LAURIE CLABO: Good afternoon and welcome to 
our monthly campus health committee Townhall.   My name is Laurie Clabo I'm the Dean of 
the College of nursing here at being state   and as the campuses cheap health and wellness 
officer. Writing you today to members of the   campus health committee who are unsure in to 
be very familiar to folks who watch us in on   a regular basis. During his first is Doctor 
Tina Coprah. She is Professor of medicine   in the division of infectious diseases here 
and wait state and corporate medical director. Her research interests around epidemiology 
of healthcare associated infections,   infection prevention, enzymatic stewardship and 
immunization. Teena Chopra is a very valuable   member of the health committee. Up next is 
Doctor Ramona Benkert. She for academic and   clinical affairs in the College of nursing. She 
is a leader in the ministration and management   of the campus health centre, has been an 
adult nurse practitioner for 30 years.   Her research interests around medical mistrust 
and again, she is integrally valuable member of   the campus health committee. I'm grateful to 
both Tina and Ramona for being with us today. To get us started, a lot is changing in the city 
of Detroit since the last time we talked and just   on campus this week.

We have said all along 
the campus health committee and the University   leadership monitor a number of metrics in our 
local area as well as on campus on a weekly basis.   We have published a serious– series of triggered 
metrics which reached provides us to take a series   of actions and we report those triggered metrics, 
our testing rates and positivity rates on the   canvas Help Center COVID-19 dashboard every 
monthly. Weekly data is published by noonish.   This week on Monday, the city of Detroit 
reached a positivity rate of 16.1% over   the previous seven days and that caused us 
to do a deep dive, and make a call to the   University leadership to talk about 
what the appropriate steps are. While it was at the time, the only trigonometric, 
to be triggered it says merits our attention   so you saw on Tuesday, a message from President 
Wilson to the campus community that is posted   on the coronavirus website and the link has 
just been provided at the bottom of the screen.   Moving some nonessential campus functions   to a more remote operation, where it is prudent 
and possible.

This is simply a step to try to   reduce the volume of people on campus for a 
period of time, until city rates stabilize. As of today that ten-day positivity rate in 
the city of Detroit has dropped considerably   to 12.1%. We are still following cases on campus 
which are higher they have been in the past,   and the positivity range on campus which is 
also higher than it has been in the past. Both   things we anticipated, as a result of Thanksgiving 
travel, you'll member last time we were all   together you can remember that we talked about 
the anticipated spike at Thanksgiving and we   have seen that. But we are going to keep a 
very close eye on that data moving forward. Lots of questions about commencement and I do just 
want to emphasize for students who are listening   to us today, that the on-site commencement planned 
for December, for mid-December, are likely to   occur, after this Bob has subsided we inspect 
that it will subside long before then, and we   have taken a variety of measures to make sure that 
those ceremonies are sitting.– Safe.

A little   smaller and shorter than usual and a variety of 
mitigation methods including making sure that   guests attending commencement are vaccinated. We 
have every reason to believe that commencement is   going to go ahead as planned. We are encouraged 
and optimistic that it will happen this plan. So   don't be worried about commencement. We know how 
important that event is in a student's career. So, we are full of questions today and   a lot of them centre around booster 
shots. So I'm going to start with you   Teena Chopra. In the first question we have 
been asked is is there any data on differences   in side effects or negative reactions from the 
different boosters? DR. TEENA CHOPRA: Thank you   for having me today that is a great question. The 
side effects from boosters are going to be exactly   very similar to what effects you had with your 
primary series.

With the first or the second those   so you're going to react very similarly to how 
you did with the primary series and they are   very much limited to pain, fatigue, slight 
beavers, chills, which will last for a day   or so and then will be back to normal so they are 
very similar to the same reactions. LAURIE CLABO:   Thank you. I'm going to keep you here. Next one 
is related to that. Can I skim my booster? Or   should I wait until there's a new booster which 
is guaranteed to work against the emerging new   variant.

