WashU Med COVID-19 Update

Nov. 17, 2022
Information for School of Medicine faculty, staff and students

Our numbers

COVID-19 hospitalizations

Barnes-Jewish Hospital

25 inpatients confirmed

St. Louis Children's Hospital

1 inpatient confirmed

WashU Med

Active cases

39 employees

4 students

Key announcements

New guidance on COVID-19 testing for employees

Occupational Health is now accepting positive home antigen test results for COVID-19, with no requirement for further testing. WashU Medicine and BJC HealthCare employees who develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 and have a positive home antigen test should call the COVID-19 Exposure/Illness Hotline at 314-362-5056 to report the result and receive guidance on safe return to work. It is not necessary to send proof of a positive home test to Occupational Health. However, employees may wish to date and initial their home test and take a picture of the test alongside their badge for their own records or in the event this may be needed at a later date. Please continue to stay at home if you are sick, regardless of test results.

Depending on evolving regional trends in respiratory virus disease (e.g., COVID-19, influenza), WashU Medicine and BJC HealthCare will continue to collaborate together and adapt strategies to ensure safe return to work.

Occupational Health offering walk-in flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster clinics

WashU Medicine has communicated the importance of getting your influenza (flu) vaccine this season and recognizes that getting a COVID-19 booster vaccine this fall is another preventative measure to keep our campus and St. Louis community safe.

To help protect our employees, Occupational Health has added walk-in flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccine clinics Nov. 18 and 28 as well as Dec. 5 and 12 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-ins should visit the Occupational Health office in the Center for Advanced Medicine (4921 Parkview Place), Suite 5A. Employees may also schedule a flu vaccine appointment online.

As a reminder, WashU Medicine employees who work on-site or in a hybrid position at WUSM locations, including faculty, staff, and trainees, must receive this year’s influenza vaccination and upload documentation in ReadySet by Dec. 16, unless employees have been granted an exemption for medical reasons or religious beliefs. Exemptions must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. Note: If you receive your flu vaccine or COVID-19 booster through Occupational Health, your documentation will be uploaded to ReadySet for you so you remain in compliance with the university's flu policy. For more information, contact Occupational Health at fluvaccine@wustl.edu.

The flu vaccine and COVID-19 boosters are also widely available at clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers.

To find booster locations or a Moderna vaccine site, visit vaccinatestl.org or vaccines.gov. You can also text your ZIP code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations. WashU Medicine strongly encourages all those who are eligible to receive booster doses to increase protection against COVID-19 infection and complications.

Stay healthy this holiday season

As we prepare to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, the CDC suggests strategies to reduce the spread of viruses:

  • Get your flu shot and COVID-19 booster.
  • Wear a mask indoors if you are not fully vaccinated or if you have a weakened immune system. If you are fully vaccinated, wear a mask indoors in areas with substantial or high COVID-19 transmission.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds at key times such as after using the bathroom or before eating.

Other news

Repeat COVID-19 infections can carry serious health risks (WashU Medicine News, Nov. 10, 2022)

A recent study by WashU clinical epidemiologist Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, published in Nature Medicine, found that people who were reinfected with COVID were at higher risk of adverse health problems in the lungs, heart, brain and other organ systems and were more apt to be diagnosed with long COVID, compared with people who were only infected once. He elaborated on the findings in this Washington Post story.

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