Dear Members of the Lafayette Community,
This week has demonstrated the impact of the COVID-19 delta variant on our community. While the number of positive cases is concerning, I want to emphasize that for the vast majority of our community that is vaccinated against COVID-19, breakthrough cases are likely to result in only minor symptoms similar to a cold virus. Vaccinated individuals spread the virus for a shorter period of time.
While the vaccine provides very good protection against the virus, our collective behavior is driving the case counts up. We have two lines of defense against COVID-19. The vaccine helps to protect us against the virus, but if we ignore the behaviors that prevent us from getting infected we will continue to be one step behind. We must remain vigilant in regard to these behaviors: wear a mask indoors at all times, wear a mask outdoors when in group settings including classes, socially distance whenever possible, and skip indoor social gatherings until we demonstrate significant progress in containing the outbreak.
The health center will continue to provide testing for our students. We are prioritizing testing for individuals for whom a test is medically necessary. If you are vaccinated and you do not have any underlying medical conditions, you do not need immediate testing for minor symptoms unless you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Based on CDC guidelines, testing is recommended for close contacts within 3-5 days of exposure. If you are not contacted by LVHN or the Department of Health but believe you have been in close contact with an individual who tested positive, testing is recommended.
We were hopeful that our high vaccination rates would allow a return to normal activities on campus. Unfortunately, we are not there yet. We need a commitment from everyone to decrease the number of breakthrough infections spreading in our community. I know the pandemic continues to cause stress and anxiety for everyone. Stay positive. Our efforts will decrease the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein