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Health and Safety

Vaccines | Impact at UCF | COVID Self-Checker

Vaccines (Updated January 4)

Yes, Student Health Services offers the Pfizer vaccine, including booster shots, to faculty, staff and students, including students who live out of state. They are available at no cost at the Student Health Center or at a convenient location near you.

UCF offers the two-dose Pfizer shot series as well as Pfizer booster shots.

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.

UCF continues to encourage our campus community to follow CDC guidelines after you have been vaccinated. Doing so will help to protect you, your loved ones and your fellow Knights.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You can send an email to [email protected] and we will follow up with you.

Impact at UCF (Updated January 4)

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.

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.

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.

They should follow the policy at the state college where they are working or studying.

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.

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.

COVID 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.

No, but the self-checker remains available in the UCF Mobile app and online as a tool for screening symptoms, and we encourage students, faculty, staff and campus visitors to use it.


Academics

Faculty | International Students

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.

Faculty

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.

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.

We understand that your students respect you and trust you as their faculty member. You can show them the ucf.edu/coronavirus website for the latest information and resources, and if appropriate, point them to UCF Counseling and Psychological Services.

  • 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.

Faculty members may hold their office hours online, in person, or a combination of both. Please consider what works best for your students.

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
    activities.
  • 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.

International Students

For FAQs specific to international students, please visit UCF Global’s COVID-19 FAQ page.


HEERF Funding

(Updated August 18, 2021)

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.

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

Yes. Students who received any amount of funding from prior rounds of awards are eligible to receive funds in this round.

Each student who is awarded funds will receive $2,000.

Applications will remain open until further notice.

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.

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.

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.

If students are continuing to experience financial distress, they are encouraged to contact Student Care Services to discuss eligibility for Student Emergency funds by emailing [email protected]

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.

No, the money is a federal emergency grant that is not required to be repaid.

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.

International, DACA, TPS and other undocumented students who apply are required to provide support documentation in order to determine financial need and/or hardship.

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]

If your question is not answered here, email [email protected]. Emails will be responded to within 48 business hours in the order in which they were received.