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September 11, 2020 | COVID-19 Response Team Update

September 15, 2020
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September 11, 2020 | COVID-19 Response Team Update

Dear RVU Family,

Now that Labor Day is behind us and fall is upon us (actually feels like winter in Colorado), it’s time to remember that flu season is coming. Seasonal flu activity usually begins in October and typically peaks between December and February. The upcoming flu season, along with the pandemic, pose a double threat to our health and community. In an effort to concomitantly combat the flu, RVU is strongly encouraging students and employees to receive their flu vaccine. Both campuses will be offering flu vaccines this month. Please review the email from Tiffany Mahaso (CO) or Dr. Park (UT) sent on September 8.

Other points of information to share this week includes:

  • RVU has had 1 positive COVID-19 case on the CO campus this month, which was a preclinical student who became infected while traveling outside the state. Contact tracing and appropriate measures were taken to prevent any risk of on-campus spread. We are doing a good job of following guidelines while on campus! Let’s also do the same while we are off campus.
  • The United States has dubbed the COVID19 vaccine development as ‘Operation Warp Speed’.    They are helping to fund 3 of the current 211 vaccines worldwide in development that show the most promise.  Those 3 vaccines are being developed by Moderna with its mRNA vaccine, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca with its non-replicating viral vector, and BioNTech and Pfizer with its mRNA vaccine. While there is some rhetoric about having a vaccine ready in the next few months, Dr. Fauci of the NIAID is optimistic that we may have a safe and effective vaccine in early 2021. The next great challenge will be getting the American population actually vaccinated.
  • MYTH: If every person in a group is completely asymptomatic, it is not dangerous for us to get together for events.

FACT:  The CDC estimates up to half of COVID-19 infections come from people who show no symptoms- infected people who are either asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic. Therefore, wearing masks, social distancing and avoiding gatherings as much as possible is still the strong recommendation at this time.

  • The CDC has updated its information regarding how to select, wear and clean your mask. Read about it here. Please note that masks consisting of two or more layers are recommended. Also, the CDC does not recommend the use of gaiters or face shields.

Please enjoy your weekend. Stay safe, healthy and remember to take time for self-care. As always, thank you for keeping us RVU Strong!

Professionally yours,

COVID-19 Response Team

 

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