Missouri Western State University will be guided by the best available science-based evidence and expert recommendations to make informed decisions about on-campus activities. The incidence of COVID-19 on campus and in our community, the availability of resources for responding to the illness, as well as key resources to continue providing quality education and applied learning experiences will be considerations in decisions about potential modifications to campus activities. Changes in operation may include temporary, partial, or full cessation of operations. These considerations will be revised as necessary to reflect new data and understanding about the virus.
Specific considerations will include:
- Incidence: The number of new cases on campus will be compared to St. Joseph, Buchanan County, & the state using data from the Missouri Covid-19 Dashboard. The Harvard Global Health Institute Pathway to Zero will be used as a reference.
- Campus Isolation Bed Capacity: People who test positive require private rooms with a separate bathroom facility. We will monitor the availability of beds for isolation (n=12) on campus.
- Hospital Capacity: The Missouri Hospital Association provides a dashboard of key indicators for the region that may be impacted by the COVID-19. We will look at hospital bed availability, ventilator availability, and personal protective equipment availability (face shields, gloves, masks, and gowns). Mosaic Life Care capacity will also be considered as information is made available.
- Clusters: A cluster will be defined as 3 or more individuals who test positive for COVID-19 traced from a single event at a specific period of time. Identification of clusters may help us identify the effectiveness of our prevention strategies and groups or activities where further action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 may be required.
- Employees: The number of employees who are unable to perform their duties due to either illness or quarantine will be considered to determine if mission critical functions may continue.
- Campus contact tracing: The ability to provide timely contact tracing by the local public health department and/or the university. Contact tracing is identifying any individuals who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 in order to educate them about quarantine in order to reduce the spread of the disease.
- Super spreader event: The number of cases transmitted at a single event is disproportionately higher than normal rates.
- Local or state recommendations: Stay at home or quarantine orders that may come from city or state government officials.
These specific considerations or indicators will provide a basis for measured response on our campus with the goal of safety for our students, employees, and the community.