|Below, for your reference, is the full text of President Julio Frenk’s video message (above) to the University of Miami community.|
Today, in-person instruction resumes at the University of Miami. As students and faculty return to the classroom, University staff who have been working remotely also begin their official return to campus.
Throughout the pandemic, we have taken an adaptive and responsive approach—that did not change with the omicron variant. The peak of omicron in South Florida was forecast to occur just as our spring semester began two weeks ago. Those projections were accurate.
Thankfully, just as the peak hit when anticipated, the rapid decline in cases we expected is also occurring. This allows us to pivot back to in-person classes today and to host more activities on campus going forward.
In the coming weeks and months, we anticipate that the pandemic will continue to evolve. As my colleagues in public health have pointed out, while the pandemic will soon end, COVID-19 is likely here to stay as an endemic disease.
As we learn to co-exist with the virus, I primarily want to thank each of you for the ways you have endured and cooperated with the University to keep one another safe.
I also offer three important reminders:
We are excited to reengage in person. Let’s do so with the ’Cane spirit that has helped us face challenges throughout the resilient history of our beloved U.
- First, the most powerful tool in our arsenal against COVID-19 remains vaccination, including boosters when we become eligible. Vaccines prevent hospitalization and death for the vast majority of people.
- Second, high-quality, properly used masks help. We have seen that throughout the pandemic. Omicron is extremely contagious, which makes proper use now—especially indoors and in large groups—all the more important.
- Finally, just as the virus will remain with us—eventually becoming endemic and somewhat seasonal—the adaptability and tenacity that has marked our experience with COVID must become a fixture.