Health and Safety
Vaccines (Updated January 4)
Can I get my vaccine or booster shot on campus?
Which type of vaccine is UCF distributing?
UCF offers the two-dose Pfizer shot series as well as Pfizer booster shots.
Who is eligible for a booster?
Anyone who completed their initial Pfizer vaccine series at least five months ago, completed their Moderna series at least six months ago or received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago is eligible for a booster.
Will I still have to follow COVID precautions once I get vaccinated?
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the U.S. use the live virus that causes COVID-19. The goal of vaccination is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
Should I still get vaccinated if I tested positive for COVID-19 before?
The CDC recommends vaccinations regardless of whether an individual has previously had COVID-19. Reinfections do occur, and vaccines offer protection against severe illness and hospitalization. Getting sick with COVID-19 may offer some protection from future illness with COVID-19, sometimes called “natural immunity.” However, no currently available test can reliably determine if a person is protected from infection.
What are the possible side effects from the vaccine?
The CDC states that any vaccine can cause side effects. For the most part these are minor, for example, a sore arm or low-grade fever that go away within a few days.
Do I have to get the vaccine?
There is no mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and UCF is not collecting any proof of vaccination status. However, all eligible individuals are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as they are able. In addition to protecting each recipient against infection, it is essential that a large enough percentage of the population receives the vaccine in order to achieve “herd immunity” to prevent continued spread of the virus causing COVID-19. We must each play our part in this process, as we have in the past with vaccines to eliminate the threat of polio, measles and other viral infections.
Who can I contact at UCF if I have questions about the vaccine?
Impact at UCF (Updated January 4)
Are face coverings required?
Our expectation is that students, faculty and staff wear masks while indoors, in line with CDC guidance and with Florida’s State University System and to help protect our campus community. However, neither the university nor individual faculty and staff members may require individuals to wear masks if they choose not to do so. The exception to this involves health-care facilities such as the Student Health Center, UCF Health, and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), which still require face coverings inside their buildings. Additionally, as a simulated clinical environment, the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center at the College of Medicine also requires face coverings.
Can a member of the UCF community on their own require others to wear face coverings in their classroom or office?
No member of the UCF community is permitted to require any other member of the UCF community to wear a face covering on campus, whether in an office, classroom or other location. You may encourage others to wear face coverings, but you may not require them to do so.
How can I ask that someone mask up?
The request to wear masks can be simple: “Please wear masks in this class for the protection of yourselves and those around you who may be at higher risk from COVID complications.” Or, you may add personal reasons that this is a matter of concern to you, such as living with someone who is immunocompromised and at higher risk. Please be certain that you are asking, not attempting to mandate.
What COVID-19 policy should employees or students at UCF Connect campuses hosted by state colleges follow?
They should follow the policy at the state college where they are working or studying.
What COVID-19 precautions is UCF taking?
Increased cleaning and classroom disinfections will continue, along with access to hand-sanitizing stations. During the pandemic, many touchless faucets, paper-towel dispensers and step-and-pull door openers were installed in high-touch areas. Additionally, HVAC systems across UCF’s campuses also have been upgraded over the past year to mitigate the spread of pathogens through the air.
UCF continues to provide the COVID Line for reporting positive cases and the optional COVID Self-Checker remains available. We continue to monitor the virus, including through wastewater testing and genomic surveillance.
What if I have special concerns due to a personal health condition?
Those with limitations due to a medical condition that qualify for an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can request an accommodation by completing the Reasonable Accommodation Request form and submitting it to the Office of Institutional Equity. For more information about the accommodation request process, please visit the OIE website.
Note that being at increased risk of severe illness related to COVID-19 alone does not qualify for an accommodation under the ADA.
Becoming Ill or Testing Positive (Updated January 4)
What do I do if I exhibit symptoms of COVID-19?
The Omicron variant causes mild or cold-like symptoms in many individuals. Consider testing if you may have COVID-19 symptoms. Testing is especially important if you have increased risk factors or severe symptoms. If you become ill, stay home and do not go to class, work or other activities. If you test positive call the UCF COVID Line at 407-823-2509 and follow the nurses’ instructions.
Also follow these best practices if you have mild or cold-like symptoms or while awaiting test results and if you test positive for COVID-19:
- Do not leave your home, except to get medical care, until cleared by your healthcare provider.
- Do not share household items.
- Wear a well-fitting mask around others if contact is necessary.
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19 or if someone I have been close to does?
Call the COVID Line at 407-823-2509 and then follow the nurses’ instructions.
Also follow these best practices while awaiting test results and if you test positive for COVID-19:
- Do not leave your home, except to get medical care, until cleared by your healthcare provider.
- Do not share household items.
- Wear a mask around others if contact is necessary.
What should I do if someone I’m close to tests positive?
According to the CDC, you should quarantine if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms.
Is UCF storing or sharing my symptoms from the Self-Checker?
No. UCF is committed to protecting your privacy. The symptoms you indicate in the self-checker will not be shared or stored in any system of record.
Would all classes again move to remote instruction if there is a resurgence of the virus?
