Spring 2022 Info: Message from PWHC Medical Director Dr. Huda Sharaf : January 17, 2022
Message from PWHC Medical Director Dr. Huda Sharaf
January 17, 2022
As we gear up for Tuesday’s first full day of classes, I wanted to share I few thoughts and reminders.
As you know, we are seeing wide-spread transmission of COVID-19 due to the highly contagious Omicron variant. And while the start of the semester may be challenging, I remain cautiously optimistic that we can weather this current surge and have a successful semester.
I agree with what Chancellor Robinson said in his recent message to campus, that in order to make this work, it will require each of us to do our part.
- First (and most importantly), get your COVID-19 vaccine and/or booster if you’re eligible. We know that illness from the Omicron variant continues to be less severe for those who are vaccinated and appropriately boosted. Pat Walker Health Center continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines by appointment and can be scheduled online at myhealth.uark.edu or by calling 479-575-4451, option 1.
- Secondly, be aware that masks are now required indoors regardless of social distancing. Also be sure to wear a mask correctly and consistently for the best protection. Medical-grade face coverings, such as N95, KN95 or surgical masks, are indeed more effective than cloth coverings, however no matter the face covering you choose, making sure it fits tightly over your nose and mouth to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets is most important.
- When necessary, have a COVID-19 test done. Identifying and isolating individuals positive for COVID-19 remains one of the most important tools in mitigating on-going transmission. COVID-19 testing is available on-campus five days a week, and also available at many off-campus locations. In addition, a walk-up mass testing clinic opens on campus Tuesday, Jan. 18 and will continue through Feb. 18.
- Make sure you are aware of our updated quarantine and isolation guidance as these are crucial steps in breaking the chain of transmission. If you test positive, isolate. Don’t go to class. Don’t go to work. Be proactive and reach out to those you have recently been in close contact with. Don’t be a reason that transmission continues.
These really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone two years into this pandemic. But the truth remains that these are proven mitigation measures. We’ve seen these tools work before, but only if we remain committed and diligent in our own individual efforts.
So, as we all continue to navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape, I simply ask each of you to take a moment and consider the individual measures you can take to help protect yourself and others. Because at the end-of-the-day, prevention starts with what we can control for ourselves.
If you have questions, register for the Spring 2022 Town Hall Discussion planned for Wednesday, Jan. 19.
Thank you and take care,
Dr. Huda Sharaf, MD, FACP
Medical Director for Pat Walker Health Center
Division of Student Affairs | University of Arkansas