Staff Senate met virtually on March 9 via Microsoft Teams. Senators were informed on current COVID-19 positivity rates, updates to CDC guidelines, COVID-19 vaccination availability and the UofL Employee Campus Climate Survey.
Senators were joined by Executive Director of Campus Health Services Phillip Bressoud, who provided information on the positivity rate of COVID-19 on campus. Bressoud reported that positivity rates declined from 4.1% on Jan. 4 to 1% as of March 1.
Bressoud also informed senators of the new guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The guidelines state that fully vaccinated individuals should still wear a well-fitted mask and practice physical distancing when in public, adhere to preventative measures when visiting with unvaccinated individuals, avoid medium and large in-person gatherings, and get tested if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Other CDC guidelines about vaccinated individuals can be found here. At this time, all the university’s health protocols and the required testing program, are still in effect.
The commonwealth, in cooperation with Campus Health and UofL Health, will be opening a high-volume vaccination drive-thru in the purple lot of Cardinal Stadium on April 1. Vaccinations will be more readily available to faculty and staff as a direct result of this new vaccination location.
Bressoud stated, “Our plan is that all university faculty and staff who have not been vaccinated by April 1 will participate in the first couple days of that operation, and we will finish vaccinating faculty and staff at that time. If you can get the vaccine somewhere else, you are free to do so, but you will be able to receive that vaccination there if you have not already.”
Katie Partin, director of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, and V. Faye Jones, senior associate vice president for diversity and equity, presented senators with information on the Employee Climate survey. The survey was redesigned in 2017 and is divided into two modules that are administered to faculty and staff on an alternating annual schedule. Data collected from previous surveys has been used to measure improvements on campus, create and implement action plans and increase accountability and transparency to the campus community.
The survey was initially planned the fall 2020 semester; however, it was postponed until spring of 2021 due to overlap with the Wellbeing and Resilience Survey. For this reason, invitations to complete the survey were sent out by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness via email on March 15. The survey is scheduled to close on March 28 but could be extended past this date depending on response rates. Findings will be available approximately 30 days after the close of the survey. Previous results from the Employee Climate Survey can be found here.