Guidelines for Being on Campus 

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:

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 and Safety Standards

Informed by guidance from UF Health, members of the UF community have a big role to play in ensuring a successful return to campus. Each of us has a responsibility to understand and act on the standards and policies that allow us to maximize health and safety while teaching, working and learning. As Gators, we crave connection with each other, and we come together to seek opportunity and to make a difference. Now is a great time to show in ways big and small how we care for everyone who is part of our campus community.

UF Health Screen, Test & Protect
UF Health has implemented a comprehensive Screen, Test & Protect initiative to help support a safer return to work and school. Please visit UF Health to learn more about this important public health effort as well as what will be expected of you as you return to campus.

Prevention and protection
It is important to adopt healthy habits that will help all of us continue to enjoy what we value most about our connections to campus. 

Guidelines for students
All students are required to complete a mandatory COVID-19 screening questionnaire. Screening is fast and begins with answering some simple questions. As part of this process, you will have the opportunity to complete in-person COVID-19 testing. Additional student screening and testing information is available on the Students page of the Screen, Test & Protect website.

Protecting our community
UF Health Screen, Test & Protect uses public health guidance and best practices aimed at fostering a culture of care for our community while taking steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. All of us are expected to understand what is required from each of us to ensure a safer environment and that together we will all embrace healthy habits and follow posted guidelines. We aim to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through thorough screening, testing, education and communication. University and Department of Health officials may follow-up to ensure individuals are adhering to applicable laws and regulations, as well as the policies and guidelines established as part of this public health initiative.

We are asking all members of our community to help in this process and to do your part in making the return as safe as possible. By all of us making a commitment to care for one another, especially those who are most vulnerable to serious illness, we can be a model for other institutions and communities across the country.

Learn more about the ways you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.


Resources

UF and UF Health are working together to gradually return faculty, staff and students to campus. This effort is guided by the world-class physicians and epidemiologists at UF Health with everyone’s health and safety as our top priority. To support you, we have prepared a variety of resources.

We understand these are unsettling times and you may have questions, concerns or even some fears. Please know that 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 screening and testing and then quickly isolating those who are infected by the coronavirus. While this is an evolving situation, we are devoted to putting the health and safety of students, faculty and staff first.

UF also offers the following additional resources.

Counseling and Wellness Center
To support students where they are, the UF Counseling & Wellness Center (CWC) offers remote mental health counseling services for students. If students need extra, short-term support, please call the CWC at (352) 392-1575 to schedule a brief consultation appointment to discuss eligibility to receive remote mental health counseling. Additionally, the Counseling & Wellness Center offers online webinars and group support to provide mental health information to UF students on various topics including managing anxiety.

GatorWell Health Promotion Services
Creating balance can seem like a daunting task when there is so much uncertainty swirling around. However, there are virtual resources available to help students set a plan for success. The staff in GatorWell Health Promotion Services offers certified wellness coaching to assist students in setting priorities and identifying specific changes they want to make to improve their academic performance and manage stress.

Student Health Care Center
The Student Health Care Center (SHCC) is available in-person and virtually to support students’ health care needs. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact the SHCC to set an appointment for testing. It is imperative that any individuals who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 contact the Student Health Care Center at (352) 392-1161 to discuss symptoms with a nurse or medical provider before their visit to ensure proper protective measures are taken to prevent further risk of spread to others. Additionally, telehealth visits and phone triage are also available to assist patients with COVID-19 concerns. Students who do not already have a UFHealth MyChart account can register for one and activate it immediately by logging onto mychart.shands.org. Download of the Zoom app is required for telehealth visits. Please call for additional assistance. SHCC business hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the university have a plan in place in the event of a campus or community outbreak of COVID-19? (7/10)

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? (6/30)

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

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.

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.

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.

What facilities will be open for regular business? (6/30)

Facilities are adjusting hours of operation as needed.

For Reitz Union hours, please visit: https://www.union.ufl.edu/

For Student Health Care Center Hours, please visit: https://shcc.ufl.edu/

For Newell Hall hours, please visit: https://newell.ufsa.ufl.edu/

For Recreation Sports hours, please visit: https://recsports.ufl.edu/

For library hours, please visit: https://cms.uflib.ufl.edu/

For dining hours, please visit: https://gatordining.com/

To check the status of your local UF/IFAS Extension office, research center or 4-H Camp, please visit https://ifas.ufl.edu/local-updates/.

