Northeastern State University President Steve Turner provided information to the students, faculty and staff about the active cases of COVID-19 at NSU Monday, Sept. 14.
The information comes from self-reported data as verified by documentation from a health professional. The total cases include students and employees at NSU's campuses in Tahlequah, Muskogee and Broken Arrow.
Cumulative total cases for the period of March 23-Sept. 11 are: known student cases, 54; known employee cases, 16; known student recoveries, 28; and known employee recoveries, 15.
As of Sept. 14, NSU has 26 known active student cases, and one known active employee case.
"It is important to note that an active case does not necessarily mean the individual is currently on campus, has visited one of the campuses while infected, or has ever been on campus," said Turner. "Please remember that all classes moved to an alternate delivery format on March 23 and continued through the summer semester. Furthermore, approximately 60 percent of fall classes are being delivered via an alternative format."
Once a student or employee has a verified active case, campus officials follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and university protocols in advising the student or employee to isolate for the recommended number of days. Contact tracing is coordinated by health departments in Cherokee, Muskogee and Wagoner counties. NSU will provide assistance to health officials when called upon, according to Turner.
"We encourage you to view these numbers in context. As mentioned, some students who test positive may have never visited campus. In addition, many of the cases reported on or before Aug. 17 were recovered before the fall semester started," said Turner. "We remind you that no matter where you live, we are all experiencing and dealing with the pandemic. NSU will have active cases and we will deal with them accordingly. The three W’s – wear your mask, watch your distance and wash your hands – and other safety protocols are all efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect our communities. Please continue to do your part to protect yourselves, your family and our community."
For the official number of cases in each city and county in Oklahoma, visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s COVID-19 website at https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/. These numbers are updated daily. For more updates on NSU’s pandemic response, visit the university’s COVID-19 website at https://nsuok.edu/coronavirus.
"As we complete the first four weeks of the fall semester, I want to thank each of you for your diligence in following all applicable COVID-19 protocols. We have had a great start and we plan for continued success for the remainder of the semester," said Turner.
Going forward, NSU will post the number of known active cases among students and employees by 5 p.m. each Wednesday at https://offices.nsuok.edu/studentaffairs/COVID-Dashboard. The numbers will be updated weekly after confirmation from health officials, the Office of Human Resources, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Emergency Management. The next update is set for Sept. 23.
"Together we will get through these difficult and stressful times," said Turner.