As the global pandemic has stretched on into its third year, many local governments and local health agencies have loosened health restrictions. While life has started to get back to normal, it’s important to continue practicing healthy habits this year.
Here are a few things to know about COVID in 2022.
1) COVID is here to stay
If you’ve been wondering when the COVID pandemic will finally come to an end, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, most experts agree that COVID is here to stay. Chances are that it will become an endemic disease, meaning that it will continue to circulate in pockets around the globe for years to come. The good news is that it’s likely to become more like the flu or common cold over time.
2) You can continue to protect yourself by…
Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect yourself from a number of preventable diseases, including COVID-19, meningitis, HPV, the flu and more. While CU requires all students, staff and faculty to receive both an initial series of COVID vaccines and at least one booster, additional boosters have started to become available.
It’s important to check CDC guidelines or speak to a healthcare provider to determine whether or not additional booster shots make sense for you and your situation. If you’ve received vaccinations in the state of Colorado, you can download your personal vaccination record online through the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS) portal*. This can be a helpful tool to figure out which vaccines you’ve received, what you’re missing and which ones you need to renew.
*Immunization records available on the CIIS portal may not be complete. Data is only available for vaccinations reported to and entered into the system.
If you’re feeling unsure about COVID vaccines or boosters, Medical Services has put together an informational page to answer common questions about vaccines and help you make the best decision for your own health.
Need a vaccine or booster shot? Medical Services is providing free COVID vaccines and boosters to students, staff and faculty who meet the current criteria. Appointments are available through the Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg Health Center.
COVID impacts everyone differently, so it’s important to understand your own risks and the risks posed to those closest to you. For instance, those with moderate-to-severe asthma are more likely to be hospitalized from COVID. Similarly, those who are immunocompromised are more likely to get sick or be sick for a longer period of time from COVID. The CDC has a comprehensive guide to help you understand the risks based on your personal health history, conditions and more. You can also explore factors that can both increase or decrease your exposure to COVID.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Practicing good hygiene habits is critical to preventing the continued spread of COVID.
Good hygiene habits include:
Self-care includes a wide range of activities that help us to maintain our health, prevent disease and cope with illnesses. Here are a few basic self-care activities you can use to reduce your risk of catching COVID and ease your recovery if you get sick.
3) You can continue to protect others by…
Getting tested, if you think you may have been exposed or if you are starting to develop symptoms of COVID, is an important step in protecting others from the virus. Here are a few testing options you can take advantage of:
CU Boulder Public Health Clinic
The Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg offers PCR testing for all students and asymptomatic staff and faculty members. You can schedule an appointment online through the MyCUHealth Portal.
As guidelines have continued to change, it can be difficult to know what you’re supposed to do after a possible exposure, positive test results or the onset of symptoms.
Luckily, the Public Health Office and Medical Services have continued to update guidelines with the most current information to help students, staff and faculty stay safe and healthy. These guidelines include what to do if you have symptoms, what to do if you’ve been exposed and tips for contacting your professors or supervisor if you are going to miss classes or work.
If you have questions about isolation guidelines, contact the Public Health Office at 303-735-0017.
While masks are no longer required at CU Boulder or in community settings, you should still have a few masks on hand so that you can wear them as needed. If you’re feeling under the weather or have recently been exposed to COVID, wear a well-fitting mask when around other people (e.g. in class, at work, on the bus, etc.).
Campus resources are available for students, staff and faculty to help you learn about, prevent and treat a wide range of illnesses.
The Public Health Clinic at Wardenburg provides COVID-19 vaccinations and testing services for undergraduate and graduate students. They also provide vaccinations and testing services for asymptomatic staff and faculty.
The Apothecary Pharmacy at Wardenburg is a full-service pharmacy that is open to students, staff and faculty. They provide pharmacist consultations, prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies.
CU Boulder’s Public Health Office offers consultation and contact tracing services upon request and as needed to reduce the spread of diseases, including COVID-19. All conversations with contact tracing team members are confidential.
Students living in residence halls can order a free Buff Box with illness prevention and cold care supplies online. Boxes are delivered directly to residence halls for pickup. Off-campus students can also access free health supplies by visiting the Figueroa Family Wellness Suite on the 3rd floor of Wardenburg Health Center.