I hope this finds you and your families well and enjoying this last little bit of summer. It’s hard to believe that it is already August. We are eagerly awaiting your arrival on campus and ready to welcome you back. There are already countless plans in the works for campus activities, and I encourage each of you to take advantage of all Wichita State has to offer this fall.
In early June, given the positive decreasing trend of reported COVID-19 cases in our community along with the ready availability of vaccines, the university transitioned back to in-person operations. However, as we have said since the beginning of our pandemic-management efforts, our top priority has always been the health and safety of our entire campus community. This is no less true today than it was a year ago. The university has been monitoring the rapid spread of the Delta variant across the country and in our own community. Given this increasing positivity rate and the dangers associated with the Delta variant, the university is taking proactive steps to mitigate spread of this variant on our campus.
Therefore, effective immediately, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — will be required to wear a mask in all campus classrooms and laboratories. Additionally, we encourage all members of our campus community to wear masks in all other indoor campus locations.
We believe this small step will greatly increase our chances of keeping our campus open for in-person business and keeping our students in the classroom.
As we continue to weather this public health crisis, we are counting on everyone in Shocker Nation to continue to take measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
Vaccination remains our strongest tool against community transmission and spread. The university encourages all on our campus to get vaccinated if they are able. Vaccines are widely available and are free to students, employees, campus partners, and their families from Wichita State Student Health Services. Go to www.wichita.edu/covidvaccine to learn more.
The Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex, at the corner of 29th and Oliver, offers free walk-in testing for everyone. For more information, call 316-978-3734. Students and employees can also get tested through Student Health Services.
This is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation that continues to evolve rapidly. We will communicate further updates as they become available.
President Rick Muma, Wichita State University