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UF COVID-19 Updates

April 3: Note of gratitude to faculty members from Provost Joe Glover and President Kent Fuchs

Dear faculty colleagues,

We want to take this time to extend our profound gratitude for your tireless work and resilience since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Three weeks ago you were asked to move all instructional activities online.  We thank you for successfully and smoothly doing so, while helping students make the transition as they dispersed, many of them under considerable stress.

Amid this disruption, and continuing to the present, we know many of you find yourselves called to provide even more support and care to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.  We greatly appreciate the faculty’s attentiveness and thoughtfulness—especially when so many of you are also caring for your own loved ones.  A special shout out to all academic advisors for your important role and the extra load you carry. 

Thank you to the many faculty who have been able to continue their scholarship and creative activities.  Special thanks are also due our clinical faculty who are providing exceptional care in the line of fire, to our library faculty, who are critical to our mission, and to our extension colleagues who continue to deliver community support across Florida.  Thank you, all of you, for your commitment to your work and for your creativity and resourcefulness. 

We know you are striving to be your very best as a faculty member.  We hope you do so while accepting that perfection is not possible amid so much disruption and uncertainty.  Again, we are so proud and grateful for how you are responding to this pandemic, particularly your leadership and pursuit of excellence and how you are caring for each other and those in the UF community.

With admiration,

Joe Glover, Provost, and
Kent Fuchs, President


March 30: UF President Kent Fuchs Update on COVID-19

A video message from President Kent Fuchs regarding UF community resilience and his four priorities for the coming weeks:

View on YouTube >>


March 27: Hiring Pause

Joe Glover, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Jodi Gentry, Vice President for Human Resources

In response to the continuously changing circumstances involving the spread of COVID-19, the University of Florida is pausing faculty and staff hiring, including OPS jobs, effective immediately and until further notice, with a few exceptions.  The following vacancies may continue to be posted and/or filled:

  • All contract and grant-funded positions, regardless of position type
  • UF Health faculty and staff positions involved in the clinical enterprise
  • Summer appointments of existing 9-month faculty
  • Current searches for which offers already have been extended

Faculty searches underway may also be eligible for an exception, upon review and approval, as described below. 

Reasons for exceptions to this hiring slow-down may include positions critical to:

  • Campus and personal health and safety
  • Compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations
  • Delivery of essential University services
  • Courses necessary for timely graduation
  • Critical advancement of the University mission

To request an exception to this hiring pause, the hiring manager must obtain approval, including the rationale for the request, from the appropriate dean and/or vice president.  Exceptions for new faculty hires must receive final approval from Provost Joe Glover or Dr. Dave Nelson, as appropriate.  All staff new hires will need final approval by Vice President for HR Jodi Gentry.

If approved for recruitment, job openings will be advertised in accordance with the University’s normal recruitment process.  Existing openings currently being advertised will be removed from the Careers at UF website on Monday, March 30, 2020. 

We will provide communication when job openings are able to be re-posted.  We anticipate this hiring slow-down will continue through the summer.  Questions? Contact Audrey Gainey, UF Human Resources’ director for Talent Acquisition and Onboarding, at gaineya1@ufl.edu


March 27: Partial Housing and Dining Refunds for Spring 2020 Semester

The University of Florida and its Dining service provider Aramark plan to offer students partial refunds for those who left campus early this semester due to COVID-19.

HOUSING 

  1. Students who occupied campus housing for the entire semester.     Since these students received the full benefit of their housing contract, UF will not offer partial refunds to these students.  
  2. Students who removed all personal property from their rooms and formally checked out with Student Affairs/Housing before March 24. These students will be offered a pro rata refund of the Housing payment for the Spring semester, based on the checkout date.
  3. Students who departed campus and did not check out earlier than March 24. These students will be offered a pro rata refund of the Housing payment for the Spring semester, based on the March 24 order by the City of Gainesville and Alachua County to reduce essential operations in the locale.

DINING

  1. For students who remain on campus, dining halls remain open and the meal plan continues to be available.
  2. Students who are no longer on campus and have discontinued use of their meal plan after March 23 (based on the March 24 order by the City of Gainesville and Alachua County to reduce essential operations in the locale) will receive a prorated refund for the unused portion of their meal plan (including flex bucks).

Refunds will be applied to students’ university accounts. Any university balance will be paid prior to the refund being disbursed. UF will process refunds as quickly as possible.  Please understand that this may take some time, given the current state of campus operations and demands on personnel time to address emergency issues associated with the pandemic.  

