August 24, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff –
Earlier this afternoon, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department announced new requirements for the use of face masks indoors. UNL will be implementing this requirement in all indoor spaces beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, August 25. Face masks will be now required in all indoor spaces. This policy will remain in effect for the duration of the county’s directed health measure, which currently extends to September 30.
This public health decision was necessary due to increased cases of COVID-19 in Lancaster County and the incredible strain it is putting on local hospitals, which are seeing younger and younger patients seriously ill with COVID-19 infections due to the Delta variant.
Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also granted FULL approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. That means its safety and effectiveness have met the full rigor of the FDA’s detailed and thorough safety review process, and it is no longer approved solely on an emergency use basis.
We are offering vaccine clinics utilizing the Pfizer vaccine tomorrow and Thursday at the City and East Campus Unions. Given the high temperatures forecast, they will take place indoors and you will need to wear a face mask.
Wednesday, August 25 and Thursday, August 26
- Nebraska Union – 10am to 2pm, Regency Room (2nd level)
- Nebraska East Union – 10am to 2pm, Prairie Suite. (3rd level)
There is no better way to protect yourself from COVID-19 than to be vaccinated. The announcement by the FDA shows the Pfizer vaccine has its full and complete approval. The FDA is continuing to review the safety approvals for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as well, which started the approval process later.
I appreciate all our students, faculty and staff for participating in our campus-wide re-entry testing last week. That testing showed minimal number of COVID-19 cases currently within our campus community, with a positivity rate of 0.69 percent.
As a reminder, if you have not submitted your vaccine information to our Voluntary Vaccine Registry, you will need to test weekly beginning this week. This is the best way for us to continue to monitor and isolate any new cases of COVID-19 and prevent outbreaks that could have more widespread impact on our community, and our living and learning environments. If this applies to you, be sure to check your Safer Community app to understand the timing needed for your test.
Thank you for your continued patience, goodwill and respect for each other as we continue to successfully work through the challenges of this pandemic.
Ronnie D. Green, Ph.D.