JSU implements revised COVID-19 restrictions for spring as Alabama distributes vaccine

Students hanging out together at the Quad and Bibb Graves Hall on Oct. 30, 2020. (Grace Cockrell/JSU)Students hanging out together at the Quad and Bibb Graves Hall on Oct. 30, 2020. (Grace Cockrell/JSU)

Luke Reed, Correspondent

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state and county, Jacksonville State University is implementing revised housing and student organization restrictions to combat the virus.

According to JSU Housing and Residence Life, housing visitation in the spring will operate under “precaution level 3 (Orange),” meaning visitation to university residence halls are restricted to residents of that building.

Student organizations will fall under the same precaution level as housing, SGA Vice President of Organizational Affairs Auburn McKee confirmed. 

This policy requires student organizations to submit a consideration guide to the Dean of Students Office “at least 10 business days prior to the event,” restricts in-person events to 20 people or less and forbids alcohol at events, according to JSU’s Student Affairs COVID-19 Response Policy.

“Student Orgs, I am so proud of the teamwork we all accomplished last semester with the levels in place,” said McKee. “Please keep up the good work, and follow the guidelines the University has laid out for us to follow!”

McKee urged organizations to be on the lookout for training on how to proceed with the spring semester in a way that follows COVID guidelines.

“The Dean of Students Office has been working endlessly to ensure students have a remarkable semester and to stop the spread,” she said. “Cocky Cares!”

As of Thursday, the university is monitoring 38 active cases of COVID-19. The state has 410,995 confirmed cases, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, with Calhoun County recording 10,740 cases.

The state of Alabama has been under a mask order since July 2020, requiring everyone to wear a face covering in public. Gov. Kay Ivey issued an extension of that order last month, which is set to expire January 21, 2021.

Since then, two American companies — Pfizer and Moderna — have developed their own vaccines, which have been authorized for emergency use in the United States. Pfizer’s vaccine was developed in collaboration with the German company BioNTech. The state of Alabama has set up a COVID-19 vaccine scheduling hotline for healthcare workers, people 75 years or older and first responders.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said in a press release that they are “working to pre-position COVID-19 vaccines in several locations statewide to ensure equitable a timely distribution to federally designated critical populations.” A COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Plan submitted by the state includes the phases of prioritization for the vaccine.

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