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Local Universities still fighting against COVID-19

As fight against COVID-19 continues on college campuses nationwide, Northwest Missouri State and Missouri Western are both trying to do their part.

Posted: Oct 19, 2021 5:01 PM
Updated: Oct 20, 2021 8:36 AM

(MISSOURI) As the fight against COVID-19 continues on college campuses nationwide, Northwest Missouri State and Missouri Western are both trying to do their part.

"We’ve been working pretty hard to get as many of our students and employees vaccinated as possible,” said Chris Dawe, Assistant VP for Health and Well-Being at Northwest Missouri State University. "We saw more people identifying and sending their records, or showing us their records in case of employees, each time we were promoting the incentives.”

"Our incentive program, "MAX the VAX" has helped us move the needle a little bit. We started out with vaccination rates that were lower and we almost doubled those rates for students,” said Dean of College of Science & Health at Missouri Western State University, Crystal Harris.

Missouri Western finished up their MAX the VAX program, giving students and staff a chance at incentives withing the University, helping encourage vaccination. 

With approximately 30% of students fully vaccinated and 85% of employees.

"We were happy with that part but we know we’ve got a lot of ways to go,” said Harris.

Meanwhile up the road in Maryville, the Bearcats also finished up their incentive program.

Northwest with 57% of students and 67& of employees reporting vaccination. 

“Chances are those numbers are slightly higher, and we worked hard both promoting, educating and then incentivising," said Dawe.

Both universities reported a drop in cases, with Missouri Western even going more than 2 weeks without a new positive case, ending their mask mandate.

"The positivity rates were down and we were looking at many different factors so we know on campus we were doing quite well," said Harris.

While neither school has the plans currently to do more vaccine incentives for students and employees, they do both plan on encouraging and making information available about the vaccine. 

“We are still every day, educating, and promoting for more people to get vaccinated to try to have as many as we possibly can," said Dawe.

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It was a pleasant start to the weekend with sunny skies and temperatures reaching the mid 60s. A cold front moving through the area will bring us down into the 30s for lows overnight with gusty winds up to 20 mph. This will keep our highs in the 50s on Sunday under mostly sunny skies with mild winds from the southwest. Temperatures will quickly start to warm up again on Monday with highs in the mid 60s. Rain chances look to stay minimal into next week. Temperatures are forecasted to stay above average for the first day of December on Wednesday.
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