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. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Huda Sharaf
Medical Director, Pat Walker Health Center 

Archive

February 8, 2021 Vaccination update: Second doses planned January 27, 2021 Recording of panel discussion available January 26, 2021 Appointments for new groups of employees January 22, 2021 Appointments required for vaccination January 22, 2021 Panel to discuss respons, vaccine rollout January 21, 2021 Eligibility letters sent to employees January 16, 2021 Patience requested, Phase 1-B will take time January 13, 2021 Most employees eligible for vaccination January 5, 2021 Drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic December 16, 2020 Spring COVID-19 Response Guide November 20, 2020 Get tested before the break October 8, 2020 Staying the course after Thanksgiving September 30, 2020 Drive-thru flu vaccines September 22, 2020 Cases decline September 16, 2020 On-campus events resume September 9, 2020 Contact tracing, self-reporting September 4, 2020 On-campus events suspended September 2, 2020 Self-reporting, reporting violations, dashboard August 31,2020 COVID-19 testing, drive-thru clinic August 20, 2020 Health kits distibution August 14, 2020 Keep Teaching resource launches July 17, 2020 Masks required June 1, 2020 Return to Campus Guide May 22, 2020 Fall plans being finalized May 12, 2020 Essential research allowed May 4, 2020 CARES Act funding distribution plans April 30, 2020 Looking ahead to the fall April 20, 2020 CARES Act April 8, 2020 Credits, tuition, commencement April 2, 2020 Determined to help March 25, 2020 Adjusting to a new normal (video) March 23, 2020 First COVID-19 case involving U of A community March 18, 2020 First COVID-19 case reported in NWA March 12, 2020 In-person classes suspended March 11, 2020 University travel suspended March 11, 2020 First COVID-19 case reported in Arkansas