In light of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and the ongoing public health crisis, we are writing to update you with the information we have at this time.
As of December 31st, we know that the emergence of the omicron variant presents new challenges to our university community. Preliminary data suggests the variant is more likely to infect both vaccinated individuals and those who have previously recovered from another strain of the COVID-19,1 and that Florida likely won’t see the peak in this latest surge until midway through February.2
UFF-FIU has contacted members of the FIU Administration requesting a set of policies and procedures be developed which will ensure the health and safety of the FIU community and their families, as well as provide students with an effective learning environment. UFF-FIU has been assured that FIU’s administration is working on developing such policies and will communicate their decisions to faculty early next week.
In the long term, early data which suggests those who have developed antibodies are significantly less likely to develop a case of severe illness may be welcomed news. However, in the short term we believe our duty is to put forth every effort to slow the spread of the virus, allowing our hospitals, medical professionals, and front line workers the opportunity to safely and effectively treat those members of our communities who do become severely ill.
UFF-FIU Executive Committee