Vice President D’Andra Mull, Student Affairs

Vice President Curtis Reynolds, Business Affairs


March 25: MESSAGE TO STUDENTS ON SPRING 2020 S/U GRADING AND DROP OPTIONS

To:  UF Undergraduate Students
CC:  UF Faculty, UF Staff
From:  Provost Joe Glover
March 25, 2020

Dear Gator Undergraduate Students:

In the past two weeks, our entire Gator community has faced unprecedented change in our work, study, and social lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The UF Administration and Faculty are grateful for your resilience and flexibility in shifting your lives away from campus as a result of this pandemic.  Many of you have shared your experiences with us as you make every effort to transition to a new place and a new way of learning, and we recognize the extreme disruption this shift has brought to your lives.

In an attempt to help you continue to progress towards your degree and future career aspirations in a timely manner, the UF Administration and Faculty have approved a change in the current UF S-U Grading and Drop Policies for Spring 2020 courses.  In summary, within the period of April 1 and April 22, you will see a new form on your ONE.UF page.  If you decide to remain with letter grades in all your courses that are currently letter-graded, you will not need to do anything.  If you have decided for any of your courses to shift to S-U grading or to drop with a “W,” you will be able to request those options on your personalized available form.  The dropped courses will not count against your lower division or upper division drop count.  The deadline for S-U grading requests and for dropping a course with a “W” has been extended to April 22. 

You will find more details about this Spring 2020 policy change on a special web site we have created.  This web site includes FAQs that will assist you as you think about what the right choice is for you.  I encourage you to study this information carefully along with guidance provided by your department and/or college through their web sites, academic advisors, and faculty.  We will continue to update this web site with new FAQs as they arise, links to department and college web sites, and any other information that we hope will be helpful to you as you deliberate on how you will proceed.    

In the nearly 160-year history of UF, many outstanding Gators have pushed through great challenges to accomplish remarkable achievements.  Today, we must be inspired by their resilience and strength with our own inner strength and courage that will, in turn, inspire those who follow us.  Even though we must be separated at this time, I cannot be prouder to be a part of our Gator Community of Scholars! 

Sincerely,
Provost Joe Glover


March 24: UF to remain open, but will limit on-campus work to essential services, starting today

Dear UF community,

Alachua County mandated emergency "stay at home" orders effective at midnight, Monday, March 23. UF is reducing on-campus personnel to those identified as essential, starting today. If you are unsure about whether this includes you, your manager will be able to provide you with guidance and more details about what this entails.

If you have been approved to work from home, please do so. If you have been identified as essential and your job requires you to remain on campus, please practice social distancing, maintaining at least a 6-foot distance between yourself and others whenever possible. The University of Florida is firmly committed to prioritizing our community’s health and safety to the greatest extent possible.

Beginning Tuesday, March 24, UF will provide employees who are unable to work on campus and unable to work from home with 10 days of paid emergency sick leave, pro-rated based on full-time equivalency. This leave will be provided to faculty, staff, OPS, postdocs and graduate assistants, and is to be used as needed by employees who are affected. Detailed guidance on how the emergency paid sick leave may be used, when needed, as well as time reporting will be provided later this week, and further details will be posted to UFHR's Working through COVID-19 website as soon as they are available. The leave provision is granted as part of the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act.

We are deeply grateful to the faculty and staff working tirelessly in our clinical operations to lead us through this crisis. We also send our heartfelt thanks to the Student Affairs, College of Veterinary Medicine, University Police Department, Facilities Services and other personnel who remain on campus to support our students who are unable to leave and to attend to our critical daily operations. Classes continue to be taught remotely, and other important university business continues.

Vice President for Research David Norton is sending to the research community information on how these changes affect our research enterprise and those who support it. UF’s administration will continue to evaluate next steps beyond this two-week period, and we are committed to providing you with updates on a regular basis.

Answers to questions are available on the Faculty and Staff FAQ section of UF’s COVID-19 website, which will continue to be updated. If there are other questions not answered here, we encourage you to email humanresources@ufl.edu.

These are unprecedented times for all of us, but we are a strong and resilient community that will rise to meet this challenge. By working together and caring for one another, we will continue to navigate this difficult period with strength and determination.


Stay healthy and stay in touch,

Dr. Charles E. Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Jodi D. Gentry, Vice President for Human Resources


MARCH 20: Message on fitness centers, dorms and meal plans

Dear Students,

Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order (No. 20-71) regarding Gyms and Fitness Centers. In accordance with state guidance, campus recreation and fitness centers, including Southwest Recreation Center will close at 10 p.m. tonight until further notice. 

