Dear RVU Family,
We hope that you are enjoying this unique and unforgettable summer of 2020! For those of you who missed our live Town Hall session on Tuesday, you can view the recording here. Also attached to this email are our responses to each of the questions typed in during the live session as promised.
Below are some important announcements and reminders:
- Positive Test Reporting Requirements. If you test positive for COVID-19 or believe you may have COVID-19, you are required to report this as per RVU Policy.
- Employees are to contact their direct supervisor, who will then contact HR.
- Pre-clinical students are to contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs (Dr. Roos), who will then notify the Vice President of Academic Affairs (Dr. Told). Students are also recommended to notify their respective Director of Pre-Clinical Education or Program Director.
- Students on clinical externships or rotations are to contact their preceptor and their clinical coordinator, who will then notify the Associate Dean of Clinical Education (Dr. Miller) or the PA Program Director (PA Ruff).
- Department Reintegration Plans. Managers should be conducting reintegration training with their teams now. The purpose of the training is to carefully review the Department Reintegration Plan and the Employee Return to Campus Guide.
- Holiday Campus Closure. Both the CO and UT campuses will be closed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in observance of Independence Day Weekend.
- COVID-19 Symptoms. As cases around the country rises, please know that COVID-19 has a wide range of symptoms from mild to severe and typically appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. You can review the list of symptoms by clicking on this CDC Webpage.
- Isolation vs. Quarantine. If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, you must self-isolate. If you have had close contact with a person who tested positive or who is suspected of having COVID-19, you must self-quarantine for 14 days. You can get further guidance by clicking here.
Thank you for the role you play to keep RVU Strong! We wish you have a relaxing and extra safe Independence Day weekend!
The COVID-19 Response Team
Town Hall Q&A
Are the water fountains completely disabled, or are the water-bottle fill stations still active? If completely disabled, what is the best process for maintaining healthy hydration if on campus for most of the day?
The fill stations for the water bottles will not be disabled and could be used, as they are no touch.
If we travel home, or to another area, for any reason, will there be any restrictions coming back to campus for labs and such if we remain asymptomatic?
We are adhering to the guidelines from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, which is included below:
Maintain Strict Travel Policies
- Continue to monitor the CDC’s Travel Health Notices to support students and staff with family in affected areas.
- Discourage students from traveling anywhere other than home.
- Restrict non-personal, out-of-state faculty and staff travel. o Prohibit out-of-state employee travel without approval by the head of the institution.
- Discourage personal out-of-state travel.
- Inform faculty, staff and students of requirements to self-isolate or quarantine.
Please click the link for the information https://covid19.colorado.gov/isolation-and-quarantine
Does the student dress code remain the same when on campus?
All students are expected to adhere to the RVU dress code whenever they are on campus.
During Phase Blue is mask use mandatory when on campus but outside of the building?
Wearing a mask in the building is required but there is no policy on wearing a mask outside. However, we ask that you wear your mask from and to your parked car on campus grounds. Further, we encourage you to wear a mask when in public if people are around to role model responsible behavior in following public health guidelines.
When will departments be sharing with all faculty and staff what our department reintegration plan is?
You should ask your manager for a copy of your department’s reintegration plan. Managers should be conducting a training session on the reintegration plan and employee return-to-campus guidelines.
The medical director of Dixie Regional said the ICU almost exceeded its 32 bed capacity earlier in the week, a third of those due to COVID, and "nearly ran out of the availability of those who help operate [ventilators]". They were close to opening a temporary "surge" ICU that may be able to accommodate up to 89 ICU beds. (6/26 an article posted on stgeorgeutah.com). At one point near the start of the pandemic, it was mentioned that RVU-SU might be used to support patient care needs at Dixie. What is the state of that option?
Dr. Park communicates with Dr. Carroll and other Intermountain leaders regarding COVID-19. DRMC has a surge plan, a contingency plan, and a back-up contingency plan. It is highly unlikely that DRMC will need our help in patient care, but we are willing to help should they ask.
Do you have any insight into the low specificity/usefulness of antibody testing?
Antibody testing is a useful tool in population epidemiology for finding out the proportion of ‘immune’ people. With regard to COVID-19, a recent Cochrane review suggested that the current tests being utilized in the US have a sensitivity of 90% if the test is run 15-35 days after symptoms develop. It is much lower if checked in the first two weeks of symptoms. However, caution should be used in this review as the studies cited by the authors were small and sometimes missing crucial information which they themselves disclosed. It also must be mentioned that positive PCR testing is used as a control and those commercial PCR tests are not very sensitive. There have also been reports of significant antibody cross-reactivity to non COVID-19 coronaviruses that have nothing to do with the current pandemic. Based on these issues as well as the rather small proportion of the US population that is deemed antibody positive, it is hard to say what type of useful information can be gained from testing antibodies at this time. It may turn out that antibody testing will be more important if a neutralizing vaccine can be produced and delivered.