Letter from Dr. Huda Sharaf: January 5, 2021
A message from Pat Walker Health Center Medical Director, Dr. Huda Sharaf
Dear U of A community,
I can’t overstate the obvious — the growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in our area suggest we still have much to do in protecting one another.
Fortunately, we know much more than we did a year ago — and building off our successes from last semester — our campus is more than capable of playing our part as we eagerly await public distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As you prepare for the start of the Spring semester, Pat Walker Health Center asks that you remain vigilant and committed to protecting yourself, your friends and your families. Please review the Spring 2021 COVID-19 Response Guide this week and continue to visit the university's COVID-19 Response site throughout the semester.
Start Your Semester “In the Know”
Testing remains the most effective tool for slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Ongoing community testing — especially of people who aren’t experiencing symptoms — not only helps health officials identify trends in COVID-19 prevalence and transmission but offers you the peace of mind of knowing your COVID-19 status.
As such, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is offering COVID-19 testing for the University of Arkansas campus community prior to the start of classes.
COVID-19 Drive-Through Testing Clinic
Date: Jan. 6-8, 2021
Time: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Parking Lot across from Baum-Walker Stadium (South Razorback Road & West 15th Street)
Bring university ID and health insurance card (if applicable) – There are no out-of-pocket costs for a test.
Read more on Arkansas Newswire.
I strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to attend one of the testing days.
Enhanced Testing Capabilities Available All Semester Long
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Pat Walker Health Center's goal has been to provide the campus community with convenient access to testing resources and support. I am proud to say we have accomplished this with our robust testing program and capabilities.
This semester, PWHC will continue to offer on-campus COVID-19 testing for university students and employees five days a week. Testing is offered in drive-up and walk-up format outside the main health center facility (asymptomatic) and Garland Parking Garage (symptomatic).
Although COVID-19 testing at the clinic still requires an appointment, students, faculty and staff can now schedule their COVID-19 test online at myhealth.uark.edu.
To put it simply: the easiest, most convenient way to get tested for COVID-19 is on campus at Pat Walker Health Center.
Read more about testing and other guidelines and recommendations.
Keep Your Guard Up
The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and this is definitely not the time to let our guard down. I recognize we all are experiencing “COVID-fatigue” but now — more than ever — we need EVERYONE adhering to the safety guidelines of wearing a mask over the nose and mouth, physical distancing, avoiding group gatherings and frequent hand hygiene.
Medical systems across the country are being inundated with more patients, and they are reaching capacity. So please protect yourself and others – including OUR campus and OUR community.
There is light at the end of this tunnel in the form of effective vaccines and once available to our broader campus community, I would strongly encourage you to get vaccinated. Let history teach us what works —previous flu, polio, smallpox and measles pandemics have successfully ended with vaccine administration.
I know we are all anxious to get back to a normal – including me. But until we get to that point, we must stay the course.
I hope you all had a safe, relaxing winter break and wish you all the best this semester.
Dr. Huda Sharaf
Medical Director, Pat Walker Health Center