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COVID-19

November 17, 2020

37 - Known Active Student Cases on the Weatherford campus
1 - Known Active Student Cases on the Sayre campus
3 - Known Active Employee Cases for Weatherford and Sayre campuses

*Not all cases are on campus or in Weatherford/Sayre. Once a student or employee is identified as an active case, campus officials follow CDC and university protocol in advising the student or employee to isolate for the recommended number of days.  The State Department of Health tracks official numbers of cases in Weatherford/Sayre and the surrounding area on the state COVID website: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/.

November 16, 2020

SWOSU Reminds About Fall and Spring Semester Changes

Southwestern Oklahoma State University reminds students and area residents about several date changes on the Weatherford and Sayre campuses.            

  • Classes meet as usual on November 23 and 24, the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving break.
  • After Thanksgiving Break, all classes transition to virtual. There will be three days of virtual Dead Days on November 30-December 2. Virtual finals will start on Thursday, December 3, and end on Wednesday, December 9.
  • Spring semester classes start January 11, and students return to on-campus classes.
  • There will be no traditional spring break but the semester will end one week earlier than normal and the last day of the semester is April 30.

September 18, 2020

SWOSU and Weatherford Regional Hospital President Provide COVID Information

As COVID cases continue to increase across Weatherford and western Oklahoma, Weatherford Regional Hospital President Brian Denton has several suggestions for Southwestern Oklahoma State University students and area residents.

The first thing to do when a person suspects COVID is to contact their primary doctor, health department or go to an area convenient care facility, according to Denton. Medical workers can then determine if testing is needed or required by asking a series of questions.

“There is a risk of getting a false negative result if tested too soon,” Denton said. “Typically it is recommended to wait 5-7 days before testing after being exposed.”

People can have a misconception on what exposure means. Denton said a person has to be in close proximity to a positive case for at least 15 minutes and within six feet of that person. Exposure also takes into consideration if Personal Protective Equipment was being used or not. Being in the same room with the person doesn’t necessarily mean “exposure.”

Denton reminds students and residents that nurses and medical workers can be very helpful in answering questions, as well as guiding toward the best course of action to take.

As for testing, Denton said the Weatherford hospital has an adequate supply of test kits—unlike last spring. Results of the rapid tests are typically known by the end of the day. Testing is not a painful procedure but can be uncomfortable for some people. Once a result is known, the hospital will contact the individual’s ordering provider (primary doctor or convenient care provider, for example) with the results and that facility will reach out to the patient.

Denton said it is extremely important for everyone to 1) maintain a distance of 6 feet from people when possible; 2) wear a mask; and 3) wash hands often.

August 21, 2020

In our commitment to provide full information to the students, faculty and staff, we present the following information about the current COVID-19 situation at SWOSU.

  • SWOSU will post the number of known active cases among students and employees each Tuesday on the COVID-19 case dashboard. The numbers are updated weekly after confirmation from health officials, the Office of Human Resources and the Dean of Students. 
  • As of August 17, we have 0 known active employee cases and 25 known active student cases. It is important to note that an active case does not necessarily mean that the individual is currently on campus, has visited the campus while infected, or has ever been on campus.
  • We encourage people to view these numbers in context. As mentioned, some students who test positive may have never visited campus. For instance, of the 25 known active cases reported on August 17, only 7 were actually on campus. In addition, many of those cases reported on August 17 were already several days old and were reported and dealt with before classes actually started on campus.
  • Once a student or employee is identified as an active case, campus officials follow CDC and university protocol in advising the student or employee to isolate for 10-14 days. 
  • We encourage people to visit the State Department of Health’s COVID-19 website -- https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/ -- for the OFFICIAL numbers of cases in each city and county in Oklahoma. These numbers are updated daily. As of August 21, Weatherford has 14 active cases.
  • Upon notification of a positive test, the Custer County Department of Health coordinates contact tracing efforts to determine people who may have been in close contact with the person who tested positive. The Department of Health works with SWOSU to identify and contact students or employees who may have been exposed.
  • Information about cases on campus can be obtained by calling the SWOSU Public Relations & Marketing Office at 580-774-3063.
  • We remind people that no matter where you live, we are all experiencing and dealing with a pandemic. We will have active cases on campus and deal with them accordingly.  Every higher education institution in the country will also have this experience.  That is why we have our safety protocols.  Our mandates of masks, hand washing and social distancing are efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. They are in place to lessen the chance of a person with COVID-19 infecting others.

This information and other updates on the university’s pandemic response is located on the university’s COVID-19 website.

Randy Beutler
President