Dear Faculty and Staff,
With the number of COVID-19 cases decreasing on our campus and locally, we are grateful for your continued commitment to health habits that minimize virus spread. As we find ourselves a little over a month into the spring semester, we commend our faculty and staff for their continued dedication to providing an excellent academic and research experience for our students.
With testing by UF Health Screen, Test & Protect at an all-time high, we saw a 28% drop from 418 cases to 299 during the first week of February. Further, our campus positivity rate dipped from 2% to less than 1%.
Our campus community’s commitment to mask wearing recently received national recognition in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, which showed that UF led the way in indoor mask compliance among six participating universities. According to the report, 98% of those observed at UF wore a mask, and 95% wore it correctly. It’s important to note that, even among those who have been vaccinated, wearing a mask is among our most effective tools for beating the virus. The decrease in cases is made possible by the strong adherence to mask wearing by our community.
We also wanted to use this note to share with you that HiPerGator AI -- higher education’s most powerful AI supercomputer-- is in operation, with projects related to language processing, quantum chemistry and materials science already underway on the machine. It’s an exciting time as we prepare to offer this resource more broadly for researchers and students across academic disciplines. In addition to facilitating faster and more precise research, UF’s role in making AI widely available will provide unique teaching opportunities and prepare our students for the workforce on a scale that’s unprecedented across the country.
We know this past year has been challenging for all of us. While we have reason to be optimistic, we are genuinely grateful for your continued perseverance, resilience and commitment to the important work of this university.
Joe Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charlie Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
David Norton, Vice President for Research
Win Phillips, Chief of Staff, Office of the President
Michael Lauzardo, M.D., M.Sc., Director, UF Health Screen, Test & Protect