Colleges And Universities Take Steps To Prevent Spread Of Coronavirus

Mar 5, 2020

Following direction from the state, Florida’s colleges and universities are taking steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and State Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees have asked all members of the Florida College System, including Florida State College at Jacksonville, to immediately begin requiring employees and students returning from China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea to self-isolate and not return to campus for 14 days after they return. Additionally, all college-sponsored travel to those countries, which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says are the nations facing the highest risk of coronavirus transmission, should be cancelled.

If additional steps are taken by FSCJ they will be posted here, on social media, via email, and on the FSCJ Safe app.

While there were no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Northeast Florida as of Thursday afternoon, many Jacksonville colleges and universities are taking extra precautions.

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The University of North Florida has cancelled all Study Abroad courses and international travel this spring through the summer.

UNF has also suspended all school-related travel for students, staff, and faculty to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran for the entirety of the Spring 2020 term. The university has also directed all students and employees who are currently in those countries on university business to return to the U.S. immediately. UNF said it will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates, which can be found here.

Similarly, Jacksonville University (JU) has cancelled several scheduled trips to Italy, including:

  • International Healthcare graduate program travel to Italy planned for May.
  •  “May-mester” Core Courses with Creativity and Culture undergraduate program travel to Italy planned for May.
  • Communication, Multimedia, and the Mediterranean undergraduate program travel to Italy planned for Summer I (May 24-June 27).
  •  Fine Arts & Humanities: Clay Art Majolica and Visual Culture and Identity undergraduate program in Rome (June 1-20).

JU has also increased how often high-traffic areas are cleaned. Officials said they will continue to monitor the situation and post the latest updates here.

Edward Waters College (EWC) has not yet taken any additional steps, though the school says it is  monitoring the situation. EWC will keep its community informed here and via email.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.