Prevention of COVID-19 and the Flu

In Other, by , on January 5th, 2024

We know that cases of illness typically rise during the winter months, and we wanted to share important information and guidelines to help you protect yourself and others during the traditional cold, flu, and now COVID season.

Many of the preventive measures for COVID-19 and the flu overlap. Here are some crucial steps you can take:

  • Vaccination: The most important action you can take is to ensure you are up to date on your COVID-19 and flu vaccinations. Getting vaccinated significantly reduces the risk of contracting and spreading these viruses.
  • Flu Shot: Even if you’ve already had the flu this season, it’s essential to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine protects against multiple strains, including an expected Flu B strain later in the season.
  • Good Hygiene: Practicing good habits is key to staying healthy. If you feel unwell, please keep your distance from others and avoid close contact with individuals who may have COVID-19 or the flu.
  • Hand Hygiene: Frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds can help prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Respiratory Etiquette: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, with unwashed hands.

What if You Test Positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, please note the following policies and guidelines:

  • University employees are eligible for COVID-19 sick pay for at least five days if they test positive for COVID-19 and are unable to work from home during their isolation period.
  • Contact the Office of Human Resources if you need to utilize COVID-19 sick pay. An affirmation of isolation is required for each occurrence.
  • According to New York state guidelines, employees are eligible for COVID-19 sick pay for up to three occurrences.
  • Per CDC guidelines, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for at least five complete days, starting from day zero, the day symptoms first appeared. Afterward, wear a high-quality mask indoors around others and in close quarters outdoors for days 6-10.

We encourage you to stay informed and stay safe during the winter months. This article from the University of Chicago Medicine provides an overview of the flu, COVID-19, and allergies, as well as tips to stay safe and healthy.