Dear Truman Community,
We have 7 active cases this week, which is still good news, although we still think we might see some cases that resulted from Spring Break. Testing is readily available in town (and on-campus for students), so if you aren’t sure if you cough is due to allergies, a spring cold, or COVID-19, please get tested.
There was some confusion in the news this week about a CDC study about the efficacy of mask mandates. The study showed that there was a 1-2% improvement in cases every 20 days with a mandate. While that sounds small, over a couple of months, that improvement builds, and with exponential growth, even small changes at the beginning can have a huge effect over time. You can read a summary (and the full study here):
The local health board is considering lifting the county-wide mask mandate at its April meeting, which has us a bit worried. It’s our opinion that May or June is probably the soonest to really think about that, when vaccines have reached full effectiveness for those in phase 3. If you feel strongly about the mandate, you could contact the health department using the form or emails listed at: https://adair.lphamo.org/contact/
Related to that, the election for the county health board is April 6, so if you’re a local voter, we recommend you research the candidates and vote.
The state is opening up vaccines to phase 2 (which includes Truman faculty and staff) next week, and is moving to phase 3 (which includes anyone age 16 and older) on April 12. While many of us have been able to get in early through the various waitlists, we are very excited about the expansion of vaccine eligibility. We still recommend putting yourself on the various waitlists, since we don’t know how quickly the rollout and increased availability will begin. Truman is in the early stages of organizing some vaccine events on campus once we reach phase 3, assuming we can get the doses we need, so look for more information about that soon.
Later this week, Truman is conducting a student survey to ask about vaccine interest and concerns, so please encourage students to complete that when they get an invitation in their e-mail.
Our video is a bit longer this week (13m), but it delves into the mask data in more depth.
Although we aim these e-mails and videos at Truman faculty and staff, please do share this information or the video with students in your classes, with parents, and elsewhere. This information is shared with all students via Blackboard page, sent directly to all Truman faculty and staff, and shared on our public web page:
If you have questions or topics you’d like to know more about, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Faculty Senate COVID-19 Working Group
Nancy Daley-Moore, PhD, Health Science
Christine Harker, PhD, English
Scott Alberts, PhD, Statistics