March 23: The Campus Brief
Dear Campus Community,
We are happy to share that we are updating our mask guidance in light of the latest declines in COVID-19 case numbers and new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our UF Health experts.
We are fortunate that we have entered a quieter period of the pandemic. With transmission now at low levels in the community, and given that most people are now vaccinated and many boosted, the University of Florida is again adjusting its approach for this next phase of the pandemic. Starting this week, you’ll begin to see new signs on campus reflect an adjustment to our mask messaging. These will indicate masks are welcome and express support for those who wish to continue to wear them for their safety or the safety of others, in contrast to our previous approach of expecting and/or strongly encouraging masking.
At our UF Health campuses, we will adopt the use of these same signs in non-clinical spaces, such as academic and research areas of our academic health center’s health colleges that do not involve interaction with patients. For now, masks will continue to be required in patient-facing areas of our hospitals and clinical practices.
Note that we will continue to closely monitor the pandemic as we’ve done for the past two years, and should the situation change, we may update our approach and/or introduce measures if deemed to be medically sensible. We also encourage you to be sensitive to and patient with the preferences of those around you.
As we’ve shared before, UF is now treating COVID as we do other contagious illnesses such as the flu so that we can move toward an environment that treats COVID as a present-day virus, one that rises and falls in number of cases. This means we as a university must also continually monitor our environment and change along with it.
And as always, if you feel sick, please stay home. Follow guidance from the CDC, the Florida Department of Health and UF Health. Please be reminded that testing is available on campus and can be scheduled at ONE.UF.
Thank you for your continued support as we strive to make our campus a community of caring.
David Bloom, Faculty Senate Chair; Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, UF College of Medicine
Joe Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charlie Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Michael Lauzardo, Associate Professor of Medicine; Deputy Director, Emerging Pathogens Institute
D’Andra Mull, Vice President for Student Life
David R. Nelson, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, UF & President, UF Health
David Norton, Vice President for Research
Win Phillips, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/index.html
UF Health: coronavirus.UFHealth.org