Face Mask Requirements for Transportation Networks
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended the face mask requirement for all transportation networks, including public transportation, through March 18, 2022. This requirement continues to apply locally to anyone who rides OUT buses. TSA’s initial face mask requirement went into effect on February 1, 2021, with an initial expiration date of May 11, 2021. It was first extended through September 13, 2021, and then to January 18, 2022. While this announcement extends the date of enforcement, all other aspects of the requirement remain unchanged, including exemptions and civil penalties. TSA also issued a statement on the face mask extension. Learn more about Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) guidance to the transit industry on the federal mask requirement for public transit at the FTA Transit Mask Up webpage.
Reminder: Current Campus Protocols
- Face coverings required in instructional and healthcare settings
- UM students and employees must report positive COVID-19 tests to University Health Services
During the Omicron surge, faculty, staff and students were encouraged to shift meetings to a virtual format whenever possible. Given the significant reduction in case counts from the beginning of the semester to now, there are no restrictions or shift-to-virtual guidance for group meetings or gatherings. (Please note that masks are still required for instructional spaces as outlined by Chancellor Boyce on Feb. 11.) As individuals host and attend face-to-face meetings, we continue to encourage everyone to support and respect those in our community who need to, or choose to, wear a face covering in non-required spaces. If you are planning an event or extracurricular activity, please consult this guidance for events and extracurricular activities.
Students Apply Now for HEERF III Funds
The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III (HEERF III) is available THIS semester to students with financial need, but it is going fast! Students — it’s worth applying to see if you are eligible. It’s easy, and you could receive up to $3,000. A 2021-22 FAFSA must be on file. If you or your family experienced a financial hardship lately and your FAFSA does NOT reflect it, reach out to Financial Aid immediately to see if you could still qualify. There is a re-evaluation process called “Professional Judgment.” Please note that international/undocumented students may be eligible without a FAFSA. Apply now!
Free COVID-19 Testing Continues at Depot
Get a free COVID-19 PCR test at the University-Oxford Depot on campus by texting “2020” to 833-991-3009 OR clicking on this link: http://86borders.com/l/68415e8f. Testing is offered Monday through Friday, 3-7 p.m., and Saturdays, noon-4 p.m. The university’s COVID-19 website includes aggregate results from COVID-19 testing (PCR COVID-19 test) for students, faculty, and staff.
Featured FAQ: If I already had COVID-19 and recovered, am I protected by natural immunity, or do I still need to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
According to the CDC, you should get a COVID-19 vaccine even if you already had COVID-19. Getting sick with COVID-19 offers some protection from future illness with COVID-19, sometimes called “natural immunity.” The level of protection from natural immunity may vary, depending on how mild or severe their illness was, the time since their infection, and the person’s age. No currently available test can reliably determine if a person is protected from infection.
All COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States are effective at preventing COVID-19. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine gives most people a high level of protection against COVID-19 even in people who have already been sick with COVID-19.
Emerging evidence shows that getting a COVID-19 vaccine after recovering from a COVID-19 infection provides added protection to your immune system. One study showed that among people who already had COVID-19, those who do not get vaccinated are more than twice as likely to contract COVID-19 again than those who get fully vaccinated after their recovery.
People who were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, or people who have a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C), may need to wait a while after recovering before they can get vaccinated. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
News Stories and Resources
- MSDH Health Alert: COVID-19 Therapeutics – UPDATES – Paxlovid and molnupiravir available at Kroger, Wal-Mart, and other community pharmacies
- MSDH Health Alert: Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance for Immunocompromised Individuals or Individuals with Prior Receipt of Monoclonal Antibodies
- New CDC Reports on Health and Well-being of Children During COVID-19 Pandemic
- Transcript for CDC Media Telebriefing: COVID-19 Vaccination and Pregnancy
- Overall US COVID-19 Vaccine Deliveries and Administration; Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC
- Health & Human Services “We Can Do This” Public Education Campaign
- Got a COVID Booster? You Probably Won’t Need Another for a Long Time (NYT)
- MSDH reported the following information for COVID-19 cases in Mississippi (as of Feb. 22):
- 542 new cases, 96 new deaths and 126 long-term care facilities outbreaks
- Mississippi Vaccination Report (as of Feb. 23):
- 3,725,346 total doses administered; 1,733,737 people receiving at least one dose; and 1,514,537 people fully vaccinated.
- Lafayette County: 71,772 Total Doses Administered; 29,476 People Fully Vaccinated, 55% of Total Population Fully Vaccinated.