Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom and Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs Vicente Gracias sent a University-wide email yesterday reminding Rutgers students about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) prevention.
Gracias and Strom said although the public was initially able to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases around June, COVID-19 cases are rising again in New Jersey and nationwide, according to the email.
“Unfortunately, fighting this pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. We know that we are all exhausted and frustrated for a myriad of reasons,” they said, according to the email. “We are all tired of virtual gatherings, takeout and shouting through masks. But we must keep our pace.”
Gracias and Strom said students should take precautions, such as social distancing, wearing face masks and washing hands regularly, when gathering with friends or family, especially when indoors, according to the email.
Multiple COVID-19 vaccine trials are making significant progress, they said, and Rutgers is working with New Jersey officials to help with distribution plans, according to the email. A vaccine may possibly be available at the end of this year, but Gracias and Strom said it would more likely be in 2021.
In addition to the prospect of a vaccine, they said more advanced treatment strategies and technology for testing are emerging, some of which involve Rutgers research, according to the email.
“Though it may feel far away, there will be a day when we can again draw our family and friends close and display friendly smiles to our neighbors and feel safe,” Gracias and Strom said, according to the email. “To get there, we must all accept responsibility and protect ourselves and our community by taking these simple precautions.”