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COVID-19 on a downward trend in Denton as UNT prepares to offer more booster shots

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The university is preparing to roll out more booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine as Denton County Public Health reports seeing a downward trend in active cases.

As of Nov. 2, there are 10,302 active COVID-19 cases in Denton County. On Nov. 2, 175 new cases were reported, compared to 499 cases on Oct. 4 and 335 on Sept. 2.

“We are hopeful that we will continue with this lower number of cases […] it’s all good signs that things are slowing down regarding the spread of COVID-19,” DCPH Public Information Officer Jennifer Rainey said.

On campus, the week of Oct. 29 ended with 15 positive cases, compared to 96 cases for the week of Sept. 24 and 179 cases for the week of Aug. 27. The university has already started to give out booster shots, and the Student Health and Wellness Center is making preparations for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson doses along with the option to mix and match. Students can find on-campus vaccination locations and times on the COVID-19 vaccine page on the university’s Student Affairs website.

“A lot of folks were asking for mixing and matching and […] that is now approved,” said Kerry Stanhope, assistant director of the Meadows Center for Health Resources. “We’ll be launching registration portals for the Moderna vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson boosters here early next week or the end of next week.”

The university will run separate registration portals for each booster type because there are different criteria for each manufacturers’ booster, Stanhope said. One of the said criteria is when the individual’s last vaccine shot was administered. For Johnson & Johnson, people can get the booster two months after their first dose, while the Pfizer booster requires a waiting period of six months after the second dose.

The university is expecting limited staffing to be a problem as it rolls out these new vaccines.

“We are still limited in staffing so the registration portals will help us determine how many numbers we are looking at so we can try to determine staffing and figure out days that we can provide it,” Stanhope said. “If a student doesn’t want to wait for us or can’t come during the hours that we are going to set up our mass clinic for the boosters, they’re also welcome to go to Denton County Public Health Department.”

Those interested in getting vaccinated in Denton County can find locations and times on the DCPH COVID-19 hub website. While some Denton community members are hopeful in the face of this downward trend, others are skeptical on whether this marks the end of the pandemic.

“Yes, we are on a downward trend, but we are still averaging over 200 cases a day,” said Chad Withers, the general manager of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. “Yes, [cases] are going down, but they are not going down to where they need to be. We’ve aligned ourselves or tried to convince ourselves that so long it’s a downward trajectory, that means everything is alright. But it’s that exact same thinking over the past year that’s gotten us in trouble every single time.”

Sophie Walker, a media arts and creative writing sophomore, shared a similar sentiment of going forward cautiously with the new trend.

“I’m not going to change my behavior […] if the cases are going down, I’m not gonna lighten up on masking or social distancing,” Walker said. “I know if too many people do that, the cases are going to go back up.”

Other VOD Stories

Featured Image: A sign requesting students and staff to wear masks is hung on the door of a classroom in the CVAD building on Nov. 1, 2021. Photo by Julianna Rangel

Article Originally Published by Daniel Herrera on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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