UF COVID Updates

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Stay Up to Date on COVID Plans

I don’t think I have ever used the word “unprecedented” as much as I have since this COVID pandemic began. Actually, I don’t believe I used the word “pandemic” much either. But this is our reality as Fall semester 2020 begins at UF and, however you have safely arrived here (to your remote desk or campus abode), that’s exactly how we all want you to stay. Safe.

HaveUHeard has the update on the latest plans and procedures at UF to do just that. But frankly, updates change like the hourly hurricane forecast here in Florida, so we’ll start by highlighting some important aspects. The cornerstone of the UF plan for Fall 2020 is the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect program. As notified by email from UF, all students are required to complete a mandatory COVID-19 screening questionnaire. They will also be given access to COVID-19 testing. Additional student screening and testing information is available on the student’s page of the Screen, Test & Protect website.

For those students that test positive at any time during the semester, the university has reserved rooms on and off-campus for student quarantine use. It’s important to note that any individual who has tested positive will be isolated, and anyone believed to be at risk of exposure will be contacted and asked to self-quarantine. If a student lives off-campus, they will need to quarantine in their residence. UF will work with students isolating on and off-campus to provide support and resources, including food, counseling, and academic assistance, as needed.

Who has the answers?

General COVID questions can be emailed to COVID-19. The following resources may be useful as well:

  • Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center, 24/7: 866-779-6121
  • Alachua County Health Department Call Center, 8:00am-5:00pm: 352-334-8810
  • The complete UF Reopening Plan
  • Additional UF Resources


And then there is the face mask part: Just Wear It.

It’s the MUST-DO fashion item of the year, and by “must” we mean required to wear on campus, whether you choose a mask or cloth face covering. Masks will be distributed across campus to UF students. They are included in Gator Care Kits, which are also being made available to all UF students. Just be sure to follow the CDC guidelines for cleaning and sanitizing your reusable masks. Personally, we’re into fashion and sustainability when it comes to face coverings, so why not make it fun and washable!

When it comes to the clean-hands directive, hand sanitizers and sanitizing stations are widely and generously deployed across campus facilities. Those should cover the times when you can’t do the 20-second wash-up. As another safety measure, campus housing has somewhat reduced occupancy for this year. The elimination of all triples is the most significant change, aside from increased cleaning and disinfection, and some possible amenity restrictions.

How Learning Happens

Fall courses are a mix of face-to-face, hybrid, and online. Remote learning options will be available to most students, with colleges and departments determining the best mode of delivery for particular courses. Efforts are being made to render a return to campus as optional after Thanksgiving break for as many students as possible.

Academic advising and support services for students are available both face-to-face and remotely. Departments strongly encourage students to schedule an appointment with their advisor as early as possible, even if they are seeking a remote appointment. Advising remotely does not allow for advising more students. Services such as parking, student recreation, student health, and student activities will continue to be available as well. UF also provides updated FAQs about those services.

Visit the UF Academic Advising Center strategy page for tips regarding success in mostly or fully online learning. The strategies will help your student set up for academic success, make connections with their instructors and fellow students, and adapt to both synchronous and asynchronous classes. There are also links to helpful videos. And be sure to read our blog offering insight and suggestions for Successful Online Test Taking.

There is no doubt that the fall semester will look and feel somewhat different because of the new safety measures UF has put in place. Students will still be able to participate, with modification, in organizations, clubs, events, and activities. Those groups that have reopened were required to develop and submit plans that demonstrated their desire and ability to align with UF’s healthy campus and community policies. Others meet virtually or outdoors, using proper social distancing and reduced group sizes. Indoor fitness is limited in capacity, but virtual fitness options are offered as well.

Play Safe

Intercollegiate athletics, including practices and competitions, will continue and comply with UF, NCAA, and SEC requirements. And as for football and tailgating, it’s an evolving and open-ended scenario. But Gator traditions and pastimes WILL return, and the earnest hope of everyone is that we will ALL be here for that.

Fraternity and sorority life is still here, but admittedly different. Recruitment has and will continue to happen, with some aspects virtual and others planned safely in person. Each sorority or fraternity must submit plans to UF, addressing how they will maintain health and safety.

You can find a more detailed description of plans and updates at COVID-19 Guidelines, but don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the resources listed with your questions. This is a circumstance too important to treat lightly, and we all want to remain safe and healthy. Let’s make UF 2020-2021 such a success that we can petition to take “unprecedented” and “pandemic” OUT of the Oxford English Dictionary in 2021!

You may want to check out some of our other blogs to help get you through these unprecedented times. Yep, there’s that word again.

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2020-09-30T22:47:13-04:000 Comments

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