As the spring semester begins amid what many health experts are calling a “tripledemic” of RSV, flu and COVID-19, it’s important to exercise common sense to reduce the spread of illness across campus.
To that end, University of Utah public health leaders urge all members of the campus community to take some simple precautions to limit the spread:
- Stay home if you are feeling unwell.
- Wash your hands often.
- Wear a mask as appropriate.
Students should communicate with their instructors and professors about short-term absences due to illness. If longer accommodations are needed, reach out to the Center for Disability and Access.
“We ask professors to be flexible with students this semester amid the many viruses that are affecting our community,” said Mitzi Montoya, senior vice president for academic affairs. “Supporting our students as they exercise caution and stay home when they are sick will have significant public health benefits for our campus.”
COVID-19 tests are available in self-serve vending machines in the Student Union Building, the School of Dentistry and the School of Medicine A level. Faculty, staff and students can take one free test a week. Individuals living at residential household addresses may also request another set of four at-home tests from the United States Post Office.
Get tested right away if you get sick or have symptoms of COVID-19. If people test positive, public health officials are still recommending they isolate at home for at least five days and then wear a high-quality mask for another five days.
While masks are not required on the university’s main campus, the University of Utah is still a mask-friendly campus. Those who wish to wear masks are encouraged to do so, especially those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Masking is still required in all University of Utah Health clinical facilities.
Receiving the flu or COVID-19 vaccines, or updating your previous COVID-19 vaccine with a booster are additional ways to stay healthy this semester. It’s not too late to get any of these shots. Appointments can be made at the Student Health Center or a local pharmacy.
The most up-to-date information resources and policies can be found at coronavirus.utah.edu.