Guide to In-Person Classes During Spring 2021 

PPE 

  • All faculty who are teaching face to face are being provided with N95 masks (five per instructor) for use in the classroom. Instructors should contact their college or unit HR liaison or administration for details on how these masks will be distributed. 
  • Students are expected to wear a mask at all times in the classroom. Classrooms will be stocked with disposable masks to offer to any student who comes to class without a mask. Facility Services will monitor the supply and replenish as needed.

STUDENTS 

  • If students refuse to wear a mask, instructors may ask them to leave class. If a student refuses to leave, the instructor may adjourn class or, if a student becomes disruptive, may call UPD for assistance at 352-392-1111. 
  • Instructors can access their class roll on my.UFL.edu at any time to determine whether students are cleared to attend class in person.

CLASSROOMS 

  • Students will be seated in classrooms 6 feet apart to maintain physical distancing from each other and from the instructor. 
  • Classrooms will be cleaned each morning prior to the start of classes. UF’s custodial workers will follow UF Health expert guidance and CDC guidelines, using chemicals approved by the CDC, to clean and disinfect surfaces and touchpoints in classrooms, offices and restrooms before the start of each academic day. 

Help is available to get you up to speed on HyFlex:

Additional information can be found at

Campus Health Requirements 

When returning to campus, all students, faculty, staff and visitors are asked to adhere to the following practices.

Physical Distancing
Whenever possible, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from others while on the University of Florida properties and in common spaces until further notice.

Face Coverings

Every university student and members of student organizations must:

  • Wear a mask or cloth face covering in UF and UF Health facilities as required by the University’s Masking and Physical Distancing policy.
  • Wear a face covering in UF outdoor spaces when the space does not allow for appropriate physical distancing as required by the University’s Masking and Physical Distancing policy.
  • Unapproved face coverings include masks with exhalation valves or vents, which allow air to be expelled and do not prevent the person from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Examples of face coverings that help our campus community stay safer are available at UF Health.
  • All visitors, faculty, staff, students, patients, volunteers and vendors are required to wear a face covering when outside on all UF and UF Health property unless a distance of 6 feet or more is maintained at all times. 

Reusable, disposable, N95 and KN95 masks are available for purchase at the UF Bookstore. Disposable and reusable masks are available for purchase at all Gator Dining locations. Additionally, masks are available for purchase from 50 vending machines across campus. 

Learn more about behavioral expectations, including guidelines for gatherings, on the UF Policy Hub page.

Wash Hands Frequently
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes are available for purchase at the UF Bookstore and in 50 vending machines across campus. 

Stay Home When Sick

If you are sick, please stay home. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


Policy Enforcement

Behavioral expectations are reinforced through the University of Florida’s three-tiered approach: Education, Engagement and Enforcement.

  • Education takes place at all levels of the University and may include informing others of regulations, policies and guidance.
  • Engagement reinforces education and provides direction to correct behavior, clarify enforcement mechanisms and end behavior that poses an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of community members.
  • Enforcement of behavioral expectations to abide by University regulations and policy, state and local law and the instructions of officials can be carried out by any designee of the Vice President of Student Affairs or other appropriate University Official.  Enforcement of behavior found to be a violation of the Student Conduct Code may result in sanctions such as loss of privileges associated with being a University of Florida student or student organization, including suspension and expulsion.​

 

Health & Safety Standards

All UF, University Athletic Association and Extension staff and faculty, regardless of location, are required to be screened prior to coming back on campus, and testing is strongly recommended. Faculty and staff who work in health care or on campus and who have been working since the beginning of the state shelter-in-place orders are strongly encouraged to be tested.

Learn more about UF Human Resource’s Return to the Workplace initiative.

UF Health Screen, Test & Protect
UF Health has implemented a comprehensive Screen, Test & Protect initiative as a part of our measured initiative to ensure a safer return to work and school, including guidance about what will be expected of you as you prepare to return to campus.

Prevention and Protection
As Gators, we are adopting healthy habits that will help us continue to enjoy what we value most about our connections to campus. To ensure expectations are clear, UF Health has prepared resources to increase understanding about how the virus is transmitted and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Campus Safety Measures
Learn more about the measures we are putting in place to protect faculty and staff upon reopening.

Resources
The resources below will help answer additional questions and concerns you may have about returning to campus.

We understand these are unsettling times and you may have questions, concerns or even some fears. Please know our approach to returning UF to more normal operations is based on scientific evidence and modeling that show new infections can be controlled and reduced to manageable levels by expanding screening and testing and then quickly isolating those who are infected by the coronavirus.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is UF offering COVID-19 testing in the spring semester 2021?

Yes. UF will continue to offer COVID-19 testing for students, faculty and staff through UF Health Screen, Test & Protect.

Why is the university recommending the flu vaccine?

Individuals are strongly encouraged to get the annual flu shot, and it is required for health care workers and students who are in a health care environment.