Lake Wauburg North Shore will remain open except for the swimming area and boating. Hours of operation can be found online at https://recsports.ufl.edu/about/hours/.

Recreational Sports will be providing online exercise courses and instruction for students to remain active remotely.

Over the last few days, the university has been working closely across the State University System and with state officials to minimize the economic burdens the COVID-19 emergency may place on students. UF is currently developing plans for issuing refunds, rebates, or credits to students who may no longer be able to utilize their university residence hall and/or dining plan contracts. Each student’s funding situation is different based on their financial aid or how they paid their contracts. We will be working with students on their individual cases.

Students experiencing any type of financial hardship are encouraged to utilize the Aid-a-Gator fund.  UF provides funding to students experiencing unanticipated expenses due to an emergency. This financial assistance is intended as a funding bridge for UF students to cover education-related expenses. If students need help covering the costs of unanticipated travel, rent due to lost wages, additional technology requirements, replacement of medications, emergency childcare due to extended school closures, or other needs, they can apply. More information can be found at https://www.sfa.ufl.edu/aidagator/

Lastly, the university will soon announce details in adjustments to the S/U Grade option policy to allow students additional flexibility.

As a reminder, whether you are in Gainesville or away, we encourage you to practice social distancing and use preventative measures to keep our community healthy.

Be safe, and as always, Go Gators!

Dr. D’Andra Mull
Vice President for Student Affairs


MARCH 19 UPDATE

UF Spring commencement rescheduled

Following the State University System’s announcement that on-campus commencement ceremonies will not be held at Florida public universities in May, UF has rescheduled its Spring commencement for the weekend of July 31-August 2 for students graduating with master’s or bachelor’s degrees.  Graduating doctoral students can participate in the summer doctoral ceremony scheduled for August 7. Guests are welcome to attend all ceremonies, and tickets will not be required.
 
As always, participation in graduation weekend ceremonies is voluntary and does not affect a student’s graduation status or their degree. Diplomas will be mailed to graduates’ permanent addresses about eight weeks after grades are finalized.
 
More information about college ceremony dates and times for the July 31-August 2 weekend will be available soon.


MARCH 17 UPDATES

UF will offer full suite of courses for Summer A, B and C; Summer A and C will be online

Dear Students,

We want you to know that we are offering a full suite of courses for Summer A, B, and C.  Summer A/C courses will be provided online so you can continue to make progress even in the current circumstances. 

The University of Florida remains committed to you, your safety and your timely graduation. We are here to support you in achieving your academic goals.

In meeting student needs, UF is able to rely on its years of experience in online education, a world-class faculty, and a robust information technology infrastructure.

While you prepare for advance registration, we encourage you to continue on your academic path by setting up a meeting with your academic advisor.

Sincerely,

Provost Joe Glover and Vice President D’Andra Mull


Dear students, faculty and staff,

I am writing to let you know that in response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ announcement today that four University of Florida students have tested positive for COVID-19 and at the governor’s recommendation, all UF classes will remain online for the remainder of the Spring semester.

Students who have not gone home yet must do so if possible. We understand that for some students, Gainesville is home. Additionally, employees who can work remotely are strongly encouraged to do so.

All students and employees are strongly urged to practice social distancing in their studies, work and personal lives. Your health and safety is our top priority.

The university continues to follow guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state health officials to keep the campus community safe and healthy.

These are indeed unprecedented times, and I want to thank you all for your resilience, patience and determination.

Sincerely,

UF President Kent Fuchs


MARCH 16 UPDATE

Dear Faculty and Staff,

In line with Governor DeSantis’ guidance and the directives issued by the state’s Department of Management Services, the university will be implementing the following policies effective immediately.

Business and Personal Travel:

  • UF is prohibiting all non-essential university travel until further notice. Additionally, previous approvals for travel are now rescinded, provided that travel has not yet commenced. Essential travel may be approved by your senior vice president or vice president.
  • Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) best practices for prevention of COVID-19. Personal travel should be minimized. UF employees who do embark on personal travel involving a cruise or international destinations will be required to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days before being allowed to return to work.

University-related Business Activities:

  • No visitors are to be hosted on campus unless approved by a senior vice president or vice president.
  • Everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing, avoid large gatherings and conduct university business via videoconferencing and virtual meetings.
  • UF is canceling, postponing or, where feasible, moving all events to alternate virtual modes of participation through at least March 30, 2020. Scheduling new future events and conferences will also be postponed for this duration.  

