It’s a simple message: Let’s keep doing what we’re doing.

While case numbers are low on campus and in the Joplin area, COVID hasn’t gone away, says Julie Stamps, family nurse practitioner and director of Missouri Southern’s Willcoxon Health Center.

“I think some of (the low numbers) has to do with the tiers of eligible people who have been vaccinated starting in December,” says Stamps. “I also think it’s because we have not had a major holiday since Christmas and we’ve had a high amount of people who have had (COVID) already.”

She says the UK variant of the virus has become the most dominant strain in the U.S.

“It’s more contagious,” she says. “The other concern is that it’s easier to get infected.”

It’s key to maintain the social mitigation strategies that have been put in place across campus.

“People should realize that there are still positive cases in our area,” says Stamps. “We need to keep doing what we’re doing.”

As of April 9, the vaccine is available to all students and employees.

If you are interested in receiving the vaccine, send your name, date of birth, phone number and address to The health center will contact you to set up an appointment.