Message from President McPhee RE Your Health and Wellness
Dear Campus Community:
With the start of a new academic year, I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone of the need to be vigilant in monitoring your own health and wellness. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we quickly learned that personal responsibility and a few basic practices were some of our most effective tools in dealing with the virus.
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions have waned, it is easy to forget that, with a campus this size, influenza and other viral outbreaks are a common occurrence. For most of us, the impact is minimal. However, for our more vulnerable, due to medical issues or age, there is an increased risk of severe disease with these infections.
Around the country, as K-12 and Universities open, we are seeing a corresponding uptick in COVID and flu cases. As a vital member of the University community, everyone is expected to be responsible for his or her own heath and have a personal plan in place if they become ill, including the need to isolate if necessary. The University’s Coronavirus website (www.mtsu.edu/coronavirus) continues to be active and provides additional information you may find helpful when developing your personal plan.
Key reminders, if you find yourself not feeling well, be conscientious to limit spread, especially to those most vulnerable. We recommend that if you have cold or flu-like symptoms for more than 24 hours - get tested, wear a mask, and practice good hygiene with handwashing and distancing.
If you need testing, it is available for students at MTSU Student Health and many local pharmacies. Faculty and staff should seek testing off-campus and consult with their physician for more information. For those with COVID illness, the CDC continues to recommend a 5-day isolation and masking for a full 10 days.
As always, faculty are encouraged to develop plans to assist any student that needs to miss class due to illness and to be proactive in informing students of the expectations and processes that are in place to assist them, should they be required to miss class/assignments.
Later this semester a vaccine that targets the current most dominant COVID subvariant, XBB, will arrive. Timetables, and for which populations this vaccine should be offered, have not been finalized. Student Health will again be a vaccine option for faculty, staff, and students. Please watch for updates as they arrive in September and October.
Working together, I am confident we will be prepared, should any issues arise. Common sense and some basic personal care practices will go a long way to assure we have a great semester.
Sidney A. McPhee President