“As I am sure you are well aware, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to increase across the state of Tennessee, as well as here in Montgomery County. By now, everyone in our community has been affected in some way by the virus.
It remains the case that outbreaks and consequences of COVID-19 are worse for those who are not vaccinated. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already. While breakthrough cases are possible, they remain rare compared to the infection rate of those who are not vaccinated. Perhaps more importantly, the breakthrough cases that do occur are highly unlikely to result in hospitalization.
I am carefully watching the situation on campus and in the community, considering a number of data points, and trying to balance a variety of competing priorities for the university. To help with that, I have established a COVID Task Force, which will meet weekly to review data and help with decisions regarding campus operations. Members are Michael Kasitz (AVP for Public Safety), Dr. Jane Semler (Faculty Senate President), Jerica Swiger (Staff Senate President), Bill Persinger (Executive Director of Public Relations and Marketing), JaCenda Davidson (AVP and Chief Human Resources Officer), and the Senior Leadership Team. The Task Force gets a daily report regarding caseloads on campus and in the community, with analysis provided. Additionally, Provost Cronley is in communication with the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.
The mask mandate will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. Masks must be worn, correctly over the nose and mouth, indoors at all times. Exceptions include private residence hall rooms, when actively eating/drinking (please put your mask back on between bites/sips), or when alone in a private office or study room. If others are present in your office, wear your masks.
To take some of the pressure off community testing sites and better serve our Austin Peay family, we will expand the reach of our testing site on campus. Starting Monday, Sept. 13, our testing site will be open to members of households over the age of 11 of faculty, staff and students. We are evaluating ways to expand capacity at our testing site to reach those who are younger. More information about scheduling an appointment can be found at https://apsu.edu/health-and-counseling/boyd-health-services/covidtesting.php.
Arrangements have been made to extend the rental of the tent on the Morgan University Center Plaza to allow for people to spread out while eating.
Please also know that the university has plentiful supplies of masks and hand sanitizer, and stocks are being replenished on an ongoing basis. Additional supplies for your area can be requested from the Physical Plant. Quarantine/Isolation rooms for students in the residence halls also remain available.
Finally, the university will begin offering incentives to get vaccinated, and we will initiate additional vaccination drives tied to ongoing university events. Stay tuned for more information on how to participate in the vaccination challenge!
This is a stressful time for all of us, and it is difficult to operate in uncertainty. I appreciate what everyone is doing to keep us moving forward.”
This statement released Friday, September 10, 2021 from APSU President Licari’s office is published as a public service announcement. It was not written by The All State staff.