University of North Florida announces reopening plans for Fall semester

University of North Florida announces reopening plans for Fall semester

UNF strongly recommends that all members of the Osprey community be tested within 14 days prior to returning to campus.

The University of North Florida announced it’s reopening plans Friday for the upcoming semester. 

The first day of fall classes will be on August 17 with additional protocols in place. UNF strongly recommends that all members of the Osprey community (faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors) be tested off-campus within 14 days prior to returning to campus.

In addition to testing, UNF highly recommends that all students, faculty, staff, visitors, and vendors adhere to social distancing, masking and using the UNF Self-Screening App.

The app will walk individuals through a series of questions and provide personal guidance in determining whether it would pose a health risk if you were to return to campus. This new app will be available in the next few weeks.

Occupancy levels in classrooms will be adjusted with enhanced cleaning and a limit on social gatherings.

The full plan can be read in its entirety below:

“Update on Return to Campus in Fall

During the past few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has created extraordinary challenges impacting our daily lives in a myriad of ways. Throughout this difficult time, the University of North Florida community has shown tremendous strength and resiliency and has demonstrated extraordinary courage in navigating this changed landscape. As we prepare for our future, specifically the first day of fall classes on August 17, we remain focused on the health and safety of our Osprey community and providing the high-quality academic experience our students expect from UNF. Together, we will emerge as a better, stronger university.

A successful return to campus will depend on all of our personal and collective behaviors and actions. We are one Osprey family, and that means we always look out for each other and support one another in challenging times. It means that each of us must take steps to stay well and persistently keep each other safe, both on campus and in the community. Creating a safe and healthy environment for all Ospreys is a shared responsibility that will include protecting your own health, while also protecting your friends, family, classmates, and colleagues.

No person or age group is immune from the potential complications, hospitalization, and even death caused by COVID-19. Even those who are asymptomatic can spread the virus to others who may be at higher risk for complications. That means you can unknowingly infect your loved ones and put others at risk.

COVID-19 testing can lead to quick identification of cases, quick treatment for those infected, and immediate isolation to prevent spread. Early testing also helps to identify anyone who came into contact with infected people so they too can be quickly monitored and treated.

Therefore, UNF is strongly recommending that all members of the Osprey community (faculty, staff, students, visitors, vendors) be tested off campus within 14 days prior to returning to campus as part of our shared responsibility.

UNF will also make testing available on campus throughout the fall semester for students, faculty, and staff. On-campus testing will begin ahead of the first day of classes and will initially prioritize incoming residential housing students and faculty teaching in-person classes.

Preparing for Return to Campus

In addition to testing, UNF highly recommends that all students, faculty, staff, visitors, and vendors adhere to the following key actions/behaviors 14 days prior to returning to campus. These actions/behaviors will help keep you and your fellow UNF family members safe and healthy.

Social Distancing: Put six feet of distance between yourself and other people when outside your home, and avoid close contact with people who are sick inside your home.

Masking: Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.

Personal Hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, especially after you have been in a public place.

Monitor Health Daily: Be alert for symptoms, including fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.

Osprey Pledge: Review and take the Osprey Pledge, which outlines our obligations of shared responsibility to protect our campus and greater community.

Download UNF Self-Screening App: UNF has developed self-screening tools to walk individuals through a series of questions and provide personal guidance in determining whether it would pose a health risk if you were to return to campus. This new app will be available in the next few weeks. Instructions on how to download and use the app will be emailed to you at that time.

Take COVID-19 Training: No later than August 14, all UNF faculty, staff, and students must complete the online COVID-19 Education Course. The course will be taken online via the new Cornerstone learning management system, Osprey Ascend, for faculty and staff; and via Canvas for students. This new training will be available in the next few weeks. Instructions on how to take and complete the training will be emailed to you at that time.

Avoid Large Gatherings: Do not attend gatherings of more than 25 people. If you do attend any gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors, please ensure six feet of distance between you and others, and wear a mask to protect yourself, family, and friends.

On-Campus Health & Wellness

UNF is instituting the following protocols to promote the health and wellness of the Osprey community once back on campus. These protocols will help all of us keep the Osprey community safe and healthy.

Four Key Pillars of Shared Responsibility: Based on CDC best practices, everyone on campus will be required to (1) practice social distancing, (2) wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor areas at all times, (3) practice proper personal hygiene, and (4) monitor health on a daily basis.

Testing Availability: UNF will be making testing available on campus as students, faculty, and staff return in the fall.

Initial Masks Provided: Each faculty, staff, and student will be provided a washable cloth mask upon return to campus. Face shields will also be made available upon request to faculty teaching in-person classes.

Self-Screening App: As noted above, UNF will be launching a self-screening app to help members of the community monitor their health on a daily basis. This new app will be available, and instructions on how to download and use the app will be emailed, in the next few weeks.