Although the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has long recommended that everyone more than 6 months old get a flu shot annually, this year it is even more strongly recommended by health experts. The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing and by some projections may reach a high enough level in some areas to overwhelm the available health care systems. If a maximum number of individuals get flu shots this year, there should be less demand on the health care systems due to flu and thereby decrease the chances of exceeding the capacity of our health care systems. 

Flu shots will be given to all UF students and employees who want one at multiple locations on campus this spring by the UF Student Health Care Center. Flu shots will be given by appointment only.

How will campus health and safety policies be enforced?

UF has a three-tiered approach to enforcing behavioral expectations regarding keeping our campus community healthy and safe: Education, engagement and enforcement.

  • Education takes place at all levels of the University and may include informing others of regulations, policies and guidance.
  • Engagement reinforces education and provides direction to correct behavior, clarify enforcement mechanisms and end behavior that poses an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of community members.
  • Enforcement of behavioral expectations to abide by University regulations and policy, state and local law and the instructions of officials can be carried out by any designee of the Vice President of Student Affairs or other appropriate University Official. For more details, please visit the UF policy page for behavioral expectations.

Are employees/students returning from international travel required to quarantine? Further, if someone travels after being cleared to work, must that person be re-cleared upon return?

UF will follow the applicable CDC travel guidance restrictions, and travel guidance as determined by the State of Florida, Department of Health.  COVID-19 testing remains available for all faculty, staff and students that return from travel, but it will not be required.  

How can I be tested for COVID-19 if needed?

If you have symptoms or just want to get tested because you are worried you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, we have made scheduling testing easier using one.uf.edu. Simply go to one.uf.edu, complete the screening questionnaire again, and schedule the test within the next two days, and results will be emailed to you no later than 48 to 72 hours after your test.

What are the modes of classroom instruction for the spring semester?
  • Primarily Classroom/Traditional:  Face-to-face delivery (0-49% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both)
  • Hybrid:  Course requirements are met through a mix of online activities/assignments and in-class activities/assignments.  (50-79% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both.)
  • Online (80-99%):  Mostly online, but there is a requirement for the student to attend campus or another explicit geographic location for a portion of the course. (80-99% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both.) 
  • Online (100%):  Completely online. If included with a section that is labeled "Primarily Classroom/Traditional," the course will be delivered in "Hy-flex" format where "Primarily Classroom/Traditional" group of students are in person in the classroom, while the online students participate in the live lecture remotely. (100% of the direct instruction of the course is delivered using some form of technology when the student and instructor are separated by time, space, or both.)
What are masking and physical distance policies?

All visitors, faculty, staff, students, patients, volunteers and vendors are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering when in UF and UF Health facilities, with an exception for children less than 2 years old. If two or more people are within 6 feet of each other outdoors they must wear a mask or cloth face covering.  Masks with exhalation valves or vents allow air to be expelled and are prohibited because they do not provide protection to others. In addition, neck gaiters and bandanas should not be worn unless no other face covering is available.

Face coverings are to be worn in all classrooms, in patient care areas and when in public/common areas, including lobbies, conference rooms, elevators, stairwells, bathrooms and lounges. Face coverings are also required on employee and visitor shuttles, and on RTS buses.

Exceptions include when in private offices, private workspaces with adequate physical barriers, and well-ventilated outdoor spaces where appropriate physical distancing of 6 feet or more can be maintained.

All visitors, faculty, staff, students, patients, volunteers and vendors are required to wear a face covering when outside on all UF and UF Health property unless a distance of 6 feet or more is maintained at all times. 

Please refer to the masking and physical distance policy at https://policy.ufl.edu/policy/masking-and-physical-distancing/.

What does “hy-flex” classroom delivery mean?

Students will be enrolled in sections that are face-to-face and online.  Students in the face-to-face section will come to class in person, while students in the online sections will participate in live lectures remotely. 

Will masks and other personal protective equipment be available on campus?

Masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available in the UF bookstore, Gator Dining, and in 50 vending machines across campus. For employees, the university will provide UF-branded cloth masks and has a large amount of hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray that will continue to be distributed as needed to each college and unit. Additional N95 masks will also be provided to those who may need them for use in face-to-face settings.

If you have questions or are in need of supplies, you are encouraged to work with your area's HR liaison to make a request. Because central supplies are limited, specific quantities have been allocated for each area.

If my question isn't answered here, whom can I contact?

Please email reopen@ufl.edu for additional questions not answered here.

What accommodations will be made for employees who have an underlying health concern?

HR and the Office of Accessibility and Gender Equity have developed a process to evaluate appropriate accommodations for faculty with disabilities. More information can be found on the Office of Accessibility and Gender Equity's website.

Are all other students required to complete the screening questionnaire?

Students are strongly encouraged to take part in the weekly screening questionnaire, as it is an important part of the university’s efforts keep our campus as safe as possible. As Gators, is part of fostering a culture of care and concern for each other.

If I live off campus, do I need to complete the weekly screening questionnaire?

Yes, all students need to complete the weekly health screening questionnaire.

Will the weekly screening questionnaire continue given the mandatory targeted testing plan?

Yes. The weekly screening questionnaire will continue for all students, faculty and staff.

