December 16, 2020
With the holiday break just days away, please continue to heed public health guidance to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19.
The holidays are a time of celebration and togetherness, and with the optimism surrounding a COVID-19 vaccine, it can be tempting to let our guards down. We may be fatigued from following protocols, but continuing to wear a mask and practicing physical distancing are proven to reduce spread in our community. We must remain vigilant.
Holiday celebrations are still possible but require some extra thought and planning, particularly because of the high rates of asymptomatic people unknowingly infecting family and friends during small gatherings. I encourage you to read College of Medicine Dean Deborah German’s advice for having a safer holiday celebration that is in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind this holiday season:
- Public health guidance strongly advocates for self-quarantine or reduced close contact with others prior to visiting with loved ones.
- If you have concerns about exposure, get tested for COVID-19 prior to visiting with loved ones so you do not spread the virus.
- If you test positive or are in quarantine because someone close to you has tested positive, you must not travel or be around others — even if you do not have symptoms — for everyone’s well-being.
- Prevention precautions such as wearing a face covering, practicing physical distancing and washing hands regularly remain critical.
- Even if you are not on campus, UCF’s COVID Self-Checker is a useful tool to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19 and assess your own health.
- We encourage you to get tested and self-quarantine before you return to UCF after the holiday break to ensure you do not bring the virus back to campus with you.
- Also, if you have not yet gotten a flu shot, it is still highly encouraged.
The UCF COVID Line, 407-823-2509, will continue to be in operation throughout the holiday break, and any students, faculty or staff members who test positive should contact the COVID Line as soon as they test positive, even if that is during the holiday break. Those who would like to be screened for testing in Garage A also should call this number.
The most selfless thing we can do this holiday season is to prioritize the health and well-being of others. Let’s show we care by Armoring Up.
Dr. Michael Deichen, MD, MPH
Associate Vice President of UCF Student Health Services