More information regarding these decisions as well as other questions related to COVID-19 are available by accessing these updated FAQs.

I am grateful for your effort and commitment. I know we all face considerable uncertainty and anxiety about the next several months. Thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility.  

With admiration and gratitude,

UF President Kent Fuchs


MARCH 13 UPDATE: MESSAGE REGARDING ALACHUA COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL CLOSURES

We realize the announcement of public school closings will impact many of our faculty and staff.  While the university continues to be open, an employee who is unable to report for or remain at work due to a family care emergency such as this may use one of the following types of time off to account for time away from work, with supervisory approval:

  • Accrued vacation time off
  • Accrued sick time off
  • Unpaid time off

Additionally, as a reminder, the university’s Alternate Work Location provision is available and may be of assistance during this time. For jobs that do not lend themselves to working from home, faculty and staff may wish to discuss options for adjusting their schedules with their supervisors.

We recognize that flexibility will not always be possible, given the complexity of our work environment and that the university is open and fully operational at this time, and this scenario presents many challenges and potential hardships. We know how challenging times like this can be, and we are here to help support you. If Human Resources can answer any questions, please contact us at humanresources@ad.ufl.edu.


MARCH 11 UPDATE: A MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT KENT FUCHS

UF requires all classes to move online

University remains open and fully operational

Students encouraged to return home until March 30

In accordance with guidance issued today by the State University System and in response to the COVID-19 situation, the University of Florida will move classes online by Monday, March 16, and classes will remain online until at least March 30.

Additionally, UF is encouraging all students to return to their homes and remain there until March 30. We understand that for some students, returning home may not be feasible. Campus resources including dining halls will remain open for those students.

The campus will remain open and fully operational, and employees are expected to remain on a normal work schedule. As announced earlier, supervisors may provide remote working options to employees whose job duties can be performed remotely without hampering operations. Jodi Gentry, UF vice president for human resources, will provide further guidance.

We encourage organizers of large meetings and events to consider holding them online, postpone or cancel where appropriate. The University Athletic Association will issue separate communications regarding athletic events, as will UF Performing Arts.

Students should contact their instructors for details on their coursework. Additional communication may be provided by college deans and department chairs. Classes are continuing, and students are expected to meet all course requirements as the university remains open.

These are extraordinary and uncertain times. I share everyone’s concerns and understand how unsettling and disruptive these measures are. As Gators, we have a tradition of pulling together and rising to meet major challenges with optimism and determination. I encourage all of us to look out for each other as we take care of ourselves. I am confident that our university community will meet this challenge.


MARCH 9 UPDATE: COVID-19 AND ONLINE CLASSES

In response to the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., Provost Joe Glover sent a memo to academic deans today recommending that instructors move their courses from face-to-face delivery to an electronic delivery mode effective immediately, wherever possible.

While this is not a requirement at this time, there is a strong probability that it will become a requirement before the end of the spring semester, and so instructors are encouraged to transition now.

Instructors should continue to follow their syllabus, assignment and exam schedules, and office hours schedule.  Instructors are responsible for notifying their students in advance about the shift to the online format and to communicate regularly to them expectations surrounding assignments, exams, etc.

Help is available to assist faculty with transitioning at https://elearning.ufl.edu/keep-teaching/

The university will make every effort to be considerate of instructor and student concerns during this unprecedented situation.  Instructors are strongly encouraged to be similarly considerate of student concerns.

As of now, the university is planning to deliver the usual summer sessions. However, it is possible that circumstances may require all courses to be delivered online.


MARCH 6 UPDATE

As Spring Break concludes and classes resume next week at the University of Florida, UF officials want you to know what is being done to prepare in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Effective immediately, no one who has been to China, Japan, South Korea, Italy or Iran within the past 14 days will be permitted on the UF campus. This applies to students, faculty, staff and visitors, with the exception of anyone seeking or receiving medical treatment at UF Health or UF Health Jacksonville. 

No cases of COVID-19 have been reported on the UF campus or in Alachua County. However, UF is taking numerous precautions to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, including:

Administration

Last week, UF administrative leadership activated the structure of UF’s Emergency Operations Team and Policy Group to facilitate institution-wide preparedness and response actions for this health threat. More than 60 members of the university’s administration are meeting regularly to address specific areas of campus operations: public health actions; student and employee care; continuity of academic, research and business operations; and public information and communications.

