COVID-19: SWOSU is experiencing its third wave

Johannes Becht, News Editor

A reason to worry? For the fourth time in a row, the number of active COVID-19 cases at Southwestern Oklahoma State University has increased. Looking back at past outbreaks, it becomes obvious that SWOSU is experiencing another wave of COVID-19 infections among students, faculty and staff.

As of Tuesday, Feb. 2, there are 32 cases: 24 Weatherford students, 2 Sayre students and 6 employees on both Weatherford and Sayre campus.

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, 22 cases had been reported by the SWOSU administration. On Jan. 19, the number was 17. This was a small increase from 13 cases a week prior, when classes just had started. On Jan. 5, the SWOSU administration had reported 5 employee cases.

During Fall Semester 2020, it took about a month of classes before case numbers started skyrocketing. Could the same happen this semester?

In fact, it is rather unlikely SWOSU would experience similar numbers than last semester, and there are two reasons for that.

First: A significant amount of the student body has already had COVID-19 at some point, and some develop immunity, at least for some time.

Second: More and more people are getting vaccinated, among them front-line workers such as first responders, health care workers and members of the National Guard and army. Some SWOSU students belong to that group and some of them already received their second dose.

However, according to Provost James South, there is still a possibility that students could go online this semester.