At a virtual town hall meeting on Feb. 3, Sam Houston State University addressed COVID-19 concerns on campus regarding the pandemic.
The theme throughout the town hall meeting was that the pandemic is getting better. School officials are beginning to become more optimistic about Sam Houston State University’s chances to return to normal soon.
There are high hopes regarding the vaccines and their effectiveness, but it remains important to remember that health and safety protocols still need to be followed. However, the importance of said obligations were still a main topic of discussion.
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel but we are still in the tunnel.” Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Drew Miller said.
Miller reiterated that return to pre-COVID-19 normalization will be a gradual process and should not be expected to happen overnight. Social distancing and mask-wearing will be the best path to get there.
Questions were raised regarding other COVID-19 related issues that pose the greatest interest to the community and campus, such as mandatory testing and if the COVID-19 vaccine would be mandatory to return to school in the fall.
“We are at a public institution, where it is really difficult to mandate anything,” Miller said. “The vaccine is still in ‘emergency use only’ status, so we are unable to require a vaccination at this moment.”
The topic of mandatory vaccinations remains a heated issue, guidance from the CDC will likely come as the vaccines become more widely available. While the COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed across America, there is still no clear timetable for when the vaccine might be available at the student health center.