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Updated University COVID-19 Guidelines

 

The University continues to coordinate operational efforts closely with local, state, and federal officials, as well as the Florida State University System Board of Governors. In light of the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and new information from federal and state authorities, the prior Coronavirus Safety Policy has been rescinded; these updated guidelines have been developed with the health and wellness of students, faculty, staff, vendors, and visitors as our top priority. The University will communicate with the University Community through signage throughout campus and email, social media, and website updates to outline health and safety guidelines.


For purposes of these guidelines, "University Community" is broadly defined to include all faculty, staff, students, vendors, visitors, and any others on premises controlled, owned, or operated by the University.

A. Education

The University recommends that individuals visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information webpages to learn details about vaccines, how coronavirus is spread, how to identify common symptoms, and proper hygiene and personal safety precautions.

B. Vaccination

UNF expects all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccine locations can be found using the Florida Department of Health Vaccine Locator at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator/.

 

University employees may not ask students, visitors, or other employees about their vaccination status. With advance permission, the University may authorize certain programs and offices to ask employees and students about their vaccination status and proof of vaccination. For example, Student Health Services, University Athletics, and University Housing may ask for student vaccination status, while Human Resources may ask employees in limited circumstances. In addition, programs that involve students being placed with community partners as part of a clinical or internship placement may request vaccination status and proof of vaccination if the placement site requires vaccination as a condition for the placement.

C. Testing

The presence of symptoms may indicate that an individual should seek medical guidance and be tested for COVID-19. For COVID-19 testing, individuals may either consult with their own healthcare provider or obtain a coronavirus test provided by local authorities or the University, if available. A listing of testing resources in Duval County, including many free options, is available at https://www.coj.net/covid19testing.

 

UNF Student Health Services will provide opportunities on campus for rapid antigen, and, if required according to antigen testing guidelines, confirmatory PCR testing, on a limited basis for students, faculty, staff, and on-site vendors who are experiencing symptoms and need to self-isolate.

 

UNF Student Health Services will provide opportunities on campus for PCR testing on a limited basis for residential students and student athletes who are on day 5 or later of self-quarantine due to an unvaccinated exposure to determine if quarantine can end on day 7. All other unvaccinated individuals must self-quarantine for 10 days if unable to get PCR testing completed at one of the facilities throughout Duval or surrounding counties.

D. Stay Home if Sick

The Daily Self-Screening is no longer required before reporting to campus for work, to attend classes, or to participate in other on-campus activities. However, the University encourages all unvaccinated members of the University Community to conduct a daily health screening at home using the CDC's COVID-19 self-checker.

 

Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine or be tested following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as long as the individual is not experiencing symptoms.

 

For the health and safety of the University Community, it is imperative that individuals experiencing illness stay at home and confirm whether their symptoms are related to COVID-19 or another transmittable virus. Students who reside on campus should contact Student Health Services for guidance on isolation or quarantine. Otherwise, individuals should not return for work, study, or to access University resources if medical advice, COVID-19 test results, and/or presence of symptoms indicate that they should self-isolate.

 

If well enough to do so, employees may work with their immediate supervisors to make arrangements to temporarily perform their job duties remotely while confirming the presence of active COVID-19 virus.

E. Self-Reporting

Employees working on campus who believe they are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms are encouraged to be tested and self-report confirmed active COVID-19 infection using the Safe Ospreys mobile app or via the weblink HR Self-Reporting Form.

 

Students who believe they are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms are encouraged to be tested and self-report confirmed active COVID-19 infection via a COVID-19 test using the Safe Ospreys mobile app or via the weblink SHS Self-Reporting Form.

F. Use of Face Coverings

The University expects, but does not require, the use of face coverings on campus. Services cannot be denied to students or employees who do not wear masks or face coverings inside classrooms or office spaces.

G. Hygiene and Sanitation

All University constituents are strongly encouraged to observe CDC guidance on healthy hygiene habits that prevent the spread of illness. That guidance includes:

  • Regularly washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and then drying them. It can also mean using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Observing and following visual cues, like signs or posters, in bathrooms or kitchen areas reminding individuals to wash their hands.
  • Modeling other healthy habits, such as covering coughs and sneezes, then washing hands.
  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces, such as countertops, handrails, and doorknobs regularly.
  • Advising sick individuals to stay home until they are symptom-free.
  • Reminding individuals to practice and model good hand hygiene at home.

The University is committed to providing necessary materials for personal hygiene, such as adequate soap and hand sanitizer. Sanitizing stations are positioned throughout the campus. If you observe that hygiene and sanitizing materials are not available in a location, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at (904) 620-2019 or EHS@unf.edu so that the University may quickly resupply that area.

 

The University regularly cleans and disinfects all University facilities, including classrooms, office spaces, housing, and food service facilities, research equipment and laboratories, and public spaces.

H. Requesting Accommodations

UNF is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to protect the health and safety of the University Community as long as those accommodations can be provided without imposing an undue hardship to the University or creating a fundamental alteration in the University's services. The University reserves the right to request appropriate documentation to substantiate the need for the accommodation.

To request an accommodation, employees should contact the University’s ADA Compliance office at  https://www.unf.edu/adacompliance/Contact_Us.aspx or (904) 620-2870. Students should contact Student Accessibility Services at https://www.unf.edu/sas/ or (904) 620-2769.

 

Employees of vendors should contact their employer to learn what accommodations may be available. Vendors must notify Environmental Health and Safety at (904) 620-2019 or EHS@unf.edu with notice of any employees who test positive for COVID-19.

 

For all visitors and other University constituents, please contact the University's ADA Compliance office at (904) 620-2870.

I. Travel

Beginning June 21st, domestic and international travel is allowed for employees and students. Travelers are expected to follow any guidelines or restrictions established by carriers or implemented at destinations. The University community is highly encouraged to review available CDC guidance on domestic and international travel prior to making travel plans.

J. Athletics

UNF Athletics will continue to follow the measures established by the ASUN Conference and the NCAA to protect athletes, staff, and fans from the COVID-19 pandemic.



Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are masks no longer required on campus?   

Guidelines from the Florida State University System encourage the University community to get vaccinated and state that masking would be recommended and expected, but no longer required within the System.

2. Can employees and students still request COVID-19 modifications?

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.

3. Can I require students or visitors to social distance or wear masks before coming into my classroom or office?

While the University does not have the authority to mandate masks, there is a strong expectation for the Osprey community to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.


4. My physician has advised me that I should not get vaccinated against the coronavirus. How can I ensure that I am protected on campus?

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.

5. Does this mean that other restrictions are also being lifted, such as prohibitions against large gatherings?

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.

6. Are employee meetings now required to be face-to-face? What if I’m uncomfortable spending time in closed conference rooms?

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.

7. My lab instructor is requiring me to wear a mask. Isn’t this contrary to the University’s guidelines?

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.

8. I’m an international student/visiting faculty and was vaccinated in my home country. I know that the University is not requiring students or faculty to be vaccinated, but how can I be sure that I’m adequately protected?

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.

9. I’m a student in a clinical/experiential/internship program, and the faculty member asked me about my vaccination status. I thought this was not allowed?

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.