At UT Knoxville, one of our missions is to educate students. Our employees are a critical part of that effort. For the past year, we have all navigated this pandemic together, and we will continue to move forward together. The university is working to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the campus community in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. Faculty and staff in eligible phases outlined by the Tennessee Department of Health can make an appointment for vaccination at the Student Health Center. Eligible employees can also sign up to be vaccinated at a public clinic hosted by the University. The University will offer vaccine appointments as supply allows. Read more about making a vaccine appointment at https:// www.utk.edu/coronavirus/vaccine/.
The University also supports ongoing efforts to test for COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals. UT, in coordination with the Tennessee Department of Health, is making EverlyWell COVID-19 home collection kits available to all employees at no cost. The kit offers a private, convenient and effective way to test for COVID-19 in those without symptoms. Employees can pick up a kit at the Student Health Center during normal business hours. For more information: https://studenthealth.utk.edu/everlywell-covid-19- home-collection-kit-overview/.
The number of COVID-19 cases among UT employees remains low. The University works to limit the potential for workplace transmission through university-provided PPE, hand sanitizer stations and other preventive efforts. The University urges all employees to check their health daily, stay home when sick and follow current health and safety guidelines. Doing so helps keep our campus open and safe.
The uncertainty of the pandemic has caused added stress for many. Moving forward can also bring challenges that can impact our mental health. The university is committed to offering resources for faculty and staff to cope with the ongoing changes. Help is available 24/7 for employees in distress. The university also offers wellness services, emotional support resources and other mental health benefits. A full list of resources is available on the UT COVID-19 website: https://www.utk.edu/coronavirus/ guides/coping-and-support.
The university appreciates all employees and their ongoing efforts to keep our campus community safe. Their dedication gives us hope for the future and the momentum to move forward in what has been a trying time for us all.