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Thursday, April 25, 2024
UF reopening

The Alligator spoke with university administrators to answer reader-submitted questions regarding UF's reopening. Check out their answers below.

How long till we close back up?

UF will follow the reopening plan that was announced on July 10. UF, state and federal health experts will advise UF as the pandemic continues. - UF’s Issues Management and Crisis Communications Director Hessy Fernandez  

Is workers comp available for employee and graduate workers who get sick during the reopening? 

Any employee is welcomed to file a workers’ comp claim if he or she believes that work was the cause of the ‘injury.’ The state of Florida will determine if claims are compensable because UF is a state agency. - UF’s Issues Management and Crisis Communications Director Hessy Fernandez

Any word on gyms? 

Southwest Recreation Center’s weight room, cardio spaces and multipurpose courts and Lake Wauburg North Shore reopened in June with limited hours. Masks are required and participants are asked to stand 10-feet apart while working out.

The maximum capacity depends on the room at Southwest Rec. The weight room, Southwest Rec’s most popular room, can only hold 70 people after COVID-19 safety regulations were implemented. RecSports’ cleaning procedures were also modified to include the regular use of electrostatic sprayer, which sprays a specialized disinfecting solution onto surfaces, to clean large areas and hard-to-reach surfaces. - Senior Director of Recreational Sports David Bowles

How are music classes going to work? 

Lecture-based music courses will be online, while instrumental instruction and performance based courses will be hybrid or in-person. - UF’s School of Music Director Kevin Orr

What's going on with international students? 

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The Trump administration rescinded ICE’s policies on Tuesday after being sued by Harvard and MIT. International students will not be required to take an in-person class to stay in the country anymore.

What’s happening with buses and public transportation? 

RTS buses capacities will be lowered to 33 percent their usual capacity in Fall, carrying a maximum of 20 passengers instead of 60 passengers. Bus drivers, maintenance workers and passengers will be required to wear masks while on board UF public transport vehicles, including RTS buses and SNAP vans. Reduced capacity could lead to longer wait times. - Scott Fox, the senior director of UF Transportation and Parking Services

Will professors be allowed to hold in person office hours for online classes? 

Professors can host in-person office hours in the Fall, but they must wear masks and social distance. - Associate Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs Chris Hass

Is testing required even if I don’t have symptoms? 

No. UF’s COVID-19 testing is optional, according to the UF Health website. You are required to complete the university’s Test and Trace survey, which UF will send to students and employees via UF email.

If a student or employee is deemed high-risk through the survey, testing will be mandatory for them to return to campus. Coming from an area with high cases or having symptoms of COVID-19 are some of the things that make you high-risk. - UF spokesperson Steve Orlando

Will the fall semester be online? 

Partly. In Fall, 65 percent of course sections will be completely online and 35 percent will be in person or “hybrid” classes, where instruction is delivered in-person and online, according to an email sent to UF employees and students Friday.

What is happening to rush week for Greek life? 

UF sororities and fraternities still hope to rush in Fall. At least half of sorority rush will be virtual, according to guidelines posted on the Panhellenic Council Instagram. The IFC is currently forming their own plan for Fall rush. - Panhellenic Council President Alexa Young and Interfraternity Council President Stephen Greep

Where will these “outdoor” classes be held? 

Some outdoor classes will be performance-based music and singing classes in the College of the Arts - UF spokesperson Steve Orlando

Some College of Agricultural and Life Sciences labs will be outside at UF’s farms. - Animal Sciences Department Chair John Arthington and Entomology and Nematology Chair Blair Siegfried

How will COVID-19 testing be done and how often? 

Students and faculty who opt into COVID-19 testing will be tested at a drive-by site near the Student Health Care Center, according to the Student Health Care Center website. UF testing is by appointment only. Appointments can be booked through the Test and Screen survey, which students and employees will receive through their UF email according to the UF Health website. It is currently unclear how often testing will occur.

Will online classes be mostly synchronous or asynchronous? 

About 65 percent of course sections will be online in fall. - UF spokesperson Steve Orlando

Of those online sections, most will be synchronous, meaning the classes will meet virtually at a set time, according to emails sent to UF employees and students Friday. The rest of the online classes will be asynchronous, meaning the class will not meet at set times, according to the emails.

Click here to read this article in Spanish.

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Lianna Hubbard

Lianna Hubbard is a reporter for The Alligator’s Investigative Team. The UF women’s study major began as a freelance reporter three years ago. She founded her community college’s award-winning newspaper before beginning at The Independent Florida Alligator. See an issue in your community or a story at UF? Send tips to her Twitter.

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