Friday, Aug. 6, 2021
Dear Missouri S&T Community,
As we prepare to kick off our fall semester soon, I’m very much looking forward to welcoming our new students, greeting those who are returning and witnessing a full campus bustling with activity once again.
I want to thank everyone for all you have done to keep our community safe throughout the pandemic. As a university grounded in the principles of science and technology, we know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Despite a nationwide surge in infections that is similar to what the U.S. experienced last summer, deaths are down more than 70%, thanks, largely, to vaccination. Getting vaccinated is the best action you can take to protect yourself and others. It is easy and free and there are plentiful opportunities at S&T and in our community to do so. These details are posted on our university’s website at coronavirus.mst.edu/vaccinations.
The indisputable facts are that COVID-19 is a serious disease, it is easily transmitted and IT IS PREVENTABLE. So I urge you to get vaccinated against this serious disease if you have not already done so.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued guidance recommending that fully vaccinated individuals wear a face covering in public indoor settings in areas of high transmission. Unfortunately, nearly the entire state of Missouri is considered an area of high transmission and vaccination rates in Phelps County and Missouri remain low. Last Thursday we announced our face covering policy for all faculty, staff, students and visitors to wear a face covering in classrooms and labs. This policy applies to all – vaccinated and unvaccinated – until Sept. 15, when the policy will be reevaluated. I understand this causes frustration among some who were hoping their vaccination would allow them to shed their mask. Let me reassure you that we are committed to returning to a “normal” campus experience to the extent that we can while protecting the health and safety of our campus.
To summarize, we know that COVID-19 vaccines and face coverings are highly effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19. By taking the necessary steps to protect each other, we can have a safe and productive semester filled with S&T’s hallmark hands-on learning experiences.
Thank you once again for all your perseverance and commitment to the Miner community. I look forward to seeing you soon!