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Dean’s Message

You can always find Dean Angela Kashuba’s latest message below.

July 30, 2021, at 1:15 p.m.

Good afternoon faculty, staff and learners,

dennis_williamsWe are changing it up a bit this week! Today’s message comes from Dennis Williams, Pharm.D., associate professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics, and expert in vaccines and infectious diseases.  Here, Dennis shares his thoughts on the COVID-19 vaccine and strategies for overcoming this pandemic if we work together:

Vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, to protect against COVID-19 infection, became available in late 2020 and we have spent most of 2021 hearing about vaccination efforts. Now, it appears that vaccination progress for our population has slowed with approximately 58% having received partial vaccination and 50% being fully vaccinated. These numbers fall short of the hope for 70% vaccination coverage to provide herd immunity (and protection) for our population.

We are experiencing the consequences of stalled vaccination progress including a resurgence in COVID-19 cases. According to the Director of the CDC, evidence shows that the overwhelming majority (well over 90%) of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are occurring in unvaccinated people. This is unfortunate in the face of having vaccines that are effective as well as safe. The COVID-19 vaccine is remarkably effective, superior to numerous vaccines for other diseases, and remarkably safe based on evidence from hundreds of millions of doses administered.

Now, a coalition of 50 national healthcare organizations is recommending mandatory vaccination for health care workers. We work on a health science campus with several prominent programs including the No.1 Pharmacy School in the United States. Through each of our jobs, we support training for future clinicians and scientists who will address the next health crisis for our country and the world.

We should all receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and we should proudly report it. We can do this! If not us, then who?”

Dennis, thank you for your insights and advice surrounding the importance of this vaccine – I whole heartedly support your statement.

Today’s updates are brief and include several crucial reminders from last week, such as information on masking standards in our ESOP facilities; self-reporting your COVID-19 vaccinations; and UNC Health’s mandatory vaccination program.

Be safe,

Angela

ANGELA DM KASHUBA, BScPhm, PharmD, DABCP, FCP
Dean, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
John A. and Margaret P. McNeill, Sr. Distinguished Professor
Director, Clinical Pharmacology and Analytical Chemistry Core, UNC Center for AIDS Research
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, UNC School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases


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Community Standards

­he UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is closely aligned with community standards listed on the University’s Carolina Together website, with the exception of types of masks worn and distancing while eating. Please closely review our standards below.

Community standards at UNC-Chapel Hill campus:

  • Get Vaccinated – Getting an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccination is the best way for members of the Carolina community to protect themselves and others.
  • Face Masks – Masks are not required outdoors. You must wear a face mask at all times while inside any University building. You may remove your face mask in personal workspaces; your residence hall room, suite or apartment and when eating, drinking or exercising. Vaccinated faculty may remove their masks while teaching as long as at least three feet of physical distancing is maintained.
  • Practice Healthy Habits and Be Respectful – Monitor your health; respect those who wish to maintain social distance; do not ask others for their personal health information, such as vaccination status.
  • Carolina Together Testing Program – Unvaccinated students will be required to participate in the Carolina Together Testing Program on a weekly basis. Voluntary, asymptomatic testing will remain available for all students, faculty and staff.
  • Contact Tracing and Quarantine & Isolation – Quarantine and isolation requirements are in place for unvaccinated individuals and vaccinated individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This includes students, faculty and staff who are contacted as part of local or University contact tracing.
  • Sanitizing – Within our School, offices and classrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily. Supplies of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be placed in all classrooms and common spaces to clean spaces before and after use.

Community Expectations at UNC Asheville Campus: Members of the UNC Asheville campus are asked to follow the UNC Expectations of Mutual Respect and Care for All. These expectations as members of the community include:

  • Wash my hands frequently following CDC standards and to use the hand sanitizer that will be available throughout campus.
  • Wear face coverings consistently and appropriately in all public spaces including classrooms, labs, academic, athletic, and student union buildings.
  • Carefully follow physical distancing and room or building capacity guidelines.
  • Monitor any symptoms as outlined by the CDC, stay home if I have symptoms, get tested as needed.
  • Consult with a medical professional if anyone around me shows symptoms and follow isolation and quarantine protocols as needed.

UNC ESOP MASK GUIDANCE: UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy approved masks include a University-supplied surgical mask, or University-issued sock mask.

N95 masks (N95s or KN95s) may not be worn by University students, faculty and staff under the Return to Campus Guidelines.  An individual member of the ESOP Community may seek an exception to wear N95s from UNC Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).  If the exception is granted, the individual needs to be registered with the EHS program, ensuring NIOSH certification and proper fitting. Please provide documentation of that approval to the School’s Director of Compliance, Nathan Simms, prior to coming onsite wearing an N95/KN95.  Please go here for additional information.

