Dear Seattle University Community:
With the upcoming Thanksgiving and winter breaks, we are writing to share some specific steps you can take to help protect you, your loved ones and vulnerable members of our community against COVID-19.
Although Seattle University is a highly vaccinated campus community, COVID is still actively circulating. Following public health recommendations to prevent its spread continues to be important, especially for those traveling to spend time with friends and family.
Now is the time to schedule a booster, ahead of the holiday breaks, gatherings and travel. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get the new bivalent booster authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To determine when you are eligible, go this CDC site. Click here for information on Seattle University’s vaccination requirement, which remains in effect as we transition to winter quarter. Boosters help reduce the risk of both severe disease and hospitalization.
Many of the local pharmacies have the booster available, some with no appointment required; for more information visit COVID vaccination sites. If you are traveling and unable to get a booster before leaving campus, please try to do so at your destination. Also, there will be a COVID vaccine clinic on campus on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Oberto Room at the Sinegal Center (room 200). Please pre-register here to make the process more efficient.
We recommend that faculty, staff and students who travel or attend large gatherings during Thanksgiving or winter break take a COVID test before returning to on-campus activities. You can find information about low or no-cost COVID testing at testing sites.
The FDA has extended the expiration dates of many rapid tests, so yours may still be safe for use. Use this online database to check the status of any unused rapid tests that appear to be past their expiration date or are expiring soon.
Wearing a mask remains an important tool to prevent infection and spread of COVID-19, especially while traveling and in crowded indoor spaces. There is the added benefit of decreasing risk of spreading other respiratory viruses, such as RSV and influenza, which are circulating at varying levels throughout the U.S.
Everything you can do to prevent an infection with COVID is very important. The CDC estimates that about one in every five people who get COVID, even those with no symptoms when infected, develop and suffer from long COVID, which can have devastating and debilitating long-term health effects including nervous system, digestive, heart and breathing issues.
We wish each of you a happy, restful, safe and healthy Thanksgiving break, and look forward to seeing you back on campus after the holiday.
James Willette, Ph.D.
Associate Provost & Dean of Students
Tara Hicks, ARNP
Director, Student Health Center