General

  • Installation of additional hand sanitizer dispensers throughout campus, to be placed at strategic locations such as building entryways and high-traffic locations;
  • Distribution of bottles of hand sanitizer to be placed on instructors’ desks;
  • Distribution of the Trushot restroom disinfectant and cleaner to the custodial workforce;
  • Purchase of extra supplies of hydrogen peroxide for general disinfection purposes and for use on transit buses;
  • Purchase of the Clorox Total 360 electrostatic disinfectant spray system, to be used in the event of a reported COVID-19 case on campus. This system disinfects the front, sides and backs of surfaces.

Campus housing

Additionally, UF’s Division of Housing has instituted the following precautionary measures for campus housing areas:

  • Daily wiping down of high touch surfaces in all residence halls
    • Doors doorknobs, handrails, elevator push buttons
    • Desks, tables, chairs, arm rest of chairs
    • Counters, offices, phones, keyboards, laptop keypads in common spaces
    • Bathroom fixtures, toilets, sinks
    • Water fountain push buttons
  • Areas are being cleaned using microfiber cleaning cloths which are frequently changed
  • Areas are being disinfected using Diversey Oxivir TB
  • Supervisors are monitoring desk area locations to ensure hand sanitizer bottles are kept replenished at the desk and not allowed to run low
  • Focusing on after-hours cleaning as it related to areas that are visibly soiled and immediately cleaning those locations.

Currently, large gatherings such as athletic events and spring commencement are continuing according to schedule. UF officials are prepared to modify those plans if warranted. However, please be aware of CDC guidance, which recommends that the elderly, anyone with a compromised immune system and anyone who is sick should avoid such events. If this applies to you, please reconsider your plans.

As with any situation involving an infectious disease, one of the most critical elements is the individual – you. We cannot stress strongly enough the importance of closely following CDC guidance for preventing infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • 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 the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

MARCH 2 UPDATE

To: UF students, faculty and staff
 
From: Dr. Ronald L. Berry, M.D., Interim Director, UF Student Health Care Center
Dr. Charles E. Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
With the state’s first presumptive cases of COVID-19 reported in Hillsborough and Manatee counties on Sunday and Gov. Ron DeSantis directing the state surgeon general to declare a public health emergency, University of Florida officials are mindful of concerns students and their families may have this week during Spring Break.
 
UF officials are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will be looking to the state Department of Health and the CDC for guidance as the week progresses. We will communicate new information to the UF community as it becomes available during this rapidly evolving situation.
 
Students and other members of the UF community are reminded to practice frequent hand washing, stay home when sick, and cover coughs and sneezes. Additional hygiene information is available at the CDC.
 
To minimize the virus’ spread, UF is taking the following precautions.
  • Based on guidance from the State Surgeon General and the Board of Governors, all students and employees returning from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea need to self-quarantine and not return to campus for fourteen days after their return.  In addition, UF has cancelled all university travel to those countries. Students who need to self-quarantine should contact the Dean of Students office at umatter@ufl.edu; faculty should notify their department chairs, and employees should notify their supervisor.
  • UF study abroad trips to China for spring and summer 2020 are canceled, and UF has canceled a trip to South Korea for three students. Trips will be refunded or the UF International Center will work with students to find alternative arrangements for them, as possible.
  • UF has canceled a study-abroad program in Vicenza, Italy, and is arranging for the return of 41 students and two faculty members. Vicenza has been particularly affected by COVID-19. Arrangements are being made for other students in Italy to complete the semester online and to depart if they would like.
  • UF is coordinating with partner institutions to minimize potential exposure in other impacted areas where students are studying abroad.
  • In keeping with CDC guidelines, UF advises that travelers returning from Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran who experience fever, significant coughing or shortness of breath to contact their health care professionals and notify them of their recent travel and symptoms prior to their arrival.
For more on COVID-19 and its prevention, visit the Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.

FEBRUARY 28 UPDATE

As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread around the globe, the University of Florida continues to closely monitor the rapidly evolving situation and is prepared to respond appropriately.

To date, no cases have been reported at UF or elsewhere in Florida. Sixteen cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in the U.S.

While the immediate risk to the general U.S. public is considered low, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise the virus will likely cause a global pandemic and is urging Americans to prepare much as they would for a hurricane. According to the CDC, a pandemic refers to an increase in cases that spreads over several countries or continents, usually impacting a large amount of people.

With UF’s spring break approaching, many people in the UF community may wonder if they should change their travel plans. The CDC recommends that all nonessential travel to China and South Korea be canceled. The CDC has also issued travel notices for Iran, Italy, and Japan, warning that the elderly and anyone with chronic medical problems should avoid non-essential travel to those countries. People who do travel to those regions should avoid exposure to sick people and practice recommended hand washing. People traveling to Hong Kong should practice usual precautions and avoid exposure to sick people.

