I'm Kerry Bringhurst and you're listening to Utah Public Radio. Utah governor Spencer Cox indicating that more and more Utahns will be receiving the vaccination against COVID-19. And eventually, that will include university-aged students, including those here at Utah State University.
Joining me now to discuss what that might mean as far as vaccination availability on the USU Logan campus is USU President Noelle Cockett. Welcome.
NC: Thank you, Kerry.
KB: President Cockett, I understand that Utah State University Logan campus could be the site for vaccination clinics.
NC: Once the governor indicates there's doses for all people, USU will likely be able to set up a couple of vaccination clinics. They'll likely be either in the Taggart Student Center, or else the Eccles Conference Center. And at that point, students — plus any of our faculty and staff affiliated with USU — could come over there. It was looking like it'll be the second or third week of April.
KB: What happens if a student gets their first dose on the USU Logan campus, but leaves before getting the second dose?
NC: Clinics would actually provide those individuals with their vaccination card. It would indicate that they had their first dose. They could then schedule anywhere in the state in order to get that second dose.
KB: There was also good news this past week for students graduating Utah State University. In fact, those students received their email instructions this week. And they will need to RSVP for those events, including the names of two people to accompany them to those ceremonies.
NC: We looked back at our spaces and we'd have two venues — one that could hold about 250 with appropriate social distancing, one that could hold 80 with appropriate social distancing. That's the number of students and then they would each have the ability to bring two guests. The smaller one will be in the Dean's Concert Hall and the larger group will be in the Spectrum.1
KB: So the plan would be to hold approximately 20 smaller events and they will be grouped by college. And that will take place May 6 and 7. What about the statewide campus graduation events?
NC: The number of guests will depend on the largest venue they can possibly have in that community. They'll count up the number of seats and then determine how many guests can come. I recommend that those who are interested in participating at a statewide campus graduation ceremony, be sure to, if you're a graduate, click on the link and RSVP there. And then watch for announcements coming out from each of the campuses; what day they'll be held, what day and time and where and whether or not guests will be able to attend.
We heard today that San Juan County, very, very high numbers of doses, as well as numbers of people that are getting vaccinated. So, so happy that people that have been in a very high risk area can start getting that vaccine and hopefully returning to more normal conditions in the near future,
KB: We will be sure to include that link for students graduating so they can access the time, location and the number of guests they can invite. In the meantime, we are waiting for different counties to make determinations as to risk level. What will the changes mean to students on USU campuses once we're at that low level of risk?
NC: At that point, we'll actually be doing return to campus for employees and really look forward to fall where we'll have at least 75% of our classes with in-person components.
KB: Well President, we've taken your time again. We appreciate it so much. You always provide us with a very positive perspective and outlook and a very factual perspective and outlook as to what is happening here on our campuses in Logan and statewide when it comes to COVID-19. And we appreciate your time so much. President Noelle Cockett of Utah State University, thank you.
NC: Thank you, Kerry.