By Paulette Renault-Caragianes

It’s great to see so many smiling faces across campus as classes resume.

With the onset of fall we see increases in the level of respiratory illness in the community and on campus and want to provide you with information on how best to manage during this time of year.

Prevention efforts can go a long way. Effective strategies for staying healthy are to engage in healthy habits like getting good sleep, eating well, and engaging in some level of physical activity.

Another effective health enhancing activity is to make sure you get your annual flu vaccine. UML will be offering seasonal flu clinics beginning in October and details on how to schedule your appointment will be announced soon. In addition, now that the FDA has approved the updated COVID-19 vaccine, you may want to consider getting vaccinated for that too.

When prevention isn’t enough, here are some ideas on how to take care of yourself if you’re not feeling well.

First and foremost, if you’re feeling sick with respiratory symptoms, limit your time around people, perhaps even wearing a well fitting face mask, especially in more crowded indoor spaces. Students who need to miss class due to any illness should always reach out to faculty in advance of class.

Many respiratory illnesses like the common cold (pdf) are self-limiting and often respond well to self-care with appropriate over the counter medication and other symptom relieving actions.

Like many other colleges and universities, as well as within the community, UMass Lowell is managing COVID-19 in a different manner than during the height of the pandemic. This is due to vaccine and disease acquired immunity as well as the lessened impact of the current variant on the general population.

Information on what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 on the Health Advisory page. Students are not required to report that they have COVID-19 as contact tracing is no longer conducted, but if you’re feeling poorly, you can always call Health Services during regular business hours at 978-934-6800.

We hope you have a good semester.