Does the university have a plan in place in the event of a campus or community outbreak of COVID-19?

Rooted in expertise from UF Health, university leadership has developed a range of contingency plans based on situations and circumstances that might occur.

The university is taking into careful consideration surrounding healthcare and treatment capabilities, on-campus testing capacities and back-up providers, and available isolation and quarantine capabilities on and around campus.

Contingency planning is also taking into account what is happening in the surrounding community, and federal and state guidelines.

Where can I go for reliable health information and updates on COVID-19?

For the most up-to-date information about health, wellness and prevention of COVID-19, please visit

My question is not addressed here. Where can I learn more?

UF Human Resources has assembled a comprehensive webpage of resources to support faculty and staff during this time.

I’d like to get tested for COVID-19; where can I go for a test?

Have symptoms? Or just want to get tested because you are worried you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19? We have made scheduling testing easier and more straightforward. 

Students and employees should visit One.UF.edu, open and fill out the short screening questionnaire and schedule a test. It’s that easy.

Locations will be available for next day or same-day testing until appointments fill. Results are emailed back to your UF email address within 24 to 48 hours. 

If your symptoms concern you and you think you need to see a doctor, just click the designated box on the questionnaire and you will be given instructions on how to be seen at the Student Health Care Center or, if you are a UF employee, through your primary care provider. 

If you have additional questions or need to reset your screening questionnaire, email student-screening@ufl.edu if you are a student or UFReturnToWork@hr.ufl.edu if you are an employee.

Why is UF expanding its number of in-person classes in the Spring semester?

UF is a residential university and is working to return to an environment of normalcy to the extent possible. Further, a substantial segment of students has indicated they would like to return to in-person settings.

I am in a mandatory testing group: How do I get cleared for campus?

As students and faculty prepare to return to campus for the spring semester, the University of Florida will initiate return-to-campus protocols based on demographic.

  • On December 21, all students will be marked “not cleared for campus.” They will then have until Jan. 10 to complete an initial health screening questionnaire for the spring semester. The health screening questionnaire is available at one.ufl.edu.
  • After the initial return-to-campus screening, all students will begin to receive a weekly health screening questionnaire and those students determined by UF Health experts to present a high-risk for contracting or transmitting the virus will be included into the routine testing plan, where they will be tested every two weeks beginning the week of Jan. 11.

Groups currently included in the high-risk student population and the routine testing plan include:

  • students in face-to-face classes
  • students who live in undergraduate residence halls
  • active members of UF’s Greek community who reside in or have a meal plan within a Greek residence

Students determined by UF Health experts to present the highest risk for contracting and transmitting the virus — those living in residence halls and/or participating in face-to-face classroom instruction — must complete the health screening questionnaire and schedule a test by Jan. 10 to be cleared for campus.

After the initial return-to-campus testing, UF will transition to the routine testing plan, where high-risk students will be tested every two weeks.

For more information, please visit the Health & Safety Guidlines page. 

Where can I learn more about isolation and quarantine procedures?

You can learn more about isolation and quarantine procedures at UF on the Screen, Test and Protect page. 

https://coronavirus.ufhealth.org/screen-test-protect-2/students/student-quarantine-and-isolation/

Is it mandatory to get tested for COVID-19 in order to be on campus?

We plan to continue with the core strategy of targeted testing, but are adding mandatory surveillance testing at the start of the semester, continuing with testing every two weeks, for students living in residence halls and those participating in Greek life in Gainesville or in face-to-face classroom instruction. Adjustments will be made on the basis of needs that arise during the ever-changing pandemic.

Please visit our Spring 2021 page for how mandatory surveillance testing will work for specific groups, what exclusions may apply and consequences for students who do not comply.

If I live off campus and test positive, what do I do?

The university has a plan to support students who need to quarantine or isolate. If a student lives off campus, they will need to quarantine in their residence (apartment, house, etc.). Please refer to our Student Quarantine and Isolation page for information on the process, including what to expect in the quarantine residence halls, meal options, and medical care.

What resources are available for faculty to support their mental health and well-being during this stressful period?

Our UF Employee Assistance Program offers confidential 24/7 access to support for employees at no cost.

With the number of class sections increasing, how will UF minimize the spread of Covid-19?

UF will strictly adhere to CDC physical distancing guidelines, and mask wearing will be mandatory. Additionally, classrooms will be configured to allow 8 feet of distancing between each student, and many face-to-face class sections will be accompanied by a hyflex section — which streams simultaneously over the internet — to allow for decreased classroom capacity as a result of distancing requirements. Additionally, UF Health will continue its vigorous contact tracing program in partnership with the Department of Health. UF Health’s Screen, Test, & Protect initiative has also developed new tools to monitor classrooms to minimize in-class transmission. Surveillance testing will be scaled up with mandatory regularly scheduled testing of students and others at high risk of COVID-19 infection. Additionally, wastewater testing is in full swing and will enhance the overall monitor and control efforts.

What is the return-to-campus process if I’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

Please see UF Health’s Screen, Test, Protect website for an updated matrix of the return-to-campus process.