August 27, 2021 | CRT-Update

August 27, 2021
Covid Resources at Rocky Vista University

August 27, 2021 | CRT Update

Dear RVU Family:

Good news arrived Monday, August 23, when the FDA announced full approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for people age 16 and older. This vaccine will now be marketed under the name Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee).  This FDA approval is a milestone in fighting the pandemic and we hope this approval will instill confidence in the safety and efficacy of this vaccine in preventing hospitalization, morbidity and mortality.

More infectious variants are of increasing concern.  The Delta variant is spreading rapidly across the United States, hitting unvaccinated individuals especially hard and pushing health care systems and providers to the brink in many areas. The recurring stress on our health care system is of great concern.  As the majority of persons reading this email are either directly or indirectly working to benefit our regional and national medical communities, we should all be concerned about the impact of COVID-19.  Again, we hope that the latest news regarding the FDA full approval for the Pfizer vaccine will cause those hesitant to receive the vaccination while under emergency authorization to now be vaccinated.  The more persons vaccinated against COVID-19, the more chance we have to combat this deadly virus and its effects on our lives and livelihoods.  Because of the distribution requirements of Comirnaty, this vaccine will not be available on campus, but is widely available at most Walgreens, Safeways and other pharmacies.  In Utah these are also provided at the Southwest Public Health Department.

Of additional concern are other viruses that increase morbidity and mortality.  Influenza season is starting early this year, with activity already reported in the US.  The CDC and  Rocky Vista University are recommending vaccination against influenza.  To facilitate immunization, the flu vaccine will be available at both campuses beginning next month.

An additional caution for those of you with children or respiratory disorders:  RSV is being reported in our communities.  This virus can cause extreme respiratory distress, morbidity and death.  Please be extra cautious when you are in a crowd or among others with respiratory symptoms - not every fever or cough is COVID-19!

We encourage you to pay close attention to your health care and personal safety.  Please continue to wear a mask in public indoor spaces, wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing when possible.  The CRT remains cautious but optimistic that there is a way to end the pandemic and to return to a new normal.  We appreciate your continued support and ask that you help us in encouraging your loved ones, neighbors and community members to consider COVID vaccination if they haven’t already done so and to practice additional safety measures.

Professionally yours,
The COVID-19 Response Team

The Dawn of a New Beginning

 It has been a long, arduous journey since we packed up our laptops and started to work remotely. We were thrust into the unknown and had to figure out how to carry out the demands of our job. But we did it and we did it well. And we did it without a reduction in our workforce which was so prevalent at other institutions during the pandemic.

 We have learned a lot over the past 15 months. We learned that we are resilient and can do whatever it takes to deliver an excellent curriculum and to serve our students, even if done in a virtual platform. We transitioned to working remotely without missing a beat. It has been a challenge both professionally and personally, but we have persevered - demonstrating that we truly epitomize and embrace our core values of innovation and excellence.

 As a community, we will take what we have learned to make RVU even stronger. And we will celebrate, as we have much to be proud of and look forward to. We will celebrate coming back to campus and be able to have face to face conversations and meetings. We will welcome our new students in person. This year also marks the 15-year anniversary of our university. And of course, as of tomorrow Dr. Forstein will officially take the reigns as our new President. An inauguration is being planned to commemorate and celebrate his presidency.

 As much of a relief it will be to move toward normal, it is important to remember that we are not completely out of the woods yet and we need to remain vigilant. The CRT will continue to meet to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of our community.

We want to thank you all for the part you played in keeping our community safe and in helping us advance to Phase Green. Due to everyone’s efforts, we didn’t have a single reported case of COVID transmitted on campus (we want to keep it that way). We appreciate your timely response to upload your proof of vaccination to get us to herd immunity.

 Please continue to reach out to any individual on the CRT or your supervisor with any questions you may have.

We are excited to begin our transition to our new normal. We hope you have a safe and relaxing 4th of July weekend and look forward to seeing smiling faces on campus soon.

 Stay safe and be well


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