UF faculty and staff have been participating in the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect program since mid-May. Through this initiative, most of our employees have completed a mandatory screening questionnaire and many of them have opted to undergo testing for COVID-19. Students screenings began in early July, with an eye toward completion by the start of the fall semester. A small number of faculty and staff new to UF, as well as those who have been away or on leave, will have an opportunity to complete screening just prior to the start of the fall semester as well.
This is a challenging time for everyone, so please remember to show compassion for one another and understand that each person’s circumstances are unique. Faculty and staff who have concerns are encouraged to discuss them with their supervisors.
Working at an alternate location has been and will continue to be an option for faculty and staff, with supervisor approval. In granting approval, the supervisor will consider whether the working arrangements will benefit both the organization and the employee. UF Human Resources is available to assist in navigating the review and approval process. Employees who wish to perform their work at an alternate location should speak directly with their supervisors.
UF strongly encourages persons aged 65 or older or those who have an underlying health condition the CDC categorizes as being at increased risk to discuss with their supervisors the ability to work at alternate locations (i.e., work at home), assuming that this is compatible with their work-related responsibilities. For those for whom this is not an approved option, (e.g. those with essential functions that require onsite scheduling) or for those who wish to return to campus, UF will provide KN95 masks to increase protection.
Faculty and staff who have health-related concerns but are not approved to work at an alternate location through the process described above should contact UF’s ADA Office at 352-273-1094.
Health and Safety Guidance
University policy requires that in any gatherings that take place in public spaces — including meetings, break rooms, shared workspaces without dividers of a reasonable height, etc. — participants wear face masks or cloth face coverings and be spaced 6 feet apart from one another. A face mask or cloth face covering is required everywhere on campus except when an individual is in a private office or in an outdoor area separated by at least 6 feet from others. People not wearing a face mask or covering (outside of the exceptions noted) will be asked to put one on or leave the area to help maintain the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
For More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
- Are individuals placed in quarantine required to use sick leave? (7/28)
Individuals who have been placed in quarantine but are feeling well may work remotely if they are able to complete their duties and their supervisor approves their working remotely. Those unable to work remotely or who are not feeling well may use emergency medical leave or sick leave. For more information, please visit the Guidance on Taking Leave section of the UFHR website.
- I have plans to work or travel prior to the start of the fall semester. Do I need to self-quarantine before I arrive on campus? (8/7)
For at least 10-14 days prior to arrival to campus, we strongly encourage you to limit your exposure to people who do not live in your household to the greatest extent possible.
If you must travel or work, or otherwise share common spaces with people who don’t live in your household, please adhere to UF’s behavioral guidance and make sure you are in the habit of these best practices before you arrive to campus.
- If my question isn't answered here, whom can I contact?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions not answered here.
- Why is the university recommending the flu vaccine? (7/10)
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 fall by the UF Student Health Care Center. Flu shots will be given by appointment only.
Information regarding flu shot scheduling and locations is forthcoming.
- What behavior is expected on campus to prevent community spread? (7/2)
When returning to campus, all students, faculty and staff 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: Wear a mask or cloth face covering when in UF and UF Health facilities, with only a few exceptions for children less than 2 years old or those who are ill. For those who are unable to wear a face covering, face shields will be an acceptable alternative. 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. Exceptions include when in private offices, private work spaces with adequate physical barriers, and well-ventilated outdoor spaces where appropriate physical distancing can be maintained.
- 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.
- Stay Home When Sick: If you are sick, please stay home. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
For more information, please visit the UF Health website.
- My question is not addressed here. Where can I learn more? (7/10)
UF Human Resources has assembled a comprehensive webpage of resources to support faculty and staff during this time.
- How will campus health and safety policies be enforced? (8/11)
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. 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.
- Does the university have an emergency management plan? (6/30)
The University of Florida has a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, which is publicly posted on our website. The purpose of this plan is to facilitate preparedness and actions for responding to a myriad of events that pose a threat to the safety and security of our students, patients, faculty and staff. These threats range from hurricanes to the challenges associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Our emergency management plan creates structures within the university, with dictated roles and responsibilities guiding the efforts of individuals in every facet of our large academic and healthcare communities. Leading the university’s emergency management response is a group of senior leaders and staff members representing our health colleges, hospitals, academics, and operational management, among others. Among the group’s primary responsibilities are actions currently taking place at UF:
- Providing information and recommendations during this public health emergency, with the Student Health Care Center director serving as the university’s lead public health official.
- Providing health services and resources, including medical and behavioral health, for UF students and employees.
- Coordinating operations and programs specific to public health such as mass vaccination clinics and alternate medical treatment sites, as evidenced by the recently opened COVID-19 testing facility in The Villages.
- Facilitating information and education for the university community.
The university also has a more detailed plan that guides its response to infectious disease spread and pandemics. These documents are exempt from public disclosure pursuant to Florida Statute 1004.0962 (Campus emergency response) due to the fact that they contain sensitive information that, if publicly released, could create a security risk for the university’s students, faculty and staff.
The university is committed to transparency regarding its response to and management of campus operations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- What types of support and leave policies will be considered for parents who have to educate young or school-aged kids at home? (7/28)
Emergency family and medical leave is still available through Dec. 31 for faculty and staff whose child(ren)’s childcare or school is closed. Working from a remote location also continues to be an option for these employees if their roles allow and this working arrangement is approved by their supervisors.
- Supervisors: We have employees asking if they can work from home. Where can I find more information? (7/2)
More information on working remotely may be found on the UFHR website.