September 18: Communication to parents about quarantine

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Glover; Vice President for Student Affairs D’Andra Mull

Dear Parents and Families,

Thank you so much for joining us for the Town Hall last week. If you were not able to join us, we encourage you to watch the recording at Moving forward, we will schedule regular Town Hall events to keep you informed and help address questions.

As we collectively navigate the uncharted territory that this pandemic brings, we appreciate your voices, and we are constantly following the data and listening to your experiences to enhance communications and adjust processes.

You, as parents and family members, are our greatest partners, and we need your help.

Over the last week, we have witnessed increasingly alarming behavior from students in quarantine and isolation, on and off campus. The goal of quarantine/isolation is to separate students, allowing them to recover and lessen the spread of COVID-19.

Despite ample communications, we have seen students in quarantine/isolation roaming the quarantine/isolation spaces, trying to invite friends over, and leaving buildings to meet up with others.

This behavior goes completely against communicated expectations and public health policies.

Our expectation is that students quarantine or isolate in place, meaning they must stay in their assigned self-quarantine or self-isolation rooms. Students should not exit their spaces except to use the restroom facilities, to obtain food delivery from the designated common space within the building, or to attend required medical treatment or testing. This is vital for protecting and maintaining the safety of the community at large. Please know all students will be provided food so they do not need to venture to stores or into public.

In preparing students to come back to a campus environment, we have used a three-pronged framework to ensure students know the why before the what we are needing them to do. Our framework has focused on education, engagement, and enforcement. And now it is time we turn more of our attention to the latter in order to keep the community safe.

Effective immediately, staff in the on-campus quarantine/isolation spaces will be regularly going room to room to check if students are in there. If a student is found not in their assigned space and does not have a valid excuse (using the restroom facilities on their assigned floor, obtaining food delivery from the designated common space within the building, or attending required medical treatment or testing), they will not be permitted back into the facility and will face sanctions such as loss of privileges associated with being a University of Florida student or student organization, including suspension and expulsion.

In addition to security, we will be tracking students’ key movements throughout the spaces. Please know that once a student is moved to their quarantine/isolation assignment, their access to their regular room is suspended and they are prohibited from returning until they are cleared for campus.

Students living in off-campus residences are also directed to comply with quarantine/isolation guidelines. Law enforcement is regularly made aware of parties and events, and students will face sanctions as well.

We want you to know how serious we are about enforcing quarantine/isolation, and we ask you to please have a conversation with your student to help us reiterate the severity of the situation and the need for upholding healthy behaviors and avoiding social gatherings.

The vast majority of students are doing the right thing, but those who are exhibiting problematic behavior and reckless actions that put others at risk cannot become our shared narrative and fate.

Parents and families, you are vital, and we greatly appreciate your support. Sincerely,

Dr. D’Andra Mull
Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Joseph Glover
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs