To: Faculty, Staff and Students
From: Provost Matt Cecil
Subject: COVID-19 Campus Update: December 10, 2021
Travel and gathering from Thanksgiving appears to be impacting COVID cases. Kentucky has increased to 48 per 100,000 cases, up from 29 last week. Regionally, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the three Northern Kentucky counties with Campbell County almost doubling its cases in one week. The rate of transmission is now at 1.0.
As the numbers show, it appears we are heading towards another surge, and our best defense is to continue our mitigation efforts, including masking and avoiding situations where others are not being safe. Regardless of your vaccination status, masks are required indoors in all NKU campus buildings. This includes BB&T Arena which will be busy in the coming week hosting Norse basketball games and our December Commencement ceremonies on December 18.
There is some good news this week. Pfizer has released a study that shows 3 doses of its vaccine– which means being fully vaccinated plus the booster – is very effective with the Omicron variant. Keep in mind, Delta is the variant we are currently battling in the region. Getting your COVID vaccine and booster is the best protection against any variant. Health, Counseling, and Student Wellness is holding its last COVID-19 vaccine/ booster clinic of the semester on December 16. Call 859-572-5650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make your appointment between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
There also is growing concern of this winter presenting a “twindemic” as our country navigates COVID and Influenza during the same season. Last year’s flu season was mild, so we have not seen the effects of both viruses circulating at the same time. This year’s strain, H3N2, is more severe than ones we have seen in prior years. However, the flu vaccine does cover the H3N2 stain, so health experts encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Health Services has appointments for the Influenza vaccine in addition to the COVID-19 vaccine/ booster.
The flu and COVID have very similar symptoms, so you may not know what you have until you get tested. This is why it’s imperative to stay home if you are ill. Do not come to campus if you feel sick or have any symptoms. The Healthy@NKU app is available to help you determine if you should stay home. Remember, there are still breakthrough cases infecting those who are fully vaccinated. Please don’t let the concern of not having sick time impact your decision to stay home if you feel ill. NKU’s Human Resources team will work with you on finding possible solutions, including applying for Benevolent hours if you are out of sick and vacation accruals. Email Natalie Gabbard at email@example.com for assistance. You can get a flu test or a COVID PCR test by appointment from Health Services. The Northern Kentucky Health Department also has its COVID-19 drive-through testing center in Covington
You may be feeling a sense of déjà vu with this COVID update, and it’s because we faced a similar situation last year. Just like in the 2020 holiday season, our campus will continue to take precautions and be aware of the situations when people are not being safe. We will continue to mask and support those who need to take time to get well. There is a little over a week left in the fall semester, and I know a lot of hard works goes into finals week and submitting final grades. Let’s be smart, be kind and be patient with one another. Please know I appreciate everything you do for our campus community.Kind Regards,
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Northern Kentucky University