IAUPR has created this page to maintain the IAUPR community aware of all the updates in COVID-19 at our school. You can find here important information about prevention and how to respond to this emergency.

  August 7, 2020 at 2:00pm

 

  March 27, 2020 at 10:00am

  March 20, 2020 at 10:08am

Dear students,

During this last week the school’s faculty, directive team and myself have been immersed in working towards a plan that would allow for a minimal interruption in the completion of this semester’s academic goals. These efforts centered on a somewhat return to normalcy after March 30, with the latest information on the COVID-19 health emergency, this does not seem likely.

It is important to note that the academic recess decreed runs through the dates for which the governor of Puerto Rico issued an executive order requiring people to shelter in place. Gatherings and transit of people for purposes not included in the executive order as exempt are currently forbidden and subject to police intervention. If this executive order were to be extended as currently redacted, meeting for classes or laboratories, activities not included in the executive order as exempt, would be illegal.

At this point, I must inform you of the following directives handed down by the president of the IAUPR, Manuel Fernós.

Academic activity at all units of the IAUPR, including the School of Optometry, will resume on March 31. When academic activity resumes it will be web-based for the rest of this semester. This applies to all classes, laboratories, clinics, and all academic activities.

Externships remain canceled. Students are encouraged to return home and await further instructions.

As I am sure you are aware, this course of action presents many challenges to all of us at the School of Optometry, most notably to all involved in laboratory, preclinical and clinical experiences.

However unique this situation may be, we are not alone. We have been in constant communication with ASCO and all schools of optometry nationwide are facing similar challenges during this health emergency. As such we will be outlining similar strategies and sharing resources to overcome these challenges.

At this time, we encourage all of you to travel to your homes. Those of you who are currently staying in the university dorm must return home.

Before March 31 you will be receiving a more specific communication according to your year of study outlining how we will complete this academic term.

I am sure there will be many more questions and in the following days, we will be providing answers to those.

The safety and well-being of our students require these actions.

 

Cordially,

Andres Pagan, OD MPH

Dean

 

  March 18, 2020 at 6:30pm

  March 17, 2020 at 1:15pm

Dear optometry students:

Much has changed in the last couple of days, here I wish to bring you up to speed on recent developments regarding operations at the IAUPR School of Optometry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The governor of Puerto Rico, Hon. Wanda Vazquez has put in place a curfew through an executive order from March 16 through March 30.This curfew affects our operations and also has implications for your daily life. A summary of this curfew is attached.
  • The president of the IAUPR, Manuel Fernos Esq., has ordered an academic and administrative recess from March 16 through March 30. All academic activity at the IAUPR School of Optometry is suspended during this period.
  • The IAUPR School of Optometry has closed the main campus and all clinic facilities, including satellite clinics.
  • All local and external rotations (externship)have been suspended until further notice, please contact Dr. Marta Rivera for more information.
  • Pearson VUE has canceled Part 1 ABS administration scheduled for March 17 through March 20. NBEO has shut down Part 3 as of March 18.
  • Students are encouraged to leave campus housing during this period, please contact Dr. Iris Cabello regarding any specific situation.
  • We will be providing follow up communications by official email about how we will be moving forward. Please also follow us on social media.
  • The health and well-being of all our community (patients, students, faculty and staff) are paramount in all the decisions that we have undertaken and will undertake.

Stay safe.

Cordially,

Andres Pagan, OD MPH

  March 11, 2020 at 7:06pm

 

This afternoon, the World Health Organization has declared the current CoVID19 a pandemic. It is important to note that this declaration refers to the spread of the disease, rather than the severity of the illness it causes. As of today, the CDC reports the spread of the disease to over 100 countries. In Puerto Rico there have yet to be any confirmed cases, however tests of 5 persons under investigation have been sent to the CDC for analysis.

The CDC expects more cases of COVID19 to be identified in the United States in the coming days, including more instances of community-based transmission and eventually widespread transmission. There is yet much to know with regard to CoVID19, reported illnesses have ranged from very mild (including some with no reported symptoms) to severe, including illness resulting in death.