Double masking is not required but is permitted under the University and ESOP Return to Campus Guidelines If you choose to wear a double mask in ESOP buildings, you must have an approved University mask (surgical or sock) underneath any other outer mask of your choice. See the below quick reference guide below for clarification:

 

ESOP Facility Mask Policy

 

There are limited circumstances where a face mask is not required while inside a University or ESOP building.

  • In your residence hall room/suite/apartment: Students living in Carolina Housing or in Granville Towers are not required to wear a mask while in your assigned residence hall room/suite/apartment but must wear a face mask while in residence hall lobbies, hallways, elevators and other common areas.
  • In your private office: University employees are not required to wear a mask while working alone in your private office. A face mask must be worn in common workspaces or when others are present in the employee’s workspace and in all common areas including elevators, hallways, restrooms and break rooms.
  • Eating or drinking on campus: While actively eating or drinking on University property.
  • While exercising in certain University facilities: Comply with all facility-specific requirements.
  • Vaccinated Faculty may remove their masks while teaching as long as three feet of physical distancing is maintained.
  • Accommodations: An exemption to the mask wearing community standard will not typically be considered as a reasonable accommodation. Individuals with a disability or health condition that prevents them from safely wearing a face mask may seek alternative accommodations through the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (faculty and staff) or Accessibility Resources and Service (students).
  • Medical attention: An individual who needs medical attention or services requiring temporary removal of the face mask.
  • Such other limited exceptions as may be expressly approved by the Chancellor or Provost or their designees in consultation with public health and infectious disease experts or as may be required by law.
  • Sanitizing – Within our School, offices and classrooms are cleaned and disinfected daily. Supplies of hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be placed in all classrooms and common spaces to clean spaces before and after use.

Students, staff, and faculty are also expected to comply with any requirement to wear a face mask issued by state and municipal authorities for any off-campus location.

VIOLATIONS REPORTING:
Faculty and Staff:
 If you notice someone not adhering to safety guidelines, politely ask the individual to comply with the community standard, report the violation to your supervisor and/or Human Resources or submit a report online. We are monitoring and addressing each concern that comes through.

Students: Please utilize the Eshelman Care Team Referral form to report violations. The Office of Curricular and Student Affairs receives these reports and will take appropriate action.


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Vaccine Updates

VACCINES: Please get vaccinated if you’re able, and join me in filling out the self-report form so we can obtain more clarity around vaccination rates on campus. To date, 60% students have uploaded vaccine attestations whereas only 36% of staff and 51% of faculty have completed their vaccine certification on the EHS website.

UNC Health Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Program:  UNC Health is extending the flu surveillance program to include the COVID-19 vaccine. This means that credentialed clinicians and other teammates that work in clinical environments will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and be fully vaccinated by Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, to continue working in a clinical setting.

School of Medicine teammates who are not part of the flu surveillance program will follow University policies which do not mandate, but encourage, vaccination. For any teammates who are still unvaccinated, please do not put it off any longer – schedule your vaccine today at https://unchealthcare.org/schedule or call 984-215-4485. You can also find vaccination sites across the state by going to https://www.vaccines.gov.

This FAQ document outlines important information about our COVID-19 vaccination requirements and limited exceptions that are available.  If you have additional questions, please send them to covid-19@unchealth.unc.edu.


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Wellness

The Wellness website has several new resources in each of the 8 dimensions of wellness, and a new section specific to Return to Campus Well-being Resources, along with immediate resources such as our Eshelman Care Line, Campus Health contact info, the Employee Assistance helpline.


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Other News

Parking: The Commuter Alternative Program (CAP) is now open for the upcoming year: Aug. 1, 2021 to Jul. 31, 2022. Sign up for Commuter Alternative Program rewards, including a discount card!

Housekeeping: As many of you return to your offices this summer, please reach out to Christopher Allen if you have questions regarding housekeeping concerns/needs.

Vending Machines: For your awareness, the Pepsi vending machines have been relocated to the ground floor in Beard Hall from the student lounge. The area is right in front of the Marcom suite, Room 012.


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BEYOND Strategic Plan

Our BEYOND website serves as the hub for our strategic plan where you can view our goals and progress made against each goal. Currently, goals and metrics have been reviewed by the Dean’s Council. I would encourage you to visit the website to review the latest implementation status updates.


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Upcoming Events

  • Sept 11: Lead With Compassion Yoga Teacher Training 2021-22, hosted by The UNC Program on Integrative Medicine. Join lead faculty Laura Terry and Whitney Wilkerson for a yoga practice followed by an information session to discuss the curriculum, with time for Q&A about their upcoming 200-Hour Teacher Training, which starts September 2021.
  • Sept. 17: Teaching and Mentoring Award Nominations: Nominate a teacher or mentor for a University Teaching Award! Each year, UNC recognizes faculty, staff, coaches, and graduate teaching assistants for outstanding teaching and mentoring. Please take a moment to nominate a deserving teacher or mentor via this website: uta.oasis.unc.edu.

For a complete list of events, please check your Monday Weekly Digest email.