University role in statewide vaccination plan

December 3, 2020

This message was sent to students, faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

Our fall 2020 semester has been a reminder of how the collective effort of our people always makes a difference. Without knowing when, or if, a COVID-19 vaccine would be found this fall, the students, faculty and staff of our institution came together to move the University forward. A great deal of adaptability and resiliency have characterized our University’s response to the threat of COVID-19. There is still much we must all do. In recent weeks, however, there has been good news related to the development of COVID-19 vaccines which could help turn the tide of the pandemic. Wednesday’s announcement by Gov. Sisolak regarding the State of Nevada’s vaccination plan, once vaccines are made available to the state, is another promising development with important implications. The “COVID-19 Vaccination Program Nevada’s Playbook for Statewide Operations V. 2, [external PDF]” released by Gov. Sisolak and the Nevada Department of Health’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health, offers a roadmap of what we can expect in late 2020 and into 2021 as Nevada implements a wide-ranging and historic vaccination plan.

At this point, we know a COVID-19 vaccine will be in limited supply when it is first distributed, which is why the State of Nevada designation of an initial tier, “Tier 1” of priority order, will be used for targeted groups such as healthcare workers, people at increased risk for severe illness related to COVID-19 and workers considered essential to public safety. Once the capacity and supply increases over the coming weeks, the phased approach will mean that all Nevadans will eventually have an opportunity to receive vaccinations. The group in the plan listed as “Tier 2,” includes education and childcare staff and higher education employees, though further clarification is needed to understand the specific composition of these groups. The University remains ready to assist with its public health and medical resources in a vaccination program.

The University is working with the Nevada System of Higher Education to determine what the phased approach and availability of vaccine will mean for our students, faculty and staff. We will know more when specific allocations are distributed to Washoe County, as well as how groups or individuals on our campus may be classified relative to priority order of the tiered system based on vaccine availability.

As we receive vaccination information and clarification, we will make it available to you. Check the University’s coronavirus page regularly for the latest updates on vaccinations.

Please continue to remain vigilant in all of your efforts in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and in Protecting our Pack. This includes wearing facial coverings, washing your hands frequently, practicing social distancing and keeping gatherings limited to only people who live in your household.

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval