November COVID-19 update – Dallas County moves to Orange level

Dear SMU Community,

Headed into November with cooler weather and the holiday travel season approaching, here’s an update on COVID-19 at SMU.

The COVID-19 risk level has lowered for Dallas County

Dallas County has moved from level “Red” to “Orange”, which indicates a moderate risk of community transmission and follows a decrease in positive cases. Case numbers have steadily dropped in the county and state since a peak in late August.

Likewise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced Dallas County from an area of “high transmission” to “substantial transmission.” This designation means over the past seven days, the county has reported fewer than 100 total new cases per 100,000 people and that the percentage of positive tests is below 10%.

On-campus active cases have remained at a dozen or below since mid-October, and currently, no one is in quarantine or isolation.

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 years old.

Following the FDA approval, the CDC must sign off before shots can be distributed.

While COVID-19 vaccines continue to be available for the campus community – including employee dependents age 12 and older – the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center is will not be providing the vaccine for the 5-to-11 pediatric age group which requires a different dosage and delivery.

SMU Health benefits, however, provide no-cost COVID-19 vaccines through your family doctor or pediatrician or any other site offering the vaccine to 5-to-11-year-olds so many options are available to the SMU community. Campus partner, Urgent Care for Kids, currently only administers the Moderna vaccine which is not yet approved for that age group. When available, more information will be added to the Mustang Strong website to assist the campus community in locating vaccine sites for their young children.

COVID-19 vaccines and the flu shot are available in preparation for the holiday travel season.The Health Center continues to provide the third dose and booster shots along with the annual flu shot. While positive test for COVID-19 at the health center have been minimal recently, cases of the flu and strep throat are on the rise. Vaccinations are recommended, especially before traveling over the Thanksgiving break and Christmas holidays. Flu shots are available on a walk-in basis. Appointments are required for COVID-19 vaccinations.