November 6, 2020 by
Richard L. Page
Dear Larner Community,
COVID-19 is surging throughout the country and cases are rising in our state. Although we have done extraordinarily well in Vermont up until now, we must redouble our efforts to protect ourselves and those around us.
Simple, evidence-based principles for public health remain in place and can control this pandemic. These are especially important as you plan for the holidays:
- Six-Foot Spaces - Are people staying at least 6 feet away from each other?
- Masks on Faces – Are people wearing face masks when they cannot keep a 6-foot distance?
- Uncrowded Places – Is there enough space to spread out? Is it outside or is there good air flow (open windows or doors)?
For up-to-date information and guidance, the Vermont Department of Health has further improved its dashboard and weekly summaries that cover many current topics.
If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, it's not too late! See the Vaccine Finder if you still need one.
Success for our campus community is based on a strategy that provides for weekly PCR tests for asymptomatic individuals. This is mandatory for all students (including Larner medical and graduate students residing in the area) and optional for all faculty and staff. I strongly encourage all faculty and staff on campus to take advantage of this ongoing opportunity. I do this weekly: it takes under five minutes and is painless. You can sign up through the CoVerified program or app. Note that students are requested by the Vermont Department of Health to take an extra test today or tomorrow even if they had a test following Halloween weekend on November 2nd or 3rd.
These are tough times, and pandemic fatigue is a danger. We’ve done so well by doing the right thing, and we must increase our vigilance. When we wear a mask, and follow evidence-based recommendations, we protect ourselves and those around us. As the state’s only college of medicine, let’s lead the way and show that trust in science, medicine and public health will protect us all.