Effects of COVID-19 pandemic at MSU discussed online by campus physician

Contact: John Burrow

Studio portrait of Dr. Cliff Story
Dr. Clifton Story (Photo by Russ Houston)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—The executive director of Mississippi State’s University Health Services will share his expertise on the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the university during a question-and-answer series this Thursday.

Dr. Clifton Story, a physician with the John C. Longest Student Health Center, will be interviewed live May 21 at 1 p.m. by Julia Osman, director of the university’s Institute for the Humanities and associate professor of history. The interview will be broadcast on the Institute’s Facebook page and is available to the public.

As part of an ongoing series through the Institute for the Humanities, Osman said this session will offer participants an opportunity to talk directly with a local physician, addressing concerns or questions they have about COVID-19.

“Dr. Story is the chief of medicine at the Longest Student Health Center, so he will have valuable information to share about how the health center has been and will continue to monitor and treat people who show symptoms of the virus,” Osman said.

Osman hopes the interview will explore “the nitty-gritty aspects of the disease—what does getting tested consist of, how long does it take, and what is the process in reporting people who have or have died from the virus?”

“This interview will also speak to how sciences and humanities work together to better inform and educate the public on important matters,” said Osman.

Part of MSU’s COVID-19 team that collects information, advises and assists in making important decisions, Story hopes participants will understand “what it will take to come through this COVID-19 pandemic is the mutual cooperation of all of us.”  

“I have been a part of many meetings and subgroups as this has become more and more complex and challenging,” said Story. “I believe our clinic has a plan that takes many steps to protect us. We are trying to acquire more tests and PPE since 20,000 students might be on campus this fall. We are also looking at screening and contact tracing options.”

Testing for COVID-19 continues to be a vital and important part of any clinic’s plans in dealing with the virus, said Story, who notes the Longest Student Health Center does have antibody tests, or blood tests, used in certain situations.

“The swab test result takes about 48 hours and will be positive or negative. The antibody test involves two different antibodies and those results vary and require a more extensive conversation with the doctor because several factors are important to consider,” said Story.

Story said everyone should closely monitor their own health by “monitoring temperatures, symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, GI symptoms or any other concerns.” He also advises social distancing and the use of masks as per guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mississippi Department of Health.

As part of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Institute for the Humanities promotes research, scholarship and creative performances in the humanistic disciplines and raises their visibility, both within Mississippi State University and the wider community. The Institute is active on social media on Instagram @msstatehumanities, Twitter @Humanities_MSU and Facebook @msu.humanities.institute.

MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,200 students, 325 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs, 14 masters programs, and 27 undergraduate academic majors offered in 14 departments. It also is home to the most diverse units for research and scholarly activities, including natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. For more about the College of Arts and Sciences or the Institute for the Humanities visit www.cas.msstate.edu or www.ih.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.