Dr. Cindy Prins assesses spaces across UF campus for COVID-19 transmission risks

By Tyler Francischine

group of masked people in meeting room
Dr. Cindy Prins (right) and Jerne Shapiro (left), the lead epidemiologist for UF Health Screen, Test & Protect, meet with other members of the Screen, Text & Protect team. Photo by Louis Brems.

In her role as the infection preventionist for the UF Health Screen, Test and Protect Program, Cindy Prins, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of epidemiology and assistant dean for educational affairs for the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions, offers infection control assessments for UF entities who aim to resume activities throughout campus.

Since August, Prins has conducted 25 site visits, 50 virtual meetings and countless email exchanges with staff across UF to offer best practices for lowering the risk of COVID-19 transmission during events and in inside spaces. It’s a collaborative process, Prins said, as many UF entities create individual safety plans that she can build upon with guidance related to physical distancing and cleaning procedures.

“I’ve been so impressed with how hard everyone is working to do whatever they can to give students things to do while trying to be as safe as possible,” Prins said. “It’s been great to work with amazing people who have put so much thought into what they’re doing and how they can do it safely.”

Prins said events can minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission by observing the following guidelines: Ensure enough space for people to physically distance, preferably outside; ensure everyone wears masks for the duration; and install safety ambassadors who can respond to any issues with individual attendees.

The UF Health Screen, Test and Protect Program uses public health guidance and best practices aimed at fostering a culture of care for our community while taking steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the University of Florida gradually returns faculty, staff and students to the campus environment.