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COVID-19 Incentive Program: Arkansas University’s Initiative Successful In Preventing Infections

According to Pfizer, the COVID-19 Vaccine is for Children ages 5 to 11. (Photo: Getty Images)

Arkansas’ colleges seem to be winning their fight against COVID-19. COVID-19 infections have decreased on college campuses throughout the state, according to health authorities.

For the last month, the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS) has recorded single-digit covid cases every week.

Facade of Vol Walker Hall in the historic core of the University of Arkansas campus, Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Photo by Brandonrush via Wikimedia Commons)

According to the university’s website, during the week of Oct. 2-8, zero positive student cases were reported via campus testing, three positive student cases who self-reported. Arkansas Department of Health testing recorded two positive student cases. There were no documented instances involving teachers.

On Wednesday, UAFS chancellor Dr. Terisa Riley informed members of the UAFS Board of Visitors that the university administration was pleased to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester, but that they were doing all possible to keep them safe.

Arkansas University Credits Incentive Program For Declining COVID-19 Case

Officials credited the low case counts everyone taking measures like wearing masks inside seriously, as well as this new vaccination incentive program.

Chris Kelly, director of marketing and communications at UAFS, told 5News the result is promising. He went on to say that the officials made the initiative to help children understand more about the vaccination, see the advantages of the vaccine, and then make the best choice for themselves.

In late September, the Lion Vax program began. So far, 800 students have shown interest. Students who have been vaccinated and want to participate are put into draws for prizes such as iPads, lion dollars, and bookstore vouchers.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 Vaccine: More Than 140 Fully Vaccinated Oregon Residents Died After Receiving Pfizer Jab

The Arkansas Department of Health’s Dr. Jennifer Dillaha says college campuses have done an excellent job of monitoring cases and restricting the spread. She says the statistics look excellent across college campuses. But she warns people not to relax since flu season and the holidays are approaching.

According to its dashboard, the University of Arkansas Fayetteville is likewise reporting single-digit new cases, with just five new cases this week and a total of 20 current cases. According to the university, their vaccination incentive scheme has been a success, with 17,000 students registering so far.

University of Arkansas Still Required Students, Employees To Wear Mask

TB&P said the University of Arkansas system decided to keep the mask requirement for students and employees in place before the fall semester started in August. The UA Board of Trustees approved a mask requirement on all UA system campuses on August 11. In interior settings where social distance is impossible, this requirement compels all professors, staff, students, and visitors to wear masks.

To encourage students to get anti-COVID-19 jabs, UAFS launched a vaccination incentive campaign with rewards including $1,000 university scholarships, iPads, and $300 retail vouchers. According to UAFS, officials introduced the “Lions Vax” initiative in an email on September 2. They launched the program as part of many other COVID safety measures under the UAFS Protecting The Pride strategy.

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