Open Letter to Staff – Latest Health Advisories from the University for New Academic Year
Latest Health Advisories from the University for New Academic Year
The spread of COVID-19 since early 2020 has posed extraordinary challenges to global health. Although the epidemic situation in Hong Kong appears to be easing recently, we should not let down our guard given the volatility of the epidemic, as noted in the recent importation of virus variants. To safeguard the health and wellbeing of CUHK members, the University has implemented various disease prevention measures on campus, which include enhanced cleaning and disinfection. We urge all CUHK members to continue to exercise precautionary measures, including wearing a mask, practising social distancing and frequent hand washing. For details, please see: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/7-ways-fight.html.
For the new academic year commencing in September, the University hopes to offer more face-to-face academic and student activities on campus, as well as to allow normal capacity in residential halls. With increasing number of people taking part in activities on campus, it becomes all the more important to expand vaccinations, as they serve as a bulwark to enhance protection for faculty, staff and students alike, as well as external service providers, visitors, etc. on campus. Recent health data from countries of high vaccination rate bear out COVID-19 vaccination as an effective measure both in personal protection and prevention of the spread of the virus. For example, a recent study published in Lancet (May 2021) gives robust evidence that after two doses of BNT162b2 (BioNTech), an effectiveness of more than 85% can be achieved against asymptomatic or symptomatic infection. Immunization is critical to help protect our city at large, and our University community in particular.
While vaccination is a voluntary choice of the individual, the University strongly encourages all staff to consider receiving the COVID-19 vaccination at the earliest opportunity. The CUHK Medical Centre is one of the Community Vaccination Centers in Hong Kong (offering BioNTech/Fosun [Comirnaty] vaccine injection service). On-line booking for any vaccination center of your convenience and choice can be directly made at: https://booking.covidvaccine.gov.hk/forms/index.jsp.
Staff members who have an appointment for vaccination during work hours may apply to their supervisors for time release to visit the Community Vaccination Centres or enrolled clinics. If necessary (e.g. in case of a mild fever), colleagues may apply for sick leave to get rest after vaccination.
The University will continue strict observance of the infection control measures as advised by the HKSAR Government and the Centre for Health Protection, which include the requirements and restrictions applied to group gatherings and catering services.
Thank you for all you are doing to keep our University community safe. We are on course to resume our usual life on various fronts, gradually and steadily. Vaccines against COVID-19 are an important tool to help us win in the fight. One more jab means one more step ahead. We count on your continued support. For more information about the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, please visit: https://www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/en/programme.
Eric S.P. Ng
On behalf of CUHK Emergency Response Group