N95 respirators available We are pleased to announce that the University is now in possession of a first shipment of 10,000 N95 respirators of a 20,000-N95 order that was made earlier this month.
N95 respirators available
January 27, 2022
We hope this email finds you well and that your semester thus far has been productive and enjoyable. We are so grateful for the sense of togetherness, of concern and care, that has characterized the actions of our students, faculty and staff during our first few days of this new semester. Your determination in meeting our task at hand, your resilience in the face of challenge and your deep sense of care to always look out for one another all represent our institution’s finest purposes. Thank you for your continued efforts in all aspects of our institutional mission.
We are pleased to announce that the University is now in possession of a first shipment of 10,000 N95 respirators of a 20,000-N95 order that was made earlier this month.
As the campus is already aware, our institution is following the State of Nevada’s mandate that masks be worn in indoor settings, including classrooms and laboratories. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended additional mask protection in dealing with the omicron variant of COVID-19.
Although N95 use is considered purely voluntary by the CDC, the University is making these N95 respirators available to our faculty, staff and students in an effort to provide our people with what the CDC considers a high level of protection in filtering harmful airborne particles from entering the nose and mouth.
Distribution of N95 respirators
Due to the uncertainty of the supply chain and unknown demand levels, initial distribution of this first shipment of 10,000 N95s is limited to one (1) N95 per individual.
The campus distribution plan is as follows:
- 10,000 masks to be distributed based on the establishment of Point of Distribution (POD) in schools, colleges and units;
- Each college or unit will communicate to their faculty, staff and students the location(s) and hours of operations for their PODs;
- Initial distribution will be based on proportional populations of each college;
- Critical services, such as custodial and law enforcement, will receive a higher proportion based on mission critical operations;
- All Deans and academic unit leadership will develop an equitable plan of distribution that includes employees at remote work sites.
Colleges and units will have possession of their N95s starting today. They will provide further details to their faculty, staff and students regarding location, staffing and hours of operation for their PODs. Additional information regarding how to properly use the masks as well as distribution and staffing for the PODs has already been provided to senior leadership.
Voluntary N95 respirator use
OSHA requires anyone receiving an N95 respirator to read the following information on voluntary N95 use during COVID.
Vaccinations encouraged and testing available
In addition to the recommended use of surgical mask or higher grade of protective mask indoors, we are also highly encouraging our entire campus community to seek vaccination if you have not already done so, or to follow up full vaccination with a booster in order to minimize the risk of serious illness or hospitalization due to COVID-19.
The Student Health Center is offering free vaccinations and booster shots to all students, faculty and staff. Call (775) 784-6598 to schedule your appointment. You may also find a local provider through Immunize Nevada or the CDC’s VaccineFinder tool.
The Student Health Center is also offering free daily COVID-19 testing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to students, faculty and staff. No appointment is necessary. You must have your NSHE ID or employee ID available and complete a registration form prior to testing. The University is expanding testing availability to additional campus sites including at the Joe Crowley Student Union. More information about the new testing sites will be available soon.
All of these efforts — use of an N95 which offers the highest level of masking protection from harmful airborne particles, vaccinations, comprehensive testing and contact tracing, practicing good hygiene and washing one’s hands frequently, improved building ventilation and an ongoing commitment to cleaning and disinfecting our public areas — are all part of the University’s efforts to adjust accordingly as the pandemic continues to evolve.
We will continue to closely monitor and share with you the latest developments in maintaining the health and well-being of our people while continuing to execute and deliver our institutional mission at a high level.
All of your efforts in making this a successful semester are deeply appreciated.
Executive Vice President and Provost