November 18: The Campus Brief
Dear UF Community,
With many people traveling for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season, we write to raise awareness of several circulating respiratory illnesses.
As has been widely reported, cases of the flu are rising in Florida as well as nationally, with outpatient visits and hospitalizations also beginning to spike. Similarly, COVID-19 cases are increasing locally as new immune-evasive variants circulate and previous immunity wanes. Cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), which is most severe in children, also remain high.
The good news is that we can each do our part to stay well and minimize our chances of infecting others. As always, hand washing, wearing a well-fitted mask and staying home when sick all go a long way to prevent respiratory illness and curb spread. In alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we also recommend getting a flu vaccine and a COVID booster (the bivaliant version) preceding any holiday travel or gatherings. Vaccine appointments are available at the Student Health Care Center as well as at local pharmacies and individual providers. Early access to antiviral treatments for flu and COVID also can play a role in preventing severe illness.
Over the past two years, the UF community has routinely demonstrated its commitment to creating an environment that promotes health, wellness and safety. That sense of responsibility paid off most recently after the emergence of monkeypox in the U.S., which is now on the decline after an increase in vaccinations and decrease in high-risk behaviors.
We ask that each of you do your part to stay healthy and keep others healthy as well. We believe that vigilance will pay off again as we work collectively to alleviate our current spike in respiratory illnesses and ensure we can all enjoy a festive Thanksgiving, a productive end of the semester and restful holiday season.
Joe Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charlie Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
David R. Nelson, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, UF & President, UF Health
David Norton, Vice President for Research
Amanda Phalin, Faculty Senate Chair; Senior Lecturer, Department of Management, Warrington College of Business
Heather White, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
FDA COVID-19 Bivalent Vaccine Boosters: https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-bivalent-vaccine-boosters
Student Health Care Center: https://shcc.ufl.edu/services/primary-care/immunizations/vaccines/