We are more than halfway through our semester, and we have continued to limit the number of infections within our community.
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COVID-19 Health and Wellness Information

Despite the challenges of coping with the pandemic, it’s clear that our University community is doing an excellent job following our COVID-19 guidelines and protocols. We are more than halfway through our semester, and we have continued to limit the number of infections within our community. Last week we averaged more than 1,100 tests a day, and we maintained a 0.5% positivity rate, which demonstrates that our procedures are working.

However, that percentage is far below the 5-6% positivity rate in Miami-Dade County and Florida. So, when you are off campus, please remain committed to protecting yourself and others by staying away from crowded areas like bars and restaurants, wearing a mask, and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others.

That will be especially true as we head into the holiday season. The fall break takes place next Friday, Oct. 16, and we are once again urging everyone to avoid travel. Getting on a plane or even driving a long distance increases your exposure, causing unnecessary risk.

Thank you for continuing to make the right choices while on and off campus. If you are asked, please remember that participation in contact tracing is mandatory. Honesty protects us all. Similarly, faculty and staff are obligated to take part in screening, if selected.

We thank you for your continued adherence to our guidelines and protocols established for the safety of our University community.
Roy E. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine
Chair, Department of Medicine
Chief Medical Officer for COVID-19


While most people who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and develop severe illness are over 55, younger people still get very ill. More than 1,100 people between the ages of 15 and 24, and 2,500 between the ages of 25 and 34, have been hospitalized in Florida.

Also, even if you don’t become ill, you can still pass the virus to someone in an older age group who may get very sick and even die. The Centers for Disease Control recently published a report that found that increases in the positivity rate in people over 60 occurred 4 to 15 days after increases in positive test results in adults between 20 and 39.

This study proves that strict adherence to wearing face coverings and physical distancing by younger people makes a big difference in reducing the spread of infection to an older, more at-risk population.
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If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are waiting for test results, please stay home to protect others from getting the virus from you. While you wait, you should be monitoring your health for any signs of infection, such as shortness of breath and loss of smell and taste.

You should also be thinking about who you may have encountered in the last 10 days so you can provide as much information as possible to the contact tracers. Here are some things to keep in mind:
  1. Who have you been within 6 feet of for more than 15 minutes?
  2. Have you gone to any stores?
  3. Where have you been on campus (i.e., classrooms, exercise facilities, or dining halls)?
  4. Have you ridden public transportation or in a car with others?
  5. Where else have you visited?
COVID-19 Hotline | 305-243-ONE-U


Florida can be especially enjoyable in the fall and winter months, when lower temperatures make exercising or relaxing outside much more comfortable. Since COVID-19 spreads more easily inside, it is much safer to be outside.

Being in a natural setting also has another significant benefit—research shows that it decreases anxiety and stress and improves your mental outlook. Even just a 30-minute walk in a park can make a difference, but remember to use sunscreen.


Did you know that people unconsciously touch their faces multiple times an hour? There are many reasons why we touch our faces—an itch, nervousness, fixing our hair, adjusting our glasses, etc. But, your eyes, nose, and mouth are the main ways germs get into your body, so it is essential to limit face touching as much as possible. Try:
  • Tying or pinning your hair back
  • Making sure your glasses fit properly
  • Using moisturizer to prevent itchiness
  • Having a clean tissue on you at all times
  • Sitting up straight so you are not resting your chin on your hands
  • Keeping your hands busy
Even with these changes, you may still touch your face more than you should, so make sure you keep your hands clean by washing them frequently with warm water and soap for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer.
We will share more health and wellness news in the next edition.


Students, faculty, and staff on the Coral Gables and Marine campuses who are experiencing possible symptoms consistent with, or who have been potentially exposed to, COVID-19 should contact the University’s COVID-19 hotline at 305-243-ONE-U, where UHealth physicians and providers are available to answer your questions and provide telemedicine services if needed.

Members of the Medical Campus should contact 305-243-8378.

For additional University of Miami COVID-19 information and resources, visit coronavirus.miami.edu.

If you are in distress or need counseling services, the Counseling Center provides mental health services through HIPAA-compliant teleconferencing platforms. Counselors are certified and available to help any time by calling 305-284-5511. Additional resources are also available by visiting counseling.studentaffairs.miami.edu.
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