We continue to monitor COVID-19 cases in our community and on campus and will share any updates to UCF’s plans with the campus community. The UCF coronavirus website is also kept updated with the latest information.
What are your guidelines regarding class attendance this spring?
Interim Provost Michael Johnson has asked faculty to refrain from requiring attendance during the first few weeks of the spring semester so ill students don’t feel compelled to come to class. Attendance policies should be relaxed as much as possible without compromising the learning objectives of the course. During this time, faculty are encouraged to make an extra effort to make course information available to absent students so they can remain in their courses. The current COVID-19 wave is expected to last weeks, not months, so it is hoped that this will be a short-term request and that regular attendance policies can take effect later in the semester.
Will faculty be notified if a student tests positive?
Yes. For faculty who are teaching a face-to-face course, you will be notified if a student will be unable to attend class due to COVID. UCF’s public health professionals also determine whether other steps are needed in your class. For example, if contact tracers see a pattern of positive tests in your class, they may determine that the class needs to meet remotely for a time. Faculty may not move to remote teaching on their own, based on reports of illness.
How do I care for my students who are scared?
What do I do if a student tells me they have COVID-19?
- Tell them to call the UCF COVID Line.
- When the student calls the COVID Line that begins a process through which you will be
notified by Jana Jasinski that the student may be away from your in-person class
temporarily. You only need to work with the student so they may continue in the class.
- If you have concerns about a student not calling the COVID Line, you may call to provide
the student’s name to COVID Line nurses
- Please do not tell or advise your entire class to contact the COVID Line.
Am I expected to hold in-person office hours?
Faculty members may hold their office hours online, in person, or a combination of both. Please consider what works best for your students.
What about faculty members who fall ill?
As a faculty member, if you test positive or have symptoms:
- Stay home.
- Call the UCF COVID Line at 407-823-2509 if you test positive.
- Notify your chair.
- If you are ill, take sick leave. Work with your chair to arrange substitute instruction or
- If you feel well, your class may be temporarily remote until you are cleared to come
back. Your chair will email Jana Jasinski, and you will be notified of the decision.
For FAQs specific to international students, please visit UCF Global’s COVID-19 FAQ page.
(Updated August 18, 2021)
Who is eligible to receive the awards?
Students enrolled during any semester impacted by COVID-19 – since Spring 2020 — are eligible to apply for the funds. Students enrolled in Fall 2021 will be given priority; awards for other students will be subject to the availability of funding. UCF Continuing Education students are not eligible to apply.
How can I apply for funding?
UCF students who are U.S. citizens, permanent U.S. residents or eligible non-citizens should complete the application found at this link: http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8l91Kgf1U5Mh1Qy
International students and/or students who are classified as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) should complete the application found at this link: http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1RCgC8kEymfaiqy
Can I apply if I received funding from prior HEERF and CARES Act awards?
Yes. Students who received any amount of funding from prior rounds of awards are eligible to receive funds in this round.
How much money can I apply for?
Each student who is awarded funds will receive $2,000.
What is the application deadline?
Applications will remain open until further notice.
When will I know if I’m awarded funds?
Awards will be made on a rolling basis as applications are received. UCF plans to begin awarding the money to students enrolled in Fall 2021 by early September. You will receive an email notification when you receive your award, and awards will be posted in myUCF.
Can I apply the funds directly to my tuition and fees balance?
Students will be able to opt in to having the funds directly applied to their tuition and fees balance. Details about how to opt in will be included when students are notified that they will receive funds.
Do I need to fill out the FAFSA like I did for prior awards?
No. However, we still encourage you to fill out the FAFSA to help ensure you can access all of the financial aid resources available to you.
I am continuing to experience financial distress, either because I was ineligible for HEERF funds or received funds but still am in crisis. Are there other funding options available?
I already graduated or am not enrolled this fall. Can I still apply for these funds?
Students enrolled for any semester during the pandemic – since Spring 2020 – are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to students enrolled in Fall 2021. Awards to other students will be contingent upon the availability of funding.
Is this funding a loan that will need to be repaid?
No, the money is a federal emergency grant that is not required to be repaid.
What are the types of expenses covered by HEERF funding?
Student emergency grants can be used for any component of the student’s cost of attendance (COA) or for emergency costs that arise due to coronavirus, such as tuition, food, housing, healthcare (including mental healthcare) or childcare.
Do I need to provide documentation for my expenses?
International, DACA, TPS and other undocumented students who apply are required to provide support documentation in order to determine financial need and/or hardship.
What types of assistance can Student Care Services offer?
Students who are ineligible for HEERF funds and are experiencing financial crisis may contact Student Care Services to be screened for additional support. Be advised that some resources will not become available until all other avenues of financial assistance have been exhausted. If you are unsure of your current financial aid options, please contact Student Financial Assistance to confirm if you have aid available.
Students who receive HEERF funds may reach out to Student Care Services for screening for additional emergency funds if still they are experiencing a financial crisis such as pending eviction, food insecurity, or homelessness.
Student Care Services: [email protected]