Dec. 29, 2020

Sent on behalf of the Continuity of Operations Task Force

As we approach the new year, the Continuity of Operations Task Force has a few points for you to consider.

First, there continues to be a spike in COVID-19 infections within the region and within the nation. This spike requires diligence in implementing our masking, social-distancing, hand-washing and sanitizing protocols. Adherence to these protocols continues to be proven effective, both locally and globally.

Second, we understand that adherence to our protocols can become challenging if you travel to group gatherings and/or visit friends and family members. Still, we trust you will make your best efforts to follow our protocols. We remind you that unprotected close contact is not only a substantial risk to you individually, but also to everyone with whom you come into contact.

Third, if you travel or if you attend or host group gatherings, we need for you to be vigilant about not returning to work if you feel sick and about following the "What should I do? Protocols" for employees and students that are posted on the EVMS COVID website. Additionally, we encourage you to check the CDC COVID data tracker website to assess the risk of traveling or having visitors from elsewhere.

Fourth, we remind entering Physician Assistant students to follow the screening protocols required by the Program and Student Health prior to coming to the EVMS campus.

Fifth, vaccinations have occurred for some clinical faculty and residents under the auspices of Sentara and other health systems affiliated with EVMS. EVMS, however, has not yet received any vaccines directly. We expect to begin receiving vaccines sometime in the next month, but remind everyone that the distribution process will be slow. For example, the federal government had hoped to have 20 million vaccines administered by the end of December. It now appears the number will be only approximately two million by the end of the year. The process has begun and is gathering momentum, but relief is still some months away.

We know everyone is weary of this pandemic and the social restrictions that are being used to manage it. It is our hope that as the vaccine becomes more widely available during the coming months, we will be able to gradually ease restrictions.

Thank you for all you do to promote the safety of all of us.