DR. TEENA CHOPRA: Another great 
question. I would highly recommend, as an   infectious disease physician and epidemiologist 
that you get your booster shots because there's   evidence that there is waning immunity with the 
primary Terry's vaccines over time and we have   seen from data from the US, from other countries, 
that there is waning immunity. That is why we are   seeing the Delta variant here Detroit and in 
this particular search, even in vaccinated   individuals were more than six months out of 
their vaccination, leave vaccinated individuals.   So I would highly recommend that you take your 
booster, even if we are seeing omicron variant.   I was doing at the booster, even if we are not 
sure with her about the booster is going to be   effective against the variance.

We know that these 
boosters and these vaccines are very effective   against preventing severe disease and death and 
serious syllables– illness and hospitalization   from COVID. I would not skip the booster. LAURIE 
CLABO: So the next question, we ask you to get   your crystal ball and predict the future. Which is 
not anyone's favourite activity but do you think   it is likely that we are going to need annual 
COVID-19 boosters? DR. TEENA CHOPRA: I think   the answer to that is yes. Because you know the 
fact that globally, there is such a high amount   of vaccine inequity and the virus is getting a lot 
of chances to adapt and to develop more variance.   The adaptation is happening because not all of us 
are vaccinated.

The entire globe is not vaccinated   and since the virus is adapting, we also have 
to adapt and our adaptation is getting the   vaccination. So, to answer your question. Yes, we 
may require an annual COVID-19 shot. Which will   also, maybe, a newer shop will be developed 
with other variance in it that may happen.   We are already hearing that from (indiscernible). 
And it may be required or it may be present,   because of the variance it may be very useful 
for us as a society to move on with life.   LAURIE CLABO: I'm sorry. It would be a meeting 
if somebody didn't do it so today is me.   One of the questions is one about teenagers who 
are vaccinated last spring. And he thought that   they will need to get a boosters in? DR. TEENA 
CHOPRA: That is another great question. I would   wait for CDC recommendations and more data on that 
age group.

As of now, according to CDC adults more   than 18 years of age if you're more than six 
months out of your original vaccination, they   recommend a booster because there's emerging data 
on waning immunity in those age groups as well as   the ages of concern as an epidemiologist I would 
say yes, they may required eventually, but we   don't have that recommendation as of yet from 
CDC because we also need more data to back that   recommendation. LAURIE CLABO: And when we talk 
about the duration of immunity and the time since   initial vaccination, I think we often forget about 
the J&J. And CDC recommends now for adults 18 and   older, that they get a booster two months after 
the single dose of JJ. So two months after JJ at   six months after one of the MRNA vaccine.

TEENA CHOPRA: That is correct and that you are   bringing that up because some of us have had the 
J&J vaccine so for us the recommended duration   is two months and those that have had the mRNA 
six months after so you are absolutely correct.   LAURIE CLABO: Next question, I will take 
this on. About the new omicron variant. Is   it this or Delta that is occurring– pushing this 
current Bob in Detroit right now or is this search   worse than others we have had so far? What 
we know about what is happening on campus   is that we are seeing the circulating variant 
is almost 100% Delta variant. You're not seeing   not detected the presence of omicron on campus 
but there is every reason to suspect that now that   this variance is in the United States, it 
will eventually make its way to Michigan and   very likely make its way to our campus.

But there 
is no indication at the moment, that omicron   causes more serious disease and, in fact, some 
early demon that suggests symptoms are even less   severe than those who have become sick as a result 
of the Delta variant. Anything I missed it not?   Ramon? Tina? JADA JACKSON: The only thing 
to mention is that we do know that omicron   is highly contagious and transmits much easier 
as compared to Delta. Again, this new variant,   I would highly recommend that we get our boosters 
also the patient has been diagnosed with omicron   in California have received the two shots 
of the vaccine but not the booster. So   it can escape immunity as well.

