All Updates Danforth Digest

Spring travel guidance; self-screening reminders; Gratitude Project

Spring travel guidance from the CDC

Especially during these cold winter days, many of us are starting to turn our thoughts to spring. In a normal year, that would likely mean travel for many members of our community. Since this is not a normal year, there are a few important things to keep in mind when considering taking a trip. Members of the university community are encouraged to avoid travel if possible. This includes students who are considering travel over the wellness days in March and April. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. However, if you must travel, you are encouraged to take these steps to protect yourself.

  • If you are eligible and the vaccine is available to you, get vaccinated for COVID-19 before traveling. Wait to travel until two weeks after your second dose as it takes time to build immunity. See COVID-19 vaccine FAQ for more information.
  • The CDC recommends that you get tested for COVID-19 before you leave and do not travel if you test positive. Learn more about testing available through the university on the COVID-19 testing web page.
  • Check travel restrictions before you go.
  • Wear a mask at all times when in public settings. Masks are now required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation in the United States.
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least six feet apart from anyone who did not travel with you. This is important both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Bring extra face masks, hand sanitizer and other supplies.
  • While at your destination, continue to wear your mask at all times when around anybody not traveling with you and maintain at least six feet of distance from others.
  • The CDC recommends that you get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

Visit the Travel During COVID-19 page on the CDC website for additional information and guidance.

The importance of self-screening

Self-screening must be completed before coming to campus, every single time. Why? Because it works in helping stop the spread of COVID-19. In this video, Cheri LeBlanc, MD, executive director of Habif Health and Wellness Center, and Steven Lawrence, MD, associate professor of medicine, sharing reasons why self-screening is so important. The self-screening, in addition to masking, physical distancing and avoiding large gatherings, is one of the public health measures being taken to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Looking on the bright side

The Gratitude Project is a new video series highlighting stories of hope and inspiration at WashU and in the St. Louis community. “It’s important not to lose sight of the good things going on,” says host and happiness expert Tim Bono, assistant dean for assessment in Student Affairs and lecturer in Psychological & Brain Sciences. Here’s the first installment.

The project was developed by the Innovation subcommittee of the Chancellor’s Fall Contingency Planning Committee and will continue throughout 2021 and beyond. Click here to submit stories, pictures or videos of individuals whose work is enhancing the WashU community during these trying times.

Brown School ‘Open Classroom’: Our regional COVID response 

Vaccines for COVID-19 bring promise for return to many of our regular activities, along with the opportunity to save thousands of lives in the St. Louis region. At 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, Brown School Dean Mary McKay will join area leaders who have been working on the governmental response to COVID to discuss the successes and challenges related to the vaccine in our region.

Dean McKay will facilitate a panel that includes St. Louis County Councilwoman Lisa Clancy; Alexander Garza, MD, of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force; the School of Medicine’s Matifadza Hlatshwayo, MD, and LJ Punch, MD; and Spring Schmidt of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. The talk will be live-streamed on YouTube and available via Zoom with advance registration. To register and learn more about this and future Brown School events, visit the Brown School website.

Pitching in on all fronts

Laura Benoist, associate director of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy, volunteers earlier this month to input data involving recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine on the Medical Campus. For more photos on how COVID-19 is affecting campus life, see the Record’s weekly feature “The View From Here.” (Photo: Matt Miller/Washington University)