October 21, 2022
To: University Community
From: Michelle Rogers, Vice President for Administration & Chair of the COVID Task Force
Subject: COVID Updates and Reminders
As we enter the winter months, the COVID Task Force continues to monitor the COVID situation and is focused on monitoring our community’s positive case numbers as well as the spread of new Omicron variants. Several variants (such as BQ.1, BQ.1.1, BA.4.6, BA.5, and BF.7) have been reported to be gaining ground in the U.S. and internationally, but there is no evidence to date that these variants cause more severe disease than previous mutations. The University is prepared to modify policies and practices, when needed, to be consistent with the CDC, California, and local requirements and to maintain a safe and healthy community should we experience a winter COVID surge as some experts are predicting.
While our total positive cases remain low and manageable, we have seen an increase in student undergraduate cases this week (visit the COVID Dashboard for weekly updates). Your continued diligence in monitoring your own health, staying home when ill, testing when exposed or symptomatic, and promptly reporting positive cases, are all actions that have prevented transmission on our campuses. I am writing today to reemphasize the need to be cautious and to ask that you maintain this level of commitment to the health and safety of our community.
Vaccinations and boosters continue to prevent the most severe COVID-19 health impacts. You can reduce the risk of infection for yourself and others if you get vaccinated—if you haven’t already done so—and get a booster when eligible. Wearing a N95 or surgical mask (even one-way masking) in indoor public places, on public transit, and while traveling continues to be a good method for reducing transmission.
Timely Reporting and Important Online Resources
If you are symptomatic or have had an exposure to a positive individual, you must immediately get tested (PCR or self-administered rapid test). Symptomatic individuals should avoid contact with others. Please visit the COVID-19: Exposed and/or Symptomatic webpage for instructions.
COVID Testing & Vaccines
We are actively working with the County to bring a mobile testing bus to the Redlands campus that will be available to our community for free testing. We may potentially be hosting a pop-up vaccination clinic as well. Details will be forthcoming as we finalize arrangements.
There are still many locations offering free viral/PCR tests. The COVID Clinic website is a great resource for locating testing sites by state. Rapid/Antigen tests can be purchased at most pharmacies and big-box stores (Walmart, Target). The University has a limited supply available for employees and students.
As always, please continue to watch for COVID-related updates and check the UR Ready website regularly.