Precautions at UF:

To help minimize the spread of COVID-19 as well as any potential impact on the UF community, the university is implementing the following precautions.

  • UF study abroad trips to China for Spring and Summer 2020 are canceled. Trips will be refunded or the UF International Center will work with students to find alternative arrangements for them, as possible.
  • UF has canceled a trip to South Korea for three students, and all travel to that country is suspended for the foreseeable future.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, UF has canceled a study-abroad program in Vicenza, Italy, and is arranging for the return of 41 students and two faculty members. Vicenza has been particularly affected by COVID-19.
  • The U.S. State Department has raised the China Travel Advisory to Level 4: Do not travel to China. Consequently, UF will not approve university travel to China for employees and will not reimburse for any university travel to China. The university has also issued restrictions on any official travel to China by students, faculty, and staff, and the UF International Center will no longer approve travel to China for students until further notice.
  • UF faculty and staff returning from China are subject to 14-day quarantine after which they may be cleared to return to work. As of Feb. 27, the CDC is advising that travelers returning from Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran who experience fever, significant coughing or shortness of breath should contact their health care professionals and notify them of their recent travel and symptoms prior to their arrival.
  • UF is coordinating with partner institutions to minimize potential exposure in other impacted areas where students are studying abroad.
  • Particularly when traveling, the UF community is reminded to wash hands frequently with soap and water as well as avoid close contact with people who are sick. The CDC does not recommend wearing facemasks in the community to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Additional hygiene information is available from the CDC. The best way to prevent coronavirus is to avoid being exposed.

More information

UF is coordinating with UF Student Health, UF Health, the Alachua County Health Department, UF Emergency Management and the UF International Center for local planning. More information can be found at the CDC and World Health Organization websites as well as UF’s list of frequently asked questions.


FEBRUARY 11 UPDATE

Travelers from Hubei Province are subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper medical care and health screenings.

Travelers from other parts of mainland China are subject to up to 14 days of self-quarantine with health monitoring to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.

As a precaution, any UF student who is subject to the mandatory or self-quarantine as defined above will be required to be quarantined for up to 14 days and must follow the processes below upon returning from China and/or before returning to the UF/UF Health campus:

If you are returning from China or have been in contact with someone from China and are symptomatic (fever, cough, shortness of breath) at any point during the 14-day quarantine period:

  • Contact UF Health Shands Infection Control immediately at 352-682-3743.
  • Infection Control will contact the UF Health Shands Hospital epidemiologist, who will discuss the appropriate next steps with you.
  • If you believe you require immediate medical attention, whether at the E.R. or your medical provider’s office, inform the medical staff in advance that you have recently returned from China. If you are in need of an ambulance, inform the 911 operator that you have recently returned from China.
  • Before returning to class after your 14-day quarantine, contact the UF Student Health Care Center at 352-294-5700 to schedule an appointment to be cleared to return to class.

If you are returning from China and are not symptomatic:

UF Students who live off campus:

  • You must self-quarantine in your off-campus residence.
  • If during the self-quarantine at home you develop symptoms refer to above section for symptomatic people.
  • Before returning to class after your 14-day quarantine, contact the UF Student Health Care Center at 352-392-1161 to schedule an appointment to be cleared to return to class.
  • If you have any questions contact the UF Student Health Care Center Special Clinics nurse at 352-294-7472.

UF Students who live on campus or in sorority or fraternity houses:

  • If you live in a self-contained village apartment (with an apartment bathroom and kitchen) then you must self-quarantine in your apartment.
  • If you live in traditional housing with shared facilities, you will be relocated to a self-contained apartment during the self-quarantine period.
  • If during the self-quarantine you develop symptoms refer to above section for symptomatic people.
  • Before returning to class after your 14-day quarantine, contact the UF Student Health Care Center at 352-392-1161 to schedule an appointment to be cleared to return to class.
  • If you have any questions, contact the UF Student Health Care Center Special Clinics nurse at 352-294-7472.
  • Any student who is required to quarantine or self-quarantine is encouraged to reach out to their faculty members regarding any class work missed during the quarantine period.

Our faculty will work with you to be sure there is no penalty to missing class due to illness.

Because the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak can cause stress and anxiety, we encourage students needing support to contact U Matter We Care at https://umatter.ufl.edu/

The university will continue to provide updates as this situation continues to evolve and urges all students, faculty and staff to stay informed about information related to the novel coronavirus.


