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September 28, 2020

Last week marked one month since the start of our fall semester. I have been pleased with our community’s compliance with the COVID-19 policies, and because of your efforts, we have not seen a single case of COVID-19 traced back to spread within a classroom. I appreciate all you are doing to help our in-person classes and activities continue successfully.

Beginning this week, a new group of student Armor Up Ambassadors will help our campus community remain vigilant and continue complying with the COVID-19 policies designed to protect public health.

The Armor Up Ambassadors will help us keep up our momentum and also will be rewarding those practicing healthy behaviors. The ambassadors will walk around UCF’s campuses and greet those entering buildings, ensuring they are wearing face coverings, staying physically distanced and have completed the required COVID Self-Checker.

Our goal through the program, led by Wellness & Health Promotion Services, is to make everyone feel more confident in their health and well-being knowing that others are complying with UCF’s health and safety policies.

Random Testing

I want to thank the first group of students and university leadership who participated in random testing last week. Random testing allows us to detect possible outbreaks and identify any emerging trends with the virus.

Throughout the semester we will continue to test randomly selected members of groups that may be at risk of increased rates of COVID-19 cases, or with students, faculty and staff selected randomly. Increased risk does not mean members of a group have done anything wrong — in fact, they may be adhering well to our COVID-19 guidelines. But they may have more exposure to others due to their living situation or work environment, and we want to protect the health and well-being both of those selected and those around them.

Residents of on-campus housing and faculty teaching in-person classes will be the next groups to be tested. Subsets of those groups will be selected and notified in October. UCF will cover the cost of the tests.

Enhancements to Our Testing

We are continuing to explore novel opportunities to slow the spread of COVID-19 at UCF.

COVID-19 testing in Garage A with our campus partner, Aventus Biolabs, remains our mainstay for testing. In the coming weeks, we also will introduce rapid testing. Our random testing program will use this method. Rapid testing allows for quicker identification of those who are infectious, meaning those who test positive can more immediately isolate and take other precautions to prevent further spread.

The UCF COVID Line, 407-823-2509, remains the place to report positive tests and request testing. The COVID Line is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

We also continue to report all positive COVID-19 cases for UCF community members on our campus dashboard, regardless of whether those testing positive have ever come to campus.

Please keep Armoring Up, Knights – wear a face covering, wash your hands, practice physical distancing, and stay home if you have symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Michael Deichen, MD, MPH
Associate Vice President of UCF Student Health Services