I want to start by thanking you for the energy you have brought to campus for the first two weeks of the Fall 2021 semester. Every interaction I have with our students, faculty, and staff serves as a reminder that we must always work to maintain this electric in-person environment.
During this time you have all shown an incredible commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated if you are able, wearing a mask indoors, following campus health guidelines, and showing patience and kindness to each other in every facet of campus life. For this, I am immensely thankful and incredibly proud.
Today I am asking each of you to keep this commitment to health and safety as you reconnect with family and friends during a much-deserved Labor Day weekend. Our ability to continue with in-person teaching, working, and learning depends on our collective ability to follow health and safety best practices in our daily lives, not just when we are on campus.
Here are just some of the ways you can do this:
Get vaccinated. Vaccination is your first, most powerful line of defense against COVID-19. There will be mobile vaccination clinics on-campus near Criss Library every Wednesday in September from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M. Vaccinations are free and open to the public. No registration is required. Information on additional vaccination opportunities in the community can be found on our Maverick COVID Response website. Please talk with your friends, family, loved ones, and neighbors about the benefits of vaccination during the holiday weekend as well.
Continue to wear a mask indoors and avoid large gatherings. Masks are required indoors on UNO’s campus for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors regardless of vaccination status. Please consider wearing a mask indoors while away from campus and avoid large gatherings during the Labor Day weekend. This will help keep you safe and limit the spread of COVID-19 when you return to campus.
Know where to go with COVID-19 questions. Whether you have tested positive for COVID-19, have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or you are not sure where to turn for COVID-19 related questions, submit a BRT form. This is the best way to get the support and guidance you need from UNO’s Office of Health Security.
Connect. Take Care. Get Help. These are stressful and anxious times. It’s important to remember it’s okay to not be okay. If you or someone you know is struggling, UNO is ready to assist.
Be mindful when you travel. Remember: Domestic business travel for UNO requires approval from your supervisor, and international travel must be pre-approved through the appropriate chair, dean, or supervisor. The CDC also recommends that individuals who are not fully vaccinated quarantine for seven days and get tested 3-5 days after travel. This applies to international travel as well as travel within the United States. Additional travel guidance for Fall 2021 is available on the Maverick COVID Response website. If you are an Iowa resident who teaches, works, or learns in Omaha, please follow campus and local health guidance when you are here.
Stay connected. UNO regularly shares new information, resources and campus updates through the Maverick COVID Response page, email, the Maverick Daily and Bullseye newsletters, and official UNO social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check these outlets regularly.
Enjoy your time resting, recovering, and recharging over the long weekend so we can hit the ground running when we all return.
Thank you again for all you do,
Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.