Classroom Wellness: Occupancy of all classrooms will be adjusted to ensure appropriate social distancing, including the moving/removing of selected desks and chairs and/or designating certain seats as unavailable. Where possible, movement in and out of classrooms will be modified to prevent congregation of students. Masks will also be required in all classrooms.

Housing Wellness: The University has reduced the overall occupancy in residential housing. No triples will be available, bathrooms will be limited to no more than four residents, housing with communal bathrooms will be limited to private rooms, and no visitors will be allowed. Residents will also be required to wear a mask in all indoor and outdoor areas at all times, with the exception of residents who are alone or with their roommate in their assigned room.

Enhanced Cleaning: All public spaces will be cleaned according to CDC guidelines. This will include a daily cleaning of all buildings and classrooms along with additional cleaning of certain areas such as restrooms. Although offices and workspaces will be cleaned on a daily basis, each occupant will be asked to take extra cleaning and sanitizing precautions with the more personal items in their workspace such as desks, computers, phones, etc.

Limiting Gatherings: Engagements and gatherings will be limited to 25 students or less in indoor spaces and 50 or less at outdoor venues if space is large enough to accommodate six feet of distance between participants and masks are worn.

Update on Fall 2020 Academic Calendar and Course Schedule

The Fall 2020 course schedule has been modified to help ensure a safe educational environment for our campus community by providing course offerings that adhere to social distancing guidelines. Most changes regarding delivery mode (face-to-face, hybrid, remote instruction) have been completed. Given the fluidity of the situation with the pandemic, some minor adjustments, including individual room assignments, may be necessary before the start of fall classes. All classes, regardless of delivery mode, will go fully remote following the Thanksgiving holiday. FAQs on Fall 2020 class types are available on the Registrar’s webpage.

Students who are already registered for Fall 2020 courses should continue to pay close attention to their schedules in their myWings account. Changes will also be reflected on the Online Catalog. (To search Fall 2020 courses, go to Browse Catalog, Schedules, then make a category selection to search by term.)

Students who have questions or need to make adjustments to their fall course selections should reach out to their academic advisors to ensure the changes fit with their programs of study.

Update on Residential Housing Move-In

In an effort to prioritize safety, housing move-in will occur in phases by appointment only between August 10 and August 16. Not all residential communities and floors will open on the same day. There will be a limited number of appointments available each day. Assigned residents will be able to schedule their appointment beginning in late July. UNF’s Department of Housing and Residence Life will be reaching out via email and social media with more details on scheduling next week.

Update on Dining Services

Retail food venues on campus will not be open before August 10. During the week of August 10, the number of venues and hours of operation will be reduced, and Dining Services will be operating in training/soft-opening mode. Meal memberships will start on August 14. Dining Services will work with leaders of specific student groups who are back on campus before this date to ensure they are accommodated as requested.

The Boathouse will not open for fall term, and there will be no seating areas beside Chick-fil-A and Starbucks to allow for distance queuing. Seating will also be reduced or eliminated beside the food venues in the Student Union. Hours of operation will be modified for some venues. Actual traffic and utilization during the first couple of weeks of fall term may further identify the need for additional changes.

The Osprey Café will be also be modifying its operations compared to previous semesters. As examples, the self-service salad bar will be replaced with employee-built or prepackaged salads and members of the Dining Services team will create all plates. There will be an increased use of disposables and to-go packages. Seating capacity will be reduced or could be eliminated and to-go implemented as the only option.

Other Resources/Services Available

UNF is committed to delivering and enhancing resources and services vital to academic continuity and the health and safety of our community. Important resources/services, including but not limited to, Student Health Services, Counseling Center, ITS Help Desk, Carpenter Library, Bookstore, and Center for Instruction and Research Technology will continue to operate both in-person and remotely throughout the fall semester. Updates on reopening dates, hours of operation, and key contact information will be available over the next few weeks on the Return-to-Campus Operations webpage.

UNF recognizes that there will be individuals who test positive for COVID-19 during the fall term or are at high-risk for severe illness if infected. Students with in-person classes who need to quarantine or isolate should contact their instructors via email or Canvas. Instructors will work closely with these students to ensure academic continuity, and remote capabilities will be offered where possible and appropriate for learning. Residential housing students who need to quarantine or isolate will be moved to designated areas on campus and receive daily checks from Student Health Services and School of Nursing students. Mechanisms to address faculty and staff requests for modifications or accommodations to work arrangements will also be available.

Please continue to monitor your email, UNF’s Home Page, Coronavirus Website, myWings, Canvas, and UNF social media accounts over the next few weeks for further guidance and answers to frequently asked questions. Due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, information is fluid and guidance may be subject to change.

Thank you all for embracing the commitment to shared responsibility, as well as your patience, commitment, and support in the face of continued uncertainty. We are one Osprey family, and together we will emerge better, stronger.”

For more information, click here.

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