Task Force Newsletter: 3 Questions with Tara Girard
Hello, Beloiters! Can you believe we’re approaching the end of the first Mod and heading into finals? This is your weekly COVID-19 update for the Beloit community.
Rock, Winnebago counties see infections rising
News reports indicate the average number of new cases in both Rock and Winnebago counties is ticking upward, with each recording 12 new cases per 100,000, up from seven cases per 100,000 in Rock and 10 in Winnebago just last week. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 28 percent of Wisconsin’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 16 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
On Monday, individuals in Wisconsin age 16 and older with certain medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 infection became eligible for the vaccine. Underlying conditions include such things as asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, obesity, and a weakened immune system. If you have the opportunity to get vaccinated, take it.
Alert Level Green means events are allowed, with guidelines
With the College’s return to Alert Level Green, clubs, organizations, and individuals may host events on campus, if they follow guidelines set by the COVID-19 Task Force. Face coverings, physical distancing of six feet or more, and a guest list maintained by event organizers must be a part of any event.
Depending on the event’s size, you may also need to clean/sanitize surfaces or objects, control the crowd size, enforce mask and distancing rules, set and enforce clear start and end times, and identify an alternative location due to weather or an unexpected increase in crowd size.
Send an email to the Task Force at COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org with all the event details, and you will receive a prompt response.
With cases rising, and variants spreading, travel off campus continues to be risky
The COVID-19 Task Force continues to strongly discourage travel off campus. Remaining on campus and following all of our protective practices are some of the ways we keep our campus safe and healthy. If your travel is essential, then please be mindful of where you are and what is going on around you. Adhere to the same mask-wearing and distancing that you do on campus and monitor symptoms when you return. As always, reach out to the Health and Wellness Center if you are experiencing any signs of illness.
Three Questions with Health and Wellness Center Director Tara Girard
It sounds like eligibility to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is expanded. If I have the opportunity to get one, should I take it? I’m young - I can handle COVID if I get it, right?
Tara Girard: If you have the opportunity to get a vaccination against COVID-19, you should definitely take it. Be grateful, not guilty and embrace that practicing self-care is community care. While young, healthy people have not been among the most negatively impacted by COVID-19, they are not exempt from contracting or spreading it. Keep yourself healthy and keep everyone around you healthy too. Get vaccinated!
If I am fully vaccinated do I still have to participate in bi-weekly COVID testing?
TG: When Mod 2 starts on April 5, students who are fully vaccinated and have submitted their COVID-19 vaccine documentation to me will be exempt from the bi-weekly, asymptomatic testing requirement. Full vaccination means two shots plus two weeks beyond the date of your second vaccination, or first, in the case of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. If this applies to you, please email me a copy or photo of your proof of vaccination. This is effective on April 5.
I’m hearing a lot about variants of the virus. Are the vaccines effective against the variants?
TG: Per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), studies suggest that “antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. This is being closely investigated and more studies are underway.” This means yes, the vaccines are effective against the variants at this time.
Question of the Week
If I am eligible for the vaccine, how much does it cost?
Zero. The vaccines are free.
Photo(s) of the Week
What says spring more than baseball and softball? Well, women’s lacrosse and track and field. Beloit athletes return to competition this weekend. You can watch your Buccaneers through these links:
Track and Field: Live Results
Links also can be found on the Beloit College Athletics website homepage and on each schedule page on game day.
The Covid-19 Task Force