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September 4, 2020

Please remember to be cautious of COVID-19 this Labor Day weekend.

This summer, carelessness on holiday weekends had a direct impact on the spike of positive cases in Central Florida. We can prevent that from happening again by wearing face coverings indoors and outdoors, maintaining physical distancing, washing our hands and avoiding large public gatherings where these precautions are not followed.

If you get together with family or friends, keep your gathering small and hold it outdoors. Socialize while wearing face coverings and staying at least six feet apart from each other.

I have been impressed by the UCF community’s compliance with our policy and these practices, and they must continue in order for our in-person fall semester to proceed.

We are closely monitoring public health conditions, including trends such as positive local cases and hospital, testing, and tracing capacities. We are also improving and adapting our practices at UCF:

  • We are posting weekly updates to our case dashboard. We have intentionally taken a very broad approach in our reporting, encouraging self-reporting even for those not on campus, while following the guidance of the Florida Department of Health.
  • We plan to make rapid testing available to the UCF community in the coming weeks. I will share more about this soon, but our goal is to test both random and targeted groups to detect possible outbreaks on campus or identify emerging trends in positivity rates.
  • As we explore additional avenues to increase testing, testing will continue to be available by appointment in Garage A with Aventus Biolabs, and all faculty, staff and students can request a test by calling UCF’s COVID Line, 407-823-2509.
  • Our team of student contact tracers is working with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County to expand contact tracing and follow up on cases involving students and non-students in the ZIP codes near UCF. This will help us identify persons who are positive and who may have interactions with members of our university community, and this approach will create an enhanced protection for our community.
  • We have shared the campus and community trigger points for the university’s decision-making about possible additional on-campus restrictions and increased or full remote learning and working.

Please continue to be vigilant and take the steps necessary to reduce further spread of COVID-19.

Stay safe, and Armor Up.

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