All of us at the University of Florida have an obligation to each do our part to prevent further transmission of COVID-19. We are in this together, and each and every one of us plays an important role in furthering the health and safety of ourselves, our neighbors and our loved ones. It is the right thing to do — and medical experts say vaccination and masking are the best ways to do it.
Therefore, we are advising you of the following steps we are taking in our efforts to ensure a safe and successful Spring semester:
- Per the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone is expected to wear a mask at all times when inside any UF facility, even if you are vaccinated. This includes our students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors. Studies and guidance from the CDC state that both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals can transmit the current COVID-19 variant to unvaccinated persons.
- If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated. Vaccines are readily available at no cost and have been demonstrated to be safe and effective against the COVID-19 virus. Our UF Health experts tell us that even if you’ve had COVID-19, you still need to get vaccinated. Having had COVID does not provide nearly as much protection as the vaccine. Visit this link for details on where to get your shot, including options that do not require an appointment: https://coronavirus.ufhealth.org/vaccinations/vaccine-availability/.
- COVID-19 testing remains available both on and off campus. Visit the UF Health site for additional information.
- If you are sick, stay home and self-quarantine. Please visit ONE.UF to complete a short screening questionnaire to determine if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or had a recent exposure to a positive case. After completing the questionnaire, you’ll have the option of scheduling a test.
- Please continue to follow healthy habits, including best practices like frequent hand washing.
- Continue to regularly visit coronavirus.UFHealth.org and coronavirus.ufl.edu for up-to-date information about COVID-19 and vaccination.
We will continue to provide contact tracing program through UF Health in partnership with the Florida Department of Health.
UF Health, through its collaboration with the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County, will order isolation for those who have tested positive for the virus and quarantine for unvaccinated individuals who are identified as contacts of someone who has tested positive. UF no longer provides on-campus quarantine or isolation space for students. Quarantined or isolated students will miss classes, and we are unable to offer an online version of every class.
Vaccination not only helps prevent you from becoming seriously ill or hospitalized with COVID-19, the more people who are vaccinated, the more it also protects those around us as well — our friends, families, colleagues and others. This is a natural extension of the culture of care and compassion we’ve embraced as a campus community.
Our individual decisions matter greatly in this fight to end this global health crisis. Anyone who chooses not to be vaccinated assumes a significant risk of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it to others. As previously communicated, UF cannot be responsible for that risk, given the ready availability of vaccines, and cannot modify the operation of the entire university for a minority of people who may choose not to be vaccinated.
We applaud those who are already vaccinated for taking this crucial step toward preventing the spread of the disease and for leading by example. Thank you for helping the university continue to fulfill its important missions of teaching, discovery, patient care and service to others.
In closing, we implore you to do everything possible to keep yourself and those around you safe from this highly contagious and deadly virus.