AUBURN, Ala. (EETV)- On Friday January 29th, 2021 a panel was held to allow Auburn’s student media organizations to ask questions about Auburn’s COVID-19 guidelines and regulations along with administration’s plans for vaccination and Auburn’s own Sentinel Testing Program. The panel was composed of Auburn’s leading experts on COVID including Dr. Frederick Kam, the director of Auburn University’s Medical Clinic, Dr. Kimberly Braxton Lloyd, Associate Dean of the Harrison School of Pharmacy, and Mike Clardy, Assistant Vice President for Communications and Marketing. 

Dr. Kam started off the panel by discussing how proactive Auburn was in obtaining vaccines for the campus noting that Auburn has given out over 5,000 vaccinations by the time of the call. Auburn has both the Pfiezer and Moderna vaccines, Pfiezer needs a 21 day grace period between doses and can only be stored in an Ultra-cool freezer (which Auburn had obtained in anticipation of the vaccination) while Moderna can be stored in a regular refrigerator and has a 28 day grace period between doses. Auburn received 3500 doses on January 6th with a secondary delivery of 3500 doses more shortly after. One of the main reasons why Auburn received so many vaccine doses was because of a Phase plan laid out before receiving the vaccinations for distributing the vaccines that is by making an appointment to which is invitation only.

Dr. Braxton Lloyd was able to share more information on the purpose of the Sentinel Testing Program, which is to hopefully identify clusters of COVID-19 through randomly selecting students, employees, and faculty of Auburn to get tested. The program will have various free giveaways to encourage students who receive invitation emails to participate in the program. These giveaways include a navy blue or orange “Let’s Test” t-shirt, a facemask, or a lapel pin as well as a chance to enter a drawing to receive cool things like an autographed ball or an exclusive tour of the campus.

The COVID-19 restrictions placed on campus are put in place to protect everyone in Auburn from the coronavirus. These restrictions include wearing your mask both outdoors and indoors while on campus, keeping up with good hygiene by washing hands frequently, and limiting on-campus events to 50 people or less. With the fear of new strains of COVID-19 on the rise, many students at Auburn are worried about the best ways to react. Dr. Kim explained that the preventative measures stay the same with all strains of the coronavirus stating you should be “far more cognizant of what kind of mask you're wearing” and to ensure that the masks being worn on campus are ones recommended by health professionals.

If you or anyone you know are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 be sure to reach out to the University Resource Center. They can be contacted at 334-844-6000 as well as by email at covidresourcecenter@auburn.edu.