Baggott: Campus COVID-19 update for employees
The message below was sent to all employees on Oct. 29.
To our employees,
Across the state and in Dane County, COVID-19 hospitalizations and new COVID-19 cases are at record highs. While campus case counts and positivity rates have trended lower than county and statewide levels, there is increased risk that our employees will come into contact with COVID-19 through community spread.
Over the past two weeks, we have observed an increase in employee case counts and employee test positivity rates. Consistently, evidence shows we have not experienced viral spread in any of our academic and research spaces. Our contact tracing suggests that most individuals appear to have contracted the virus through activities and events in their personal lives. We are urging everyone in our campus community to continue following campus safety protocols while redoubling their personal efforts to limit disease transmission and keep one another safe.
I am asking our community to:
- Avoid gatherings with anyone not in your immediate household, especially indoors.
- Follow all campus safety protocols and take extra precautions in your activities off and on campus, including:
- Wearing masks when in public and near others you don’t live with;
- Maintaining at least six feet of distance between you and others you don’t live with, even if you’re wearing a mask;
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for more than 20 seconds, or with hand sanitizer if washing isn’t possible
- Continue to take advantage of no-cost COVID-19 testing on campus, including pedestrian and drive-up testing options.
- Join the more than 17,000 faculty, staff, and students who have already gotten a flu shot. Find a location near you.
As we approach Halloween and Election Day, be sure you navigate safe participation in both events.
I know this fall has not been easy, and we will continue to experience disruptions to our work and daily lives. Look out for your well-being by continuing to exercise. You can be outside with a face covering, or take one of Recreation and Wellbeing’s many online classes.
Additionally, UHS offers a confidential, 24/7 no-cost online portal called SilverCloud, where you work with modules on anxiety, depression, stress, resilience, and more.
Employees also have access to resources and counseling through the Employee Assistance Office, which includes the online resource LifeMatters.
We all remain committed to the health and well-being of our campus community and with our collective efforts, we can continue to keep our community safe.
Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director of University Health Services