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.

I’d like to get tested for COVID-19 and have either already been tested via UF Health or opted out. Where can I go for a COVID test not affiliated with UF Health Screen, Test & Protect? (7/10)
  • If you are faculty or staff, please either call your primary care provider or your county’s Department of Health for testing options. If you are a not a health profession student, call the UF Student Health Care Center at 352-392-1161. If you believe you have been exposed to a COVID-19-positive person, you may call UF Health Screen, Test & Protect, 352-273-9790, for guidance on getting tested for COVID-19.
  • If you are a health care worker or student (clinical/non-clinical UF Health Shands employee, clinical faculty/staff member, housestaff or clinical-facing student), call the UF Health Health Care Worker hotline at 352-265-5550 (7 a.m. – 7 p.m.) if you believe you have been exposed to a COVID-19-positive patient.
  • If you are a faculty member who opted out of testing during the screening process but would like to be tested, please notify UFReturntoWork@hr.ufl.edu to request a COVID-19 test.
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? (7/29)

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.  

If a UF student or employee experiences financial hardship can they get assistance? (6/30)

UF’s Aid-a-Gator financial assistance program is available for students and employees. Visit the Aid-A-Gator website for more information. If you want to help students and employees with financial need, you can donate to these programs.

If you have a financial hardship and are struggling to purchase food, UF’s Hitchcock Field & Fork Pantry is available for you.

What should I do if I am a student and do not feel well? (7/10)

It is imperative that any individuals who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 contact the Student Health Care Center at (352) 392-1161 to discuss symptoms with a nurse or medical provider before your visit to ensure proper protective measures are taken to prevent further risk of spread to others. Additionally, telehealth visits and phone triage are also available to assist patients with COVID-19 concerns. If you don’t already have a UFHealth MyChart account, you can register for one and activate it immediately by logging onto mychart.shands.org. Download of the Zoom app is required for telehealth visits.

Must people wear masks when they are in a public setting but more than 6 feet apart? Further, may employees who work in an open area decline a mask so long as they put one on when someone approaches?

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

The policy states:

“All patients, visitors, faculty, staff, students, volunteers and vendors are required to 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, except as noted in the next paragraph.

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.”

How many cases of COVID-19 are in Alachua County? (6/30)

Updates on the virus, including the number of confirmed cases in each county, are available at floridahealth.gov.

If I am a student traveling from out of state to Gainesville, do I have to quarantine? (7/21)

In alignment with the Florida Governor’s orders, students coming from abroad or out-of-state will not need to quarantine for 14 days once they arrive and before they move-in; however, all students are required to complete the screening process through UF Health Screen, Test & Protect prior to returning to campus. Unlike students, parents of students do not currently appear to be omitted from travel quarantine orders. We are seeking additional guidance from state officials. Please review the latest travel guidelines from the state of Florida.

Will masks and other personal protective equipment be available on campus? (8/13)

Masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available in the UF bookstore, Gator Dining, and in 50 vending machines across campus. 

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

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

Where can we go (or not go) on campus? Will there be places for studying and socializing outside of classrooms and residence halls? (7/10)

This fall, additional spaces for study and student life activities will be available. De-densification will be necessary for safety reasons in libraries, computer labs, dining halls, and other group gathering spaces. Plans are still being developed and more information will be available this summer in time for students coming back to campus for the fall semester.

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.

How many employees have been tested? How many positive cases have there been? (6/30)

For specific data, please visit the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect website.

How are UF Housing and other campus facilities being cleaned? (7/10)

UF’s custodial team is conducting their usual, daily, disinfecting cleaning in areas such as public restrooms along with doing a deeper disinfectant cleaning in all common/lobby spaces. They are increasing the daily wiping down of high touch surfaces in all residence halls to include:

  • 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 and 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.

Staff are focusing on after-hours cleaning for areas that are visibly soiled and immediately cleaning those locations.

As normal if students have a cleaning concern, they can submit an iService ticket.

Throughout campus, in addition to their normal operations, custodial staff have increased disinfecting activities in all campus buildings they serve. Special attention is being given to bathrooms, frequently touched surfaces and common areas.