Dear RVU Family:
As this challenging year is coming to an end, we are all heavyhearted to see that the COVID-19 situation in our nation and both of our states is actually worse than when the pandemic first started.
The past 30 days has been the worst period for COVID-19 case counts at RVU, with 40 confirmed positive cases plus 18 cases awaiting test results. The positive cases included 6 employees and 34 (12 pre-clinical and 22 clinical) students who became infected. We now have a cumulative case count of 85 people testing positive, which represents a 5.20% infection percentage of our entire RVU family. Our hearts and thoughts are with all who are afflicted. We are very fortunate and grateful that we have not lost anyone to the virus. We are also very appreciative of our very hard-working Contact Tracers - thank you.
Updates for this week are as follows:
- COVID-19 Vaccine: The FDA approved the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine 1 for Emergency Authorization Use on December 11. The Moderna vaccine is expected to gain approval today as well. Shipments of the Pfizer vaccines have arrived at many hospitals and vaccinations for healthcare personnel began in those hospitals this past week.
The ACIP has made recommendations for phased allocations of COVID-19 vaccines 2, however the CDC nor the White House has officially adopted those recommendations. Each state will determine their own vaccine roll-out plan including the sequence of vaccine recipients. The Colorado vaccination plan can be found here and the Utah plan can be found here. These plans are different, which makes it challenging to coordinate both campuses equally and simultaneously. However, we are determined to give every member of our RVU family the opportunity to get vaccinated as soon as possible either classified as healthcare workers or essential workers.
- What Clinicians need to know about the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine - December 13, CDC
- Phased allocation of COVID-19 vaccines - December 1, CDC
- Advocating for our students: RVU leaders are actively reaching out to state officials and hospital executives to advocate COVID-19 vaccinations for our clinical students to be included in the first phase of the vaccine rollout plans. The challenge upon us is to convince the states that healthcare students involved in the care of patients should be classified as healthcare workers.
- MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine causes female sterilization.
FACT: There is no mention of sterility, fertility, or reproductive issues at all in published research data. Pregnant subjects were not included in this study and women who became pregnant during the trial were removed. While, reproductive data does not exist, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports vaccination efforts and recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals. Source
The CRT’s top priority is the safety and health of our RVU Family. With that said, one of the highest priorities for all the leaders of RVU, which includes faculty and staff, is the care and success of our students. We are all in this together and we will all be successful together.
Please be careful and take good care of yourself and others in your circle, especially as you make plans for the upcoming holidays.
COVID-19 Response Team