Vaccine eligibility – beware of misinformation
If you have not received an invitation directly from BJC or another organization to sign up for an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, this means you are not eligible at this time or that your appointment time is not yet available. There has been some misinformation circulating about vaccine availability and earlier this week a number of ineligible individuals showed up to a walk-in vaccination clinic intended for emergency responders and high-risk individuals as defined by federal and state guidelines and received the vaccine. Moving forward, walk-in vaccinations will not be available for anyone unless they have received official notification that they are eligible to receive the vaccine.
DO NOT WALK IN TO A VACCINATION SITE ON THE MEDICAL CAMPUS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE AN INVITATION OR APPOINTMENT. YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A VACCINE.
It is also important that you do not forward registration links to others if you do become eligible to make an appointment.
The state continues to implement its COVID-19 Vaccination Plan and is currently vaccinating healthcare workers, first responders and emergency services workers, and high-risk individuals. Everyone is encouraged to pre-register to receive the vaccine. You can do this on the BJC website and we also encourage you to pre-register through your local municipalities and the other health systems, if you have the opportunity to do so. For more information, see the COVID-19 vaccine FAQ page.
Watching the Super Bowl? Here’s how to do it safely
When the Chiefs and Buccaneers take the field for Super Bowl LV this Sunday (Feb. 7), many people may be inclined to continue their usual Super Bowl Sunday traditions. But of course this is not a typical year, and the CDC has some recommendations for how to enjoy the event safely.
Gathering virtually or with the people you live with is the safest way to celebrate the Super Bowl this year. If you do have a small gathering with people who don’t live with you, outdoors is safer than indoors. (It’s going to be cold in St. Louis on Sunday, so you may want to get your fire pit or outdoor heaters ready if you’re planning an outdoor gathering!) Here are some suggestions for hosting a virtual watch party.
- Make it festive with team clothing and decorations.
- Start a text group with friends to talk about the game.
- Make appetizers or snacks with the people you live with to enjoy while watching the game and share the recipes with your friends and family.
For more tips on Super Bowl Sunday and other small gatherings, visit the CDC website. Go, team.
Negative COVID-19 test now required for all travelers flying into the U.S.
All travelers flying into the U.S. from abroad must now provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test — taken no more than three days before the flight — or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Failure to do so will result in being unable to board the plane. The mandatory requirement was initially announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Jan. 12 and formalized in an executive order signed by President Joe Biden.
It is recommended that upon returning from international travel, all faculty, staff and students follow CDC guidelines once they are back in the U.S. These guidelines apply regardless of vaccination status. Note that at this time, there is no university-sponsored travel, including international travel, except under rare exceptions requiring departmental and dean’s office approval, so these guidelines apply primarily to personal travel.
Once you have returned from international travel:
- You should be tested 3-5 days after returning.
- If you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms, you can use the saliva test available at the 1234 Kingshighway testing site.
- If you develop symptoms at any time, contact the COVID Call Center immediately at 314-362-5056.
- If your test is positive, isolate yourself for 14 days to protect others from getting infected. Do not come on campus. Call the COVID Call Center.
- Even if you test negative, stay home to self-quarantine for at least 7 days after arrival in the U.S.
- It’s safest to stay home to self-quarantine for 10 days after international travel.
More information about university travel is available at the global.wustl.edu site.
‘Ask the Doctors’ town hall recording
Missed the January 31 “Ask the Doctors” town hall? No problem, the recording is now available. Visit the “Ask the WashU Doctors” page on the WashU Together website to view last week’s webinar with Dr. Steve Lawrence and Dr. Cheri LeBlanc, along with previous town halls. Topics covered include the latest news on the COVID-19 vaccine, new COVID-19 variants and the latest guidance on face masks.
Using math to help us move forward
When will it be safe to resume regular activities again? While we now have access to better real-time information about COVID-19 infection rates and transmission at the county or city level, there’s still a need for a framework to help people decide what is safe to do. A new model, co-authored by mathematician John McCarthy, the Spencer T. Olin Professor of Mathematics in Arts & Sciences and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, can help us figure out and wade through the uncertainty. Read the story in The Source.