New Mexico and Covid

PH 200 – Epidemiology
Spring 2021 Midterm Exam
Instructions: The following exam will be graded out of a total of 100 points. Complete your exam using
this document. Yes… you will type your responses directly to this document. You will submit this
document on Moodle. You are strongly encouraged to submit your exam early. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have during your exam. Good Luck, ~Town

• Responses should be clear (e.g., complete sentences, topic sentences for paragraphs).
• Your ideas are the most important thing.
• You are to discuss all aspects of the prompt with emphasis on the epidemiological concepts and or application of epidemiological perspectives.
• To assist your professor in not going blind… keep papers to Responses will be graded based on:
a) Demonstrated knowledge of epidemiologic principles
b) Development of a clear argument supported by appropriate evidence
c) Thoughtful integration the epidemiological concepts and/or application of epidemiological perspectives
Name: Kelsie Lolotai
(Seriously… type your name on the line above!)
In late January 2021, New Mexico Govenor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, announced that schools districts
statewide were to re-open school to all students in mid February 2021. This announcement came at the
same time the Department of Health began canceling vaccination clinics for teachers. The Department of
Health said it was refocusing its vaccine distribution efforts on higher-priority people: residents 75 and
older and those 16 and older with a medical condition that makes them vulnerable to severe illness.
School leaders and teachers have expressed concern and say classrooms won’t open until all teachers and
school administrators who want the vaccine can get it. As of March 1, 2021, K-12 educators and
administrators are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines in New Mexico.
Given the controversy described above, you have been asked to testify for the New Mexico Department
of Education’s Health Committee about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and re-opening k-12
schools. They are asking for your expert opinion on whether it is safe for the public to have K-12 students
return to in-person instruction at their school or if students should continue with remote learning from
home until teachers and school administrators are vaccinated. You will need to decide one way or the
other, but testimony that flips back and forth between a combination is not going to work… so take a
clear stance in your testimony on which decision you think is best and support that decision with
epidemiological evidence. The committee has called upon you to provide your written testimony by
Friday, March 12th at 11:30 am pacific time. The Committee has specifically asked for your testimony to
include the following:
• You will certainly need to describe the person, place, and time characteristics of New Mexico’s COVID-19 cases and how those have changed over time, which should include an epidemiologic curve (which should be included in your appendix, note you need to include the image and not just the link).
• You will also need to describe in detail the available evidence for the impacts of your position on students, school employees, and the families of students and school employees, which should include a discussion on incidence rates and prevalence.
• Finally, you will want to discuss the strengths and limitations of the data you are using.
• You may include additional aspect to your testimony as long as it is epidemiological, supporting
your position, and fits within the page length. Note, you are allowed to have as many appendices
as you like as they don’t count toward your page length.
v. March 12, 2021
Health Committee’s Testimony Specifications • Leave all the instruction sheets on this document.
• Type your testimony starting on page 5 of this document. • Must be typed in Microsoft Word, in Times New Roman, 12 point font, and be double spaced. • Write in an objective, non-emotional style.
• You must cite (in-text) and provide references (end of your testimony) all sources of information that are not your own in APA style. • Grammar and spelling must be correct.
• The length of this exam should be no less than 3 full pages and no more than 5 full pages.
o The cover page(s), references, and appendices do not count toward your page length
• Formatting
▪ 1-2 paragraphs tops
▪ Purpose: To set up the foundation of your testimony, provide necessary background information, and state your position you will be supporting.
▪ Elements • Make your introductory paragraph intriguing. • What background information does the Committee need to know in order to understand your position?
o Summarize any works being discussed
o Define key terms and population
o Describe COVID-19 and its significance
▪ Thesis: State the position of your testimony • The thesis, or argument, is the most important part of your testimony. It tells the committee exactly what you are writing about, and lets them know the point of your testimony. Without a strong and clear thesis, the rest of your testimony will be vague and general. Write your thesis before you structure the rest of your essay. • Your thesis should be a declarative statement and cannot be a question.

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• Your thesis must be tightly focused enough that it can be clearly supported with evidence.
▪ Supporting Evidence Paragraph #1 should address the first bullet of the prompt.
▪ Topic Sentence: This should be an assertion. State your claim that supports your thesis.
▪ Explain Topic Sentence: Do you need to explain your topic sentence? If so, do so here.
▪ Introduce Evidence: Introduce your evidence.
▪ State Evidence: What supporting evidence (reasons, examples, facts, statistics, and/or quotations) can you include to prove/support/explain your topic sentence? Cite your evidence appropriately.
▪ Explain Evidence: How should we read or interpret the evidence you are providing us? How does this evidence prove the point you are trying to make in this paragraph? Can be opinion based and is often at least 1-3 sentences. This is your own voice, do not cite evidence to interpret your evidence.
▪ Concluding Sentence: End your paragraph with a concluding sentence that reasserts how the topic sentence of this paragraph helps up better understand and/ or prove your paper’s thesis.
o Additional Supportive paragraphs #2, 3, 4…
v. March 12, 2021
▪ Repeat above
▪ The second paragraph should cover the second bullet from the prompt.
▪ The third paragraph should cover the third bullet from the prompt.
▪ If you have additional points you want to include… they should follow the same format as above.
o CONCLUSION: SUM UP and explain the “SO WHAT” paragraph
▪ Purpose: Restates your testimony’s overall claim and supporting evidence and
illustrate that you have thought critically and analytically about this issue.
▪ Your conclusion should not simply restate your intro paragraph. If your conclusion says almost the exact same thing as your introduction, it may indicate that you have not done enough critical thinking during the course of your essay (since you ended up right where you started).
▪ Your conclusion should create a sense of movement to a more complex understanding of the subject of your paper. By the end of your essay, you should have worked through your ideas enough so that your reader understands what you have argued and is ready to hear the larger point (i.e. the “so what”) you want to make about your topic.
▪ Your testimony must include a references section that starts on a new page.
▪ You are permitted to use as many appendices as needed.
▪ Appendices often include tables, charts, and figures. For more information on New Mexico and Covid see this:

New Mexico and Covid

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