So it is very 
important that we get our booster. LAURIE CLABO:   Great. Next question is will the new variant 
show up on our PCR test? And the answer to that   is yes. We do variance analysis on subsample 
of all of the PCR tests that we do on campus   and that would be the same in any other location 
where someone would have PCR variant analysis   and the married analysis will 
detach the omicron variant. Doctor Benkert. People are thinking 
about holidays and travel how scared   should we be this holiday season that we 
appear to be in the middle of fourth wave RAMONA BENKERT:
My guess is that is on the mind of   many people in the audience right now. And also 
this volatility and uncertainty that creates   fear and anxiety in everyone, but I think arming 
yourself with accurate information is really the   first step to help reduce anxiety and fear, 
particularly driving the holidays and any   plans you might have with friends or family.

Doctor Chopra already mentioned, viruses mutate.   Knowing mass and how this virus is acting 
is really no different than other viruses.   And I think that we can still continue to do many 
of the things that we did in prepping for the   Thanksgiving holiday. Wearing masks, getting the 
booster as we have said loud and clear already,   and making sure… If you are ill or maybe you feel 
you are coming down with a cold think it is a cold   to really stay away from family gatherings until 
those symptoms abate.

So I think we take those   smart measures, we can safely perceived with 
holiday plans.– Proceed. LAURIE CLABO: And a   big difference from holiday season last year that 
we have those vaccines available. We are largely   vaccinated community here on campus and that 
gives us one additional measure of confidence. But   you know, I think we have all talked about 
the fact that we are all tired of wearing   masks and that we are starting to see signs 
of mask fatigue and people choosing not to   work best in public settings and then, we 
often– underestimate even with all of our   rapid scientific advancements, the importance 
of masking and reducing the transmission   of her sorcery– inspiratory born illnesses. 
I know that you've been a big proponent of   mastering as an adjutants to best bring. DR. TEENA 
CHOPRA: I totally agree with Ramon on this point   that despite the fact that we are vaccinating and 
also to continue testing.

If we are sick we should   definitely go and get tested so that we can 
get traction for others around us. LAURIE   CLABO: Will put in the plug for the campus 
Help Center on the people that for members   of the Wayne State community there is 
no cost for testing at the campus health   testing– campus Health Center. If you 
think you have the sniffles for allergies,   is a good idea to get tested. Schedule an 
appointment for a test and also remember   that we are testing for the presence of influence 
as well at the same time, when we do our PCR test   at the campus Help Center.

So important that we 
find out whether you have a cold, flu or COVID-19.   Ramona, is at home testing reliable enough 
to get together with family and friends.   RAMONA BENKERT: The rapid testing does not imply– 
amplify the testing of the virus. It is less   sensitive so if you are deciding to take one of 
those one of the things you need to be aware of   is that early phase of infection, like it is 
the first day that you are feeling sniffles   or rhinos it may not be as effective as the 
PCR and you get a false negative. There's a   difference between the type of testing. Some might 
be more accurate than others but roughly they are   about 85% sensitive as compared to PCR 
which is much higher. I would say if   you're getting together with unvaccinated 
family and friends, I think it is important   particularly if you have symptoms or if the 
individuals are unvaccinated that they get tested   and preferably a day or so before, and preferably 
the PCR versus the rapid testing.

So that would   be my recommendation. Use the buy next them for 
our indigent testing at the campus Help Center   and their mixed sensitivity. It is useful, it is 
available and is easy to get over the counter,   however I think it is not as sensitive stop 
so PCR is your best. Her. LAURIE CLABO:   Teena anything to add? DR. TEENA CHOPRA: I totally 
agree with Ramona. Some are better than others but   the time it was you test is extremely important 
and also you know, if you don't have symptoms and   you are testing just to make sure that you are 
okay, even that may not be variable fight like   Ramona mention. LAURIE CLABO: Really really 
good you guys. Thank you both. Doctor Benkert   will booster shots become part of Wayne's COVID-19 
mandate? RAMONA BENKERT: At this time the campus   health committee and upper administration have 
discussed it and there is no plans at this point   to mandate the booster but as you know, just like 
what happened this week, we really watched the   data very carefully and should the data change, 
should CDC or the WHO or any scientific bodies   recommended, we need change that but this point 
notice not a mandate for the winter semester.   LAURIE CLABO: When certain logical question   for those of us who have had our first series 
is if a blister is available and we have seen   the evidence of what a booster dust in 
terms of immunity, they choose to skip?   Why wouldn't antique it advantage of the 
opportunity of is made available.