FEBRUARY 10 UPDATE

As the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) continues to evolve, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, and the Department of Homeland Security have updated the travel alerts and instructions for travelers returning to the U.S. from China.

  • Travelers from Hubei Province are subject to up to 14 days of mandatory quarantine to ensure they are provided proper medical care and health screenings.
  • Travelers from other parts of mainland China are subject to up to 14 days of self-quarantine with health monitoring to ensure they have not contracted the virus and do not pose a public health risk.

As a precaution, any UF or UF Health faculty, staff or volunteers who are subject to the mandatory or self-quarantine as defined above will be required to be quarantined for up to 14 days and must follow the processes below upon returning from China and/or before returning to the UF/UF Health campus:

UF Health Shands staff and volunteers:

  • If you are returning from China and are symptomatic (fever, cough, shortness of breath) at any point during the 14-day quarantine period:
    • Contact UF Health Shands Infection Control immediately at 352-682-3743.
    • Infection Control will contact the UF Health Shands Hospital epidemiologist, who will discuss the appropriate next steps with you.
    • If you believe you require immediate medical attention, whether at the E.R. or your medical provider’s office, inform the medical staff in advance that you have recently returned from China. If you are in need of an ambulance, inform the 911 operator that you have recently returned from China.
    • Before returning to work after your 14-day quarantine, contact UF Health Shands Occupational Health Services at 352-265-0250 to schedule an appointment to be cleared to return to work.
  • If you are returning from China and are nonsymptomatic:
    • Before returning to work after your 14-day quarantine, contact UF Health Shands Occupational Health Services at 352-265-0250 to schedule an appointment to be cleared to return to work.
    • Contact UF Health Shands Infection Control at 352-682-3743 if you have any questions.

Please note: UF Health Shands employees who are either under mandatory quarantine or those who have arrived from China in the past 14 days and are asked to self-quarantine at home must use PTO or unpaid leave for the time away from work. Unless seeking medical care, employees are prohibited from coming on campus or to any UF-affiliated facility during the quarantine period. If you are seeking medical care, please contact the health care provider before you arrive to ensure proper precautions can be taken.

For questions or assistance with use of paid leave, the employee should call his or her manager. For assistance with Occupational Health clearance, please call 352-265-0250. If you need access to additional resources during this time, please call the UF Health Shands Employee Assistance Program at 352-265-5493.

UF faculty and staff (clinical and non-clinical)

  • If you are returning from China and are symptomatic (fever, cough, shortness of breath) at any point during the 14-day quarantine period:
    • Contact UF Health Shands Infection Control immediately at 352-682-3743.
    • Infection Control will contact the UF Health Shands Hospital epidemiologist, who will discuss the appropriate next steps with you.
    • If you believe you require immediate medical attention, whether at the E.R. or your medical provider’s office, inform the medical staff in advance that you have recently returned from China. If you are in need of an ambulance, inform the 911 operator that you have recently returned from China.
    • Before returning to work after your 14-day quarantine, contact the UF Student Health Care Center at 352-294-5700 to schedule an appointment to be cleared to return to work.
  • If you are returning from China and are nonsymptomatic:
    • Before returning to work after your 14-day quarantine, contact the UF Student Health Care Center at 352-294-5700 to schedule an appointment to be cleared to return to work.
    • Contact UF Health Shands Infection Control at 352-682-3743 if you have any questions.

Please note: Administrative leave will be made available to eligible employees who are either under mandatory quarantine or those who have arrived from China in the past 14 days and are asked to self-quarantine at home. Unless seeking medical care, employees are prohibited from coming on campus or to any UF-affiliated facility during the quarantine period. If you are seeking medical care, please contact the health care provider before you arrive to ensure proper precautions can be taken.

To qualify for administrative leave, confirmation from the Department of Health of either status (mandatory or self-quarantine due to recent travel from China) will be required. Employees also will be required to obtain clearance from the UF Student Health Care Center to return to work.

In the event a UF employee is diagnosed with the 2019 novel coronavirus, the employee will be eligible to use personally accrued sick leave. For questions or assistance with use of paid leave or for assistance with clearance to return to work, please contact Employee Relations at 352-392-1072.  

If you need access to additional resources during this time, please contact the UF Employee Assistance Program.


