This message to all faculty and staff has been approved by FSU President Richard McCullough.
Dear FSU community,
It’s been an exciting past few weeks for me as I’ve met with many of you around campus and received a warm welcome into the Florida State University family.
While the fall semester began with the anticipation of a new academic year, it was coupled with the uncertainty of COVID-19’s Delta variant. Many of you, myself included, were concerned about teaching in person and returning to more normal operations on campus.
My senior leadership team and I continue to listen to your concerns, and I want to assure you the university is doing everything in its power to provide a safe environment for all.
Over the past month, the university’s SAFER team has stepped up its efforts to provide instructors with the most accurate daily counts of positive cases and close contacts according to the data the university receives from many sources. The university has about 25 people working as contact tracers, and we’re pleased that we have seen increased student engagement in self-reporting and contact tracing.
The university has significantly increased its promotion of healthy behaviors through the Stay Healthy FSU marketing campaign and held several successful pop-up vaccine clinics around campus. We continue to provide departments and instructors with masks and have deployed about 2,100 air purifiers in classrooms and common spaces and 5,000 personal air purifiers for offices and other public areas over the past two weeks.
Together, we are slowing the spread of this virus and seeing a downward trend in the numbers (https://stayhealthy.fsu.edu/dashboard). Since their peak three weeks ago, COVID-19 cases on campus continue to decline. In fact, on Sept. 8, there were 599 positive COVID-19 cases affiliated with the university in isolation. Today, there are 233. In addition, last week’s positivity rate of tests conducted through on-campus testing was 2.27%, down from 8.55% two weeks ago.
While this is good news, we need to remain vigilant. We continue to encourage the campus community to cooperate with the expectations of wearing a mask, being tested and getting vaccinated.
As you know, full vaccination is the best, most effective way to protect yourselves and others from getting COVID-19. FSU has administered more than 21,000 COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic and continues to hold walk-in clinics at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, along with mobile clinics around campus. If you’re not already vaccinated, I encourage you to do so. You can find out more at vaccine.fsu.edu.
If you are vaccinated, I urge you to enter the “Your Shot to Win” drawing by submitting proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19. Not only will you have a chance at some great prizes, submitting your vaccine records will help speed up the contact tracing process for vaccinated individuals.
I am pleased to see the campus community come together to slow the spread of the virus. I’m optimistic that if everyone continues to do their part, we will create a healthier and safer environment for all.