December 13: The Campus Brief
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
On May 5, 2020, the University of Florida launched the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect initiative in partnership with the Florida Department of Health to test, diagnose and contact trace for COVID-19 among the university community, including all students, faculty and staff.
Today, after 19 months of excellent work and leadership by infectious disease physicians, epidemiologists and disease investigators, we now find ourselves prepared to lean on our experience and move into the next stage of pandemic management, effective Jan. 1. The carefully considered changes outlined below are reflective of this next phase and will allow UF to maintain a sustainable long-term infrastructure for addressing the impact of virus fluctuations — including the development of new variants, such as omicron — that are expected to be an unfortunate part of the global landscape in the coming months and years.
COVID-19 response updates include:
- Student and employee testing for COVID-19 will be transferred to the Student Health Care Center. Visit ufhealth.org/covid-19-test/locations for a list of additional testing locations.
- Students, faculty and staff will be able to receive vaccines and boosters (for those 18+) from the Student Health Care Center and UF Health pharmacies at no cost to the individual through ONE.UF. You can also visit coronavirus.ufhealth.org/vaccinations/vaccine-availability/ for a list of community vaccination sites.
- Contact tracing with isolation and quarantine will be coordinated and overseen by the Florida Department of Health following evolving Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Health guidelines, with students and employees being withheld from campus per Department of Health guidelines and policies. Individuals, instructors and supervisors will continue to be notified when a student or employee is not cleared for campus because they are a case, probable case or an unvaccinated contact.
- The weekly health screener email will no longer be distributed. However, the screener can be found at ONE.UF to self-report being a contact or an ill contact to a COVID case.
- All positive COVID-19 cases, including positive at-home tests, should call 352-273-9790 for further guidance.
UF Health will continue to monitor cases locally and globally, including the spread of the omicron variant, and will retain the capability to quickly add staff support if needed. Up-to-date COVID-19-related information will continue to be available through UF’s website at coronavirus.ufl.edu as well as the UF Health coronavirus website at coronavirus.ufhealth.org as well as through campus-wide health notices from UF Health. Updates and details on services provided by the Student Health Care Center will be available at shcc.ufl.edu.
It is important to keep in mind the potential for another surge in COVID-19 cases as well as the development of new variants of the virus, and vaccines provide us with the best protection against illness and death. If you have not been vaccinated or received a booster, we urge you to do so as soon as possible. We also expect people to wear masks in UF buildings and encourage everyone to continue handwashing and other healthy habits.
As we wind down this semester and prepare for the new year, we thank you all for continuing to care for one another and continuing to uphold UF’s commitment to serving the greater good.
Joe Glover, Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charlie Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
D’Andra Mull, Vice President for Student Life
David R. Nelson, M.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, UF & President, UF Health
David Norton, Vice President for Research
Win Phillips, Chief of Staff, Office of the President