July 27 COVID-19 Update

Employee work locations approved for fall | #CampusClear available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store | Flu vaccine exemption forms now online | What is considered a fever? | RSP and Welcome Week Family Zoom event planned for freshmen| Timothy Simeone, PhD, in the School of Medicine, offers COVID-19 graphs

Employee Work Locations Approved for Fall

Employee work arrangements have been approved for the fall semester, and managers will be communicating those plans with their employees. For employees whose job functions have been classified as “on premises” or “reduced on premises,” the proposed opening of campus is Monday, Aug. 3.

Employees whose job functions have been classified as “remote” should not report to campus. Remote workers who wish to access campus for any reason, must submit their requests through the online COVID-19 Campus Access Request Form for review and approval. Learn more about how to access and complete the form.

All employees – whether classified as on premises, reduced on premises or remote – must complete and sign the online form agreeing to follow Creighton’s COVID-19 Community Standards. Creighton is requiring all students, faculty, staff and administrators to complete the form. Personalized emails with a link to the form have been sent to all campus community members.

#CampusClear Self-Screening App

The #CampusClear self-screening app is now available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Please remember Creighton’s screenings involve a two-step process:

  • Complete the #CampusClear self-screening app questionnaire
  • Get a temperature check at an on-campus COVID-19 Temperature Check-In/Screening Station

The Hixson-Lied Science Building atrium currently serves as the only general Temperature Check-In/Screening Station site for faculty and staff. It is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. On Aug. 3, the Hixson-Lied atrium station will close, and locations will open at three outdoor sites, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m., beginning on the following dates:

  • Aug. 3: Anderson Plaza, east side of the Hixson-Lied Science Building
  • Aug. 10: School of Law, covered parking area on the northeast side of the building
  • Aug. 17: Brandeis courtyard, north side of Brandeis Hall and south of Creighton Hall

Flu Vaccination Exemption Forms

All students and employees are required to receive a seasonal flu vaccine by Nov. 1, 2020, in accordance with the University’s COVID-19 Community Standards.

Free flu vaccines will be offered on campus, as supplies last, as part of the traditional “Shoo the Flu” campaign. Students, faculty and staff also can get vaccinated off campus and share that information with Student Health Education and Compliance, by logging into Creighton’s immunization compliance management system, The BirdHouse, and uploading an electronic file confirming the vaccination.

Creighton will allow exceptions for faculty and staff for approved religious and/or medical reasons, and students for approved medical reasons. Faculty, staff and students can download the Influenza Medical Exemption Form and email it to immunizations@creighton.edu for final approval or denial. Faculty and staff can download the Influenza Religious Exemption Form and email it to immunizations@creighton.edu for final approval or denial.

What is considered a fever?

A temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher is considered a fever for oral, under-the-tongue thermometers. That is the equivalent of 99.9 F or higher for forehead thermometers, and 97.7 F or higher for the thermal imaging scanners that Creighton will be instituting at various screening locations.

If you record a fever at home, please contact Student Health Education and Compliance at CoronavirusResponse@creighton.edu and do not report to campus.

RSP and Welcome Week Family Zoom Planned for Freshmen

Due to restrictions placed on the student campus arrival experience, RSP (Creighton’s freshman advising and first-year experience program) and Welcome Week are partnering to deliver a “RSP and Welcome Week Family Zoom” for all new students and their families on Monday, Aug. 10.

Each RSP group has been assigned a time, and is invited to a Zoom meeting with a University host, who will provide updates on move-in, Welcome Week, early semester engagement opportunities and COVID-19. Students and families can also meet with the student’s faculty advisor and RSP student leaders (the decurion and peer leader).

This replaces the first RSP meeting that is traditionally held on the Saturday of opening weekend. Student Life has been able to recruit more than 30 staff – from across campus – to volunteer as hosts, and all 62 faculty advisors are expected to participate.

COVID-19 Graphs

Click on each graph for a larger view.

Increasing testing capabilities throughout March enabled the identification of viral spread throughout the U.S. The number of daily positive tests peaked in early April. As states shut-down activities and people sheltered-at-home, there was a 30% decrease in cases. In late June and early July positive cases increased by 100% over April numbers largely due to outbreaks in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California.

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For ease the data is presented as weekly averages beginning from early April.

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Testing capacity has been steadily increasing which is a good thing.

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The rate of positive cases, which is just the daily positive cases divided by the daily number of tests, began to decrease. It actually fell below the 5% threshold for opening for a couple of weeks, but now it is rising despite the increase in testing. Meaning there is a real increase in virus spread. It also indicates that even more testing is needed to determine the true scope of infection.

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The expanded testing is now capturing positive cases that have minor symptoms and are not high-risk patients; therefore, the mortality rate is falling daily from a high of 6% to 3.6% on 7/23/2020. Recent studies estimate the actual mortality rate is 0.6-1.5%.

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Nebraska’s number of daily cases have slightly increased.

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Nebraska’s daily testing has slightly increased.

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Nebraska’s rate of positive cases has remained stable suggesting the recent increase in daily cases reflects increased testing rather than increased spread of the virus.

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Nebraska’s mortality rate has been holding steady and is lower than the nation as a whole.

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The percentage of the nation’s population that has tested positive for COVID-19 is 1.2%. The percentage of the NE state population that has tested positive is also 1.2%.

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What is the distribution of positive cases in NE based on age groups?

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This means that 1.9% of Nebraskans aged 20-34 have tested positive, whereas 0.5% of children have tested positive, etc. It also indicates that most positive cases have occurred in college and working age adults.

What age groups of Nebraskans are hospitalized and susceptible to death induced by COVID-19?

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This means that though most Nebraskans have a very low chance of dying when infected by COVID-19, if they pass it on to the elderly, either directly or indirectly, there is a high probability that a grandparent will die.

COVID-19 has a hospitalization rate and mortality rate. These facts mean any increase in positive cases will result in more people, of all ages, requiring hospital care and more deaths. As an illustration of these facts consider this thought experiment: Even with a vaccine, the flu still infects up to 15% of the population per year. The flu vaccine not only helps reduce infection rates, but also severity and mortality. What if the total COVID-19 positive cases reaches 15% of the NE population before a vaccine is widely available? Based on current NE infection distributions, hospitalization rates and mortality rates how many will require care and how many will have died?

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What if 100% of the NE population is infected?

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We are all needed to prevent this from happening. We do not need to do anything extraordinary to be heroes, we just need to take responsibility for our individual actions and embrace our compassion for others.