Until there is additional guidance issued by the Puerto Rico Department of Health, the IAUPR School of Optometry plans to move forward with all academic activities as scheduled. Nonetheless contingency measures have been undertaken to make sure that the academic term will not be lost. We would also like to share some specific actions that have been undertaken at the school to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our community:

  • AC air filters were replaced with higher efficiency ones
  • Additional spray and wipe disinfectants were distributed to personnel in all service areas
  • Maintenance personnel have been instructed to continually clean high traffic areas and surfaces
  • School hand sanitizer and soap dispensers have been refilled and are continuously monitored
  • The doors with the greatest foot traffic will remain open
  • A Travel Advisory for students will be distributed

As in the last communication, I would like to share with you some recommendations from our Department of Health to avoid the spread of disease causing germs:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Cordially,

Andres Pagán Dean

February 28, 2020

 

I am sure you are all aware about the current outbreak of CovID19 (coronavirus infectious disease 2019) in China and the many warnings issued by the CDC to all travelers and the community in general. In Puerto Rico, our local Department of Health is currently providing information on its website about influenza and CovID19, of the latter there are currently no reported cases in the island.

Both these diseases are caused by viruses and require transmission of the virus to spread throughout the community. There are many simple things we can do to stop the spread of these infections and protect ourselves. I would like to share with you some recommendations from our Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

To this list, I would like to add something that is particularly relevant to us Puerto Ricans and that is to avoid physical contact during greetings. Something as simple as avoiding shaking hands can help curb the spread of these disease-causing viruses. Let us all adopt these recommendations to keep our community safe and healthy.

We will soon be providing information on specific measures the university will be taking to attend this situation, however rest assured that many actions have already been undertaken and others are in progress.

 

Cordially,

Andres Pagán Dean

The following guidance is effective immediately and until May 31, 2020

All travelers should be aware that there are health risks when you travel. It is important to check your destination before you leave to learn about the risks and to be prepared. The IAUPR School of Optometry, as a precautionary measure during the current COVID-19 emergency, requires students notify their recent (past 14 days) and forthcoming (until May 31, 2020) travel outside of Puerto Rico. (see form attached).

Fourth year externship rotations will continue as scheduled until further notice. Students are scheduled to attend externship sites in California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia. As of March 10, 2020, all of these states have presented at least one case of COVID-19. Fourth year students are also scheduled to attend externships in Canada. As of March 10, 2020, the following provinces have reported at least one case of COVID-19: Ontario, British Colombia, Quebec and Alberta.

Any student who because of health risk concerns wishes to make a change to their externship schedule should immediately contact the 4th year externship coordinator, Dr. Marta Rivera to explore possible changes.

All previously scheduled and approved travel for professional development activities, professional meetings and similar activities should be reconsidered taking into consideration that you may not be able to return to IAUPR School of Optometry. This due to the possibility of an imposed quarantine and the disruption that such quarantine could cause to your educational progress.

All who have planned to attend Optometry’s Meeting in Washington DC should be aware that there is the opportunity to withdraw and receive a full registration refund. Those interested should call 484-754-3608 before March 31st.

Because of the reported cases and/or a risk of community spread of COVID-19 in the Continental US the CDC has issued the following US Travel Advisory. If you travel to Continental US:

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol
  • Pay attention to your health for 14 days after returning to the US. Stay home and seek medical advice if you get sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
  • Avoid travelling if you are sick
  • Visit CDCs webpage for additional information about COVID-19.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

CDC also recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and Japan where widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission of COVID-19 has been reported. Entry of foreign nationals from China and Iran to the US has been suspended.

Spring break is almost upon us, non-essential travel is discouraged to protect campus and community health. IAUPR School of Optometry strongly encourages faculty, staff and students to postpone non-essential domestic and foreign travel at this time, both professional and personal. The situation with COVID-19 is rapidly changing, even though planned destinations might not currently be considered in travel advisories this could change quickly.

After your trip, what to do if you get sick?

  • If you get sick with fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
    • Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
    • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others. Wear a mask to avoid spread of disease-causing germs.

If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, such as dialysis, call ahead to your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

 

 

 

In order to safeguard campus and community safety and health during the COVID-19 emergency, we will be requiring all members of our community who travel outside of Puerto Rico to complete this travel notification form.