Santa Fe College reported 29 positive cases between Sept. 7 and Sept. 13. Two employees and 27 students reported testing positive.
There are 13 fewer positive total cases since last week, a decrease of about 31%. There were thirteen less student cases and three less positive employee cases, a decrease of 60%.
Since March 2020, the total number of reported positive cases from students is now 903, and the total number of reported positive cases from employees is 91, according to a report provided by the college’s director of human resources Lela Frye.
The college opened 110 student case investigations and 17 employee case investigations from Sept. 7 to Sept. 13.
According to the report, 11 students may have been on campus while positive for the virus. There were no employees who may have been on campus while positive for the virus. However, there have been two cases of community spread from on-campus positive cases.
The college requests that all students, faculty and staff perform a daily self-assessment before coming to campus. Masks are not required, but the college strongly encourages anyone on campus to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
The college also requires students who test positive for COVID-19, experience any symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they have contact with someone who has the virus to complete a confidential online form, disclosing any potential exposure or positive test results.
On Sept. 9, Ken Cornell, chair of the Alachua County Commission, sent a letter to UF and Santa Fe asking the institutions to require masks indoors. Both UF President Kent Fuchs and Santa Fe President Paul Broadie II stated they cannot mandate masks.
During the College Senate Executive Council meeting Tuesday, Broadie explained why the college could not comply with the letter’s requests by citing Senate Bill 2006 and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ July executive order. He did state, however, that if the college could institute a mask mandate tomorrow, they would.
The executive order Broadie cited gives Florida’s State Board of Education the power to withhold funding for school districts if it deems a district is going against its own mandates. The school board has taken a stance against requiring masks in public schools.
The college also recently announced a new vaccination program, including an allocation of $545,000 to increase vaccination rates. The college will provide $60 per employee who has been vaccinated once they receive the second dose. The college will also provide $60 per student once they receive the second dose.
Contact Eve Thompson at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @evealanaa.
Eve Thompson is a third-year journalism major covering Santa Fe. In the past, Eve was a News Assistant on the university desk. When she’s not submitting public records requests or staring at a blank Google doc, Eve can be found on a boat, usually listening to 70s music.