Updates regarding the Corona virus (COVID-19) and official notices from the University of Central Florida, specifically regarding the College of Medicine, will be posted here as they become available. Please be aware that the HSL Staff will try to keep this guide as current as possible, however, all UCF members should be monitoring the official UCF Coronavirus website: www.ucf.edu/safety/coronavirus and official UCF communications channels, such as UCF Alert, for the most up to date information.
On April 1st, Florida Govenor Ron DeSantis issued a state-wide, 30-day, "Safer at Home" Order that went into effect at 12:01am on Friday, April 3rd, 2020 and remains in effect until April 30th, 2020. See Execuative Order #20-91 to read the full-text of this stay-at-home order.
Per this Order, all people in the State of Florida should stay at home unless they are providing an Essential Service, or if they are performing an Essential Activity (grocery shopping, doctor appointment, etc.). Anyone involved in an Essential Service or Activity should be practicing Social Distancing at all times. Please see the FAQs for Executive Order 20-91 for further information on what qualifies as Essential Services and Activities.
Orange County is mandating an emergency “stay at home” order that takes effect at 11 p.m. Thursday, March 26, for at least two weeks through 11 p.m. Thursday, April 9. This is an expansion of the previously announced curfew in Orange County and is a concerted effort to reduce further spread of COVID-19.
The order applies to all individuals within Orange County, with exceptions for essential workers and essential activities as outlined in the order. Frequently asked questions are addressed here: newsroom.ocfl.net/2020/03/stay-at-home-to-flatten-the-curve-orange-county-issues-stay-at-home-order-effective-march-26-2020-faqs.
UCF has taken strategic actions to depopulate the campus over the past several weeks.
By tonight, students who reside in UCF Housing should have returned to their permanent residences. Those with extenuating circumstances remaining on campus and students in off-campus housing must abide by the order. Students currently off campus should not return to UCF until further notice.
The period of remote work for employees will continue until further notice.
Starting Friday, March 27, only those employees who have been identified as essential; whose job functions require them to report to campus; and whose supervisors have approved them continuing to work on campus should be at UCF. Only essential employees who meet all three of these criteria will have key card access to campus buildings. If you are unsure about how this applies to you, talk to your supervisor about what the “stay at home” order entails.
Starting Friday, March 27, through April 9, UCF will provide paid administrative leave to employees who are unable to work on campus and unable to work remotely. This leave applies to faculty, administrative and USPS employees. Beginning April 1, when the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act takes effect, faculty and staff—along with eligible OPS employees—may qualify for emergency leave. All other faculty, administrative, and USPS employees who do not qualify for the federal aid and who cannot work remotely will be provided administrative leave. Employees not available for work due to illness or personal time must take sick or annual leave per UCF policy.
More detailed guidance about the federal legislation will be shared soon with employees, supervisors and HR liaisons.
Additionally, the Office of Research had earlier this month identified and approved researchers who could continue to have limited access to their labs. In response to the “stay at home” order, the list will be further reduced to only allow access to personnel critical to maintaining facility operations. Those individuals will be selected by their college deans or directors and approved by the Vice President of Research. More information will be forthcoming.
UCF will continue to share regular updates here: ucf.edu/safety/coronavirus.
We thank you for your understanding and support during this dynamic, unprecedented time. Please continue to take steps to keep yourself and those around you healthy and safe.
Today, UCF learned that one of our students has tested positive for COVID-19.
The incubation period for COVID-19 is 14 days, and we believe the risk of anyone who came into contact with him developing symptoms at this point is very low. Out of an abundance of caution, his residence hall and classrooms will be decontaminated for everyone’s safety.
The student is recovering away from UCF, and he has our best wishes for good health.
Additionally, a military contractor who works at the Partnership IV Building in the Central Florida Research Park adjacent to the main campus has tested positive for the coronavirus. Several of his colleagues also have submitted to tests.
While a small number of UCF Institute for Simulation and Training employees work in the same building, they aren’t believed to have come into contact with the military contractor. The UCF employees have already been working remotely and have been advised to monitor their health. Partnership IV will be closed for two weeks following thorough decontamination.
UCF also is aware of other students who have exhibited symptoms and are being tested and observing self-quarantine. While we believe their risk is low, this is a wake-up call that COVID-19 is at UCF and all of us must be vigilant.
This news hits close to home for UCF. But we must understand that as testing becomes more widely available across Central Florida, the number of positive cases will grow.
The realities of this pandemic are why we have moved to remote instruction for all students and remote work for most employees. COVID-19 is something we must all take seriously.
Social distancing is key in reducing further spread of COVID-19. It’s also important to take personal health precautions, such as practicing proper hand-washing and avoiding touching your face and frequently-touched surfaces.
UCF leadership, including Interim President Thad Seymour, Jr., continues to make decisions in consultation with public health officials and state leaders that prioritize the health and safety of everyone at UCF and in our broader community.
We are sharing answers to frequently asked questions, and resources for help if this news is affecting you here.
Michael Deichen, MD, MPH
Associate Vice President of UCF Student Health Services
For the community’s safety in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has instituted a county-wide curfew.
The curfew starts at 11 p.m. tonight, March 20, and lifts at 5 a.m.
This mandatory curfew will be in effect daily until further notice. Only certain people are exempt, including first responders, health care professionals and those traveling to and from work.
Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home.
UCF and all state universities are extending remote instruction through the end of the spring semester, under official direction from the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System.
This extension is meant to further reduce the introduction and spread of COVID-19, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Given this extended period of social distancing, students who continue to reside on campus should return to their permanent residences if they are able. We understand that some students have no alternative; those students may remain in campus housing but should avoid gathering as groups.
In addition, following Board of Governors direction, we will not hold our spring commencement ceremonies. We know commencement is a special day for our students and their families, and we are looking into how and when we can best provide that experience to our spring graduates.
These decisions are based on our top priority: the safety of our students, faculty and staff, as well as the communities where COVID-19 could spread.
UCF will be sharing more information soon. For updates and FAQs, continue to visit https://www.ucf.edu/safety/coronavirus/.