Published on November 11, 2020
As noted in Chancellor Martin’s email last Friday, we are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of reported cases in the US, and the COVID-19 positivity rate in the St. Louis metro area is rapidly climbing. It is important for us to avoid COVID transmission in our research groups with the accompanying risk of having to ramp research down again.
We urge the research community to remain vigilant both at work and in your daily personal interactions. Following the recommended CDC guidelines of washing your hands frequently, wearing masks, and maintaining physical distance from others is imperative for reducing the spread of the virus.
We ask you to be more diligent than ever about the following:
- Pay particularly close attention to our public health guidelines. Wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, practice personal hygiene, and complete your daily self-screening every day you are on or come to campus. Self-screenings are a critical part of our public health strategy, and it is extremely important that everyone is paying close attention to any possible symptoms of COVID-19.
- Scale back your activities outside of your home. Avoid eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars, attending gatherings of greater than 10 people, attending gatherings of any size with unmasked people who are not part of your household, or visiting any indoor spaces with crowds of people.
We strongly encourage all individuals who are symptomatic, even mildly, to call the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056 to get tested with the university’s diagnostic test, which is highly accurate with quick processing and results. Recent reports have reinforced that the antigen testing that is widely available at urgent care centers and pharmacies can result in unacceptably high rates of both false positive and false negative results.
We will be holding another town hall this Friday, November 13th at 1:30 p.m. Dr. Victoria Fraser, the Adolphus Busch Professor of Medicine and the Chair of the Department of Medicine, will be joining us.
Let’s keep our cases low and transmission on campus non-existent so that we can continue our important research mission – this effort takes all of us to protect each other.
Jennifer Lodge, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research