Although there is no mandate, UNF highly encourages all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated and wear a mask on campus.
Students with health concerns are encouraged to contact Student Accessibility Services to explore their options for reasonable accommodations, while employees may contact the ADA Compliance Office for guidance.
The University does not have the authority to mandate masks, and the CDC has released guidance that those who are fully vaccinated need not wear a mask or physically distance in any setting. Employees can encourage masking and social distancing, and can offer alternatives such as Zoom meetings, but cannot mandate masking.
Yes, the course schedule for Summer 2021 was built when the six-foot physical distance guidance was still in place. However, classroom spacing will return to normal for Fall 2021 courses.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for and can be administered to most people with underlying medical conditions. However, employees or students with documented health conditions that preclude receiving a vaccination can contact the ADA Compliance Office (for employees) or Student Accessibility Services (for students) to seek a reasonable accommodation.
Effective June 21, 2021, the University will lift restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings. Organizers are encouraged to take reasonable precautions to protect participants as appropriate to the event, such as providing hand-sanitizing stations and ensuring that participants who wish to wear masks can do so.
Employees who are uncomfortable with face-to-face meetings, even when masked, are encouraged to consult with their supervisors to determine what alternatives might be available. Many conference rooms have technology that will allow remote participation, or meetings may be arranged to be conducted entirely over Teams or Zoom, as appropriate. After discussing their concerns with supervisors, employees who still have concerns should consult with Human Resources.
For some courses, masks have always been required to protect the students or to ensure the success of experiments, and faculty can continue to require masks for these situations. Similarly, some internships, field classes, and other experiential learning opportunities may require masks due to the nature of the work or the requirements of the off-campus locations.
The CDC's guidelines on the different vaccines available globally suggest that individuals who have received a vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) do not need any additional doses of a US FDA-authorized vaccine. However, if the vaccine you received is not authorized for emergency use by the WHO, you are encouraged to receive a complete series of a US FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
While the University is not requiring vaccinations for students to enroll in courses and participate in University activities, many of the opportunities for clinical experiences, internships, etc. are made possible by off-campus partners who have their own COVID-19 policies to which you must adhere. Faculty overseeing these arrangements may need to ask you your vaccination status to ensure that they can place you with appropriate partners.
Due to the current Coronavirus emergency, the University has not returned to normal operations and as a result is adopting other alternative forms of education for students. Therefore, if you are on an F-1 visa as a continuing or SEVIS transfer student and unable to find in-person or hybrid courses offered in your degree program, then you are eligible to take all online classes. We encourage you to try to enroll in all available in-person or hybrid courses in the interest of preserving your international and cultural exchange experience. If you are a new F-1 student, you must be enrolled in at least one course with an in-person component.
New F-1 students are not permitted to be enrolled in a fully online program. If you are a new F-1 student arriving on campus for Fall 2021, you must be enrolled in as many in-person or hybrid courses that are available to you. If you are not planning to arrive on campus for Fall 2021, you may enroll in online classes in the fall to start your enrollment. You will then receive an I-20 with a start date for Spring or Summer 2022. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
Currently, there are no restrictions that would prevent you from departing the U.S. However, because entry requirements continue to change rapidly, we highly recommend that you monitor travel restrictions in your home country as well as restrictions in the U.S.
If you decide to travel, speak to your airline about their cancellation policy should you change your mind at the last minute or need to make changes to your itinerary.
Should you decide to travel, please make sure to have your I-20 signed well in advance from your departure date.
National Interest Exceptions (NIE) allow travel to the U.S. for persons who are travelling from countries currently on the CDC restricted travel list whose entry is determined to be of national interest. The US government announced the expansion of the special National Interest Exception (NIE) to include students from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa – similar to the NIE availability already in effect for students from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland. For additional details, go to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/national-interest-exceptions-for-certain-travelers-from-china-Iran-brazil-south-africa-schengen-area-united-kingdom-and-ireland.html
If you already have a valid F-1 visa stamp in your passport, you are automatically considered as having been granted an NIE.If you need a new F-1 visa, please check with the nearest US embassy or consulate. If you are eligible for an F-1 visa, you will automatically be considered for an NIE to travel to the US.
J-1 students from those areas may contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request even if you already have valid a J-1 visa stamp. If you do not have a visa stamp, apply for a J-1 visa as soon as possible.
As an international traveler, you will need to follow the quarantine protocols as set by different agencies at the national, state, and local level. Listed below are links to check the most up-to-date quarantine requirements at the stated levels.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html
Florida State Department of Health: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/travelers/
UNF Coronavirus FAQs: https://www.unf.edu/emergency/CoronavirusFAQ.aspx
Below is a brief summary of options for F-1 students who have completed their programs. However, students who find themselves in this situation should contact the International Center for guidance on their specific case. J-1 students need to contact the International Center for further guidance on this issue.
Grace Period: F-1 students have a 60-day grace period following the end of their program. During this period, you must do one of these options.
OPT: F-1 students may apply for OPT, which would allow them to seek employment in the U.S. Additionally, students with a pending OPT application are automatically granted an extension of their F-1 status and are permitted to remain in the country while their application is pending. If you choose to apply, please refer to our F-1 Employment page for more information.Change of Status: If a student is unable to depart the country before the end of their grace period, and chooses not to apply for OPT, they may choose to file a Change of Status application with USCIS to request an adjustment of status to B-2 (tourist visa status).
Yes, the guidance does not affect your OPT eligibility unless you are outside of the U.S.