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Important COVID-19 Update From the Office of President Meyer

From: Dr. John Meyer, President

Re: COVID-19 update # 9

All,

The University’s leadership continues to diligently monitor the guidance of federal, state, and local officials as it relates to COVID-19 (coronavirus).  The University has also kept in close contact with the leadership of the 29 other Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) institutions and the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE).  The most recent applicable Executive Order that Governor DeSantis has issued is Executive Order 20-123 which updates Executive Order 20-112, Safe. Smart, Step-by-Step and relaxes some of its restrictions. The state is still in Phase 1 of the reopening plan. You can read the full text of Executive Order 20-123 here.

Safety is a priority for the University’s students, faculty, and staff and all on-campus classes will follow federal and state guidelines. The buildings have all been deep cleaned, and we have installed added safety measures, such as sneeze guards and additional, readily accessible hand sanitizing stations. We will follow CDC guidelines for assessing students, staff, faculty, and visitors entering the building.
As you are aware, the Executive Council has been meeting at least weekly since the start of the COVID-19 crisis and has been providing frequent updates. Last week, I promised that we’d have more information for you after this week’s meeting.

Therefore, what follows are the protocols and timelines approved by the Executive Council at today’s meeting.

1.  The University has begun to reopen and will have PTA students in Building U starting on June 1st – this Monday.
2.  The only employees scheduled to work on campus at present are PTA faculty, First Impressions staff, Facilities staff, and IT staff necessary to support the PTA class and/or to continue to prepare the campus for reopening.
3.  All other employees will continue to work remotely through June 14th.
4.  Starting June 15th, at their option, employees may return to the campus to work.
5.  By July 6th, the University expects to be fully reopened and anticipates that all employees will report for work on campus at their scheduled worksite and for their regularly scheduled work hours on that date.
6.  Everyone being admitted to the campus – students, staff, faculty, vendors, contractors, etc. – at any time from June 1st until further notice MUST adhere to the following protocol:
*   There is one entry point to the campus and that is the main entrance to Building U.
*   You must present there and read and acknowledge the sign outlining the posted conditions for admittance to the campus. Please practice social distancing if there is a line.
*   First Impressions or Security will take your temperature with a fast-read thermometer
*   If your temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, you will be denied access to the building and will be provided with information from the CDC about prudent next steps.
*   If your temperature is less than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll be given a dated, temporary pass to the campus. This pass is good only for that day. The next time you come to campus, you must go through these steps again.
Please do not sidestep this process and attempt to “badge in” through a rear or side door. It is important that we treat everyone equally and according to our process. It is an essential way for us to help ensure a safe environment for all of us.

If you are not in the category of those scheduled to be working on campus between now and June 15th and you have a need to be on campus, please schedule your trip to campus with Casey or Skip. Building H will remain locked through June 14th.

The only students who will be on campus for the month of June are the PTA students. We are planning to phase in other students such as BSN, EMT, EMS, and others starting in July. More to follow on this after the Safety Committee has prepared its further recommendations.

As outlined above, we are initiating a phase-in process for a return to campus-based classes starting with those classes that have requirements for face-to-face instruction. We will follow the requisite guidelines and requirements of the Governor, the CDC, and the County governments and will be cognizant of limiting class sizes, use of PPE, checking temperatures, and so forth.

I hope all of you are well. I appreciate that the virus has turned everyone’s life upside down and has presented some unique and difficult challenges. I know how challenging it must be to manage child care, take care of the house, work from home, and handle whatever else life has thrown at us lately. I also know that some of these challenges won’t simply go away because the Governor lifts some restrictions. All of the University’s administration understands that the return to normal operations will be a process and that it will take some time for that process to unfold. That’s why we have adopted this phased approach to allow you the necessary time to plan and make arrangements.

As always, please let your supervisor know if you have any questions or concerns. We will get your questions answered.

I appreciate the level of dedication each of you has brought to the University and our students.

Stay well!

The University remains fully staffed and operational, and all Student Services personnel remain available via phone and email. We will continue to keep you updated via email, Canvas, and the website.

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