UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 18, 2024

DSU updates COVID-19 guidelines

Ray Johnson, a sophomore Mechanical Engineering major from St. George wears a mask on campus. While masks are not required on campus, DSU strongly recommends wearing them. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk.

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Dixie State University has revised it’s COVID-19 guidelines in order to keep students, faculty and staff safe throughout the semester.

State legislature prohibits Dixie State University from mandating face coverings as well as COVID-19 vaccines for all students, faculty and staff; however, DSU does strongly recommend you wear face coverings and be vaccinated.

This prohibition has caused some controversy throughout all colleges in Utah. Utah System of Higher Education started a petition to get the Utah Board of Higher Education to consider making the COVID-19 vaccination a requirement and has asked faculty for their input. Boyd Edwards, University of Utah Faculty Senate President, started a petition for all USHE faculty to sign agreeing that they think the COVID-19 vaccination should be a requirement. You can sign this petition here.

DSU guidelines say students who are feeling sick must stay home and make zoom arrangements with their professors.

Professors are required to make seating charts for each of their classes in order for DSU to continue COVID-19 tracing. If you come in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 DSU will contact you and start a quarantine to avoid further spreading of the virus. You can get more information about COVID-19 tests and self-report forms at here.

DSU will hold a free COVID-19 testing site in the Atwood Innovation Plaza. This will be held every Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In order to get tested, students and faculty must order a test through a healthcare provider. To secure a test from DSU’s Booth Wellness Center you must fill out a COVID-19 self-reporting form or you can contact them at 435-652-7755 to make an appointment. Off-campus testing is also available through other providers such as; Intermountain Hospital, TestUtah, and Family Health Care.

DSU will be holding vaccination clinics on Wednesday, Sep. 1, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sep. 2, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Oct. 20, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All clinics will only accept walk-in patients.

Jamie Kearra, Director of Structured Enrollment talks about the precautions she is taking in her classroom and in the Student Success Center to keep the students and herself safe.

Kearra said, “Given we have so many students on campus, there is a risk for a COVID outbreak, so we are encouraging students to get vaccinated and follow the protocol from the Booth Wellness center.”

“I am making sure the Student Success Center is disinfected, have masks, and hand sanitizer available for students, and will make accommodations if a student misses classes due to COVID,” Kearra said.

“My desire is that all students, staff and faculty that can get vaccinated will do so,” said Vince Brown, director of the institute of politics and public affairs. “This is our best available measure to return to a normal state of affairs.”

Brown talks about how vaccines have helped us a great deal when it comes to dealing with diseases.

“Of all places, an institution of higher learning should not be the place where irrational opposition to a safe and effective vaccine takes hold,” Brown said.

Emily Pate, a senior nursing major from Las Vegas, talks about how everyone has adapted to the obstacles COVID-19 has thrown in our way.

“I feel as though we are getting a better grasp on how to handle living normally with COVID-19 being an obstacle,” said Pate. “As a fourth semester nursing student I see the way that COVID has an affect in the hospital, and is making it harder for clinicals to be completed.”

Yulisa Castaneda, a junior media studies major, from Wendover, talks about how she thinks things are getting back to normal.

Castaneda said, “I think everything is getting back to normal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we had to take a step back.”

In order to keep students, faculty and staff safe this semester DSU highly recommends everyone to wear a mask and to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. DSU will hold vaccine clinics on Sep. 1, Sep. 2, and Oct. 20. DSU will be holding COVID-19 testing clinics throughout the entire semester. These clinics will take place in the Atwood Innovation Plaza every Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In order to get tested for COVID-19 you must order a test through a healthcare provider. You can order a test through the Booth Wellness Center by making an appointment at 435-652-7755.