Amid surges in COVID-19 cases in Alachua County and statewide, UF postponed releasing its reopening plans and updates to the Fall schedule of courses from July 2 to July 10, according to a statement released on its website and social media.
The board approved UF’s reopening plan after a 30 minute discussion about logistics. All students and faculty will be required to wear masks and complete a survey that screens for COVID-19 risk factors. Testing for the virus will be optional.
On April 29, UF conducted an online celebration for nearly 10,000 String graduates. The State University System instructed all Florida public universities to redevelop alternate in-person Summer commencement ceremonies, citing social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This included Summer graduations and any rescheduled Spring commencements.
UF Board of Trustees Chair Mori Hosseini and UF President Kent Fuchs outlined plans for reopening campus to trustees. The plan was approved by the Board of Trustees and submitted June 12 to the Florida Board of Governors. UF Board of Trustees Chair Mori Hosseini said it was subject to change based on the evolving conditions of COVID-19.
President Fuchs announced his support for reopening campus in Fall, and asked the UF community to provide input on the university's reopening plan.
Faculty and staff of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering received an email memo May 15 outlining the college’s plans to reopen in the Fall, according to UF spokesperson Steve Orlando. Abernathy’s email said faculty and staff who had been working on campus over the past two months as essential personnel were the first to take part in the screening and testing process.
The Florida Board of Governors released a blueprint for reopening that all universities adapted to fit their their own plan.
UF President Kent Fuchs announced that UF will reopen in the Fall, and he put together a team dedicated to welcoming students and faculty back to campus safely
The Florida Board of Governors announced that it intended to reopen campuses for the Fall semester, according to a press release issued by the State University System.
UF President Kent Fuchs and 13 other college representatives met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a virtual meeting to discuss Fall plans.
UF announced plans to reopen the campus in stages, with low-risk faculty and staff returning first and undergraduates arriving last. Students and faculty would participate in UF’s test-and-trace program, where they would be tested for COVID-19 and isolated if positive.
UF announced that Fall semester classes would begin a week later than originally planned.
After Summer A and C classes were moved online in March, the UF Provost and Chief Operating Officer announced in a memo that Summer B classes, which occur during the second half of Summer, would be online, too.
UF reduced its on-campus personnel to essential employees only in accordance with Alachua County’s emergency order to shelter in place.
Although UF’s May graduation ceremony was canceled, UF offered a postponed date for its Spring commencement ceremony. UF emailed a survey to gauge interest from graduating students on the new ceremonial dates, which UF said would be from July 31 to Aug. 2.
The Florida State University System announced that on-campus commencement ceremonies would not be held in Spring, and classes would be held online for the rest of Spring. State universities across Florida were asked to “develop an alternative schedule or method of delivery.”
UF President Kent Fuchs announced that the university would announce the status of classes March 30 and the status of big events in April and May, such as graduation, by the end of the week. All summer study abroad programs were canceled.
Santa Fe College transitioned to an online platform, Florida public schools closed and anti-Chinese sentiment spread across the U.S. UF President Kent Fuchs condemned discrimination against Asian UF students.
UF encouraged all students to return home. Students who lived on campus were welcome to stay at their housing facility if they wanted to.
UF Associate Provost W. Andrew McCollough wrote in an email to faculty members that UF was transitioning all of its on-campus classes to be fully online by the next week. UF President Kent Fuchs wrote in an email that classes will remain online until at least March 30.
Though it was not a requirement at the time, UF Public Affairs wrote in an email that there was a “strong probability” that classes would be online by the end of Spring semester.
UF spokesperson Steve Orlando said all Summer study abroad programs to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran were canceled. Japan’s study abroad programs were still being evaluated.
All Summer programs in China and some in Italy were canceled, and the rest were still being determined, said UF Spokesperson Steve Orlando.
It was not known if or when some of the trips to China would be rescheduled. There were no students in China, Orlando said.
No students displayed symptoms of coronavirus, said Cecilia Luna, a spokesperson at the Student Health Care Center. She said there would not be concern until there is a confirmed case.