LSUA offering new vaccine incentive program, lays out COVID-19 guidelines

It’s important to note, LSUA is not requiring a vaccine for students to come back to campus.
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 4:33 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - College campuses across the country are once again gearing up for an unusual year.

Earlier this month, LSU announced students will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof of a vaccine before arriving on campus.

KALB caught up with LSUA to see if they’re following the same protocols.

LSUA students go back to class on Monday, August 23. Already, many students have been asking about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine from the health center on campus.

“I’ve had several students call when they get back on campus who are anxious to receive the vaccine,” said LSUA Family Nurse Practitioner Michelle Rozas.

Rozas has been administering the COVID-19 vaccine on campus. Now, to keep the overall community safe, LSUA is offering free COVID-19 vaccines to anyone in Cenla, in addition to free COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff.

“The hospitalizations are increasing and we just want people to be aware that the vaccines are safe and they’re effective. So we just want to open our doors to get the community and anybody not affiliated with LSUA to come through and get vaccinated,” said Rozas.

With the start of school right around the corner, university officials are laying out certain guidelines.

“We know when students gather, there would be the potential for the spread of COVID-19 so we want students to be as informed and take as many proactive measures to keep themselves and each other as safe as possible,” said Abbey Bain, LSUA Vice Chancellor for Enrollment and Student Engagement.

Bain says over 50 percent of faculty and staff have already received a COVID-19 vaccine. As for students, university officials will be compiling that data as soon as they return to the classroom.

“We will be getting that data as students return so we’ll have a better idea of how many have received the vaccine, how many are not sure, and we really want to make sure that they have all the information to make that decision,” said Bain.

Masks will be required indoors for students, faculty and staff. Extra cleaning will take place in all classrooms and high-touch areas, and students will have the option of filling out a COVID-19 symptom tracker, which will help them decide whether or not to come to campus.

“And that’s a good checkpoint, is it okay for me to go into the classroom, is it okay for me to go in the building with my peers and my colleagues to make sure that nobody else is getting sick,” said Bain.

As for students living on campus, there will only be one student per bedroom. If someone gets sick, the university does have certain apartments reserved for anyone who may have to quarantine.

“We do have quarantine space available, so we will have certain apartments reserved. So if a student does need to quarantine or does test positive, they can do so that keeps themselves and their roommates as safe as possible,” said Bain.

Although LSUA isn’t requiring a COVID-19 vaccine to come to campus, officials are urging students to get vaccinated through a new, five-week incentive program. Each week for the first five weeks of school, students who get the shot will be entered into a drawing to win one LSUA gift basket, two AirPod Pros, and one iPad Air, with the final prize being a purple, 24-inch iMac, respectively. This is all with the goal of keeping the campus safe and students back in the classroom.

“We are doing everything we can to keep the campus as safe as possible and we definitely want our students back in the classroom,” said Bain.

Since the pandemic is a rapidly changing situation, university officials say the current protocols could change. To make an appointment to receive a vaccine at the health center, you can call 318-427-0110. It’s important to note, all of the prizes being offered were purchased with LSUA private funds.

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