Dear campus community,
We are so pleased to see recent data indicating that the omicron wave is declining as rapidly as it began, especially in the city of Detroit , allowing for a safe return to a more normal on-campus presence. As that return is right around the corner, it’s prudent that all of us update our understanding of the best ways to protect ourselves and others against the coronavirus. Just as the virus has evolved over time, so have the recommended protocols we use to protect our health and safety.
Most of you know by now that the omicron variant of the virus is far more transmissible than earlier variants. When we began requiring the use of a mask while indoors on campus, we did not specify what type of mask offered the greatest protection. The cloth and surgical masks that were readily available earlier in the pandemic, when worn correctly, offered sufficient protection against earlier variants.
With omicron, it appears that those masks do not offer maximum protection. The KN95 masks are more protective and offer a tighter fit. We strongly recommend that everyone on campus obtain KN95 masks and wear these whenever possible. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is distributing 3.5 million free masks as part of the state’s Mask Up, Mask Right campaign. Free KN95 masks will be distributed by community organizations, including local MDHSS offices, health departments and Area Agency on Aging offices. Find a distribution site near you at Michigan.gov/MaskUpMichigan.
When N95 or KN95s are not available, the next best choice is two disposable masks or a cloth mask used over a disposable mask. Cloth masks alone should only be used as a last resort when other types are not available. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer valuable guidance on mask use and care. We will discuss mask use and mask care at our Health Committee Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m.
On Jan. 3, Wayne State initiated a booster mandate that applies to every member of the Wayne State community, except for those with approved exemptions and students who will learn 100% remotely with no need to be on campus or access campus resources. To be compliant with this mandate, you are required to receive and upload proof of your booster at the time you are eligible, which is six months past the second dose for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months past the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Once you are eligible to receive a booster, you’ll have a grace period of two weeks to receive the booster and to upload proof to our website. Failure to do so within the allotted time period may result in disciplinary action.
Booster clinics will be held this week at the Campus Health Center on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 9:30 to 2 p.m., and Friday, Jan. 28, from 9:30 to 1 p.m. Additional booster clinics will be held on Monday, Jan. 31 from 9:30 to 4 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 2, from 9:30 to 1 p.m.
We appreciate the patience and diligence the campus community has exhibited throughout the pandemic. We are delighted the campus will be returning to a semblance of normalcy soon. In the meantime, thank you for continuing to be Warrior Safe. Again, please join us for our Health Committee Town Hall on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m.
Laurie M. Lauzon Clabo, PhD, RN, FAAN