I hope you had a relaxing winter break. Due to the pandemic, this winter break was different than prior years. Gail and I spent a lot of time together at home recharging and celebrating the holidays.
The spring semester began yesterday, and we are off to a good start. Opening day enrollment numbers show us up in new undergraduate and graduate students, up in returning graduate students, but down in returning undergraduate students. It is important that we continue to do everything we can to support our students.
This semester we will continue our COVID-19 initiatives from last semester. Asymptomatic testing will be available throughout the semester. We will continue to administer COVID-19 tests at Magers Health and Wellness Center for those who have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with the virus.
We have also implemented several new initiatives.
Our students living on campus were tested for COVID-19 immediately before the semester began.
We have scaled up and automated our wastewater testing program to systemically monitor campus wastewater for early detection of COVID-19 outbreaks in a residence hall or other facility. I want to give a special thanks to Dr. Amy Hulme, David Vaughan and others who made this possible.
We are also in communication with local, state and federal authorities to obtain and provide COVID-19 vaccine for our campus community as soon as it becomes available for us. We will keep you updated as we receive information about vaccination priorities for our campus community, etc.
You can find other information about the university’s virus response and initiatives on the COVID-19 Information Center. Our dashboard has been updated for the new semester. You can find the final fall 2020 dashboard online as well.
Plan to join town hall
We will host a Virtual Town Hall meeting at 3 p.m. Jan. 15.
I will be joined by Director of University Safety David Hall and other administrators to update the campus community on the university’s COVID-19 response and strategies. You are free to submit your questions and input on any topic at the meeting.
You can find the Zoom link and other information about the meeting on the university’s webpage.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!