Dear USF Undergraduate and Graduate Students,
As you read in our Dec. 17 message to the community, we are continuing to consult with state and local health professionals regarding the rapidly spreading Omicron variant. Omicron has more than 50 mutations that make it more transmissible than previous variants, reducing the effectiveness of the initial round of vaccines. Current research indicates that a booster shot significantly raises the level of protection in those who have been fully vaccinated.
We are writing today with updates on measures that will be put in place for the spring 2022 semester.
COVID-19 Boosters Required
COVID-19 boosters will be required for all students as soon as you are eligible. Individuals are eligible for boosters at least six months after completing a two-dose primary vaccination series for Pfizer or Moderna or two months after the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccination. More information regarding boosters and booster eligibility is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
You must upload your updated vaccination information to Med Proctor by Friday, Jan. 21 or six months after you received the final dose of your original vaccination, whichever is first. If you already received a university-approved vaccination exemption, this new requirement does not apply to you. If you are unable to get a booster prior to returning to USF, you will be able to receive it at a booster clinic on campus. Students who have received the initial vaccine or series of vaccines but are not yet eligible for a booster are considered in compliance with the policy until they become eligible for the booster. Students not in compliance with this policy will not be permitted to participate in on-campus, in-person activities, including but not limited to: attending in-person classes, using campus facilities, and living in on-campus housing. Students who have not received a COVID-19 booster will be subject to new isolation and quarantine guidelines, including being required to quarantine for five days following a close contact even if they have completed their initial vaccination series.
USF will host four booster clinics at the beginning of the spring semester:
- Thursday, Jan. 20, 12–3 p.m., UC 402/403
- Saturday, Jan. 22, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., UC 402/403
- Thursday, Feb. 3, 12–2 p.m., UC 502/504
- Thursday, Feb. 10, 12–2 p.m., UC 502/504
Please watch for additional information.
If you are eligible for a booster before the start of the semester, please secure an appointment by working with your primary care provider, visiting a local or retail pharmacy (Walgreens, CVS, etc.), or by going to the SF.gov vaccine site.
On-Campus COVID-19 Testing
When in-person classes resume on Jan. 24, on-campus testing will be available every Wednesday and Thursday. To participate and sign up, please visit HPS COVID-19 Resources. Students with approved exemptions will continue to be required to test. Students reporting symptoms during the spring semester will receive instructions for testing from the COVID Tracing Team.
Health and Safety Reminders
Please review the following practices to protect your health and well-being, and the health and well-being of the community:
- Continue to monitor for symptoms. If you are on campus for winter and/or intersession — whether in student housing, classes, or working — you must submit your daily Dons Health Check or submit symptoms directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are off campus, you are not required to submit daily symptom checks, but please contact email@example.com if you need information.
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
- Wear face coverings while indoors and outdoors.
- Limit large group settings whenever possible, especially with those whose vaccination status is unknown.
- Stay home when sick or not feeling well.
- Utilize hand sanitizer often, including from the stands located throughout campus.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as the university navigates this complex and evolving situation. We hope you had a safe, enjoyable and relaxing holiday break. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus.
COVID Management Team