Dear Faculty and Staff,
As we wrap up our first week of the spring semester, we’d like to thank our faculty and staff who have worked so hard to make sure our students have every opportunity to succeed, whether in the classroom or online. We understand the transition to more in-person class sections has been a heavy lift and a team effort across the university.
In particular, we’d like to recognize our team at UF Health as well as those across our academic and administrative units who deserve a great deal of credit for getting us off to a strong start and creating the safest possible campus environment, balancing schedules for in-person versus virtual classes, opening residence halls and campus facilities early, planning pre-semester programming that paved the way for COVID-19 testing ahead of our Jan. 10 start, carrying out widespread testing and vaccination efforts, and bringing the effective use of Hyflex technology into our classrooms.
As of Thursday afternoon, UF Health’s Screen, Test & Protect had performed 27,000 COVID-19 tests since Jan. 3. Of the 17,308 people tested in the prior seven days, the COVID-19 positivity rate was 1.5%. Students who are taking in-person classes, who reside in residence halls, or who live or have a meal plan in Greek housing will continue to be tested every two weeks in order to remain cleared for campus. Additionally, all students, faculty and staff will receive a weekly health screening questionnaire and can schedule tests at [One.UF.edu]One.UF.edu.
Simultaneously, our efforts to vaccinate people are ongoing, with more than 30,000 doses distributed across our health campuses in Gainesville, Jacksonville, and Central Florida as of 8 a.m. Thursday. We are also offering vaccines to UF Health patients in Alachua County ages 65 and older who have accessed their electronic health record, MyUFHealth (also referred to as MyChart), in the past three years as well as providing support to the state Department of Health in Alachua County as it proceeds with local efforts to vaccinate the broader community. The categories of people who are eligible for the vaccine are likely to expand in the coming weeks and months as the supply increases. More information about COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, behavioral expectations, and campus operations related to COVID-19 are available on [Coronavirus.ufl.edu]Coronavirus.ufl.edu as well as UF Health’s Screen, Test & Protect page.
In the history of this university, there have been few times when it’s been necessary to come together with our current levels of community, resilience and focus. We appreciate all you are doing to make our Spring 2021 a success.
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