March 2: Guidance on COVID-19

To: UF students, faculty and staff
From: Dr. Ronald L. Berry, M.D., Interim Director, UF Student Health Care Center
Dr. Charles E. Lane, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
With the state’s first presumptive cases of COVID-19 reported in Hillsborough and Manatee counties on Sunday and Gov. Ron DeSantis directing the state surgeon general to declare a public health emergency, University of Florida officials are mindful of concerns students and their families may have this week during Spring Break.
UF officials are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will be looking to the state Department of Health and the CDC for guidance as the week progresses. We will communicate new information to the UF community as it becomes available during this rapidly evolving situation.
Students and other members of the UF community are reminded to practice frequent hand washing, stay home when sick, and cover coughs and sneezes. Additional hygiene information is available at the CDC.
To minimize the virus’ spread, UF is taking the following precautions.
  • Based on guidance from the State Surgeon General and the Board of Governors, all students and employees returning from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea need to self-quarantine and not return to campus for fourteen days after their return.  In addition, UF has cancelled all university travel to those countries. Students who need to self-quarantine should contact the Dean of Students office at; faculty should notify their department chairs, and employees should notify their supervisor.
  • UF study abroad trips to China for spring and summer 2020 are canceled, and UF has canceled a trip to South Korea for three students. Trips will be refunded or the UF International Center will work with students to find alternative arrangements for them, as possible.
  • UF has canceled a study-abroad program in Vicenza, Italy, and is arranging for the return of 41 students and two faculty members. Vicenza has been particularly affected by COVID-19. Arrangements are being made for other students in Italy to complete the semester online and to depart if they would like.
  • UF is coordinating with partner institutions to minimize potential exposure in other impacted areas where students are studying abroad.
  • In keeping with CDC guidelines, UF advises that travelers returning from Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran who experience fever, significant coughing or shortness of breath to contact their health care professionals and notify them of their recent travel and symptoms prior to their arrival.
For more on COVID-19 and its prevention, visit the Florida Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.