UCCS director of Health Services encourages students to use preventative procedures against illnesses  

According to the Wellness Center, there has been a recent spread of common viruses, including COVID-19, causing numerous signs of peak activity for COVID-19 this fall. 

Director of Health Services Billie Jo Baptiste said this is a common time to see the spread of illnesses among students, and UCCS will usually see another uptick in “communicable illnesses” in February and March.  

According to the CDC, COVID-19 is showing signs of increased activity in the U.S this fall. Weekly test positivity peaked to 14.5% on Aug. 26 but has slowly fallen to 11.6% as of Sept. 23. 

Baptiste said it’s expected that COVID-19 and other viral infections will see an increase at UCCS due to students coming back into frequent close contact with each other. She said the campus is seeing approximately two new cases of COVID each week. 

To prevent the possibility of spreading COVID and other illnesses, Baptiste recommends taking a multi-faceted approach.  

“Wash hands frequently, stay healthy, eat right and stay hydrated. Don’t share drinks or utensils with others, clean high touch surfaces in your home, avoid touching your mouth and eyes and stay updated on flu and covid vaccines.” Baptiste said. 

Baptiste also recommends following CDC guidelines. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), effective measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19 continue to be vaccinations, staying home when you are sick and getting tested when sick or exposed to COVID,” she said. 

Baptiste said students can contact the Wellness Center for treatment and additional resources for COVID and other illnesses. The center also offers masks for students who have symptoms and free COVID testing.  

“We have healthcare provider appointments for $20 where we can test, diagnose, and treat their illness,” Baptiste said. “Other than the free rapid COVID testing, we have rapid strep tests [for] $15, rapid flu tests [for] $20 and rapid mono testing [for] $15….we also have free influenza vaccines for students,” Baptiste said. 

The Gallogly Wellness Center can provide resources to students who feel ill. Photo by Meghan Germain.