(As emailed to the HSC campus on Friday, Dec. 16)
Dear HSC Faculty, Staff and Students,
I want to thank all the teams that participated in the holiday door decoration contest. I love the holiday spirit exhibited by our HSC team. Congratulations to all the winners!
I wish the best to all of our students as you wrap up final exams and this fall semester. I hope each of you will take time to rest and recharge, over the holiday break. Please remember that HSC has a student emergency assistance fund that can be accessed at https://www.unthsc.edu/care-and-civility/resources/for-students/, during normal business days. However, if you need assistance over the holidays, the Care Team will be on call and can be reached at 817-735-2740.
During this festive and busy season, please remember the importance of self-care. Take time to pause and give yourself an opportunity to prioritize your mental and physical health. Please see below helpful information from some of our campus experts to remain healthy this holiday season.
You may have recently heard about the “TRIPLEDEMIC”. The tripledemic is the three currently circulating viruses of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Influenza, and COVID-19. Older adults, young infants, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses are at the highest risk of developing complications related to these viruses. Also, campus exposures to COVID are on the rise primarily because symptoms of COVID are often misinterpreted, onset with mild symptoms while initial testing is negative: later turning positive. Key to minimizing the spread of COVID is that if you don’t feel well, don’t expose others: stay home, consider masking if appropriate. Here are a few links to assist you with identifying ways to stay healthy (Source: J Rangel, V. Cannon, J. Knebl):
· The CDC offers great tips on how to protect yourself and others over the holidays here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/past-reports/12172021.html
· HSC Health continues to offer COVID vaccine series, flu vaccine and monkeypox vaccine through Student Health and Priority Care. For more flu prevention tips, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/index.html
· Before traveling, consider influenza rates in other U.S. states. Follow influenza surveillance at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/usmap.htm
· Free COVID-19 test kits! The Biden administration is making COVID-19 tests free to the American people again. You can order up to 4 COVID-19 test kits to be mailed to your home: https://www.covid.gov/tests
The holiday season can bring additional stress, which can negatively affect the body. There are many long-term strategies, like healthy diet and exercise, that can help alleviate stress but may take some planning and commitment. In the interim, short-term strategies are quite effective—we just have to give it a try! Some of the best short-term strategies provide immediate relief, take minimal practice, are free, and can be performed anywhere. Stress Relief: 18 Highly Effective Strategies for Relieving Stress (verywellmind.com) (Source: A. Wiechmann)
Chancellor Williams announced that the UNT System and all member institutions will close at noon on Friday, December 23, in appreciation for everyone’s dedication and commitment to our continued success. Instructions regarding how to record the closure hours are detailed online by Payroll Time & Labor. Please contact your supervisor with any additional questions.
Have a great weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing all of you next week!
Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams