September 29, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates: Get a flu shot
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
Fall is in the air, and as temperatures (and leaves) begin to fall, it is a stark reminder that the flu season also will soon be upon us.
Public health experts and policymakers alike are concerned about how the flu will complicate diagnosing COVID-19. They are equally worried about how cooler temperatures will drive more folks indoors, making physical distancing guidelines more difficult to adhere to.
So, in addition to the prevailing public health advice - wearing face coverings, washing your hands often, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding large-group gatherings - health professionals are adding a flu shot to the preventative measures you can take. While the flu vaccine doesn't prevent you from getting the flu, it can decrease the chance of severe symptoms - symptoms that could mask or be confused with the symptoms of COVID-19.
Although a flu shot won't protect you from COVID-19, it will protect those who fall in high-risk or vulnerable populations and who already suffer from compromised immune systems. Even for those considered to be in good health, the flu vaccine can help avoid the "double whammy" of contracting both influenza and COVID-19 at the same time.
Although the supply of flu shots through the Student Health Center is backordered, students can contact the center's staff for referrals to local pharmacies. Likewise, employees can visit most any pharmacy or their healthcare provider to be vaccinated. If you are unsure about receiving a flu vaccine, consult your physician for guidance.
Self-awareness is key
As of Monday, the university had nine active, self-reported cases involving students and employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 - a decline from last week's reported active cases.
Awareness is key. Be mindful of your own health status by monitoring your symptoms, using temperature stations on campus, getting tested for COVID-19, and urging others to do so. Free and confidential testing is available through the Georgia Department of Public Health. If you do test positive, believe you have been exposed to someone who is positive, or notice COVID-19-related symptoms, report your health status through our online self-reporting form at columbusstate.edu/COVIDselfreport and a member of our COVID-19 Response Team will follow up with you.
Cougars, let's get serious about our health, the well-being of those around us and demonstrating to each other and our community that #CougarsCareEverywhere.
Dr. Chip Reese
Chair, COVID-19 Response Team and
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs