As I think most of us are aware, two weeks ago, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances. It also stated that fully vaccinated people do not need to be tested for COVID-19 after exposure, if asymptomatic.
Folks, we are nearing the end of the COVID crisis.
This announcement was based on extensive research and science on vaccinations.
There are a lot of definitions for science, but I like this one: Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.
As an institution of higher education with a Carnegie classification of doctoral/professional university, science drives much of what we do at Missouri State. So, when it’s clear this very important CDC information is based on science – it makes me happy and confident in the information.
In response to the latest CDC announcements on the protection vaccines provide to individuals, cities and states have lifted masking and distancing policies. Springfield’s masking policy will end May 27.
Missouri State’s Masking Policy is set to expire May 31. We will not renew or extend this policy.
We have modified the expiration date for the Events and the Return-to-Campus and Travel policies to end May 31, as well.
You will notice other changes to our operations in the coming weeks. Social distancing markers on the floors will be removed. Room capacity calculations will be eliminated from our space reservations program. Signs referencing COVID-19 precautions will begin to disappear. The campus and our operations will begin to look more like it did before the pandemic.
However, masks will still be required in our campus clinics.
I know many of you will welcome these changes while some in our community are not quite ready for these big steps. We understand.
However, as a university that safely sustained and grew during the last year while others did not fare as well, returning to normal operations is important for our students and our continued success.
Strengthen our community
While all the positive news regarding the vaccines, changing policies, etc. is very exciting, there is a segment that perhaps isn’t rejoicing – those with immunocompromised systems who continue to be at risk as a result of medical conditions for which the vaccinations aren’t as effective (organ transplants, some blood cancers, etc.).
The university continues to provide accommodations in these instances. Please reach out to Deputy Compliance Officer Julia Holmes at JuliaHolmes@MissouriState.edu or 417-836-6755 to renew your accommodation status. We will do everything we can to ensure your safety.
We can all strengthen the safety net for our coworkers by getting vaccinated. The vaccine is no longer in short supply.
It virtually eliminates serious versions of COVID-19 and radically reduces the chances you could contract or spread the virus.
Please consider going to Magers, a pharmacy or a healthcare provider to get vaccinated today.
For those who have made the decision to not get vaccinated, I would like to note that nearly 100% of recent patients on ventilators in the COVID wings of our local hospitals have been unvaccinated. I sincerely hope you do not become part of that statistic.
So, one more time for good measure, please consider going to Magers, a pharmacy or a healthcare provider to get vaccinated today.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!
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