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UNF Outlines Fall 2020 Semester Plans; Classes Begin August 17

Outside the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida.
The Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida.

The University of North Florida is announcing the safety precautions it’ll be taking to prepare for the fall 2020 semester. 

“As we prepare for our future, specifically the first day of fall classes on August 17, we remain focused on the health and safety of our Osprey community and providing the high-quality academic experience our students expect from UNF,” a media release from the university read. 

UNF is strongly encouraging all students, faculty, staff, visitors and vendors to take a COVID-19 test two weeks before coming to campus. The university said it will have testing available on campus throughout the semester, and it will first prioritize students who are living on campus and faculty teaching in-person.

The university has a list of recommendations for everyone planning to be on campus in the fall before they come back, including social distancing, masking, and personal health practices, along with avoiding all large gatherings of more than 25 people.  

UNF wants its students to download the university self-screening app when it becomes available, which will ask questions about whether someone would pose a health risk if they went on campus. The app isn’t yet available, but it will be within a few weeks, according to the university.

By August 14, all students, faculty and staff will need to complete an educational course on COVID-19.

“Each of us must take steps to stay well and persistently keep each other safe, both on campus and in the community. Creating a safe and healthy environment for all Ospreys is a shared responsibility that will include protecting your own health, while also protecting your friends, family, classmates, and colleagues,” the statement read. 

Testing, masks and face shields will be available on campus. Masks will be required in all classrooms. 

Occupancy in classrooms will be adjusted to promote social distancing, with certain sections being blocked off and modified to prevent crowding of a space. All indoor spaces will be limited to 25 people, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50. 

For residential housing, no triple-student dorms will be available, bathrooms are limited to four residents, and no visitors are allowed. Residents must wear masks in all indoor and outdoor areas unless they are alone or with their roommate in their dorm. 

For students moving into their dorms, not all floors and dorms will be open on the same days, and students will have to schedule an appointment beginning later this month. 

UNF said there will be daily cleaning of all buildings and classrooms, and is asking students to clean their own personal items like desks and computers.

There will continue to be minor changes to classroom locations, although the university said most schedule changes have already been made. Every class will be held remotely after the Thanksgiving break. 

Food venues will have limited hours of operations to begin the school year, and no seating will be provided except for the Chick-fil-a and Starbucks on campus. Seating will also be limited in the Student Union, and could be taken away altogether.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 during the school year will be transitioned to online classes to accommodate them, and those who live on campus will be moved to other areas on campus to receive monitoring by student health services. 

Sky Lebron can be reached at, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter at @SkylerLebron.