make sure you test yourself again before you return to campus in January, 2022. You can pick up your FREE Abbott Binax Rapid over-the-counter home COVID test at the LSC Information Center, Library Information Desk or SHC Pharmacy. Kits are also be available at The Woodlands Center and COM. You must present your SAM ID to receive a kit.

If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, the CDC cautions against traveling to that holiday get-together. If you’re still determined to travel without being vaccinated, the CDC recommends doing so only if you get a negative coronavirus test one to three days prior to departure, and after you return, quarantining for seven to 10 days.

COVID-19 Updates

We encourage you to continually check the SHSU COVID-19 website for additional updates and if you have questions, please email covid19@shsu.edu.

Sam Houston State University will be observing the winter holiday period from Dec. 24, 2021, to Jan. 2, 2022. Case reporting will be paused from Dec. 12 through Jan. 14, 2022 for the semester break. However, Bearkats can still report a positive COVID case through the university dashboard.

Community Transmission Rate: Substantial

During substantial rates of community transmission, the CDC advises all people, regardless of vaccination status, to mask up in areas reporting “substantial” or “high” transmission of the virus.

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

NameDepartment
Erica Bumpurs (Chair) Health Center
Rhonda Beassie Human Resources
Lonnie Booker Emergency Management
Mary-Katherine Breen Academic Success Center
Anne Gaillard Office of the Provost
Weslie Gray College of Arts & Media
Stephanie Knific Marketing & Communications
Dustin LeNorman Athletics
Drew Miller Student Affairs
Matt Roberts Facilities Services
Rachel Shorter Client Services
Joellen Tipton Residence Life
Candace Walkley College of Osteopathic Medicine
Robert Williams Health Center