Dear Campus Community –
I know we are all thrilled about the men’s basketball team earning a place in the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA’s March Madness Tournament. The excitement, as they say, is contagious. But, remember, so is the COVID-19 virus.
If you will be attending any of the various “watch parties,” sports bars or just going over to a friend’s house to enjoy the upcoming games, please keep following your best practices. Continue to wear a mask (yes, even if you’ve been fully vaccinated). Wash your hands (or use sanitizer). And we urge you to maintain social distancing. I realize we are in a transitional phase and some guidelines may be undergoing changes, but it’s to everyone’s advantage that you continue to take the safest, surest route to good health and pandemic protection.
I would also encourage you to be tested regularly. In addition to the Curative kiosk on campus, there are other free COVID testing options in the Greater Houston area. And remember that we also have testing available on campus through the Student Health Center for those who are symptomatic or have been identified as being exposed and meet certain other requirements.
Of course, we hope that as many of you as possible are receiving vaccinations. Beginning on Monday March 29, everyone 16 years and older will be eligible to receive the COVID vaccine in the state of Texas. We have been fortunate to be able to offer about 2400 inoculations here on campus to eligible recipients, and look forward to providing even more. But you should take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, and if you can get a shot somewhere else, please do. For the latest information, refer to our vaccination update site.
In the meantime, let’s get ready to root for the Cougars and make sure we all keep playing solid defense.
Stephen J. Spann, M.D., M.B.A.
Founding Dean, College of Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs