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COVID-19 Task Force Community Update for November 2023

November 16, 2023

All Employees and Students,

As we approach the Thanksgiving break, the COVID-19 Task Force would like to share some crucial reminders regarding COVID-19 safety measures.  While we’ve been fortunate with minimal reported cases among students and employees, continued vigilance remains paramount.  

Cold and Flu Season

Health officials are warning us of a possible surge in respiratory illnesses this fall and winter including COVID-19, flu, and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). With this in mind, we wanted to remind everyone that it is more important than ever to get the newly updated COVID-19 vaccine.  It has been available since September and it is offered at your local CVS and Walgreens Pharmacies.  And, don’t forget to get the flu vaccines ahead of the holidays.  Also important is to wash your hands regularly and stay home when you are sick.

Pick up a Rapid Test Before You Leave for the Holiday 

Before departing for the holiday, we encourage you to pick up a free rapid/antigen kit or two from designated campus locations. This is a proactive step toward ensuring a safe return to campus. You may want to consider taking a precautionary test before returning to campus.  Rapid tests are available in:

  • Health Services, Student Life, Public Safety and at the Ryan Center: Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
  • Hatch Learning Commons: Monday –Thursday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday & Saturday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM, and Sunday 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Before You Return to Campus

For your safety as well as others, we recommend that:

  1. If you begin to experience COVID-19 symptoms during the holiday, please avoid returning to campus.
  2. If symptomatic, take a rapid/antigen test and wear a mask around others. 
  3. If you test positive, follow isolation guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  4. Consider taking a precautionary test before returning to campus, even without symptoms.
  5. Ensure that you are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines and the annual flu shot.  
  6. Remember to maintain regular hand hygiene and consider wearing high-quality masks, especially in crowded indoor spaces, to reduce risks.

Wishing everyone a safe and joyful Thanksgiving. We eagerly anticipate your safe return to campus.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our campus community safe and healthy.

The COVID-19 Task Force