Could COVID protocols change again at SWOSU? "Absolutely," says the new president
By Johannes Becht
Many SWOSU students were relieved when hearing about the administration's plans to return to normal operations for the Fall 2021 Semester after 2 long semesters that were heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, with the new Delta variant reaching Oklahoma and Custer County, the new president at SWOSU, Dr. Diana "Diane" Lovell, can't exclude the option that COVID protocols could change again at SWOSU. Which could mean: wearing masks, social distancing.
"Absolutely," she answered after being asked by a Weatherford Daily News reporter if COVID protocols could change if the new variant came to Custer County and "specifically" Weatherford.
Dr. Lovell: "It's a very fluid situation. One thing we've learned in COVID is that nothing is ever definite. The CDC changes their guidelines all the time, the governors change their guidelines all the time. As college administrators, we have to be on top of it. We have to know if we're getting COVID cases and their spreading.
The Delta variant, as I understand, is 5 times more contagious than the original COVID virus was. So if it's 5 times more contagious that means that 6 feet might not be enough. Although, as I have read and I understand it, if you're vaccinated, you're almost at a 0% chance of having to be hospitalized or die.
"That surge that we're seeing coming into Oklahoma up in the Miami area, that's coming from Missouri. Missouri is one of lowest vaccinated states in the nation."
Dr. Diana Lovell encouraged everybody to get vaccinated several times during the interview. According to her, campus could now "come back to life" after a lot of people now are vaccinated. She also expressed pride that SWOSU has given over 16,000 shots in his vaccination clinics in the Pioneer Center - and will continue to do so. Several vaccination clinics are planned in August and September.