JANUARY 31 UPDATE

TO: UF students, faculty and staff

FROM: Dr. Ronald L. Berry, M.D., Interim Director, UF Student Health Care Center; Dr. Nicole Iovine, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Epidemiology Officer, UF Health

RE: Guidance on coronavirus

Dear students, faculty and staff,

With the World Health Organization having declared a global health emergency due to the spread of the novel coronavirus and the U.S. State Department raising its travel advisory to Level 4 warning people not to travel to China, the University of Florida is continuing to closely monitor the situation in conjunction with local and state health officials.

The university announced today that it will not approve university travel to China for employees and will not reimburse for any university travel to China that commences after today. In addition, the UF International Center will no longer approve travel to China for students until further notice.

Currently, UF Health has had no cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, China. In addition, none of our patients has met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for testing. Also, as of today, there are no positive cases of the new virus in Florida.

It's important to note there are many strains of coronavirus routinely seen in the U.S. during flu and respiratory viral season, and our physicians treat patients with these infections without alarm. Again, the particular virus that originated in China is not among those we have treated.

Like every other university and hospital in the country, we are taking all appropriate precautions and continuously engaged in important conversations to ensure the health and safety of the university community.

Out of an abundance of caution, the UF International Center has reached out to several UF-affiliated individuals who returned from mainland China during the past two weeks to make them aware of all information and resources pertinent to the novel coronavirus. None traveled to Wuhan, where the coronavirus originated.

As part of its role of providing guidance for students, faculty and staff with travel plans, the International Center also reached out to a number of UF-affiliated individuals who had plans to travel to mainland China during the coming weeks. All have canceled those travel plans.

If you have visitors arriving from China, please refer them to the following websites for information and resources: 

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

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

Because the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak can cause stress and anxiety, we encourage students needing support to contact U Matter We Care at umatter.ufl.edu The university will continue to provide updates as this situation continues to evolve and urges all students, faculty and staff to stay informed about information related to the novel coronavirus: 

CDC travel information

U.S. State Department travel information 

Coronavirus prevention tips


JANUARY 24 UPDATE

TO: UF students, faculty and staff

FROM: Dr. Ronald L. Berry, M.D., Interim Director, UF Student Health Care Center; Dr. Nicole Iovine, M.D., Chief Epidemiology Officer, UF Health

RE: Guidance on coronavirus

University of Florida officials are closely monitoring updates related to a novel coronavirus as a second confirmed case has been reported in the U.S. connected to an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The second U.S. case was confirmed today in Chicago. No cases have been reported at UF or elsewhere in Alachua County. The university is coordinating with UF Student Health, UF Health, the Alachua County Health Department, UF Emergency Management and the UF International Center for local planning regarding the novel coronavirus using up-to-date guidance from state and federal health officials.

The CDC considers this new virus a public health concern based on current information. However, the immediate health risk to the general U.S. public is considered low at this time. The CDC and the World Health Organization are closely monitoring the situation and providing ongoing guidance. The CDC escalated its health warning to a level 3 as the coronavirus continues to spread, recommending that people avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china

What you can do

If you are concerned that you may have novel coronavirus, see your health care provider immediately.

Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it’s unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.

Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for the coronavirus. There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • 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 the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Travel Information

Travelers should stay informed on CDC updates and travel notifications at: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/warning/novel-coronavirus-wuhan-china.

The State Department has issued a Watch Level 3 Alert for travel to China following an ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus. As the virus continues to spread, officials recommend that people avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/china-travel-advisory.html

If you have essential, UF-related travel planned to China, please follow this guidance:

  • Prior to travel, schedule an appointment with the dean of the UF International Center, Dr. Leonardo Villalón at (352) 273-1536.
  • 31: The U.S. State Department updated its travel advisory to Level 4, warning people not to travel to China. The university announced today that it will not approve university travel to China for employees and will not reimburse for any university travel to China that commences after today. In addition, the UF International Center will no longer approve travel to China for students until further notice.
  • 27: The State Department issued a Watch Level 3 Alert for travel to China following an ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus. As the virus continues to spread, officials recommend that people avoid all nonessential travel to Wuhan, China.

Students may call the Student Health Care Center Travel Clinic at 352-392-1611 or the Health Science Center branch at 352-294-5700. More information can be found at https://shcc.ufl.edu/services/specialty-care/travel-counseling-vaccinations/.

If needed, adjustments may be made to UF-sponsored programs in impacted areas.

Helpful Resources

For more information about the coronavirus, prevention, symptoms, etc., please visit www.cdc.gov as a helpful resource.

Prevention Tips

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/about/prevention.html

Coronavirus - Travelers Health Information

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/novel-coronavirus-china

Travel to China

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Homeland Security, have updated the travel alerts and instructions for travelers returning to the U.S. from China. 

Resources