Dear Campus Community,
It’s sometimes hard to reflect on history when we’re still living it. All the more reason for us to take a moment to pause and think about how far we’ve come, and to thank you for all you’re doing.
We’re about eight months in, and it’s understandable that many are growing weary of the pandemic and even of taking proper precautions. Yet this is the time we must renew our commitment to looking out for each other — and especially for those most vulnerable among us.
Our approach has been working because many of you are continuing to do the right thing. You are wearing face coverings, physically distancing and frequently washing your hands. You are avoiding large social gatherings. And you are encouraging others to do the same, because hey, we’re all in this together.
Despite the challenges of these recent months, it’s important to remember this pandemic will end. The medical cavalry is on the way, with dozens of vaccine candidates and new therapies in development, in the largest scientific effort the world has ever seen. But we have to be patient. While we wait for these game-changing developments to become reality, let’s encourage one another to stick with what works: Continue to follow healthy habits, and stay home and get tested if you are sick or were in contact with someone with COVID-19.
These simple steps help us limit the spread of the infection from lower risk people, who may be more socially active, to others who may have conditions that might put them at risk of getting more seriously ill. You may not be at high risk yourself but those with whom you have contact may be at risk of getting really sick.
Want a test? You can get one.
Testing on campus has never been easier. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to complete a weekly COVID-19 screening questionnaire through UF Health Screen, Test & Protect. And regardless of whether you have symptoms, you can schedule a saliva test at no out-of-pocket cost to you. We are continuing to expand testing slots at our O’Dome and Hull Road locations. It’s fast and convenient.
How to get tested:
- Go to one.uf.edu
- Complete the screening questionnaire again.
- Schedule the test within the next two days, and results will be emailed to you no later than 48 to 72 hours after your test.
Our new COVID-19 Data Dashboard
You can see current trends here at the new COVID-19 Data Dashboard we recently unveiled as part of our continuous effort to provide information in the clearest and most thorough way possible.
The data now display key information in a more visual way and better reflect current trends in testing and case results, providing the most complete, accurate, meaningful and easy-to-understand picture possible regarding what is occurring in the campus community at a given point in time.
It’s important to note that we see no evidence of widespread transmission of the disease in academic settings like classrooms or laboratories.
Planning, prudence and preparation
Know that we are diligently and continually monitoring the situation on campus and evaluating whether there is anything else we can or should be doing. The safety and health of our university community are paramount. We want you to know our team here at UF Health is looking out for you. Together, and with planning, prudence and preparation, we can continue to fulfill the academic mission of the university.
So, keep looking out for one another as we all look forward to the end of this difficult time. We will get there sooner, and safer, together.
As always, please visit the Screen, Test & Protect website for more information and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of any help at all.
Michael Lauzardo, MD, MSc
Director, UF Health Screen, Test & Protect
Deputy Director, Emerging Pathogens Institute
Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine
UF College of Medicine