Category: COVID-19

New COVID test can quickly detect variants

UF researchers have invented a test that can determine within 10-15 minutes whether patients test positive for COVID and, if so, which of the five known variants of concern they have.

UF adopts new masking guidelines

In light of the latest declines in COVID-19 case numbers and new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our UF Health experts, UF is adjusting its approach for this next phase of the pandemic. 

Starting this week, new signage across campus will indicate masks are welcome and express support for those who wish to continue to wear them for their safety or the safety of others. The university will continue to closely monitor the pandemic and — should the situation change — update its approach and/or introduce measures as needed.

Masks still recommended for now

As you may have heard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently provided updated mask guidance, shifting the focus away from the number of COVID infections to the impact the disease is having on hospitals in communities throughout the country. To better guide the public, the CDC has provided a color-coded system to classify community levels. Based on the CDC’s guidance, Alachua County’s current community level remains in the “high” category.  

Given this guidance, it is still recommended that masks be worn indoors. The university’s medical advisory group will reassess the need to continue to wear masks after observing any impacts resulting from spring break travel.  

Endemic COVID-19 could be one to 10 years away

According to UF Emerging Pathogens Institute biostatistician Ira Longini, Ph.D., COVID-19 may still be with us for a while.

At-home COVID-19 test kits

The State Employees’ Prescription Drug Plan will cover approved over-the-counter COVID-19 tests Jan. 15 through April 16.

UF Health pediatric expert answers questions about COVID-19 booster shots for kids ages 12-15

Two federal agencies have approved booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-old children.

UF faculty collaborate to offer health screening, tackle vaccine skepticism

UF faculty are leading a multistate team to boost COVID-19 and influenza vaccination rates in parts of the country where health care skepticism is common and vaccination rates are low.

COVID testing returns to SHCC as home test kits become available

As shared in Friday’s Campus Brief, UF is adjusting how it approaches the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic as it transitions to an endemic. Large-scale testing that was ramped up on UF’s main campus in response to Omicron will be moved back to the UF Student Health Care Center. Testing will be available on an appointment-only basis, scheduled via  ONE.UF.

Health care workers and those working in a clinical setting should reference the UF Health Bridge for specific instructions.

UF is prepared to reinstate measures deemed medically prudent should the need arise.

A few updates regarding UF’s COVID-19 response

As we enter the first full week of the spring semester, the number of cases of those who have tested positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to rise. UF researchers are optimistic that these numbers will peak this week — earlier than originally predicted. Learn more in this article published by UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, updated Jan. 5.

A few quick updates and reminders …

Some updates and guidance for the start of spring semester

Beginning this Thursday, testing will be available for faculty, staff and students at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. These efforts are being coordinated by the Department of Health COVID Operations at UF, or DOH at UF, previously known as UF Health Screen, Test & Protect. Anyone wishing to schedule a test may now do so via ONE.UF.

Additional testing locations for the Gainesville area and throughout the state may be found on the Florida Department of Health’s website. If you have questions or need additional guidance, you may also reach out to the DOH at UF team at (352) 273-9790…

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