AGS COVID Statement
As the host for the 42nd Arkansas Governor's School (AGS) July 5-August 1, Arkansas Tech University is serious about its responsibility to provide a safe learning and living environment for participants in this prestigious program.
We live in uncertain times. The trend lines in the COVID-19 pandemic relative to the number of positive cases and hospitalizations in Arkansas have been positive for the past several months, but medical and public health experts remain cautious as new variants develop and spread. As I write this, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations in Arkansas is at its highest point in more than three months and the Arkansas Department of Health has received reports of positive cases at a similar residential camp for adolescents elsewhere in Arkansas.
As a result, and acting upon recommendations from the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education, I want to share the following safety precautions that will be in place during AGS 2021:
- In order to protect themselves and others, it is highly recommended that all AGS participants and staff members receive a COVID-19 vaccine prior to arrival.
- It is highly recommended that all unvaccinated AGS participants and staff members get tested for COVID-19 three days prior to arrival and not report to AGS if they test positive for the virus. Testing is readily available in Arkansas communities through Arkansas Department of Health units and over the counter tests sold by Walmart, pharmacies and similar locations.
- During AGS, all participants and staff members will submit a daily health self-screening that will check for symptoms of COVID-19 and, in the event that an individual develops symptoms, connect the individual with appropriate resources through the ATU Health and Wellness Center.
- During AGS, participants and staff members will have access to the ATU Health and Wellness Center in the Doc Bryan Student Services Center for COVID-19 testing and information.
- Masks will be made available for any AGS participant or staff member who wishes to wear one. AGS participants and staff members who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are asked to wear masks while on campus at Arkansas Tech and while attending AGS events until July 27. This policy is being administered on the honor system because we will not ask about the vaccination status of any AGS participant or staff member. After July 27, per state law, masks will become optional for all.
As we know from our experiences over the past 15 months, the situation with COVID-19 can and does change rapidly. Please remember that AGS is offering a virtual option for participants who are not comfortable with the on-site option.
We are excited to welcome our AGS 2021 participants to Arkansas Tech on July 5. If you have any questions now, between now and the beginning of AGS or during the four-week program, please contact me at email@example.com and I will be happy to assist you.
See you soon!
Dr. Robin Lasey