Public health update: Oct. 12, 2021
Dear OHIO community members,
I am thrilled that so many of you are showing care for our OHIO community by getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Because vaccination is so vital to our health, I am happy to report that our vaccination rates are steadily increasing. As of Friday on the Athens campus:
- 82.2 percent of residential students were vaccinated
- 76.4 percent of off-campus students were vaccinated (up from 70.8 percent a week ago!)
- 79.6 percent of all students and employees were vaccinated
Alongside these increasing vaccination rates, we continue to see a decrease in positivity rates on the Athens campus. The drop in the student asymptomatic testing positivity rate (which is currently below 1 percent) is remarkable. It is lower than our employee positivity rate (currently 2.5 percent). Great job, students!
Plan ahead: Don’t miss OHIO’s vaccine requirement deadline
If you are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19, now is the time to start the process so you can meet Ohio University’s November 15 deadline. Depending on the vaccine you choose, you might need two doses with three to four weeks in between. If you plan to seek an exemption from the vaccine requirement, the deadline to submit that application is November 1.
Planning ahead also will give you the time to submit the necessary proof of vaccination or an approved exemption request to the University. These dates fall between Halloween and Thanksgiving, when holiday celebrations start to fill our calendars. Getting this worked out in advance will help you and your friends and family enjoy the fall holidays together.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Not all vaccine options are available at all providers. If you have a strong preference for which vaccine you want, ask if a particular pharmacy, clinic, or provider offers it before you go.
- We do not automatically know if you have been vaccinated: you need to report it. You do this by selecting the Vaccination Pathway and uploading proof of your vaccination in the COVID-19 Testing Pathway Program.
- If you have already selected the Weekly Testing Pathway, your pathway selection will expire on Nov. 15. Details on how to resubmit your Pathway selection are available here.
- Students who have not met this requirement by November 15 will not be able to stay enrolled for spring semester classes. Faculty and staff who have not met the requirement by November 15 may be subject to progressive discipline.
The chart below suggests dates for starting your vaccine process, allowing time to provide proof of vaccination to the University.
We want to make this process as easy as possible for you, so we have scheduled free and convenient vaccine clinics on the Athens campus. That vaccine clinic website also has information about how to schedule a vaccine online or by phone anywhere in Ohio. There is no cost for a COVID-19 vaccine.
The flu vaccine: Now more important than ever!
As we look forward to fall holiday gatherings it’s important to remember we are getting into flu season. This year more than ever it is important to get a flu shot. Becoming sick with the flu this year could mean extra hassles, including precautionary alone time if you come down with “COVID-like” symptoms. Getting the flu also could mean added risk if you or a loved one need health care resources that already are strained by COVID-19.
There are a variety of opportunities on the Athens campus for students, faculty, and staff to get a free flu vaccine. Students can walk in or schedule an appointment at Campus Care Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Faculty and staff can make an appointment through their primary care provider, visit a local pharmacy, or call the Athens City-County Health Department at 740-592-4431 to schedule an appointment.
This year’s flu vaccines have been updated to match circulating flu viruses and are safe to get at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines. The flu vaccine providers listed above also can administer a COVID-19 vaccine alongside a flu vaccine if you would like to get both at the same time. More information on this year’s flu vaccines is available here. Protect your fall holiday plans by getting your COVID and/or flu shots now.
Thank you for your continued vigilance with all of our public health measures – masks, testing, handwashing, distance, and vaccine will help push COVID-19 case rates down even further.