RAMONA BENKERT:   I noticed talked earlier in the community some 
people are having challenges finding the booster   appointments but you can clearly get 
one from Bee Campus hosted for free.   Just like the testing and I know that we are 
going to take and put the link you can see on the   screen shop or on the screen but you can 
get the booster at the campus Help Center.   There is a link there that you can sign up for an 
appointment or you can call vaccine hotline which   is 577, 5105 and get an appointment. We are also 
going to be offering three booster clinics– free   booster clinics. Some people get their boosters 
before the holidays so we're just trying to   make it clear to the whole campus population 
that if you have been vaccinated a booster is   a really good idea. I'm getting mine on Monday 
at the campus Help Center.

LAURIE CLABO:   And getting your booster is a 
good time to get your flu shot   as well. We talked about that last time, and it is 
safe and effective to get both of them together.   Let's see.… This is a campus procedure busted. We'll fall 
semester finals be held in person or online?   Our direction to you is if you are a 
student, consult with your faculty member.   Some faculty beavers have elected to move some 
of their final exams from what was planned as   on-campus to an online option and they will be 
the best source of information so I would say   for every class you are taking, consult with 
your faculty member individually to make sure   that you note the modality for final exams. And 
a related question is about as winter semester. Are we anticipating that campus is going 
to have normal operations in January for   the winter semester? And the answer is yes.

expectation is that winter semester will proceed   in the way that academic schedule was posted.   So if you are posted to have an impersonal class 
it is expected that will begin in person class,   and as we have done since the pandemic 
began, we will continue to monitor data   on campus and the city admitting changes you will 
hear large broadcast messages, but we have reason   to be optimistic.

So there is an expectation 
that whatever modality you signed up for,   for January, is the modality that you will have. 
Anything to add to that either Ramona or Teena? Will the mask mandate likely be extended 
into the January , the winters semester.   It's probably pretty likely. We will continue to 
watch the data, the word to the ministration is   as long as we remain where the CDC is recommending 
masks in public spaces and there we know that   about three weeks ago the state of Michigan 
is issued a mask advisory for public spaces,   encouraging folks to wear masks while in public 
settings, indoors, we will continue to monitor   the data, and transmission drops below substantial 
in our region we will recommend that we probably   mask mandate as well but we will get there. We 
are not there yet. Spring is a very hopeful time. Someone asked about what of the tipping 
point metrics about campus focuses on.   Those are public and their publicly available 
on And you can look the   metrics they indicate what we do at each level 
of tipping point metrics. They are largely about   the number of cases in the city, on-campus, 
positivity rates in the city, on-campus,   compliance with mitigation measures, like the mask 

And bed capacity. Availability embeds,   hospital beds should people need them. That campus 
health committee looks at the weekly metrics   every Monday, we do follow metrics on a daily 
basis but we publish and we look and publish   metrics as of Saturday at midnight and we 
publish them Monday morning on the campus   health Center website. See you can see them there.
I'm going to ask all of us to take a crack at this   last question because I think it looks the 
way that a lot of people have been thinking.   So it went to gives all a chance to talk 
about our perspectives on this one. Someone   submitted a question that said "I'm feeling a bit 
to beaded. What optimism do you have those of us   who followed the rules during this pandemic, we 
got vaccinated, we practice social distancing,   we are still wearing masks. When 
are things going to get better?". I think that is really good and 
honest question and I really glad   that someone asked it.

Going to take 
a crack at what gives me optimism   and that I'm going to ask my colleagues who are 
swearing that me, what gives them optimism. But,   for me, I think there are a couple of things. 
The first is that boosters are available and that   we are seeing that people have significant 
immune response to a booster vaccine. The   second is the wide availability, now, a vaccine 
for children. Who were previously ineligible   and so, at this year's holiday tables are 
going to be a lot more vaccinated kids   that there would have been at summer events 

And I think that is a reason for optimism. In the third, for me, I think is that 
we are seeing the development of water   very promising therapeutics that will help us 
move COVID-19 from pandemic to endemic states.   Both Merk and Pfizer have requested emergency 
use, and they been granted for Merk first.   In these home, available pills, to take home 
which have substantial impact on, again, reducing   hospitalization and mortality in people 
with COVID-19, remind me a little bit of   and is not a perfect analogy but, influenza and 
(indiscernible) as we learn to be a– manage with   full therapeutics we believe over time COVID-19 
is going to be a less threatening illness in   every instance.

There will still be people who 
have severe negative effects from COVID-19,   the same way that people have severe negative 
effects from influenza, but I think that there   are many sort converging developments, that give 
us real optimism about what the future looks like.   So I will ask my colleagues. Teena,? DR. 
TEENA CHOPRA: I totally agree with you   Lori. I will enter this question philosopher 
… With my philosophy I feel positive that   all of you are getting your boosters 
and masking and talking about getting   your boosters and being so mindful and aware 
of the campus guidelines as well as the   campus… The think that you have put in the campus 
health committee is really a thing that gives me   optimism. Secondly the scientifically speaking, 
what Dean Clabo mentioned, this is not March   2020. This is not, compared to last year's march, 
we are in a much better position. More population   is vaccinated. A lot of us have travelled 
already and have been safe. In addition to that,   we have invented therapeutics like the Dean had 
mentioned. We have a lot of tools in our toolbox   to fight this virus and a lot of tools to prevent 
the virus, and on top of that, a lot of funding to   do more research and surveillance about these 
variants and that's why you note about the   variance before it has come to our country.

all of these things, I think, are giving us a lot   of hope and optimism for the future. LAURIE CLABO:
Thank you. Ramona? You feeling to defeat it? RAMONA BENKERT:
No I'm feeling a   lot more optimistic this holiday season than 
last year. Last year at Thanksgiving and at the   holiday time, my family cancelled everything. We 
sort of cites other on Facebook, or excuse me on   zoom and did soon but this year at Thanksgiving we 
talked with each other about okay who is boosted?   Who is getting tested? Who is not and we all are 
able to eat together at Thanksgiving, safely,   no one has gotten ill and be all had our doses and 
even small children were there who were retested   and are getting their vaccine soon. So I'm hoping 
that this holiday, in December, I will be able to   see them all again so it's more of a personal 
example, I just feel so much better being close   to them having that opportunity.

Some at least from a three bus cannot reason   to be optimistic. This has been a longer slog 
that I think all of us anticipated in March.   But we have also, it's astounding we think about 
the scientific developments that have occurred,   as Teena said and an incredibly short time that 
both effective vaccines were developed gold items,   administered and now effective therapeutics 
beginning to be made more widely available. It is longer than we thought the progress 
has been pretty steep curve and there is   much to be optimistic about. And I think I'm 
actually a point that Teena is set. The safety   of this campus has been a result of everyone, 
faculty, staff, students doing the right thing.   Following mitigation efforts, wearing your 
masks, being careful, getting tested, before   and after travel, before gatherings. Avoiding 
some of those really jampacked public events,   and again, plans for investments that are a 
little different than they were in the past,   but we will be allowed to be in person, safely, 
to celebrate our graduates accomplishments.   There's lots to be hopeful about. RAMONA BENKERT: 
Can I just add I know that we really really want   people to get vaccinated that I will say, since 
I help with the campus daily strainer, I really   feel positive about all those who have made, for 
whatever reasons, decision not to vaccinated.

They   are being careful. People are wearing masks, they 
are protecting themselves with the family so I   think everyone is trying to do the best that they 
could do in this unfortunate situation we are all   in. LAURIE CLABO: I think that is a really good 
point. Thank you. I note that we are out of time   so I would think Doctor Chopra, Doctor bankers, 
thank you all of us for joining us today and   continue to submit questions to health committee 
and Keep your eyes on the coronavirus   page on the University website where we list 
daily conditions and steely strategies required   on campus. We are all in much better 
place than we were this time last year   and we hope that you and your families have a 
safe and wonderful holiday season.

Good luck   at the end of the semester to our students, 
faculty, staff, happy holidays from all of us..



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